Can employers be held liable for the criminal actions of rogue workers who disclose colleagues’ personal data on the Internet? In an important test case arising from a huge data leak from the personnel files of a supermarket chain, the High Court has answered that question in the affirmative.
It is all very well leaving all your legal affairs in the hands of a loved one you trust but, as one Court of Appeal case strikingly showed, taking independent legal advice is always a good idea, particularly when it comes to property transactions.
Rule number one of civil litigation is to make sure that you sue the right defendant. As one case showed, however, the complexity of modern corporate structures means that professional advice is needed to select the correct target.
Investors inevitably take risks but are entitled to expect that finance professionals in charge of their portfolios will follow their instructions and manage their exposure. That certainly did not happen in one High Court case in which a businessman’s seven-figure investment shrank by more than half over a five-year period.
Restrictive covenants in employment contracts involve the imposition of restraints on employees’ personal freedom and have to be reasonable to be enforceable. In one case, the High Court ruled that a clause in an engineer’s contract that prevented him from working for competitors for 12 months passed that test.
Business partnerships can be created orally or by conduct indicating that an accord has been reached. However, as one case concerning a troubled medical practice showed, it is always wise to have such agreements professionally drafted at the outset.
Just like property buyers, those who purchase businesses are entitled to have their questions honestly answered by the vendors before a price is agreed. In one case where that sadly did not happen, a woman who bought an ill-fated dental practice won the right to damages from the sellers.
Your job may give you access to confidential data but the consequences of giving in to nosiness can be severe indeed. In one case, a midwife who took the opportunity to snoop through the files of patients and others over a 14-year period lost her job and was struck off by her professional body.
Trade unions have a statutory right to call their members out on strike so long as the correct procedures are followed. However, as one case concerning proposed industrial action by more than 100,000 Royal Mail workers showed, that right can be cut down by agreement.
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