This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 22 June 2014

As much as football fans love the World Cup, it is painfully difficult to warm to the sport’s international governing body and the organisation that runs – and profits from – the competition: Fifa. Anyone who has spent a couple of hours leafing through the Sunday Times in the fortnight in the run-up to the Brazil kick-off will be aware of just how allegedly corrupt and money-grubbing Fifa is. But the group’s bumptious head-honcho, Sepp Blatter, seems impervious to criticism – and indeed Fifa itself routinely gets up the noses of small merchants every four years by letting loose its legal attack dogs to crack down on every perceived breach of intellectual property rights, no matter how small or tangental. Lawyers from Scottish law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn point out that Fifa even runs an argument claiming that the very words ‘World Cup’ and ‘2014 World Cup’ are protected terms. But, say the lawyers, the world’s most loveable sport governing body is likely to be on shaky ground. Meanwhile, the Scottish law firm reminds readers that this year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games is nigh. They warn employers that international sporting events can trigger ‘nationalistic banter’ among otherwise perfectly polite multicultural staff and that clear behavioural guidelines need to be in place to avoid discrimination claims. Click here for more information.

Jonathan Ames
Jonathan Ames

Footballers and athletes tend to be lithe specimens without so much as an ounce of fat to spare. The rest of us, however… well, hardly a day goes by without some Big Brother-style medical authority warning that the western world is running to fat at an alarming rate. It is a trend that has prompted a correspondent from law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to pose: is obesity a disability for purposes of UK legislation? Indeed, the specific law is the Equality Act 2010 and at issue is the potential impact on it of a case currently before Europe’s highest court. Our writer points out that with 67 per cent and 57 per cent of British men and women, receptively, classed as either overweight or obese, the Court of Justice ruling could have a significant impact on UK businesses. A pronounced rise in the number of employees classed as disabled owing to obesity would force employers to incur considerable costs in making reasonable adjustments to working conditions. Click here for more information.

Calling all trustifarians – the British taxman is gearing up to reform tax issues around those pots of gold awaiting you. So before spending another second daydreaming about which high-performance Italian sports car you are going to buy, or the list of countries to take in on your round-the-world tour once the trust comes up trumps, it will be worth glancing at our assessment from law firm Macfarlanes. The lawyers have got their eye on the latest instalment of consultation documents on the subject from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. It was released at the beginning of this month and sets out a proposed timetable for reforming legislation. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm 
Iken: Delight or disappointment? How to prove the value of your in-house legal teamDownload
LK Shields Solicitors: How to protect yourself when your IT service provider goes bustDownload
Shepherd and Wedderburn: FIFA’s trademark tactics for BrazilDownload
Ince & Co: The Jackson Reforms: a sea change in the conduct of civil litigation in the UKDownload
Dentons: Van Helden: private piano lessons not eligible for tuition tax creditDownload
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Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: FCA fines retail investment management firm for failings relating to fund managementDownload
Employment: Is obesity a ‘disability’Download
Tax: Tax treatment of trusts for inheritance tax: new government proposalsDownload
Impact of the Hannam market abuse case
Real estate: Immigration Act 2014Download
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Top five briefings by region 
Asia-Pacific: China’s simplified (and cheaper) company registration processDownload
Offshore: CIMA introduces new director registration and licensing regimeDownload
UK: Commonwealth Games countdown: make sure your business is readyDownload
Europe: European Court of Human Rights upholds appeal against France by Paris-MatchDownload
US & The Americas: A new test for Mexico’s structural changes: antitrust reform — key points in one chartDownload
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