Latest updates

Table for two: restaurant's text did not violate TCPA
Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
  • Telecoms
  • USA
  • February 21 2018

A text message related to a transaction initiated by the plaintiff could not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a California federal court held in dismissing a putative class action. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiff's argument that the inclusion of a link to view dinner specials transformed the restaurant's text message from a simple confirmation of a dinner reservation into an advertisement. However, if the text had gone beyond a simple link, the decision could have gone another way.

Airline ordered to pay C$295,000 penalty for tarmac delay
Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Aviation
  • Canada
  • February 21 2018

Due to an unexpected thunderstorm, some passengers on two Air Transat flights were stranded on the tarmac in the aircraft that they had boarded in Europe for almost five and six hours, respectively. The Canadian Transportation Agency decided to investigate, which is noteworthy as there is little or no precedent for this sort of situation being the subject of an investigation or order by the agency.

Can I enforce a dress code at work?
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Jersey
  • February 21 2018

Employers can enforce dress codes only within the confines of the discrimination law. For example, a requirement for a female receptionist to wear high heels is illegitimate since no equivalent requirement is placed on male employees. Employers that want to enforce a dress code should consider the discrimination law and whether their proposals meet it. A recent Jersey case illustrates how this works.

New safety requirements for coastal passenger vessels enter into force
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Cyprus
  • February 21 2018

Article 47A of the Merchant Shipping (Issue and Recognition of Certificates and Marine Training) Laws provides that crew members on-board coastal passenger vessels who have safety duties relating to passengers must meet the mandatory minimum familiarisation and basic safety training and instruction requirements for all seafarers under Regulation VI/I of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.

New legislation surrounding medical malpractice
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Italy
  • February 21 2018

In addition to setting out the legal scope for the safety of medical treatments and patients, Law 24/2017 provides the scope for imposing an effective risk management policy on healthcare personnel and prescribes risk allocation standards in the case of damages arising from medical treatments. It also provides for situations of impunity when these events occur despite the guidelines being followed.

Question of jurisdiction for claim against carrier under Brussels I Regulation revisited
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Shipping & Transport
  • Denmark
  • February 21 2018

The Supreme Court recently decided a case on appeal from the Maritime and Commercial Court concerning whether the latter had jurisdiction to hear proceedings that a Danish seller had brought against a Dutch terminal and a Danish carrier following a lost food consignment pursuant to Article 8(1) of the Brussels I Regulation. The Supreme Court reversed the Maritime and Commercial Court's decision and found that the conditions for applying Article 8(1) had been fulfilled.

Takeover Panel updates rules governing bidder's intentions for target and its business
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • United Kingdom
  • February 21 2018

The existing framework for the regulation of statements governing a bidder's intentions for a target and its business was introduced to the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers in January 2015. The panel recently published Response Statement 2017/2 to its September 2017 consultation on statements of intention and post-offer undertakings. The resulting amendments to the code set out in this response statement took effect on January 8 2018.

Bill 148: equal pay for equal work
Fasken
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Canada
  • February 21 2018

Included among the many changes to the Employment Standards Act 2000 brought about by the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 (known as 'Bill 148') is the prohibition on paying certain employees less than others based on their employment status. This means that employers can no longer pay part-time employees less than full-time employees if they perform substantially the same kind of work in the same establishment.

Hidden cameras as evidence for dismissal?
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Spain
  • February 21 2018

The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that the installation of hidden surveillance cameras by a Spanish company without informing its employees infringed Article 8 of the Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (employees' right to respect for privacy and human dignity). This ruling serves as a reminder that before installing hidden surveillance cameras, companies must analyse all of the applicable circumstances.

Pay Transparency Act: information claims
CMS
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Germany
  • February 21 2018

The Pay Transparency Act bundles together some regulations and requirements that had already been established and is intended to close the adjusted gender pay gap. That the act's practical relevance has proved limited thus far can be explained by the fact that it was not possible to assert the information claim until January 6 2018. Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that the legal consequences of failings to provide information have yet to be clarified.

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Kenya
  • February 21 2018

The validity and enforceability of restrictive covenants during the employment period is usually not debatable. However, what frequently results in litigation is whether and to what extent these restrictive covenants are enforceable after the termination of employment. For a restrictive covenant to stand, the employer must demonstrate that it has a legitimate proprietary interest and that the intention is not merely to punish the employee.

