This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 16th March 2014

Jonathan Ames

Hands up all those who can remember life without a mobile ‘phone. Even if you can, you probably don’t want to admit it. Only those old enough not to care how old they are will publicly hark back to the good old days when we weren’t expected to be contactable by ‘phone every waking and indeed sleeping minute. And indeed, the UK rules governing telecommunications date back to when mobiles were the sizes of breeze-blocks and users needed to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger to lift the devices to their lugholes. The Telecoms Code was originally issued in 1984, and in the subsequent 30 years quite a lot of evolution has occurred. Our commentator at law firm Shoosmiths explains why the Law Commission is calling for an update. Click here for more information.

Conventional wisdom – at least on the right of the political spectrum – has it that trade unions are relics of the past, having long since reached the zenith of their powers when they brought the UK to a halt as rubbish piled up in the streets and bodies went unburied in winter 1978-79. But the unions aren’t quite the waking dead just yet, still scoring the occasional victory, with experts at law firm Eversheds pointing to some recent legal successes. Not least has been use of a relatively unknown provision in the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 in negotiations with employers over changes to collectively agreed terms and conditions. The lawyers warn employers that three tribunal cases in less than 12 months – involving potential compensation in the hundreds of thousands of pounds – suggest they need to be aware of the issues. Click here for more information.

Elsewhere on the employment law front, London’s Metropolitan Police finds itself staring at another media disaster. If not being lambasted for constables repeatedly punching suspected shoplifters in the face or slammed for undercover officers jumping into bed with eco-activists, the rozzer chiefs are in the spotlight for coming between what used to be described as a ‘WPC’ and her dog. Lawyers at Hogan Lovells tell the sad tale of PC Keohane, who was separated from her ‘passive’ narcotics search dog Nunki Pippin after informing her superiors that she was pregnant – that’s the copper, not the dog. Senior officers sited health and safety when assigning Nunki to another handler, but an employment tribunal found they were guilty of direct discrimination on grounds of gender. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm 
Baker Botts: The future of cyber-security. Threats and opportunities — what in-house counsel need to knowDownload
Conyers Dill & Pearman: Cayman Islands Law Update: the Exempted Limited Partnership Bill and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) BillDownload
Eversheds: Do trade unions have a monopoly position when changing collective terms?Download
Mourant Ozannes:
Royal Court clarifies limits of customary law exception in respect of time-barred breach-of-trust claims brought by incoming trustee
Shoosmiths: Telecoms upheaval — economic pressures and legal changesDownload
More law firms

Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: Real-estate finance — how to survive the next boom and bustDownload
Company/commercial: Getting your priorities in order — precedence clauses in commercial contractsDownload
Woman’s best friend — removal of police dog from pregnant handler was direct discrimination
Intellectual Property: Court of Appeal reverses Trunki’s High Court registered design successDownload
Litigation/dispute resolution:
Ten years of Facebook: where is the ‘twibel’ equivalent and why Zuckerberg’s creation is different (if, indeed, it is)?
More practice areas

Top five briefings by region 
Asia & Australasia: Is your organisation ready to hit the ground running under Australia’s new privacy regime?Download
Middle East & Africa: CCTV in the United Arab Emirates — the legal frameworkDownload
Offshore: Banking secrecy in the Cayman IslandsDownload
UK and Europe: Bosnian Competition Council decides English Premier League caseDownload
US & the Americas : State insolvency — what bondholders and other creditors should knowDownload
More regions