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There are just over 6 months left before the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, and most businesses are now aware of the hefty administrative fines for breaching the new EU rules. However, the UK’s new Data Protection Bill (“the Bill”) also creates criminal offences for the UK, some of which exist neither in the current Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) framework nor the GDPR.

Unlawful obtaining of personal data

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) creates a new framework for data protection across the EU, and commentary on the changes under the GDPR is extensive (you may, for example, find it useful to read our article from last year summarising the key differences between the current rules and the GDPR).

The UK’s new Data Protection Bill (“the Bill”), which was first introduced to Parliament last month, is intended to implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and address areas (such as exemptions) where member states are afforded some discretion in applying the GDPR principles to domestic law (as well as creating some new criminal offences). The Bill also introduces similar provisions to those in the GDPR in respect of data processing by law enforcement authorities and intelligence services; areas which are outside the scope of the EU regime.

Background

In order for a contract to be legally binding, there must be an offer, acceptance of the offer, consideration (something given by each party), intention to create legal relations, and sufficient certainty of contractual terms.

Acceptance of an offer must usually be communicated to the offeror. However, a contract may be accepted through conduct, by the parties acting as if the contract is binding.

Background

It has been established in the Courts that, when interpreting the provisions of a contract, one must look at a number of factors including:

• the natural meaning of the words used;
• the meaning of the clause (as a reasonable person would understand it) in light of the overall document;
• the purpose of the document (from a commercial point of view); and
• the relevant background facts or knowledge reasonably available to the parties at the time the contract was made.

Business Property Relief (BPR) is an important relief from Inheritance Tax (IHT). BPR can enable an individual to leave his or her business, shareholding in a company or partnership interest, to an individual or trust without incurring a charge to IHT. For entrepreneurs and business owners, the availability of the relief can represent a central part of tax mitigation in their estate planning. 

The charity, Maternity Action, are demanding more protection for women who are expecting a child or have recently given birth following the publication of their recent report which states that one in twenty mothers are being made redundant during pregnancy, maternity leave or on return to work.

We are presently within an 8 – week ‘Call for Evidence’ raised by Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, for estate agents, lawyers and mortgage lenders to best advise the Government on making house buying “cheaper, faster and less stressful”. He is specifically looking for ideas on improving the conveyancing process in relation to ‘gazumping’, trust building, digital innovation and information gathering.

It is not uncommon for an individual to leave a charitable legacy in his or her Will. People often leave token amounts to charities or numerous charities which promote causes close to their hearts. However, it is uncommon, apart perhaps from those with a considerable wealth and philanthropic nature, to leave a legacy to charity which represents a substantial percentage of their estate. It is understandable that people want to ensure that their families or friends are provided for first, and will often consider charities as a second option, or in fact no option at all.

Last week saw the Charity Comission focus on fraud in the charity sector and, to coincide with Charity Fraud Awareness Week, the Commission updated its guidance in relation to protecting charities from fraud.

Speaking at the launch of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Helen Stephenson, the Commission's new chief executive, warned that many instances of fraud within the sector currently go unreported and that this can have a “devastating” impact on voluntary organisations.

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