Blog

Stay up to date with the latest news and trends in Business Technology Law and Property & Construction Law on our blog.


  • Virtual Currencies in the European Single Market

    Virtual Currencies in the European Single Market

    What are virtual currencies? European Banking Authority (EBA) regards virtual currencies as being a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority nor necessarily attached to a regular currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment, and can be transferred, stored.Read More
  • VAT Rule Changes for UK Wholesale Telecommunications Supplies

    VAT Rule Changes for UK Wholesale Telecommunications Supplies

    VAT Reverse Charge Mechanism to apply to Certain Wholesale Supplies from 1st February 2016 Certain UK clients have asked me to explain the VAT rule changes for UK wholesale telecommunications supplies, and hopefully this blog will answer those questions. From 1st February 2016, providers of wholesale telecommunications services in the UK will no longer apply.Read More
  • Employee Monitoring

    Employee Monitoring

    Personal Use by Employees of Employer Systems: Mr Bogdan Barbulescu vs the State of Romania Mr Barbulescu used certain business systems to send personal messages in breach of his employer’s stated Policy in this regard. The Employer monitored employee communications to ensure compliance with its Policy. Mr Barbelescu was found to have been in breach.Read More
  • GDPR Part 4 Focus on Data Subject Rights and New Processor/Controller Obligations

    GDPR Part 4 Focus on Data Subject Rights and New Processor/Controller Obligations

    In this our fourth blog about the new EU Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), we focus on the rights of data subjects in relation to the processing, amendment and erasure of their data; and some of the new obligations on processors and controllers. Also, to continue the theme from the previous blogs, we compare the new.Read More
  • GDPR Part 3 Consent to Processing and Sanctions for Non-Compliance

    GDPR Part 3 Consent to Processing and Sanctions for Non-Compliance

    New EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) New Rules around Consent to Processing and Sanctions for GDPR Non-Compliance In this our third blog about the GDPR, I am going to look at the new rules on data subject consent to processing of their data, and the new regime of sanctions proposed by the GDPR for.Read More
  • New EU General Data Protection Directive – Territorial Scope and New Personal Data Definition

    New EU General Data Protection Directive – Territorial Scope and New Personal Data Definition

    New EU General Data Protection Regulation Territorial Scope and New Personal Data Definition A number of our non-EU clients have expressed considerable alarm about the GDPR, probably due to the volume of articles being generated in the technology industry press but be aware that whilst the final text of the GDPR is unlikely to be.Read More
  • IT Security Advice for Small Businesses

    IT Security Advice for Small Businesses

    On 16th January 2016, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published a useful advice note on IT security advice for small businesses, called “A Practical Guide to IT Security”, a copy of which can be found here. It is well worth a read for all owners and senior managers of small businesses, however tech savvy.Read More
  • Costs of Compliance with the UK’s Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

    Costs of Compliance with the UK’s Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

    The UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee reported on 1st February on the UK Government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, including on the costs of compliance for UK communications service providers (“CSPs”). The draft Investigatory Powers Bill will require CSPs to retain the internet browsing history of all of their customers for the previous twelve months..Read More
  • New Data Protection Regulation for Europe – Part 1: A One-Stop Shop for Multi-Nationals?

    New Data Protection Regulation for Europe – Part 1: A One-Stop Shop for Multi-Nationals?

    Multi-nationals have long complained that there is no one-stop shop under the existing EU data protection regulations, to facilitate EU wide compliance with data protection rules. The existing data protection regulations set minimum thresholds, which can and have been applied in different ways in different countries. It is in the light of hopes for that.Read More
  • UK Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

    UK Draft Investigatory Powers Bill

    The tension between an individual’s right to privacy vs the collective right of the citizen body to security, have been ever present concerns in the social, political and legal sphere, particularly since 9/11. We might also characterise this tension as the obligation of the State to maintain the security of its citizens in a manner.Read More
  • European Digital Agenda

    European Digital Agenda

    The technology industries in Europe (and of course we legal technology vultures for whom these industries are our food) are waiting with interest to see how bold the European Commission’s proposals will be at setting the new European Digital Agenda. In all probability the answer is probably going to be “not very bold”, or even.Read More
  • Spectrum Re-Allocation

    Spectrum Re-Allocation

    As our appetite for mobile data increases, mobile providers in Europe have been putting pressure on regulators to consider spectrum re-allocation in a number of frequencies, including 700 Mhz, sub 700 Mhz (470-694 Mhz), 1427-1518 Mhz (or “L Band”), and in the 3.4-3.6Ghz or (“C band”) frequencies. There was general consensus from the World Radio.Read More
  • Restrictive Covenants Part 1: Restraint of Trade Clauses

