Consumer Credit and solar installations – a salutary tale

Maria O’Loan

A Northern Irish solar company has been fined £2,000 after a couple was mis-sold a system based on its financial returns. The case was brought against Blue Build Energy by the Trading Standards Service (TSS) after a couple complained that they had agreed the purchase of the system based on false information relating to the ...

Covert recordings of meetings by employees – How do I handle it?

Rachel Richardson

Rachel Richardson, Director, considers the following problem and offers some practical advice: I am an employer and recently held a disciplinary hearing with an employee, I suspect they were covertly recording the meeting on their phone. If this is correct and clearly they did this without our consent then presumably such evidence could not be ...

Last Orders – Where to Next?

Aaron Mulholland

With Easter 2016 now behind us, many will have noted the now annual outcry regarding Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing laws in the local press and media. Alcohol can only be served between 5pm and 11pm on Good Friday, pubs are required to stop serving alcohol at midnight on Thursday and Saturday, and on Easter Sunday ...

Environmental Nuisance: Liability of Landowners for the actions of Licensees

Maria O’Loan

Granting a licence is a useful method of avoiding granting an interest in a property and providing greater control to the landowner to deal with their land. This is particularly useful to public authorities who are often restricted from disposing of their landholdings. However, the implications of this arrangement may be upon the landowner if ...

Principles for Government departments conducting consultations

Maria O’Loan

Consultation in the Spotlight The government has recently published a revised set of consultation principles for government departments conducting consultations. The revised principles follow a number of successful judicial review challenges concerning the fairness of consultation processes. Locally consultation has hit the headlines with the Application for Judicial Review against the early closure of the ...

Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP) issue needs to be resolved.

Maria O’Loan

Plan-making and decisions on major schemes across much of Northern Ireland are now in difficulties following a High Court judge’s ruling over the status of the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BMAP). The plan covers Belfast City, Carrickfergus Borough, Castlereagh Borough, Lisburn City, Newtownabbey Borough and North Down Borough Council areas where some 40 per cent ...

Northern Ireland Corporation Tax: Stimulating Foreign Direct Investment

Ciara Lagan

As widely reported in November 2015, the “Fresh Start” Plan included the agreement that corporation tax would be reduced to 12.5% in April 2018.  Corporation tax rate reduction has been heralded as the answer to unleashing a major influx of investment in Northern Ireland and stimulating unprecedented growth. Corporation tax at 12.5% certainly assists in ...

Criminal investigations – How do I handle it?

Patricia Rooney

As part of our ‘How do I handle it’ series on employment law and difficult workplace scenarios, Patricia Rooney, Director at Tughans, considers the following problem and offers some practical advice. This month’s problem concerns: The PSNI have arrived at our office and arrested a member of staff.  I understand the allegations concern a matter outside ...

Scope of vicarious liability expanded by Supreme Court

Kathy McGillie

Following two Supreme Court Judgments this week, employers and those in relationships akin to employment are more likely than ever to be held vicariously liable for the actions of those performing duties on their behalf.   1. Liability for the negligent actions of non-employees In Cox v Ministry of Justice UKSC 10 https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2014-0089.html the Supreme ...

Waste not, want not – Changes to Food Waste

Maria O’Loan

The Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 (“the Regulations”) came into force on 14 February 2015. The purpose of the Regulations is to prevent food waste from going to landfill. The first phase of the legislation required that, from 1 April 2015, food waste voluntarily segregated from other waste at source and collected separately was ...