TWELVE months of Donald Trump, a general election; Brexit negotiations; Lewis Hamilton wins world title (again); the Paradise Papers scandal; North Korea; Fake News - all headlines and events that have shaped the news.
But what has your 'news year' been like? Has Brexit been at the centre of your universe or is it too soon to tell? Is business buoyant or has economic uncertainty led to a slow-down?
2017 has seen some fairly major news within the law. The 'gig economy' became a familiar term when Uber drivers brought claims under the Employment Rights Act, National Minimum Wage Act and the Working Time Regulations that they were 'workers' within the meaning of the Acts and therefore entitled to benefits such as the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday - a view upheld by the courts. Having said that, it is expected that Uber will appeal the decision and the case will be leapfrogged to the Supreme Court thus bypassing the Court of Appeal so that it can be heard together with the Pimlico Plumbers case which is on the same point.
For businesses selling to consumers (B2C) there have been important changes to the way in which monies can be recovered. The Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims came into force on 1 October 2017 and could potentially have a big impact on your business if you have outstanding debts due from individuals. What does the new Protocol hope to achieve? Engagement and communication between the parties, and to enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need to start court proceedings, to include agreeing a reasonable repayment plan or considering a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
In the world of Wilson Browne Solicitors, 2017 has definitely been a vintage year. Ika Cástka was elected President of Northamptonshire Law Society and continues to do an excellent job of helping the legal profession promote itself and attract fresh talent; Kevin Rogers continues his excellent work with the Chamber of Commerce and has also been selected as the Enterprise Adviser to Guilsborough school.
A number of new hires have further cemented the firm's position in the market as a credible and serious player in both the Private Client (law for individuals) and Commercial Law (for businesses) markets as shown by the addition of Jennie Jahina, Head of Employment, and James Dent, who further bolsters the Corporate and Commercial team.
The firm regained the Large Law Firm Of The Year award and only very recently was shortlisted for two national awards at an event where Magic Circle law firms and international firms rubbed shoulders with serious contenders from outside of London and the big cities - such a Wilson Browne Solicitors. A national DBA award was the icing on the cake in what has been a fantastic year in terms of external recognition. The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible and measurable effect upon business success.
All in all,it was a very good year and the firm extends its appreciation and thanks to the staff, clients and colleagues that have helped make it possible.
For more advice on this and other employment law related issues, contact 01604 876697.