This week’s top 15 legal briefings – 23th February 2014

Jonathan Ames

Winter flooding has put Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ on the lips of just about everyone in the UK, but the actual water has been nothing compared with a veritable tidal wave of verbiage in the media on the subject. According to newspapers, broadcasters and politicians of all hues, the country is in the midst of a trauma of biblical proportions. Come June, we’ll be able to substitute the word ‘drought’ for ‘flood’, but for the time being it’s the wet stuff that is causing the grief. And our commentator from law firm Shoosmiths points out that businesses as well as homes have been blighted by the torrent, which raises a range of employment law issues. Top of the list for employers, says the firm, is to update adverse weather policies and ensure they are distributed to all staff. Click here for more information.

Water can be fun, as well as a trial – at least for those capable of swimming. But a recent UK Supreme Court ruling could drain the pool, as it were, from school swimming lessons. Commentators at law firm Walker Morris analyse the implications of the judgment in the long-running case of Woodland v Essex County Council, in which the claimant suffered a serious brain injury during a school swimming lesson at a local pool during school hours. She was being taught by a swimming teacher who was not employed directly by the school nor the local authority, but under a contract to the latter. The claimant alleged the swimming teacher’s negligence caused her injuries, and the lawyers reckon schools of all varieties need to review their contracts with third-party suppliers in light of the judgment. Click here for more information.

Third parties of a different shade round out our briefing highlights this week – that controversial new breed of litigation funders. Until relatively recently, lawsuits were funded by the parties directly affected by the dispute. But now funding can be farmed out to businesses that have no interest in the outcome apart from taking a commission slice of the damages when their side wins. The recent poster-child for how that can go horribly wrong is a case involving oil exploration business Excalibur Ventures and its law firm, magic circle giant Clifford Chance. But our commentator from third-party funder Vannin Capital argues that, contrary to popular conception, his sector is not in disarray. Click here for more information.

Top five briefings by law firm 
DLA Piper: UK: the real risk of cyber attackDownload
Mills & Reeve: Financial Ombudsman Scheme: only one bite of the cherryDownload
Shoosmiths: Flooding — wading through the employment issuesDownload
Taylor Wessing: What types of funding are typically available for an early-stage life sciences company?Download
Walker Morris: Education update: is this the end of school swimming lessons?Download
More law firms

Top five briefings by practice area 
Banking & finance: FCA proposes revised test for sponsor competency and sparks debate on joint sponsor arrangementsDownload
Company/commercial: Some factors to consider when becoming a directorDownload
Employment: It’ll cost you: employer ordered to reimburse employee for EAT feesDownload
Intellectual Property: Trademarks, search tools and keyword advertising: Lush takes on Amazon and triumphsDownload
Litigation/dispute resolution: Beyond Excalibur: a valid alternativeDownload
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Top five briefings by region 
Asia & Australasia: Online testimonials — are you doing enough to avoid ACCC scrutiny?Download
Middle East & Africa: A bridge to Africa: Morocco is the place to be for companies and firms looking to gain a foothold in AfricaDownload
Offshore: Venture capital: Series A preference share financings — why you should use the BVIDownload
UK and Europe: Reform of the Belgian State Council: some remarkable changesDownload
US & the Americas : A precedent-setting Ninth Circuit victory for tribes and their business partnersDownload
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