    Restrictive Covenants Part 1: Restraint of Trade Clauses

    Introduction Restrictive covenants are clauses, which have the effect of preventing one party to a contract from doing something, which they would otherwise be perfectly entitled to do. In this blog, I am going to focus on the restrictive covenants known as “restraint of trade” clauses, which are typically inserted into employment contracts or contractor.Read More
  • The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 4

    The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 4

    In “The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 4”, we look at the ultimate response to avoiding permanent establishment issues, which is to set up a local company in a new country. (See also articles “The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). Setting up a local company in a.Read More
  • Trademark Registration – Be Quick or (Maybe) Too Late

    Trademark Registration – Be Quick or (Maybe) Too Late

    As lawyers, we often tell clients that trademark registration is important to protect good will in their business. After yesterday’s decision from the IP Enterprise Court, in the case of Caspian Pizza Ltd and others v Shah and another (2015) EWHC 3567 (IPEC), 9th December 2015, we should probably also now add “and do it.Read More
  • The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 3

    The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 3

    Working with a Local Service Provider to Deliver Services in a New Country In the articles “The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 1”, we looked at how a business can accidentally create a permanent establishment in a new country by not obtaining the correct legal and tax advice. In “The Pit of Permanent Establishment.Read More
  • The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 2

    The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 2

    The Local Distributor / Agent Model In “The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 1”, we looked at how a technology business could find itself creating a permanent establishment in a foreign jurisdiction by accident – just by starting to do business without obtaining appropriate tax and legal advice, and that this invariably resulted in.Read More
  • UK Autumn Spending review for the Technology Industries

    UK Autumn Spending review for the Technology Industries

    We looked closely at the Chancellor’s 2015 UK Autumn Spending Statement this week to see how it might affect the technology industries here in the UK. It seems that up to £600 million of additional funds will be set aside to support the move to turn the 700 Mhz frequency spectrum over to wireless broadband.Read More
  • The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 1

    The Pit of Permanent Establishment – Part 1

    When technology businesses have exhausted the market in the UK, the next logical step is to start exporting services. Exporting to EEA countries has its own challenges, including differences of language and sometimes also of culture, but exporting beyond the European Single Market may bring some more interesting additional legal and fiscal challenges, including the.Read More
  • More Chances to Raise Money for Good Causes

    More Chances to Raise Money for Good Causes

    As the squeeze tightens on the State’s purse strings, we thought that the day of the UK Chancellor’s Spending Review was a good day to smile sweetly and say that in a world where charities almost certainly have insufficient resources to pick up the burden of much that was once provided by the State, the.Read More
  • Governing Law (Does the Contract do what it says on the Tin?)

    Governing Law (Does the Contract do what it says on the Tin?)

    Why not just give in when a customer or supplier wants a contract to be governed by the laws of the country they are based in? Well it might work and it might not, and whilst this is not an exhaustive list, here are a few things to think about….. 1. The Biggest Show in.Read More
  • Universal Service Obligation for Broadband Coming Soon?

    Universal Service Obligation for Broadband Coming Soon?

    Be aware that the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) will be consulting early in 2016 concerning its proposal that the government should introduce a broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), with the aim of giving customers the legal right to demand a broadband connection speed of 10Mbps, regardless of location. In its 7th.Read More
  • Beware Fake Agencies

    Beware Fake Agencies

    If your business has an intellectual property registration in the UK, you may have received letters from one or more “agencies” with a name, which looks surprisingly similar to the “UK Intellectual Property Office” telling you that your registration is about to expire and that you need to pay money to avoid your registration being.Read More
  • Safe Harbour No Longer Safe: Israeli DPA Response

    Safe Harbour No Longer Safe: Israeli DPA Response

    On 20th October, we reported the decision of the European Court of Justice decision that the existence of the “safe harbour” agreements operated by the US Federal Trade Commission were no longer grounds for validating the transfer of Mr Schrem’s data from Facebook Ireland to Facebook in the US. That decision was published on 7th.Read More
  • Legal Agreements are for Life and not Just for Christmas…..

    Legal Agreements are for Life and not Just for Christmas…..

