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Quarterly Housing Update Winter 2014/15

Welcome to the winter edition of Quarterly Housing Update.

Addressing the school places crisis

What powers and responsibilities do local authorities have to ensure sufficient school places? With a growing population and the introduction of academies and free schools, Helen Randall considers the legal position of local authorities.

Quarterly Commercial Update, Winter 2014/15

Welcome to the Winter 2014/15 edition of Quarterly Commercial Update.

All together now: legislative reform could give local authorities greater flexibility to combine

The Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on legislative reform to give local authorities greater flexibility in forming a combined authority or economic prosperity board closed on 26 January 2015.

Public Authorities in 2015: Four key legal updates you need to know

2015 looks to be an eventful year with royal baby number 2 on the way, London hosting the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the 800th birthday of the Magna Carta. 2015 will also be a year of change for the public sector. This article discusses what to expect in several areas of public sector law in 2015.

Better late than never? New late payment regulations proposed

Late payment continues to be a big problem affecting the cash flow of small businesses. In a bid to reduce tardiness and increase transparency, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills has published a consultation paper and accompanying draft regulations on late payment.

Do I have your retention?

The attack on retentions has begun but could a total ban be tipping the balance too far?

Know your role

Michael O'Reilly spoke with some very capable EPC contractors about their plans to step up and take roles as developers (equity investors) alongside their role as pure contractors on project-financed infrastructure work.

HR Law - January 2015

Welcome to the January edition of .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We hope all our readers had a fabulous Christmas and New Year!

BIM bytes: Is ‘smart’ technology the new hope for housing?

Construction partner Assad Maqbool writes in Construction Manager on BIM.

‘Caste’ discrimination claim can be pursued – ET decision

On 19 December 2014 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a decision from the Employment Tribunal that 'Caste' can fall within the wide definition of race under the Equality Act 2010 has been dismissed.

Managing in uncertain times

As local authorities count the cost of this year's financial settlement, it is clear that a significant number will face real challenges as they consider how to maintain vital public services whilst balancing the books.

Social landlords ‘could be breaking criminal law’ over consumer regulation

Housing associations providing debt advice to tenants without authorisation from the UK financial watchdog are breaking criminal laws.

Building Interest

Welcome to the December edition of Building Interest

High Court rules tribunal fees are lawful

The High Court yesterday (17 December 2014) rejected a judicial review brought by trade union Unison to have tribunal fees ruled unlawful. 

Heads of terms: please don’t tie our hands

Whilst heads of terms are never legally binding, it is commercially more difficult to re-visit concepts and wording where the detail has already been set out and ‘agreed’.

Housing Matters - December 2014

Welcome to the December edition of Housing Matters.

Need to know about FCA

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) assumed control of consumer credit regulation in April and housing organisations need to know what to do for authorisation.

Non-UK investors in UK residential real estate - the full government response

As we have previously reported, 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.

Tax update for residential property following the 2014 Autumn Statement

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement on 3 December included a completely unexpected overhaul of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regime for residential properties and an increase in the rates of the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) on residential properties in corporate structures.

Q&A - December 2014

Welcome to the December edition of Q&A. We are delighted to announce our membership of Interlaw which is an international association of independent law firms with lawyers in more than 125 cities worldwide. In keeping with the holiday season, this edition focuses on employee bonuses. Due to our international network of employment lawyers, we are able to share with you contributions from our fellow Interlaw members worldwide. These highlight how bonus issues are global but that the different legal jurisdictions lend themselves to interesting and varied considerations and solutions! Please find in the Of Interest section an article on bonuses from our Spanish member Gomez-Acebo & Pombo together with a bonus article and tool applicable to the UK. There is also a flyer introducing the new immigration team in the UK. Season's Greetings!

Communicating with shareholders via social media

Social media allows users to connect and engage with likeminded people. While this medium of communication was originally developed for use by individuals, the ability to share information and receive instant responses is proving to lend itself well to corporate communications.

Appointing an adjudicator? Keep it simple

Jurisdiction is vital in enforcing adjudicator’s decisions – but how can the process of appointing an adjudicator affect the jurisdiction of a decision?

Garden cities: Come into the garden, George

Is utopian town planning really the answer to the housing crisis?

SMEs and public procurement

SMEs' access to public contracts has recently been a prominent issue on the public procurement agenda. Following Lord Young's recommended reforms in his 2013 report 'Growing Your Business,' the Cabinet Office has implemented these measures into the draft 2015 Public Procurement Regulations.

Building with ‘golden bricks’

Ian Graham, Mike Gaskell and Joseph Acton examine the use of ‘golden brick’ arrangements by registered providers of social housing

Autumn Statement: Housing

Real Estate partner Rob Beiley comments on the 2014 Autumn Statement.

Autumn Statement: Tax

Head of Tax Andrew Sneddon comments on the 2014 Autumn Statement.

Birmingham’s potential attracts entrepreneurs out of London

A report into workers leaving the capital has had national coverage - and entrepreneurs who have relocated say it was a shrewd move

Opening a New Chapter

The emergence of sukuk or Shari'a-compliant bonds has been one of the most significant developments in Islamic capital markets.

HR Law - December 2014

TUPE turbulence

Those TUPE decisions just keep on coming! The issues recently considered include the knotty question of assignment, whether a change in location is a substantial change to the material detriment of employees, when a TUPE transfer actually occurs, and what happens when there's a failure to provide correct employee liability information.

New Exemptions in the Draft Procurement Regulations

The Government has recently published Draft Regulations to replace the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. The Draft Regulations implement the new procurement Directive (2014/24/EU) and are due to come into force in the spring of 2015.

Think before you tweet: a lawyers’ guide to using social media at work

From breaches of confidentiality to airing workplace grievances, here’s what public servants should avoid online.

EU procurement regime: Change on the horizon

Earlier this year the European Parliament adopted a number of directives to reform how public procurement is conducted.

Where do your RP roots leave you in the eyes of investors?

Are you incorporated as a company or a registered society?

Appreciating your assets

The Homes and Communities Agency has been critical of the quality of landlords’ data. So how should they maintain the perfect asset register?

Opportunity knocks: purchasing distressed loan portfolios

Distressed loan portfolios secured by property assets have proved an attractive investment class for private equity investors.

Housing Litigation Update Autumn 2014

Welcome to the autumn 2014 edition of Housing Litigation Update

Registered Providers of social housing - “golden brick” arrangement

Why implement a golden brick arrangement? Briefly, to eliminate VAT on the development land purchase price in a situation where a Registered Provider of social housing (RP) is unable to recover VAT on its costs.