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Trading companies and procurement

Public authorities are increasingly establishing trading companies (for local authrities these are often known as LATCs), either as wholly owned subsidiaries or, more and more, as joint ventures in local government with other authorities. They may do so either to deliver services in new, innovative, ways or to launch a trading business with the aim of generating revenue.

HR Law - February 2016

Welcome to the February 2016 edition of HR Law

BREAK CLAUSES: The letter of the law

The Supreme Court in Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd [2015] has confirmed the position that rent payable in advance is not apportionable in time, and has also brought some much-needed clarity to the legal test for implied terms.

Quick, somebody call a lawyer

A new reality for the housing world is being crafted in parliament and it’s bound to transform the legal landscape.

BIM bytes: Will BIM data sharing bring greater transparency?

Zika virus: Seek medical support before you depart or cancel

The Zika virus is currently sweeping across South and Central America and the Caribbean, with warnings from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is likely to spread across the USA too.

New Year, New employment law —— What to expect in 2016

2015 saw some of the most radical employment law changes in recent times with the introduction of the shared parental leave, a raft of other ‘family friendly’ changes, significant case law on travel time and holiday pay and not to forget the reforms promised by the Conservative party after their unexpected majority victory in May’s general election.

Payments: Fair dues

When administering payments under a construction contract, it is wise to follow its terms strictly and to remain vigilant - or end up paying more than you owe.

Quarterly Housing Update Winter 2015/16

Welcome to the winter edition of Quarterly Housing Update.

Reducing the administrative burden in public procurement – European Single Procurement Document

There will soon be less upfront administrative burden and investment of resource for tenderers participating in a public procurement procedure, and particularly for entities which ultimately fail to win the contract to be awarded under that procedure.

Unveiled: The Hot 100 2016

This year’s Hot 100 gathers together the best lawyers in the business – the cream of the crop from in-house, private practice and the bar.

Disposal permission still required for some

Hundreds of housing associations will still have to apply to a government body for permission to dispose of stock, despite ministers’ drive to reduce regulation.

Authorities exposed to damages claims for procurement rule breaches

The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment on 15 December 2015 in the case of Energysolutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority [2015] EWCA Civ 1262.

That sinking feeling—funding estate regeneration

The prime minister’s announcement concerning the future of so-called ‘sink estates’ leaves no doubt about this government’s aspiration to tackle the regeneration of many of the country’s housing estates.

Housing association second charge loans

On Friday 15 January, the FCA published a consultation on changes to its rules and guidance relating to existing second charge loans held by Registered Providers (and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in Wales).

Concern over Section 106 resolution plan

Planning officers have warned proposals to allow a third party to resolve affordable housing disputes could make it more difficult for councils to ensure suitable development.

Landlords mull ‘sister companies’ to swerve policies

Housing associations are consulting lawyers about setting up ‘sister companies’ to free stock from the effect of government policies.

Open house?

Repairs and maintenance procurements are increasingly coming to the market via a procedure which may not allow clients to scrutinise a bid thoroughly.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015

On 29 October 2015 s.54 of the Act came into force – it requires certain businesses to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement.

Public Interest in revealing Academy Funding under the Freedom of Information Act

A recent First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decision has ruled that the Department for Education (DfE) must disclose information about the funding provided to academy sponsors when they take over an academy from a previous sponsor.

Decluttering HR: Realising Value - Q&A

2015 saw some significant changes to HR practices and "people" concepts across the business world. Companies like Deloitte and Accenture ditched annual appraisals (having previously advised on their merit and implementation) and Trevor Philips criticised labels such as "BME" for being polarising and actually promoting discrimination.

LiPs, privilege and a solicitor’s duty

A solicitor meeting a litigant in person should explain the concept of without prejudice privilege.

‘Downton effect’ driving rise in shooting estates and country sport

Want to set up a shoot? There are more people than ever shooting in the UK. But landowners need to watch out for pitfalls.

HR Law - January 2016

Welcome to the January 2016 edition of HR Law

Stock transfer values set for boost under deregulatory package

An amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill could make it easier to value stock transfer properties at a high value.

Valuers meet to decipher impacts of deregulatory package

The housing association sector’s main valuers are meeting with lenders and housing associations to decipher the impact of the deregulatory package on loan agreements and accounts valuations.

Insolvency procedures and the Housing & Planning Bill

How do the latest proposals for the administration of insolvent social housing providers stack up?

The Modern Slavery Act: A lawyer’s view

The main aim of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is to consolidate offences relating to slavery and human trafficking, but this is not the only reason the act has received so much public attention, particularly in the commercial world.

New Budget Freedoms announced for Local Authorities - no time to lose

The Chancellor's Autumn statement included a commitment to allow Local Authorities to spend up to 100% of their fixed asset receipts (excluding Right to Buy receipts) on the revenue costs of reform projects.  At the time, the examples given were of projects which allow councils to deliver more for less – e.g. home improvements that can help keep older people from needing to go to hospital.

What to expect on renewables in 2016

From the RHI to FIT by way of ECO...

Sustainability - 2015 highlights

Over the 12 days of Christmas, we have been reflecting on the best of our news, analysis and opinions coverage on the website since 1 January 2015. Each day we have picked a different topic. Today, for the last in the series, we focus on sustainability

BIM bytes: Communication is key to building a virtual team

Some have expounded the theory that BIM and collaborative working are two sides of the same coin. But can a virtual “team” truly work collaboratively?

Let’s give collaboration a fighting chance

Following the publication of the National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2015 towards the end of last year there has been speculation as to why the number of disputes in the industry has continued to rise.

The price is right?

Contracting authorities procuring in the economic downturn have been poorly served by traditional approaches to evaluating price.

Abu Dhabi Realty: New regulations

A new law regulating real estate activities in Abu Dhabi takes effect today, heralding a new era in the capital’s property industry.

New threshold levels for public procurement

Even more contracts will be caught by the public procurement regime in the new year.

Councils to pioneer solar batteries

Four London councils are piloting the use of solar-charged batteries on their social housing, as government cuts to subsidies leave traditional rooftop panel installations “unviable”.

Local authorities and the drive to stimulate competition

Will the Treasury’s recent policy paper encourage local authorities to drive competition?

Building Interest —— Winter 2015

Welcome to the December edition of Building Interest. In this edition, we look at how the Modern Slavery Act will affect the construction industry, the launch of the Heat Trust, a summary of the new CDM Regulations and the impact of the Budget and Autumn Spending Review on social housing providers. We also take a look at the new EU thresholds and highlight the new sub-threshold procurement rules and how governance procedures for contracting authorities should be reviewed.

Deregulation measures announced

In this article we touch on some of the issues raised in the government announcement on deregulation measures.