TUPE and offshoring
Lewis Silkin
  • Employment & Benefits
  • United Kingdom
  • February 21 2018

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has issued a decision on the application of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations in the context of an offshoring of services and whether a transferring employee is entitled to protection of his or her salary terms if he or she relocates to the new place of operations in the transferee's home jurisdiction. The tribunal stated that the regulations permit variation of contracts, but the changes must be agreed by both the employee and the employer.

New definitions of employee 'undeclared work' and 'undeclared earnings' introduced
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Employment & Benefits
  • Cyprus
  • February 21 2018

The Social Insurance (Amendment) Law was revised in June 2017 to introduce definitions of 'undeclared work' and 'undeclared earnings'. 'Undeclared work' is defined as the insurable employment of an employee or a self-employed person which has not been declared to the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurances, while 'undeclared earnings' are defined as the insurable earnings for which an employer has not submitted a statement of earnings and contributions within the required deadline.

Updated rules on granting government guarantees in infrastructure sector
  • Projects & Procurement
  • Indonesia
  • February 20 2018

The Ministry of Finance has issued a regulation in order to implement provisions for the establishment of state-owned infrastructure guarantee corporations (BUPI). The regulation sets out more detailed provisions on government guarantees for infrastructure projects, as well as the nature, scope of and procedures governing such guarantees. A guarantee provided by a BUPI may cover infrastructure, political and default risks, among others.

Ministry of Finance eases requirements to obtain insurer's licence in Israel
Levitan, Sharon & Co
  • Insurance
  • Israel
  • February 20 2018

With the aim of increasing competition in the insurance market, the parliamentary finance committee recently approved a proposed Ministry of Finance regulation that will reduce the minimum capital required for a new insurance company, thus enabling new players to enter this confined market. The change in equity requirements is notable and increases the opportunity for new investors to consider establishing insurance activities in Israel.

Five cases from 2017 and what franchise businesses can learn from them
Fieldfisher LLP
  • Franchising
  • United Kingdom
  • February 20 2018

The year 2017 was relatively quiet for franchise disputes in the English courts. Nevertheless, five cases involving franchise and distribution relationships provide some lessons for businesses. They highlight, among other things, the need for clear contractual provisions over ownership of customer data and the importance of businesses checking whether there are prior rights when seeking to register their mark.

SEC's final rule regarding price quotes and research reports relating to security-based swaps
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Capital Markets
  • USA
  • February 20 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued a final rule which provides that certain communications relating to security-based swaps (SBS) will not constitute 'offers' for the purposes of Section 5 of the Securities Act 1933. The final rule makes clear that the publication or distribution of certain price quotes relating to SBS, and of certain research reports discussing SBS, will not constitute offers of the related SBS for purposes of Section 5 and thus should not require registration.

Stricter confidentiality obligation on lawyers
Gan Partnership
  • Litigation
  • Malaysia
  • February 20 2018

Section 126 of the Evidence Act 1950 imposes a legal obligation on all solicitors to protect and keep confidential any information obtained from their clients, including any legal advice that has been proffered. However, as much as the importance of this privilege is understood and embraced, it may still have come as a surprise when the Federal Court decided that a breach of this privilege by solicitors could entail a legal action against said solicitors.

General good provisions: freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
  • Insurance
  • Portugal
  • February 20 2018

The Insurance Supervisory Authority (ASF) recently published a consultation paper requesting comments on the draft regulatory norm, which sets out the general good provisions applicable to insurers acting in Portugal under the freedom of establishment or freedom to provide services. The draft sets out a number of general good provisions which would be applicable to the distribution of all types of insurance and provisions which would apply to the distribution of mandatory insurance and life insurance products.

Intervener's proprietary claim to money in debtor's integrated account
RPC
  • Litigation
  • Hong Kong
  • February 20 2018

Integrated bank accounts are very common in financial hubs such as Hong Kong. In addition to sub-accounts categorised by different currencies, an integrated account may also have sub-accounts with other features (eg, credit cards, investments and insurance). A recent case shed light on the approach of the courts to such accounts in the context of enforcement proceedings and rival claims by different judgment creditors.

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