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Claims for conversion against company directors

We recently advised asset financiers as to their rights where a company which had taken numerous items of plant and machinery on Hire Purchase purported to sell the assets to a buyer in the European Union who then sold them on to a buyer in Asia.

The Hirer Company was effectively insolvent but it was clear from the investigations we carried out that the purported sale had been arranged by the sole director of the Company, and that no other individual had any real involvement in the transaction on its behalf.

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Consumer Rights Act may apply to Guarantors of Companies

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”) is an important piece of recent legislation which governs many contracts between traders and consumers, and implements the. EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EC) (“UTD”.) “Consumer” is defined in section 2 (3) of the Act as: –

“an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession.”

There is as yet no direct authority on how the definition of consumer applies in the context of security documentation, but the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has set out the test in the UTD for when it applies to personal Guarantees and security agreements given by an individual to secure debts of a company In Dumitru Tarcău, Ileana Tarcău v Banca Comercială Intesa Sanpaolo România SA (C-74/15) the court held that a personal Guarantee was to be subject to the UTD because it was given by a natural person, acting outside his trade or business, and who had no functional links to the guaranteed company.

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Employment Law: Tribunal fees

The Ministry of Justice has suggested that employment tribunal fees may be reintroduced. The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice said that a balance could be reached between increasing tribunal funding (via fees) and ensuring employees still had access to justice. He said the Unison Supreme Court case which resulted in fees being abolished did not rule out fees completely. What is important is getting the fees right and ensuring that people who cannot afford to pay can still bring a claim.

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Employment Law: ACAS advice on performance management systems

ACAS has published new guidance on performance management. It sets out what performance management is and why it is good for both the business and its employees. It sets out the benefits of good performance management systems. These include having motivated staff, getting the best out of employees, delivering projects effectively, and weeding out poor performance.

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Employment Law: Happy new year for vegans

It looks like it might be a happy new year for vegans. The employment tribunal will decide in March 2019 whether ethical veganism is protected by the Equality Act 2010 as a ‘philosophical belief’, akin to a religion. Jordi Casamitjana will have to show that his ethical veganism meets the legal test: his belief is genuinely held; it is a belief rather than an opinion; it relates to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life; it attains a certain level of seriousness and cogency; and it deserves respect in a democratic society. He claims that he was dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his philosophical belief in veganism.

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Employment Law: Holiday pay

Do workers lose the right to a payment in lieu of holiday at the end of their employment if they did not try to take it? No, said the Court of Justice of the European Union in Kreuziger v Berlin.

The employee worked for a German public sector employer. His employment ended but the employer would not pay him in lieu for untaken holiday. The employee brought a claim. The German court agreed with the employer. It relied on national rules saying payment in lieu was only necessary if the employee had been prevented from taking the holiday by matters beyond his control. The appeal court doubted this were true and referred the matter to the CJEU.

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