    The Court of Appeal case of Dixon and another v Blindley Heath Investments Limited (2015) EWCA Civ 1023 is an interesting decision about what happens when a business (or its lawyers) prepare a set of legal documents, which are intended to govern the rights of the stakeholders in the business, but then the business ignores.Read More
  • What Not to Do in the First Flush of a New Business Romance

    What Not to Do in the First Flush of a New Business Romance

    The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court case of Helme, Helme and Hidden Gem Jewellery (the “Claimants”) v Maher and Green (the “Defendants”) (2015) EWHC 3151 (IPEC) 2nd November 2015 (Bailii) is a cautionary tale about not documenting clearly the rights you do and do not want to grant to a prospective business partner. In this case,.Read More
  • Honest Belief Not Enough…..

    Honest Belief Not Enough…..

    I always tell my clients that there is a defence of “fair comment” to claims of defamation of character. In other words, if you say something nasty but true about somebody, then it may have been mean-spirited of you to have said it, but at least the other party cannot sue you for defamation. The.Read More
  • European Commission 2016 Work Programme

    European Commission 2016 Work Programme

    I had a read yesterday through the European Commission work programme for 2016, optimistically subtitled “No time for business as usual”. It seems that creating a connected Digital Single Market in the European Union will generate up to €250 billion of additional growth for the European Single Market (hooray), but sadly even the proposals for.Read More
  • Research and Development Credits – Good News for SMEs

    Research and Development Credits – Good News for SMEs

    My reaction when company due diligence of a takeover target uncovers the application of R&D tax credits by the target, is typically one of wondering what is going to happen next and how big an issue it is going to be. All too often I see the news met by the knowing and weary shaking.Read More
  • Contract Translations (A Rose by any other name….)

    Contract Translations (A Rose by any other name….)

    Next time you are negotiating a contract with a business based in a country where English is not the first language, always try to put language in there which makes clear that the language of the Agreement is English and that in the event of any conflict between the English version and a translation, the.Read More
  • Force Majeure Clauses

    Force Majeure Clauses

    I have noticed over the years, that the point in contract negotiations where the lawyers start talking about the force majeure clause often coincides with the point at which clients show the first serious signs of losing the will to live. And yet (strange but true) if a force majeure clause does not meet the.Read More
  • Privacy By Design

    Privacy By Design

    I was surprised the other day to receive a notification from one of the Mac user forums, that there was a new app, which they recommended for internet security. I wondered at first how it would be different from the Norton security package, which I use today for my office systems. When I looked into.Read More
  • Reasonable Indemnities (Hmmph)

    Reasonable Indemnities (Hmmph)

    Indemnities (like industrial strength cleaners) have their place in the world, but (also like industrial strength cleaners), they should not be over-used and they should not be used in the wrong places. I have lost count over the years of the number of times a client has reviewed a contract before me, and failed to.Read More
  • 5G Collaboration – Who Benefits?

    5G Collaboration – Who Benefits?

    Many of us have only just got used to 4G but discussions have already started about how to harmonise the next generation of telecommunications standards (5G) to connect billions of devices wirelessly and using fibre optic technology for enhanced speed and reliability. The European Union and China have signed a co-operation accord to collaborate in.Read More
  • Slavery in the Supply Chain: Time to Act

    Slavery in the Supply Chain: Time to Act

    Matters are moving quickly on the implementation of the key provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Modern Slavery Act (Transparency in Supply Chains) Regulations 2015 have now been approved by the House of Lords, and it looks as though the requirement for organisations with a turnover of more than £36M per annum to.Read More
  • When does an Engagement become an Employment for Tax Purposes?

    When does an Engagement become an Employment for Tax Purposes?

    We often get questions from clients about how they can protect their consultancy business from being made subject to IR35 Rules in relation to particular engagements. There are some general factors, which will always help the decision come down against a company being treated as a “personal services company” for tax purposes. These include factors.Read More
  • Damages for Late Payment of Insurance Claims

    Damages for Late Payment of Insurance Claims

    The Enterprise Bill 2015-16 adds two new sections 13A and 16A to the Insurance Act 2015, which have which are proving rather controversial in some quarters in the insurance industry. Section 13A if it becomes law, will require insurers to pay insurance claims within a reasonable time, and to pay contractual damages to their insured.Read More
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015

    Consumer Rights Act 2015

    The key provisions of the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on 1st October 2015. The Act clarifies a consumer’s rights when goods or digital content do not do what they said on the tin that they would do, or when services have not been provided with reasonable care and skill. It also.Read More
  • Safe Harbour Not so Safe

    Safe Harbour Not so Safe

    Under the terms of the European Privacy Directive 95/46EC (and in the UK, the Data Protection Act 1998), European based data controllers are prohibited from transferring personal data outside of the European Economic Area, to associated companies or third parties, unless the non-EEA country adequately protects personal data and the rights of personal data subjects..Read More
  • Arbitration vs Litigation

    Arbitration vs Litigation

    Clients sometimes ask us why in some commercial contracts we recommend that disputes are handled through the English courts, but in others, we recommend an arbitration clause. Sometimes it comes down to a question of judgment but there are factors, which weigh more heavily in favour of one choice rather than the other. First of.Read More
  • We’ve joined Wired Sussex!

