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Law firm Cripps has been recognised nationally for its GDPR campaign at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2018.
The awards (formerly known as the Halsbury Legal Awards) celebrate the achievements of individuals and firms across the legal sector in 16 different categories.
In a ceremony held at the prestigious Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel, Cripps collected the Award for Business Development which recognises those responsible for pioneering and implementing exceptional business development and marketing programmes.
The GDPR campaign, which launched in September 2017, was designed to assist clients and contacts with their preparations. Taking a multi-channel approach, the campaign included the development of an online knowledge tool (the GDPR Hub), a simple 5-step compliance process and a toolkit containing questionnaires, templates and related guidance documents, all designed to help achieve and maintain compliance. These were supported by workshops, seminars and a social media campaign.
Irfan Baluch, a partner in the commercial team who is leading the initiative, commented: “This is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted to pick up this award. Our approach to the campaign has been focused on our clients’ needs, cutting through the complexity of GDPR and telling them what they really need to know. This has been a true team effort and we are delighted with the success of the campaign so far, and this award reaffirms that we are getting it right”.
The other finalists in the category were Barrister-Direct, CMS and Womble Bond Dickinson.
Parties who conduct business internationally will need to consider which law will govern their contracts and decide on the best forum to resolve any disputes which may arise.
This guidance note is intended to provide general advice on the advantages of choosing the law of England and Wales to govern commercial contracts and the jurisdiction of the English courts to determine disputes. Read more here.
Law firm Cripps has announced the appointment of a specialist trust and estates partner to its private client team.
Paul Fairbairn joins from global law firm Withers, where he worked in the wealth planning team specialising in advising both domestic and international families on their succession and tax planning, using wills, trusts and other structures. He also has extensive experience advising owners, custodians and managers of rural estates on tax and succession issues.
Paul is a full member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the leading international network of experts in family inheritance and succession planning. He has also been named in the Spear’s 500 guide to wealth management advisers, as well being listed in eprivateclient’s top 35 private client professionals under the age of 35 and in the Private Client Global Elite directory.
Myles McIntosh, head of the private client team at Cripps, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul to the team. We are already regarded as a leading firm for our private client work, and Paul’s expertise with both domestic and international clients will further strengthen the service we can offer.”
The Cripps private client team was recently recognised nationally for its expertise in the Chambers and Partners 2018 guide with sources highlighting its ‘very good reputation’ and ‘innovative approach’.
Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I am thrilled to be joining Cripps’ highly regarded private client team. The firm has a strong reputation for its work in this field, not least demonstrated by its recent rankings in key independent legal directories. I am looking forward to working with the team to further develop its outstanding reputation.”
Paul will divide his time between Cripps’ offices in Tunbridge Wells and London. The firm also has offices at Kings Hill.
Amendments to the AIM Rules come into effect from 30 March 2018.
AIM Notice 50 implements the amendments to the AIM Rules, including AIM Rule 26, and provides for corporate governance code disclosures. Whilst the new version of the AIM Rules is coming into force on 30 March 2018, AIM companies are provided with a substantial period of time to prepare for the upcoming change and must ensure compliance with the new corporate governance disclosures by 28 September 2018.
Whilst good corporate governance has always been encouraged, adherence to a specific code has to date been optional. AIM companies are currently able to state that they have not adopted a corporate governance code. The revised AIM Rules mean that this ceases to be an option. AIM issuers will instead need to state which corporate governance code they apply, and detail on their website how they comply or depart from that particular code, giving an explanation for any non-compliance.
As long as it is a “recognised” code, a company is free to choose a code suitable for its particular size and development stage, for example either the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance Code for Small and Mid-Size Quoted Companies or the UK Corporate Governance Code.
It is hoped that this new approach will enable investors to better understand a company’s approach to corporate governance. It also aligns with the shift in attitude towards recognising the importance of good corporate governance. It is essential that companies begin now to consider how they will comply with the proposed changes.
