Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Lawyers take their advice on the road

Employment law experts from a Shropshire legal firm are set to share their knowledge far and wide with businesses across the UK.

The lawyers from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, Shrewsbury, and Wolverhampton, already host regular interactive employment advice seminars in the local area.

And now they’re expanding their reach and organising their first ever event in Leicester as a direct result of client interest and business enquiries.

The Top 10 Blunders seminar will take place at Leicester Tigers on Thursday, October 10, at 12noon, and will be hosted by the firm’s employment law specialist, John Mehtam.

He said the aim of the event was to share invaluable information to help employers protect their business from escalating employment tribunal claims.

“We’ve been pro-actively working with businesses all over the UK to help them navigate the minefield of the constantly changing world of employment law. This seminar has been organised following a flurry of interest from companies in the Leicester area after our targeted and structured marketing campaign, and we’re all looking forward to meeting new business connections and potential clients.”

Mr Mehtam said statistically the number of employment tribunals was increasing at an unprecedented rate – there has been a 500% rise since the Government abolished the fees that employees needed to pay to bring a claim.

“In many cases, employees are bringing claims that stand little chance of succeeding, but employers have to take them all seriously and they need to be sure they’re complying with all the relevant legislation.”

Mr Mehtam said he would be sharing his advice to help businesses avoid the most common pitfalls and so they could learn from other employers’ experiences.

“We will include suggestions on how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance, and how to avoid the issues in the first place. With employers short on time, it’s almost impossible to keep up-to-date with ever-changing legislation, so our seminars offer clear, concise information in a time frame that suits our busy delegates.”

Businesses who would like to attend the seminar should contact June Noto on 01952 525951 or email junenoto@martinkaye.co.uk 

Monday, 16 September 2019

Check the copyright rules on design

Employers should be wary of agreeing to allow staff to create company promotional material if it’s not in their actual job description - that's the warning from Andrew Oranjuik, from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, Telford.

“It may be tempting to accept an offer from one of your employees who enjoys design in their spare time – after all, wouldn’t that be much more cost effective than taking on an external creative firm to create a new logo for your business?

“But in fact, copyright law says the designer of any kind of promotional logo is the legal owner, unless it was created by an employee in the course of their employment. So if the person is employed as a designer in your firm and they create the logo during their normal working hours, the logo itself would be owned by the employer.

“If they don’t work in a design or creative role for your company though, you could find yourself in an extremely tricky situation.”

Mr Oranjuik said if the employee owned the logo and at some point they then left the firm on bad terms, it could lead to serious difficulties.

“You could find your firm held to ransom over the logo, with the employee demanding a large fee to transfer the logo, or they could refuse permission for it to be used at all. This in turn could lead to an expensive rebranding exercise with all the associated work involved and the cost of making changes to your company’s website, stationery, and promotional literature.”

Mr Oranjuik said employers should check the employee’s contract to see if it contained an intellectual property clause – this would prescribe the ownership of any copyright that’s created during their employment.

“If there isn’t an intellectual property clause, or the contact doesn’t cover the current situation, you should agree ownership of the logo in writing – and don’t just rely on a verbal agreement, as that risks becoming your word against theirs.

“You’ll need to agree a form of payment for signing over their legal rights to the ownership of the copyright too, but don’t ask them what amount they’d like. Just include a nominal amount of perhaps £1 – and if they query the figure, you can always negotiate or decide not to go ahead with the design process.”

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Chris joins the Shrewsbury team

A Shropshire law firm has welcomed a new residential conveyancer to the team in its Shrewsbury office.

Chris Lloyd has joined Martin-Kaye Solicitors and will be based in the county town at the company’s most recently opened branch.

“I’m very pleased to have joined such a progressive and forward-thinking practice, and everyone has been extremely welcoming,” said Chris. “It’s been great to have the support of such experienced and knowledgeable colleagues while I’ve been settling in, and I’m really enjoying getting to know the ever-increasing number of clients.”

Chris graduated in 2011 and completed the vocational part of his training at Aberystwyth University.
He completed a training contract at a high street firm in North Wales, and has also worked for another Shrewsbury legal firm before he joined Martin-Kaye.

His role will include residential conveyancing – buying and selling freehold and leasehold properties, new builds, transfers of equity, and remortgages.

Martin-Kaye Partner Simon Wagner, who leads the Shrewsbury team, said Chris had already made a strong start to his career with the firm.

“Chris has fitted seamlessly into the team and his commitment and enthusiasm for his new job has been impressive to see. We’re looking forward to introducing him to existing and new clients, and to the contribution he will make to the smooth running of our newest office.”

Pictured: Chris Lloyd – the new residential conveyancer at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Shrewsbury