Surf’s up online – but is it safe?

Once there was a time when our mistakes lasted as long as our memories. But today, the internet has become a dominant media channel, and it has a very long (and public) memory. Protecting your privacy and reputation is now more than ever, a complex business. Continue reading

Is it right to have to stay married?

Mr and Mrs Owens have been married for 37 years but sadly Mrs Owens feels that their marriage has irretrievably broken down and petitioned for divorce in 2015.
However, as Mr Owens had not committed adultery, and the parties had not been separated for two years, the only available route was to allege unreasonable behaviour.
This is a fairly standard approach, so far. Continue reading

Quan v Bray to unsettle trust planning, charity law and family law

Judgments of the Family Courts are often dismissed as the preserve of warring couples or parents in dispute and seen as having little relevance to other spheres of life. However the Court of Appeal is today considering legal issues concerning Trusts and Settlements that could have pivotal impact on a whole spectrum of legal advice in the wealth planning sector including Trusts Law, Charities Law and Matrimonial Law. Continue reading

Who wants to be a regulator? Newspapers and Section 40

‘Section 40′. The whisper of those sinister words is enough to send chills of fear down the back of many an excitable newspaper reporter, arguing that press regulation will chill free speech. But what’s the truth about section 40? On the respected media blog here, originally published on Legal Cheek, I comment on last week’s public consultation.  Who will end up the winner of this dangerous game of ‘who wants to be a regulator’ hangs in the balance for the time being – but for now this consultation is sure to heat things up a bit more.

Read more here.

Social media: anti-social, criminal but also tolerable

Where once news was obtained from the inky-print of hard copy newspapers and from cracking RP voices over the wireless, today social media is the voice that seems to shout the loudest. And in shouting loudly, or quietly, on social media, those who abuse it and infringe the rights of others may well be acting unlawfully. But when does a tweet become a criminal offence, or a blog merit a spell in prison? Continue reading

Six points to consider before hiring a live in ‘granny sitter’

News broke over the weekend of a couple who have advertised for a live in ‘granny sitter’ to help them care for an elderly relative.  This looks like a very caring and ideal solution to looking after a relative at home rather than paying for residential care.  However, anyone thinking of taking this approach will need to be careful to avoid legal pitfalls.  Here are six points to consider when employing workers in a home setting. Continue reading

Pulling a sickie can be bad for your employment health

A website previously unbeknown to this female media lawyer at least – TheLADbible – came to my attention when one of its stories gained national tabloid currency in the tabloids this weekend. The simple tale features an employee telling his boss he couldn’t make it to the office: ‘I won’t be in today I think I’ve count (sic) kevs 24 hour bug’. The 24 hour bug, however, may in fact have been a bout of 24 hour boozing. And this was brought to the boss’s attention when he spied a pic of a rather delicate looking staff member propped against a smiling fellow reveller. Problem for our boy is that while she included the snap of her with the culprit in his cups in her Snapchat stories, she was also friends with his boss. Continue reading

Trust issues

When it comes to family trusts, it is usually the beneficiaries of the trust who get all the attention, but it is the role of the trustees that interest me.

Trustees have a somewhat strange and difficult job – they own the assets held on trust but they hold them for the benefit of beneficiaries, and so have a duty to act in those beneficiaries’ best interests.  The trustees can control and manage the assets but only within the parameters of the trust.

Continue reading

Mirror, mirror on the wall; will this press arbitration scheme do any good at all?

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was an investigation into press behaviour. Lord Leveson heard from witnesses, tale upon tale of poor press conduct, and ultimately issued a plethora of sensible recommendations for press regulation with a view to ensure that the watchdog and bloodhound of society that is the press, could no longer savage the rights and reputations of the public. Continue reading

Important lessons for transatlantic celebrities

After the whole world debated the identity of a married couple known as ‘PJS’ and ‘YMA’ earlier this year, we wanted to highlight what this latest news actually means for the privacy of you and your global clients in the digital age.  Continue reading