For further information on the AIM rules, corporate governance or any aspect of public equity and capital markets, please contact Helen Garner on +44 (0)1892 506 270 or Salim Somjee on +44 (0)1732 224 060
On Monday 5th March the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government unveiled the new and improved draft National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”), the first review of the original NPPF since its initial publication in 2012. The draft incorporates the changes that have been consulted on following last year’s housing white paper and “planning for the right homes in the right places” consultation. The draft will be consulted on until 10th May with the Government hoping to adopt a final document before this summer.
The changes to the NPPF seek to place more pressure on local planning authorities to adopt up-to-date local plans and to introduce measures to make this an easier process, while at the same time putting pressure on developers not to delay in implementing planning permissions and providing enough affordable homes to meet the country’s needs.
Various new policies regarding plan-making are included in the draft NPPF. These include policies already announced including the new method for calculating objectively assessed housing need and the new housing delivery test which will be implemented from November 2018. The presumption in favour of sustainable development (now contained at paragraph 11, rather than paragraph 14) is updated to state that it will be triggered not just where a local planning authority’s relevant policies are out-of-date but also if the housing delivery test indicates that a local planning authority failed to meet the housing requirement over the previous three years. The housing delivery test will also impose other sanctions on local planning authorities if the results indicate that there has been significant under delivery of housing, such as imposing a 20% buffer on their housing need and implementing an action plan to assess the causes of under-delivery.
This now ensures that local planning authorities not only need to ensure that their five-year supply of housing is up-to-date but also that housing delivery in their area is consistently meeting targets to retain the ability to determine applications in line with their development plans.
The draft NPPF also features key new policies on viability assessments. These have long been seen by the media and politicians as a tool for developers to avoid or reduce affordable housing obligations. The draft NPPF states that if a proposed development complies with local policy, a viability assessment will not be required. Where a viability assessment is required, it shall now follow a standard nationalised approach which shall be set out in national planning guidance. All viability assessments are now required to be made public.
Other amendments to the new draft NPPF include policies that add clarity following court judgments in recent years. One such example includes the boost given to environmental protections such as a requirement that “development should, wherever possible, help to improve local environmental conditions such as air quality” and that local plans should allocate land with the “least environmental or amenity value” and “take a strategic approach to maintaining and strengthening networks of habitats and green infrastructure”. These introductions are added following several judgments made against the Government in legal challenges made by environmental pressure group, ClientEarth, which criticised the Government for not acting fast or thoroughly enough in preparing plans to deal with air quality.
Although the majority of the revisions to the NPPF were expected and had been announced in one form or another in 2017, it can now be seen how the various elements will work together. The key question is whether the changes to the NPPF, taken together, will truly generate the required step change increase in housing numbers. The majority of the measures seem well founded but many would argue that more dramatic changes in law and policy are required. For example, making it far easier for a wider range of bodies to deliver low cost housing, in particular local authorities.
Cripps is proud to support the Taste of Kent Awards 2018, an annual ceremony organised by Produced in Kent showcasing the best food and drink products in the region.
The range of categories has grown since the event launched in 2004 and this year participants will be competing for 9 awards. Each year, the public are asked to nominate their favourite businesses and three finalists chosen for each category by independent mystery shoppers.
Victoria Symons, partner and head of the food and drink team at Cripps, commented: “A nomination to the Taste of Kent Awards shortlist is a huge achievement, indicative of the real passion consumers in the region have for top quality food and drink. The nominees should feel rightly proud of the proverbial pat on the back they have received, and with so many outstanding entries we look forward to the big event with excitement.”
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 8 March 2018.
To learn more about Cripps’ work in the food and drink sector click here
Many commercial real estate leases contain an option to end the lease early. This is usually referred to as ‘a break clause’, ‘break option’ or ‘option to terminate’. Break options can be exercised by the landlord, the tenant or both but it is more common for them to be exercisable by the tenant only.
A break option is designed to give tenants greater flexibility. If you are thinking of triggering a break option, there are some pitfalls to avoid. In most cases a landlord will be reluctant for a tenant to end the lease early so it is vital that the correct procedure is followed so that the landlord does not have any excuse to claim that the break option has not been exercised properly. Not following the correct procedure can have serious financial consequences because a tenant can be stuck with a lease they no longer want and remain liable for the rent.
