Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Sandra Paul and Sophie Wood consider the impact of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 over the past year

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015) which came into force on 31 July 2015 is the first legislative framework to specifically address slavery and trafficking in the 21st century. We look back over the past year to see how it has been used, what impact it has had and what developments there have been since.

Kayleigh Bloomfield looks at Wrotham Park damages

Restrictive covenants may be instinctively characterised as belonging to the law of property. However, they can be a useful tool to utilise in employment contracts, partnership agreements, contracts of sale and commercial contracts more generally as a mechanism by which parties can impose negative stipulations upon one another in order to protect their commercial interests.

Alex Fox and Rebecca Andrews-Walker weigh up the recent decision in Horton v Henry

When this topic was last considered two years ago, there was a real danger of pension rights (previously thought of as sacrosanct) being within the reach of trustees in bankruptcy by way of an income payments order (IPO). There were also two conflicting first instance decisions in play. The issue? Whether a pension entitlement capable of drawdown by election, but not yet in payment, can fall within the definition of income in s310(7) Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986), and so be the potential subject of an IPO.

Tom White and Emma Holmes return to the problem of court fees

In 2015 we saw some substantial rises in court fees, including, in particular, fees for issuing claims. This rise in fees saw vehement opposition in some quarters, on the basis that it would become uneconomic or prohibitively high for some claimants to bring their claims. We have now started to see examples in practice where, on the face of the claim form, claimants may have not paid the correct issue fee. There have been a number of recent cases in which the courts have considered this issue, in response to attempts by defendants to knock out claims on the basis of limitation arguments following payment of incorrect court fees. As the cases make clear, the approach that the courts will take depends on the reasons behind the payment of the incorrect fee. The calculation and payment of correct fees is something that claimants’ and defendants’ solicitors need to be aware of, or they may face potential allegations of negligence.

Jane Parsons examines emergency relief in arbitration

It was commonly thought that the provisions for emergency relief under the London Court of Arbitration (LCIA) Rules 2014 increased a party’s options, in that there was a choice between applying to the arbitral tribunal or the English court for such relief. However, the recent judgment of Gerald Metals SA v Timis [2016] strongly indicates that the court’s powers and parties’ options are in fact restricted in circumstances where the tribunal is able to provide timely and effective relief under the LCIA Rules.

James Morrison outlines a recent application for security for costs

In Agents’ Mutual Ltd v Gascoigne Halman Ltd (t/a Gascoigne Halman) [2016], the defendant sought additional security for costs in a claim relating to the terms of membership of online property portal OnTheMarket. The claimant had already provided security of £500,000. However, the defendant sought a further £1m in circumstances where it estimated that its total costs would be just over £2.8m.

Rustam Dubash and Clare Arthurs consider the conclusions of the Briggs Review

Briggs LJ described the purpose of his recent Civil Courts Structure Review as (1.3):

Khawar Qureshi QC reports on the success of the UK Bribery Act 2010 five years on

The international political will to investigate large-scale corruption allegations remains questionable. In the UK, the authorities were severely criticised following the decision (ostensibly of the director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO)) in December 2006 to terminate the investigation into alleged payments of bribes to Saudi officials for the BAE arms deal known as ‘Al-Yamamah’.