- At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
- Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
- Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
- Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
- Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
- In the fast-changing world of employment law our clients need practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. They get this from our team of employment law professionals.
- Our team of leading IP advisors deliver cost-effective, strategic and commercial advice to ensure that your IP assets are protected and leveraged to add real value to your business.
- Our litigation practice advises on all aspects of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on ownership, exploitation and infringement of intellectual property rights and commercial disputes in the technology sector.
- We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
- We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
- Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Littles corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
- With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
- At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
- We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
- Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
- We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
- We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
- For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
- Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
- The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
- Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
- Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
- We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
- Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
- Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
- Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
- Kemp Little is trusted by some of the worlds leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
- HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
- FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they dont give away to get you started.
The 5 hot topics in employment law in 2014
Employers should look out for the following changes in 2014:
- TUPE revamp
- ACAS pre-claim conciliation
- Financial penalties for employers in tribunal claims
- Right to request flexible working extended to all employees
- Pensions auto-enrolment
1. TUPE revamp
Proposed changes to TUPE come into force on 31 January. The majority of the amendments will apply to transfers on or after that date and should make life easier for service providers and transferees in many circumstances. The changes include:
- Enabling the transferee (in certain circumstances) to consult with the transferring employees on collective redundancies prior to the transfer.
- Changes to terms and conditions of employment should be easier, with changes only prohibited where the reason for the change is the transfer itself.
- Allowing transferees to renegotiate terms derived from collective agreements provided that: (i) this occurs at least one year after the transfer; and (ii) any changes are no less favourable to employees.
- It should also be easier to make dismissals in connection with the transfer as:
- Automatic unfair dismissal will be limited to situations where the reason for the dismissal is the transfer itself and there is no ETO reason; and
- Changes to location can amount to an ETO, so a dismissal arising from a change of location following a transfer may not necessarily be automatically unfair.
- Allowing “microbusinesses” to inform and consult directly with employees, rather than having to elect employee representatives where there is no recognised trade union.
- Employee Liability Information must be provided 28 days before the transfer, for transfers which take place on or after 30 April (rather than the current 14 days).
The changes are not as far-reaching as those initially proposed by the Government. The Government has published guidance on these changes which can be found here. Please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team if you have any queries or please see our updated TUPE guide.
2. ACAS pre-claim conciliation
Any employee who brings a Tribunal claim in or after April will be subject to a mandatory ‘early conciliation’ period during which ACAS will attempt to settle the claim. The claimant will not be able to lodge a claim before first going through this stage.
What effect this may have on the number of claims proceeding to Tribunal remains to be seen. With the introduction of fees employers may be less inclined to reach a settlement before a claim is issued as they may want to see whether the employee ‘puts their money where their mouth is’. If you’d like to discuss the impact on your settlement strategy, don’t hesitate to contact one of the team.
3. Financial penalties for employers in tribunal claims
In April 2014, powers will be introduced for tribunals to impose a financial penalty of between £100 and £5,000 on employers in cases where they are found to have breached a worker’s rights and there are ‘aggravating features’. Whilst there is no definition of ‘aggravating features’, the explanatory notes suggest that a tribunal may be more likely to find ‘aggravating features’ where: the breach by the employer was deliberate or committed with malice; the employer had a dedicated human resources team but still failed in its duties; or the employer repeatedly breached the employment rights concerned.
In considering whether to impose a penalty some of the factors the tribunal may take into account are the size of the employer, the duration of the breach, and the behaviour of the employer and the employee. Notably the penalty will be payable to the Treasury, not the worker.
The level of the penalty is determined as follows:
- Where a financial award has been made, the penalty must be 50% of the award (subject to the cap).
- Where the claim is considered with another claim involving the employer, but a different worker:
-The amount of the penalties in total must be at least £100, but individually no more than £5,000;
- If a financial award is ordered, the maximum penalty is 50% of the financial award.
- If the employer pays 50% of the penalty within 21 days, they will not have to pay the remainder.
This will be an important factor for employers when considering the settlement of claims and means it becomes even more imperative either to ensure you are not breaching your duties or to ensure claims are settled at an appropriate stage and for an appropriate sum.
4. Right to request flexible working extended to all employees
From 6 April, the right to request flexible working is to be extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, even if the employee is not a parent or carer. Employers will no longer have to follow a statutory procedure in response to a request, but must consider requests in a ‘reasonable manner’ and must notify employees of the response to the request within 3 months, unless an extension is agreed.
5. Pensions auto-enrolment
Employers with more than 250 employees on their pay roll on 1 April 2012 are required to automatically enrol their employees into a pension and make certain mandatory pension contributions from 1 February 2014. Employers who had between 50 and 249 employees on 1 April 2012 will be staged between 1 April 2014 and 1 April 2015. The Pensions Regulator provides a tool on its website that employers can use to check their specific staging dates:
If you require any assistance with preparations for pensions auto-enrolment, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team.