The Future Of Slough – Regeneration and Reinvention

The Future Of Slough – Regeneration and Reinvention

We have been hearing news of the future of Slough for months now. It is safe to say that we can currently see regeneration and reinvention happening right in front of our eyes. What is to hold for Aston Bond’s home town is awaited with much anticipation.

With the Crossrail train due to complete in the next two years, it will place commuters in London in around 30 minutes. In addition, the new Western Train link will allow you to reach Heathrow Airport in around 6 -7 minutes. Such major infrastructure projects, needless to say are a great improvement for everyday transport facilities however, in the long term the infrastructural development will also enable businesses to work closer together in a more efficient manner, and this will only increase Slough’s potential for economic business growth.

Commercial & Residential Development

We cannot refer to the future of Slough without discussing the commercial and residential development that is currently ongoing, and the impact this will have for the town.

The recent demolition of the old Slough Library site will be replaced with high quality hotels and restaurant facilities in the town centre and around the new commercial district, this is to take into account the demands that will arise from the improved business and conference facilities. Developers along with major employers in London have already noticed the lower rents and prices of both commercial and residential property. London occupiers will be looking for spaces outside London, in order to utilize areas for office purposes or for headquarters functions. In the long term the office buildings being built will provide workspaces for the rapid business world, and investment in business facilities can only increase the procurement of commercial business activity in Slough.

Two major longer term redevelopments include a substantial mixed commercial and residential use scheme on the previous ‘Thames Valley University’ site in Slough which is anticipated to include 1,500 more homes along with office and leisure developments. Another major redevelopment is to be implemented at the ‘Queensmere shopping centre’ in Slough, which has permission for a refurbishment and 674 flats built to be built above the renovated site. This will consequently increase employment opportunities and further elevate the employment market within Slough.

Meanwhile, Aston Bond’s home address, ‘Windsor Road’ in Slough will be the site of 100 new homes to be utilized by homeowners, or by investors looking to rent properties to City workers who are always looking for residential properties at a lower rental rate to London and with convenient proximity to work. In addition, the Windsor road will be one of many key routes where the infrastructure is being improved, it is anticipated to incorporate a mass rapid transit scheme that will transport workers from the Slough station to Bath Road offices, stopping at strategic points e.g. offices of major employers.

To conclude this is an exciting time for Aston Bond’s home town and we cannot wait to see the urban redevelopment come into fruition. If you are looking to invest into Slough as a business entity and require corporate advice, or are looking to invest in Slough’s boasting residential and commercial property industry, please feel free to contact us. As a leading Thames Valley firm that has developed and established itself in Slough, we can offer bespoke legal advice to our clients, and can also provide a personalised service regarding market trends in Slough, for investors who require a firm with experience in dealing with an extensive number of investment matters in Slough and adapted knowledge of the demographic area they are looking at for investment purposes.

Fun fact for those of you reading who are residents of slough, or are reading this blog and have never visited Slough; Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), the famous astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 with a self-built telescope, lived in Observatory House on ‘Windsor Road’ (Aston Bond’s street address) from 1786 until 1822.

Interpretations of Exclusion Clauses

Contracts: Update on Interpretations of Exclusion Clauses between Commercial Parties

Exclusion clauses are contractual provisions restricting or excluding liability for a specific event. The Court of Appeal has recently deliberated on the construction of exclusion clauses and more particularly how the principal of ‘contra proferentem’ should apply. Contra proferentem is the principle were ambiguous clauses in a contract should be interpreted against the interests of the party seeking the clause to be included in the contract.


In the case of Transocean Drilling UK –v- Providence Resources PLC [2016] EWCA Civ 372, Transocean hired a semi-submersible drilling rig to Providence. After initiating the work, it came to Providence attention that the rig was faulty, namely a misalignment of part of a blowout preventer. As a result of the faulty rig, work was suspended for a period of five weeks.  Providence refused to pay the hiring fees of the rig, Transocean brought an action for the hire costs, and consequently Providence sought to set off the hire costs against their losses plus $10,000,000.00 paid for goods and services which were wasted (spread costs). The contract between the parties had various exclusion and indemnity clauses. The main clause in dispute in this case, was the clause excluding ‘consequential losses’. The consequential losses in this matter referred to the spread costs. The High Court Judge, Popplewell J, took the view that contra proferentem should apply to the construction of the exclusion clause at the first instance, therefore, deciding with Providence. Transocean appealed the matter, and the Court overruled the Judge’s decision and applied three distinct principles.

New Principles

  1. Contra proferentem should only be used as a last method and only apply to cases dealing with ambiguous clauses.
  2. Secondly, that this is a separate principle to the principle that there is a presumption that neither party intends to abandon any remedies for its breach in the absence of clear words [Gilbert-Ash (Northern) Ltd v Modern Engineering (Bristol) Ltd [1974] AC 689]. Therefore, parties if they wish to do so can abandon remedies, but the language used in the construction of the clause must be clear and unambiguous.
  3. Contra proferentem principle has no part to play if the clause affects both parties equally and more importantly were both parties have equal bargaining power. Therefore, the Court will place weight to the individual facts of each case depending on how the clause affects the parties and how much bargaining power the parties have.

