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Quarterly Commercial Update Spring 2016

Welcome to the spring edition of Quarterly Commercial Update.

Smart Cities - the only viable option to address future urban growth?

Some of the statistics with regards to Smart Cities and the potential opportunities they offer are staggering.

Valid payment applications: don’t lose out

Whether a contractor's valuation sent by email constitutes a valid interim payment application, extraordinary case demonstrates the sharp rise in public sector tenders being taken to court.

Does the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Regime (MEES) affect you?

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 April 2016, and apply to landlords of both commercial and residential property.

Opinion: Pitfalls of ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ home purchase help

According to data from a report from Legal & General, lending from parents to their offspring to help get them on the property ladder will amount to £5 billion this year.

HR Law - May 2016

Welcome to the May edition of HR Law. Please click on the links below to view the articles in May's edition of HR Law

The Role of Housing in Good Health

Quality housing is vital to sustaining good mental and physical health.

Make sure that you’re paid as scheduled

Contractors relying on payment schedules need to check the wording.

Building Interest —— Spring 2016

Welcome to the Spring 2016 edition of Building Interest.

Avoid legal icebergs to run a company

An ostensibly simple process nevertheless has some specific areas that need careful consideration.

Procuring service concession contracts

Following our previous blog, in this instalment, we will examine the consequences of a contract falling within the definition of a concession. One of these consequences, which sets a maximum length for concession contracts, is particularly severe.

Quarterly Housing Update Spring 2016

Welcome to the spring edition of Quarterly Housing Update.

You can still put your faith in traditional UK trusts

Trusts have come in for a lot of bad press recently, especially the leaking of the 'Panama Papers' identifying some of the world's wealthiest and most influential people and, in some instances, their attempts to avoid tax.

Housing Litigation Update Spring 2016

Welcome to the spring 2016 edition of Housing Litigation Update

Low pay? It’s criminal

It is now a criminal offence for employers not to pay the National Living Wage. Construction firms will have to examine their contractual arrangements.

General Practice Forward View - an insight

On 21 April 2016 NHS England launched a "General Practice Forward View". This follows on from the Five Year Forward View launched by the NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stephens, in October 2014, which set out a new shared vision for the future of the NHS based around new models of care.

What is a valid payment application under an interim payment regime?

A recent case debated the issue of whether a contractor’s valuation sent by email constituted a valid interim payment application under the contract – providing an important lesson for others.

Brexit: risks and considerations for UK businesses

The question which will be posed in the referendum to the UK electorate on 23 June 2016 is "should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"

Brexit: the implications for employment law?

23 June is the date for the UK's referendum on whether to leave the EU. From the current furore raging in the press and among politicians it's clear that the issue is an emotive one.

Mind the insurance gap

JCT’s attempts to simplify construction insurance still has its limitations.

Boundaries – Where does one draw the line?

One of the most common questions we are asked by purchasers is "Where precisely is the boundary and who owns it?" There is usually no easy answer meaning that neighbour disputes arise quite frequently. There are certain processes to go through and the answer at the end may still be unclear.

Employer not allowed to unilaterally change terms of staff handbook

The Court of Appeal has held in Sparks v Department for Transport that the Department for Transport was not entitled to unilaterally change the terms of its staff handbook when these terms had been incorporated into employees' contracts of employment.

Pay now, argue later’ still stands its ground

In a recent decision of the Technology and Construction Court, we are reminded of the Court's reluctance to interfere with an adjudicator's decision.

Service concession contract or public service contract?

This is the first of two blogs about the new procurement rules for concession contracts.  The Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 will come into force in England and Wales on 18 April 2016, with the compulsory transposition of the Concessions Directive (2014/23/EU).

Arbitration: Full disclosure needed at appointment stage

The integrity of tribunals and their appointment has become more difficult to police as the volume of proceedings has risen – but it’s vital to uphold proper procedure and conduct at all times.

HR Law - April 2016

Welcome to the April 2016 edition of HR Law

Planning reforms give developers some bite to go with their bark

Planning reforms give developers some bite to go down with their bark.

Added Value in Leisure Outsourcing

Changes to the procurement regime brought in by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 are having a big impact on the delivery of leisure facilities by local authorities.

PSC Regulations - implications for RPs

All UK companies and UK LLPs will have to keep a PSC Register, so RPs that are incorporated as a company will be required to keep a PSC register.

Gearing up for the General Data Protection Regulation: What you need to know —— March 2016

The law in relation to the processing of data is to be subject to a major overhaul as agreement has finally been reached in Europe on changes necessary to reflect the way we live and work in the 21st century.

Procurement of Social Care Services

The procurement of social care services falls within section 7 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 ("PCR 2015") and as such contracting authorities have flexibility over the manner in which they go out to tender for such services. All contracting authorities should comply with section 76 of the PCR 2015 and ensure that the procurement process complies with the principles of transparency and equal treatment of economic operators.

Sustainable living

The energy efficiency elements of the Budget and what they mean for housing associations.

Rent reduction - The last bits of the jigsaw

Last week the Welfare Reform and Work Bill became an Act, the rent reduction provisions (or most of them) were brought into force and the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 were laid before Parliament, so it all does take effect as expected on 1 April 2016.

CoStar: MIPIM 2016: New guideline for property values launched

Highly valued, hard to value

Travel time and the National Minimum Wage

As some of you may have seen there have been reports this week of a settled case involving a care provider's failure to pay the national minimum wage (NMW) for travel time between service users. This case is a particularly pertinent one given the additional financial liabilities that care providers will face with the introduction of the national living wage (NLW) on 1 April 2016.

Highly Valued, Hard to Value - Towards and integrated measurement of real estate development

New research by Trowers & Hamlins’ reveals need for “placemaking valuation” in real restate

March 2016 Budget - Issues for Local Authorities

Head of public sector commercial, James Hawkins, comments on the Budget 2016 which was announced today.

Quarterly Commercial Update Winter 2015/16

Welcome to the winter edition of Quarterly Commercial Update.

NEC: Start at the beginning

A new clause in the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract encourages earlier contractor involvement on projects and heralds a sea change in the employer/contractor relationship.

Housing Matters - March 2016

Welcome to the March edition of Housing Matters.