Royds Withy King Directors’ Briefing

November 17, 2016

Lawyers from Royds Withy King based in Bath have compiled a Directors’ Briefing to help business owners keep on top of the latest legal developments which may affect their working practices and home life.

Staying on the right side of retail price-fixing rules

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently issued an open letter on restricting online resale prices. Resale price maintenance (RPM) occurs where a supplier and retailer agree that the retailer will sell the supplier’s product at or above a particular price. RPM can also be achieved indirectly, for example where there are financial incentives to sell at a particular price. In the majority of cases, RPM is illegal because it constitutes vertical price-fixing, preventing retailers from offering lower prices and setting their prices independently to attract more customers. That is why it is important to ensure that everyone in your organisation understands what they need to do to stay on the right side of the law.

For more information please contact James Worrall in the Corporate & Commercial team at

Beware of full repairing covenants

When you see a provision in a business lease to ‘keep a property in good repair and condition’ this may, on the face of it, seem fair and reasonable. In reality though, many businesses have sorry tales to tell where these provisions have led to expensive and sometimes unforeseen dilapidations claims at the end of the lease term. The difficulty is that these provisions will automatically include an obligation to put the property into repair, if it is not already. Business tenants are well advised to try to limit their repairing liability at the outset of any lease negotiations to prevent any nasty shocks further down the line.

For advice on leasehold commercial premises, please contact Paul Daniels in the Commercial Property team at

Data, your business and criminal liability

Is your business doing enough to protect the confidential data of your employees and customers? The following case shows the consequences of getting it wrong. A GPs’ practice was recently fined £40,000 for inadvertently disclosing an ex-partner’s contact details when providing a child’s medical records to the father. The Information Commissioner’s Office highlighted ‘insufficient systems’ and in particular, a failure to have a written procedure and ‘inadequate guidance or supervision’ to guard against releasing unauthorised data. The fine would have been higher but was reduced because the GPs were personally liable. To avoid reputational and financial harm, your business should have a written data protection policy, proof of training for all data-handlers, and trained managers to check data requests before disclosure.

For practical help and guidance, please contact Pip Galland in the Employment team at

Sorting out Finances on Divorce

In recognition of the complexity of current English divorce law, and the need to attempt to explain its workings to non-lawyers, the Family Justice Council has produced two guides, ‘Sorting out Finances on Divorce’ and ‘Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce’ which runs to a mere 64 pages! The guides provide a general overview of the law, as well as a more detailed explanation of particular issues such as maintenance, housing, treatment of business assets and pensions.

For copies of these guides or help with any aspect of family law, please contact Sharon MacDonald at

There are three certainties in life…

It is widely said that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third – that tax laws will change and on an alarmingly regular basis. According to a recent report, tax legislation has changed 635 times since 2011. All too frequently these changes are brought in with the precursor that they are there to simplify the system. However, those that deal with tax affairs will know that this is very far from reality. The largest number of changes apply to Income Tax legislation, with 185 changes made within the past five years. This is closely followed by 122 changes to the legislation affecting Corporation Tax. At the same time, HMRC is becoming ever stricter in its application of interest and penalties where tax has been underpaid.

Tax is becoming increasingly taxing so it’s important to get good advice for your business, as well as your personal wealth and estate planning. Please contact Fiona Feggetter in the Private Client team at

For advice on any legal issue, please contact Royds Withy King on 01225 730100 or visit


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