Contact Law blog

Commercial law

Victim of subprime mortgage collapse launches class action against banks

A 68-year-old American woman who suffered a home re-possession, Annie Bell Adams, has launched a class-action lawsuit in New York against 12 banks, including Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of America and RBS, according to The Daily Mail.

Adams, along with four other complainants, claims the banks manipulated the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in such a way that her mortgage (which was directly linked to the rate) was far more expensive than it should have been.

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Court rules The Pirate Bay file-sharing website must be blocked by ISPs

Virgin Media has become the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) to block its customers from access to the Swedish file-sharing website, The Pirate Bay.

The media company is complying with an order granted by the High Court this week. Other providers named by the judge, including TalkTalk, Sky, Everything Everywhere and O2, are expected to take the same action in the near future.
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HSBC pays large bonus to chief executive, despite poor performance

Large bonuses paid to executives of loss-making banks are headline news in the UK. The public is up in arms because banks are seen as the most blameworthy institutions in the current financial crisis, while the press regularly reports that banking executives are ‘paying themselves’ large bonuses, despite banking job cuts and a continuing decline in profits.

This week, it is the turn of HSBC to brave public opprobrium, with chief executive Stuart Gulliver pocketing £7.2 million in basic pay and bonuses. However, his bonuses (potentially totalling up to 100% of his salary) were capped at 50% by the HSBC board pay committee, since the bank failed to meet several of its yearly targets, such as return on equity, cost efficiency and compliance. (more…)

Barclays apologise for PPI scandal and promise compensation

Barclays has become the first bank to apologise to its customers for mis-selling PPI, as the British Banking Association (BBA) announces it has dropped its legal battle against the FSA.

Barclays is following in the footsteps of Lloyds who announced on Friday 6 May that it was dropping out of the BBA’s judicial review battle and had set aside £3.2bn for compensating customers. (more…)

David Cameron to introduce StartUp Britain entrepreneur scheme

The Prime Minister is due to launch a new scheme to incentivise entrepreneurs set up their own business. The scheme will give new start ups around £1,500 in areas such as internet advertising and IT training.

The StartUp Britain launch follows the announcements in the recent Budget to raise tax reliefs for entrepreneurs and create 21 enterprise zones offering tax breaks. In addition, the Government has pledged to reduce the amount of red tape and provide high-speed broadband to help new businesses. (more…)

Pension provider Prudential in court over staff pension scheme

The Prudential Staff Pension Scheme trustees have taken Prudential to court over the new guidelines for the scheme issued in 2005 that were intended to plug the £379m deficit. (more…)

Commercial lawyers to replace sports agents?

There are an increasing number of registered commercial lawyers appearing on the Football Association’s list of sports agents. More and more players are choosing to be represented by a lawyer instead of a sports agent. After last week’s Rooney fiasco, the reasons why are becoming more apparent. (more…)

How do overseas companies set up operations in the UK?

If you have a company which is established overseas then there are number of steps which need to be undertaken if operations are to be successfully set up in the UK. What will usually happen to start with is there will need to be research undertaken by some of the most senior members of the business.

Depending on the nationality of the person coming to the UK, they may need a visa in compliance with immigration legislation. An international business law solicitor can advise on any required visa, and also on business law in the UK. (more…)

How can a company alter its memorandum of association?

Every company must have a memorandum of association that details the name of the company, the company’s objects, the address of the company’s registered office, and the liability and the share capital.

The memorandum generally deals with the company’s relationship with bodies outside the company, while the articles of association tend to deal with the internal aspects of the company, such as what needs to be done to make certain changes within the company. (more…)

How is a company wound up?

There are a number of ways in which a company can be wound up. Under the Insolvency Act any shareholder can make an application to have a company wound up on the grounds that is just and equitable to make the application. Legal advice from a company solicitor should be obtained to ensure the application follows all the civil laws that apply to dissolving a company. (more…)

Commercial law Image

Our commercial law blog mostly covers topics relevant to small business operators and franchisors. It covers topical issues, such as how companies can set up in the UK, how to change your companies memorandum of association, and the law on ultra vires company actions.

Check out our blog regularly, as we’ll cover all types of commercial law questions, including protecting intellectual property rights, the best debt collection methods, directors’ duties, reporting obligations, and compliance with the Companies Act 2006. As new developments arise in the news and media, we will explore the implications for UK businesses here.

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