Is uncertainty the new normal?

With the latest political outcome that no-one predicted still reeling in our ears, once again we are facing more uncertainty, where all had hoped for less. A hung parliament means a weak Prime Minister, tougher Brexit talks than anyone would have wanted and another blow to the key retail barometer of consumers' confidence in their purchasing power. All in all a toxic mix but one which we will have to learn to work through, with some of the issues fast moving and others a tad more slowly.

This month we tackle the political uncertainty, looking at the business impact on the hospitality industry, with an update from the British Hospitality Association Summit and a forecast of the key themes for the sector.

Judgement was finally given after a seven year competition investigation into Google's abuse of its dominance in the online search world. The EU has handed Google an initial fine of 2.42 billion euros, and told Google that they have 90 days to make the changes. More information on this story can be found in this month's article "No Comparison."

The Modern Slavery Act is very nearly here and already making a difference, as businesses and supply chains get to grips with what they are actually doing, all of which flow through to the reporting requirements. Our article this month discusses the emerging themes we have found after discussing the requirement with our clients.

We also have an eagerly awaited judgement in the field of so called "exotic" trademarks, as Nestle and Cadbury go head to head on a trademark registration in the Court of Appeal.

And to finish back at base, Addleshaw Goddard itself takes another leap forward this month, as we have concluded our formal merger with Scottish firm HBJ Gateley, giving us the capacity to deliver a stronger offering for our clients across the UK.

 

This month's articles…

Google fined € 2.4 billion for downgrading rival shopping sites

The European Commission has fined Google a record-breaking € 2.4 billion by seeking to use its search algorithms to systematically promote its own site, Google Shopping, and demote rival sites such as Foundem and Kelkoo in its search results. Read our article here.

 

Brexit, immigration and its impact on the workforce

With Brexit negotiations underway, a topic for discussion on the agenda in boardrooms across the UK is the impact Brexit will have on both their workforce and on their recruitment activities. Read our 3 action points businesses can take now to prepare.

 

What is the future of “exotic” trademarks?

The sector awaits the Court of Appeal's judgement in the latest round of litigation on Nestlé v Cadbury. For more information, please find our article here.

 

Time is running out for modern slavery act supply chain reporting

All large businesses in the UK must publish a statement annually on their websites setting out the steps they have taken to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in their own business or in their supply chains. Government guidance advises that the statement should be published within 6 months of the end of the financial year. For the many businesses who have a 31 December year end, this deadline is fast approaching. Click here to read the full article.

 

British Hospitality Association: Summit 2017

This year's BHA Summit was packed full of delegates from all corners of the hospitality industry, sharing their views on the challenges facing the sector and sharing the anxiety of being an "undervalued and underappreciated" industry for far too long.  Delegates also shared their admiration for the BHA and its tenacious lobbying of a government which does not understand the tremendous challenges and uncertainties facing the industry, particularly in light of Brexit. Find out more.