This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 21 April 2014

Good news for the folk over at ACAS – or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, for those who prefer to see the name in full. From 6 May, any employee wanting to take an employer to a tribunal will first have to contact ACAS to see if the dispute is suitable for an attempted settlement round a table with tea and biscuits. But, as our commentators at law firm Gateley point out, neither side – employee or boss – will be obliged to go down the cosy chat route. Indeed, some view ACAS’s enhanced role as little more than an elaborate rubber stamp. But, say the lawyers, if nothing else, the reformed process ‘will lead to important changes to the time limits for presenting claims’. Click here for more information.

Jonathan Ames
Jonathan Ames

Britain’s national lottery – in common with those around the world – has created many millionaires as well as a corresponding stream of tabloid stories detailing how sudden riches by no means equate to unbridled happiness. Now a case before Europe’s highest court involving the lottery logo could have the unwelcome side effect of piling on costs in trademark cases. According to analysts at law firm Taylor Wessing, national courts hearing trademark disputes are likely to require more detailed statements from expert lawyers. Not necessarily bad news for those in the legal profession, but clients will feel it in their wallets. As the lawyers explain: ‘As experience from evidence of foreign law in cases before the English courts has shown, such evidence can be both extensive and expensive and the inevitable affects will be greater delays and expense before the EU tribunals.’ Click here for more information.

Privileged is about as core a legal principle as they come – so any court ruling on the concept is worth chewing over. And just like London buses, two judgments have rolled along at more or less the same time. In Starbev GP Ltd v Interbrew Central European Holding BV [2013] EWHC 4038 (Comm) and Rawlinson and Hunter Trustees SA v Akers [2014] EWCA Civ 136, it has been held that professionally prepared correspondence and reports were not protected by litigation privilege. Not good news on the face of it for clients who like to think that every hiccup issued in the presence of their lawyers is confidential and will not be disclosed to the other side in a dispute – or the wider world for that matter. Lawyers from Macfarlanes look at the implications. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm 
Eversheds: Demise of the OFT — what next for retailers?Download
BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law: New general collective agreement concluded in MontenegroDownload
DLA Piper: New York City employers: are you in compliance with the Earned Sick Time Act?Download
7KBW: BAT Industries plc v Windward Prospects Ltd and Appleton Papers IncDownload
Winckworth Sherwood: The latest on affordable home ownership schemesDownload
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Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: Understanding Forex manipulationDownload
Employment: Employment law: all change for April?Download
Intellectual property: Brands Update — April 2014: experts on national law win the lotteryDownload
Litigation/dispute resolution: Privilege denied — defendants’ attempts to withhold disclosure of documents on the grounds of litigation privilege rejectedDownload
Real estate: Breaking Bad — Court of Appeal’s decision makes life harder for tenantsDownload
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Top five briefings by region
Asia-Pacific: How ‘advice’ and ‘independence’ influence claims for privilege by in-house counselDownload
Offshore: Incorporating your business has many advantagesDownload
Europe: Private swimming pools by-lawsDownload
US & the Americas: EU: retention denied — ECJ declares Data Retention Directive invalidDownload
UK: In wake of McCutcheon case, states abandon aggregate contribution limitsDownload
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