    We’ve joined Wired Sussex!

    Mirkwood Evans Vincent are delighted to have joined Wired Sussex. We are a niche commercial law practice, specialising in Business Technology law and Construction & Property law. We have offices in Brighton, Bristol and London, but Brighton is the home town of both of our founding partners, Corinne Vincent and Katherine Evans, and so we.Read More
  • EU vs UK Intellectual Property Rights – Unauthorized use of Photographs on Website

    EU vs UK Intellectual Property Rights – Unauthorized use of Photographs on Website

    The case of Absolute Lofts South West London Limited v Artisan Home Improvements Limited and another (2015) EWHC 2608(IPEC) is an Intellectual Property Enterprise Court case, where the judge was asked to determine the damages for use of over twenty photographs on the website of a home improvement services company, in circumstances where the photographer’s.Read More
  • Is a public authority an “economic operator” for the purposes of the EU public procurement rules?

    Is a public authority an “economic operator” for the purposes of the EU public procurement rules?

    (Case C-203/14: Consorci Sanitari del Maresme v Corporació de Salut del Maresme i la Selva) was a case referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by the Spanish authorities. The question they wanted answered was whether a public authority such as a local council could be considered as an “economic operator” for the purposes.Read More
  • Geo-Blocking of Copyrighted Material Across the EU

    Geo-Blocking of Copyrighted Material Across the EU

    The free movement of goods and people across the EU does not apply to the purchase of television programmes, films or music. Unsurprisingly, TV broadcasters and film distributors are opposed to removing geo-blocking techniques, which prevent their services from being used on a cross border basis. However, a resolution adopted by the European parliament on.Read More
  • Opt In vs Opt Out for Email Communications – the Turkish Approach

    Opt In vs Opt Out for Email Communications – the Turkish Approach

    We are hearing that the strict new opt in rules for sending emails to prospective customers in Turkey are making life very difficult for companies trying to break into the Turkish market. Interestingly it seems that also seems that actually securing consent is generating a lot more communications than just sending the emails! Under the.Read More
  • Russian Data on Russian Servers – Yikes it’s the Law

    Russian Data on Russian Servers – Yikes it’s the Law

    Despite vociferous international protests to Roscomnadzor, the Russian data protection authority, the law requiring the data of Russian citizens to be stored on Russian servers became law on 1st September 2015. There has still been no official clarification on whether the law requires that no data of Russian citizens can be stored outside of Russia.Read More
  • Net Neutrality – What does it mean?

    Net Neutrality – What does it mean?

    Net neutrality is the principle that “all data is created equal”, and that there should be no scope for internet service providers to process different sorts of data according to different rules based on (for instance) the amount of bandwidth the application consumes or whether or not the originating content provider has paid extra money.Read More
  • Virtual In-House Legal Service for Technology Clients

    Virtual In-House Legal Service for Technology Clients

    Following the addition of a further technology law specialist to our team, we are in a position to take on a limited number of new clients for our very popular “virtual in-house legal service” for technology businesses. This service works a bit like a mobile phone contract. The client contracts for a particular level of.Read More
  • Russian Data on Russian Servers

    Russian Data on Russian Servers

    Time is running out for companies doing business in Russia to ensure that the data of Russian citizens and organisations is stored on servers located in Russia. The date for compliance is 1st September 2015. Whilst the wording of the law is not entirely clear, foreign operators are taking the position that compliance can be.Read More
  • Ad Blocking

    Ad Blocking

    Ad blocking software is becoming increasingly big business, promising to suppress sales advertisements and give subscribers a less irritating surfing experience. What may be less obvious is that a key income stream associated with software of this type is the money which advertisers are prepared to pay to make sure that their adverts are not.Read More
  • Ofcom Press Release – 12th August

    Ofcom Press Release – 12th August

    Ofcom has launched a six-month initiative to check the compliance of communications providers with General Conditions 15.1 through 15.9 of the Ofcom General Conditions of Entitlement, relating to the availability of communications services to members of the public with disabilities, and in particular the obligations on communications providers to publicise information about their services to.Read More