Ashfords' In-House Legal Bulletin - April 2023

Our In-house bulletin provides key legal updates across various practice areas to help ensure in-house lawyers, GCs, contract and procurement managers can easily and efficiently keep abreast of what’s happening in the legal world.

In this edition we discuss the potential impact of the proposed Minimum Service Level Bill on the future of striking, the HMRC’s cessation of issuing option-to-tax notification receipt letters and confirmation regarding existing options to tax in property transactions, and the requirements to register higher-risk buildings to ensure compliance with the Building Safety Act 2022.

We also bring you recent two case updates, one highlights the consequence of not being diligent when engaging with litigation disclosure and the other provides a useful reminder of the importance of class rights, both when drafting investment documents and when contemplating a corporate action that might have the effect of varying such rights.

Options to Tax: HMRC no longer acknowledging receipt

HMRC has stopped issuing option to tax notification receipt letters and will no longer provide confirmation regarding existing options to tax, except in limited circumstances.

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The future of Striking – what does the proposed Minimum Service Level Bill mean for workers?

On 20 February 2023 the government began their Consultation on the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill 2022 – 23. The Bill proposes to add a new section (section 234B) to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act (TULRCA) 1992, which would allow the Secretary of State to require there to be “minimum service regulations” within six areas.

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The importance of being diligent when engaging with your disclosure exercise

The High Court has shown its willingness to make an order requiring disclosure to a Court-appointed independent e-disclosure provider where a party has failed to conduct its disclosure exercise properly. Terre Neuve SARL and others v Yewdale Limited and others [2023] EWHC 677 (Comm) serves as a useful reminder for in-house lawyers of the importance of engaging adequately with disclosure.

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Conversion of shares and the variation of class rights

In March 2023, the High Court assessed a company’s articles of association due to a claim from a private equity investor in the company that the conversion of preference shares into ordinary shares constituted a variation of the rights, to which the preference shares were subject. The investor argued that the share conversion was void as the conversion was not undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the company’s Articles, and the Court ultimately agreed.

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Registration of higher risk buildings

The Building Safety Act 2022 received Royal Assent in April 2022 and is being brought into force in stages. From April 2023, those responsible for occupied higher-risk buildings in England need to be aware of the obligation to register those buildings with the Building Safety Regulator.

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Data Protection Webinar: Keeping Children Safe Online

Our latest Data Protection Webinar focuses on how businesses providing services to children, or those processing children’s personal data, can help to protect young people online.

In the webinar, Tom Phipps, Charlotte Kingman and Zoe Hunt cover the legal requirements for processing children’s personal data, as well as some of the wider regulatory aspects of keeping children safe online.

For more information on the articles above, please contact Suzie Miles or Brett Lambe.

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