News

News, analysis, opinion, research, and events for business law in the UK and international. Please see below a list of categories of news articles available for you to look at.  Please click on the category you see a list of articles and then click on the individual article to see the full text....

Father 'More Than Just a Sperm Donor'

In a ruling which underlined the central importance of a father’s role in a child’s life, a lesbian mother has failed in a High Court bid to expel her male ex-lover from a role in their baby son's up-bringing – despite arguing that he was no more than a 'sperm donor'.

The little boy was conceived after the mother – who was in a civil partnership – met the father

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Supermarket Not Vicariously Liable for Attack on Customer

In a case which succinctly encapsulated the current state of the law on the vicarious liability of employers, an innocent customer who was savagely attacked by a petrol kiosk attendant on a supermarket forecourt has received the Court of Appeal’s 'natural sympathy' -  but not a penny in compensation.

Ahmed Mohamud suffered serious head injuries when he was repeatedly kicked and punched by the attendant who was employed by WM Morrison Supermarkets plc at a branch in Birmingham. After stopping in to check his tyre pressures, Mr Mohamud had merely asked the attendant if he could print out some documents from a USB stick, but was met by a torrent of racist abuse.

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Guidance on Burden of Proof in Discrimination Cases

In upholding a black road sweeper’s race discrimination complaint, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given authoritative guidance on the recurrently thorny issue as to the circumstances in which it is appropriate to infer discrimination and to reverse the burden of proof against employers.

The worker had expressed the wish to be transferred from wheeling a street barrow to driving a rubbish collection vehicle and successfully argued before the Employment Tribunal

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Catering College Wins Bumper VAT Rebate

In an important case for educational institutions, a college is in line for a bumper tax rebate after convincing the Upper Tribunal (UT) that haute cuisine served at its top quality in-house restaurant, run by catering and hospitality students, is exempt from VAT.

MJ's restaurant, at Brockenhurst College, offers fine dining that has been acclaimed by a number of celebrity chefs. The venue, which gives students a taste of working in the high-pressure environment of a busy kitchen, charges members of the public 80 per cent of the cost of their meals and makes no profit.

However, the college became embroiled in a long-running debate with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after reclaiming almost four years-worth of VAT that it argued it had mistakenly paid on meals served at MJ's. HMRC argued that the restaurant’s primary function was the provision of catering services to the public and that it was thus not eligible for exemption from VAT.

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