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Housing Litigation Update Summer 2014

Welcome to the summer 2014 edition of Housing Litigation Update

Assignment: We can’t afford to get it wrong

With notable distinction placed on assignment. What if it’s just not an option?

Spotlight on board leadership

Cosmopolitan turns spotlight on board members’ leadership

Union backs multiple legal actions on housing staff pay

Union backs tribunals against St Mungo’s Broadway, One Housing and Look Ahead

EU Court Says Obesity Could Qualify as Disability

The European Union's top court has said that morbid obesity could qualify as a disability if impacts on a person's ability to work, in an opinion that could have far-reaching implications for employers in Europe.

Contractors sign up to collaborative working with public bodies on PFI / PPP projects

HM Treasury for the last few years has been encouraging the public sector to focus on making cost savings from their existing PFI and PPP contracts.

Heed the warning signs of insolvency

Construction projects often involve a long chain, or sometimes even complex web of partners.

No escape from 106 - the difficulty of overturning section 106 agreements

Jacqueline Backhaus and Henry Fitch discuss the difficulty of overturning section 106 agreements through the courts.

Big Data has arrived, but tread carefully through its legal haze

It is clear that Big Data has huge commercial utility, with many predicting it will form a key asset in future business models.

BIM bytes: A premature end for the BIM Task Group?

The success of the BIM initiative has, to a large extent, relied on the government’s backing.

Change of status for employee sleep-ins

A recent case could change the status of employees on sleep-ins

International Real Estate Update - July 2014

News from our International Real Estate team.

The new classic public procurement directive – a curate’s egg?

Helen Randall assesses the efficacy and objectives of Directive 2014/24

Great aspirations

Student accommodation has proven a popular investment over recent years. As the market evolves, the opportunity for some major change programmes is emerging.

Extension to flexible working rights

From 30 June the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks' service under the Flexible Working Regulations 2014.

Video: Construction Law Update 2014

Partner Rob Horne explains the finer points and lessons learned in recent construction cases, with clarification of legal regulations and their consequences.

Recruitment in social housing

Local authorities are developing homes for the first time in a generation, joint ventures between housing associations and major developers are getting off the ground and housing associations are starting to regard themselves as commercial businesses as they need to sell more homes privately.

Quarterly Commercial Update

Welcome to the Summer 2014 edition of Quarterly Commercial Update.

Building Interest

Welcome to the June edition of Building Interest

Planning Fact Sheet PFS1

Everything you need to know about negotiating the planning system, from planning applications to additional consent.

Changing the Housing Revenue Account “rules”?

This bulletin makes two points. The first is to offer our assistance in shaping any new HRA rules. The second is to help you determine how best to deploy HRA resources within the existing rules and any new rules.

Oman Social Insurance Update

Oman Employment bulletin June 2014

National minimum wage and sleep-ins

An issue of significant importance to those of you who have workers doing "on-call" or "sleep-in" shifts is whether the shifts qualify for the National Minimum Wage under the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (NMWR). It is an issue which has generated a great deal of case law, most recently the EAT's decision in Mr J Esparon t/a Middle West Residential Care Home v Miss L Slavikosa.

Digital detox can help construction lead on diversity

Theresa Mohammed and Cristina Lanz-Azcarate write in Construction News about leadership in the construction industry.

Automatic suspensions - power to the public authority?

A recent case illustrates that public authorities can still be successful in lifting the automatic suspension of a contract award on the issue of a procurement challenge even if there are triable issues at stake.

Modernising construction contracts

International Construction Bulletin June 2014

Resolving biomass disputes

Statutory adjudication is automatic on construction projects, but does not apply to building or upgrading power plants. Except there are exceptions to that exception. Theresa Mohammed explains.

Warning against pension changes

A recent legal case serves as a warning to landlords changing their pension schemes, says Martin McFall

Cosmopolitan – lessons for the sector

Initial thoughts on Altair's report 'Cosmopolitan Housing Group: Lessons Learned'.

Making the most of local authority property assets

Earlier this month, the Audit Commission published an interesting report on "managing council property assets" using data from the Value for Money profiles.

‘Un’-fit for purpose can be a very expensive experience

For a contractor, a fitness for purpose obligation tends to raise the hackles. But why?

Tribunal tells councils to end tax on empty homes

Housing associations win case against London boroughs charging tax

Non-UK investors in UK real estate – a new capital gains tax charge

The UK government continued its "tax attack" on the UK residential property sector with the publication in March of this year of its long awaited consultation on proposals for the imposition of a new capital gains tax charge (New CGT) on non-resident investors when they sell UK residential property.

Brazil World Cup 2014: Top tips for employers

Oman Employment bulletin June 2014

New models of construction procurement

In January 2014, the Cabinet Office published guidance on its new models of construction procurement which are recommended for use across the public and private sectors.

LLP members get more protection

The Supreme Court decides that LLP members are "workers". LLP members will now enjoy rights including those relating to holiday, pension, part-time working, discrimination and "whistle-blowing". This decision therefore has wide implications for partnerships and LLPs in managing relations, with and between, their partners and members.

Town or Village Green applications - the “right” approach

In its recent landmark decision of R (on the application of Barkas) v North Yorkshire County Council and another, the Supreme Court delivered welcome news to developers facing Town or Village Green (TVG) applications.

When a bank falls out of love with social housing…

Common sense tells us dealing with a lender which has decided to leave the market will be more difficult.

Planning performance targets: Not hitting the bullseye

Fast tracking the planning process is one way to tackle the housing shortage - but are planning performance targets having the opposite effect?

Housing Matters - June 2014

Welcome to the June edition of Housing Matters.