• 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 Little’s 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 legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • 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 world’s 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 don’t give away to get you started.

Kemp Little hosted seminar on social media and employment in conjunction with European firms

Kemp Little hosted a seminar on social media and employment yesterday in conjunction with Portolano of Italy, Bersay Associes of France and SKW Schwarz of germany on "Best practice hints and tips from across Europe".

Comments by an employee on Twitter or Facebook can be flashed across the world in seconds, having a tremendous cross border impact.  HR policies and thinking on social media need to be joined up across borders.  On 30 April, Kemp Little brought together experts in social media and employment law from the UK, Germany, France and Italy to discuss the risks in their jurisdictions, provide best practice hints and tips along with effective and easy to employ solutions to help legal counsel, HR and business managers to deal with the issues.

The four firms had the following key advice for any pan-European business:

Using social media for recruitment

  • Bear in mind that recruitment solely using social media may not reach a sufficiently diverse audience: a survey by US website HR Strategist in 2010 showed that only 5% of US Linked-in users were black and only 2% were Hispanic, although this is changing.

Undertaking background checks using social media

  • Employers need to balance their interest in gaining as much information as possible about the candidate against the risk of breaches of data protection and discrimination legislation. 
  • Employers should give applicants notice that they will undertake background checks (including on social media) as part of the recruitment process.
  • In Germany, employers are permitted to check “business” social media (such as Linked-in) to verify information given in relation to employment history, but it would be much more difficult to justify searching “personal” social media like Facebook and the government is proposing to ban employers from searching personal media at all during recruitment in the future.
  • In France, 112 large employers and recruiters have signed a “Social Network, Internet, Private Life and Recruitment Charter”, agreeing not to use social networks to collect personal data about candidates, which may start a trend in this direction in France. 

Monitoring employee’s use of social media in the work place

  • Employers need to be aware of local data protection legislation when monitoring employees.  Generally speaking, this involves undertaking an impact assessment, weighing up protection of the employer’s business assets/reputation and the right of the employees to privacy. 
  • An employer can usually justify monitoring in circumstances where it suspects wrongdoing or criminal activity. 
  • In Germany, if an employer either expressly or impliedly permits its employees to access the internet/e-mail for personal use, it is providing a “telecommunications service” and therefore it may not monitor employees’ use of the internet/email.  Typically therefore employers do not permit employees to use work systems for personal use.
  • In France, an employer may not prevent an employee from reasonably using its systems for personal means.
  • In France and Italy, in order to be able to rely on information gathered by monitoring as part of a disciplinary process, certain complex procedures must be followed, including consultation with the works council about the monitoring.

Taking action for the misuse of social media by employees

  • If an employer wishes to take action against an employee for misuse of social media, this is much easier if the employer has a clearly worded social media policy.
  • If the employer is relying on damage to reputation to justify disciplinary action, the sanction imposed needs to be proportionate to the harm caused.
  • Employees are increasingly relying on their human rights (and in particular their right to privacy) in order to challenge action taken by employers following misuse of social media.  However, the courts in each jurisdiction have tended to find that employees can have no reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to content on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, to the extent that profiles are widely accessible, and as comments can be copied and passed on to others with ease. 
  • In Italy, there are very strict steps which must be taken in order to discipline an employee (whether for misuse of social media or otherwise).

Practical tips

  • Put in place a robust social media policy. In France in particular, there is a complex process which must be followed by employers wishing to implement a social media or monitoring policy, including consulting with the health and safety committee and the works council.
  • Consider specific protections in contracts of employment dealing with confidentiality and post-termination restrictive covenants. But bear in mind that in France, Germany and Italy, you will need to compensate employees for the period of any post-termination restrictions and may still need to pay the employee even if you waive these provisions on termination.

About Kemp Little LLP

Kemp Little is recognised as the UK’s leading technology-focused law firm. The practice helps organisations within the technology sectors and also organisations that technology transforms.

The firm acts for leading businesses across the range of technology and communications industries plus those operating within financial services, media, travel, retail, professional services, healthcare and the public sector. Clients range from the largest global public companies to early stage ventures with exciting new technologies.

Kemp Little brings a genuinely innovative approach to its work. It was the first UK law firm LLP and the first UK law firm to launch a WIP extranet letting clients see ‘what’s on the clock’ and it was recently voted one of Europe’s top 50 most innovative law firms by the Financial Times for the sixth year running.

The firm is located at: Cheapside House, 138 Cheapside, London EC2V 6BJ

For more information, please contact Glynis Wigginton, Head of Marketing and Business Development.