These tips are designed to help you avoid getting caught out and achieve a successful exit.
Be clear about the break date. Is it a one-off or rolling? If it is a one-off date, the specific date is critical and you must make sure you serve notice in time. There are no second chances.
The minimum notice period will be stated in the lease and will usually be between 6 and 12 months. Ensure you factor this time in to your commercial real estate strategy.
You need to be clear who the landlord is. This will not necessarily be the same landlord with whom you signed the lease. You may not have a direct line of communication with the landlord because it is often the managing agents who deal with rent collection and day to day management issues. It is increasingly common for landlords to be offshore entities which can make service of the notice more complicated.
The form of break notice and procedure for serving it should be set out in the lease. This is often done by reference to the relevant legislation so you should seek legal advice to ensure the procedure is followed correctly. Email is often not an acceptable form of service.
Once you have served the break notice it cannot be withdrawn. So you need to be sure you want the lease to end and, if relevant, have firm plans in place for alternative offices.
Break options can be subject to conditions. Typically these will include rent payments being up to date but they can also include tougher conditions which can make it difficult for tenants to trigger the break option effectively. These conditions are interpreted on a very strict basis and non-compliance can result in the attempt to exercise the break being invalid.
Some of the conditions attached to a break option can include requirements to hand back the premises in a particular condition or to remove changes that you have made to the premises, such as partitioning. Make sure that you allow enough time to satisfy those requirements.
You should diarise the break date and relevant notice period. If you are thinking of exercising a break option we recommend you see legal advice at least 6 to 12 months before the last date on which you need to serve the notice. This will help ensure that any conditions are identified and the issues mentioned in this guide can be addressed at an early stage.
Your landlord may be willing to discuss a settlement to end the lease early. In some cases this can help avoid any difficult conditions and removes uncertainty over the validity of any break notice.
Break options can be valuable assets. If you have a break option but have no plans to exercise it, the landlord may be willing to discuss removing the break option in exchange for a financial incentive, often in the form of a rent free period.
This article was first published by DeVono Cresa in The Occupier (February 2018). Read the full publication here.
Cripps has advised The House Nurseries on its recent sale to ICP Nurseries.
The House Nurseries includes Northcote House Nurseries in Battersea and Little House Nurseries in Wimbledon. Both nurseries provide childcare for children from nine months to four years and have a great reputation with strong links to prestigious local state and preparatory schools.
Formed in 2016, ICP Nurseries has a strategy of acquiring the very best nursery settings in Greater London, the Home Counties and the South East. Following the acquisition, the House Nurseries will retain their ethos, names, individuality and make-up, in line with ICP’s aim of growing a group, rather than a chain.
Julie Hughes led the Cripps team, advising business owner Laura Digby-Bell on all of the legal aspects of the sale.
Laura commented: “The sale was handled very professionally by Cripps. Julie Hughes and Erin Willock guided me through the process and were unfailingly supportive. Nicola Paffard was efficient with her handling of the properties which included a freehold and a leasehold. I am very grateful for the support the team gave me, which at times went beyond the call. It was an emotional experience for me to sell a business I owned for many years, but with Cripps’ help we got there very easily.”
This is the latest in a number of deals the firm’s corporate team has advised on. For more information see here.
Cripps is delighted to support the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA), an annual awards scheme produced by Kent County Council and the KM Media Group.
Now in its tenth year, KEiBA recognises and rewards excellence in business across Kent and Medway with a total of 16 categories available for organisations to enter.
Cripps will be, once again, co-sponsoring the ‘Technology Business of the Year’ award alongside University of Kent. The award aims to attract organisations within which technology is a key element and where its development is a major function of the business. Pete Kenyon, partner at Cripps, and Carole Barron, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at University of Kent will be judging the award.
The award submission deadline is 23 February 2018. For more information or to apply click here.
It’s the final countdown. As you enter the home stretch of your GDPR project, operational compliance issues will become more pressing and practical focused solutions are required.
Join us for a seminar where we’ll share some of the lessons we’ve learnt. Having supported a range of businesses with their GDPR compliance programmes, we will be sharing common problems and practical tips, as well as discussing data security issues.