The findings of the above case place extra burden on the parties to agree to robust exclusion clauses, as the Court are minded to take the literal meaning of the clause rather than use their own interpretation for commercial purposes. Therefore, it is imperative that the each and every exclusion clause is constructed carefully and precisely to demonstrate each party’s intentions, as it will be difficult to escape from liability if any unfavourable exclusion clause is agreed.

– Gurpreet Dhillon

Feel free to contact us and get in touch with our experienced dispute resolution department today. Our dynamic team think outside the box to assist you in finding the best solution based on your needs and circumstances.

Break Clauses and Vacant Possession

Break Clauses  –  When is vacant possession not considered to be vacant possession for the purposes of a break clause in a business lease?

Break clauses can be a useful tool which can allow a tenant to end a lease before the contractual term provided that any pre-conditions noted in the lease are satisfied. When negotiating a break clause, a landlord may try to impose a condition which provides that the tenant must give vacant possession on the break date. Tenants should be cautious of agreeing to such a pre-condition, as satisfying this pre-condition can cause difficulty.  In the case of NYK Logistics (UK) Ltd v Ibrend Estates BV [2011], it was held that vacant possession is not as simple as just leaving the property. In the event that a tenant was to leave chattels or goods or demountable partitioning at the property, this could lead to a potential argument that the property is not being left with vacant possession even though the tenant, and its sub-tenants and licensees (if applicable), may have physically left the property itself.

The landlord could argue that the pre-condition has not been satisfied, and therefore prevent the tenant from exercising the break clause, which in turn could then have significant implications for the tenant and its business. The break clause needs to be carefully drafted to ensure that the tenant does not find themselves in difficulty when trying to exercise this, and therefore advice needs to be taken before any such clauses are agreed.

For any assistance in dealing with break clauses in business leases, whether this is in terms of drafting a break clause, or reviewing it, then please feel free to contact our commercial property department.

Sumeet Shangari – Director – Commercial Property

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#Donate, How You Can Now Donate With a Tweet.

Social Media has changed the way in which we interact with charities, instead of huge expensive publicity events to raise awareness, viral trends like the #icebucketchallenge and #nomakeupselfie have gained international recognition and raised millions in their efforts. We now nominate and encourage people to share and give, with social media being the catalyst. Continue reading “#Donate, How You Can Now Donate With a Tweet.”

Company directors beware: Deception can lead to disqualification

build site

Last week two businessmen were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court for fraud and safety offences. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Health and Safety Executive brought joint proceedings against the pair after a worker died due to a lack of safety checks on a crane being used at a building site.

In September 2010 a two-tonne metal sand moulding box fell from a crane onto the 40 year old worker, crushing him to death. The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that not only had the crane not been checked properly, but the workers were also being exposed to a dangerous amount of lead.

Investigations also found that one of the directors had issued cheques totalling £92,500, all of which had bounced, and even continued to act as a director despite two court orders disqualifying him.

The directors were subsequently found guilty under the Health and Safety of Work Act 1974 and Fraud Act 2006 and also found to have breached section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Both were disqualified from being company directors, for 15 and 7 years respectively.

More information on this case can be found here:


Amarjit Atwal, Paralegal

Can Software be classed as Goods or a Service?



Due to its intangible nature it can be unclear whether software can be classed as ‘goods’, and therefore be subject to the implied terms stipulated in the Sale of Goods Act 1979, or rather as a ‘service’ under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. This often leaves consumers and businesses unsure as to whether they are covered by the latter, which implies a lower standard than the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

If software is purchased in the more conventional way ‘off the shelf’, in which you receive a physical copy of the software, then it is clear that the item can be classed as ‘goods’ and therefore the consumer is covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 states that goods must be of a satisfactory quality.

However, things become less clear when the item is purchased online, and downloaded to the user’s computer or device directly from the internet as the consumer is not physically in the possession of an item. As no physical item is sent to the user, many people believe that the software is classed as a ‘service’ and covered by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 which implies only that the service must be carried out with reasonable skill. Despite this, software may not always be classified as a service when bought online, and it remains unclear as to whether software is technically a good or a service.

This absence of certainty regarding the status of intangible items, coupled with the growth in software purchased online could force the UK to reconsider how software is considered within the law. Meanwhile, for more clarity it is prudent to check this with the seller, when buying software online, to ensure you are fully protected if a problem were to arise.

Aston Bond offers Commercial Law Services to assist individuals with business transactions, to find out more about our services click here.


Joel Chapman, Marketing Assistant

When Trademarks Become Generic

Escalator Image


As any business will know, when creating a brand the ultimate hope is that the product will become a household name. Occasionally, however, the name can prove to be too popular, and becomes synonymous with the actual product. This can lead to companies losing the legal right to the name of their product, and for their product name being used to describe other products that fall within the same category. Understandably if a company has spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort building a strong, reliable brand for their product, the last thing they need is for other products to be marketed on the back of their advertising. Here are some generic terms that it might surprise you to learn were once trademarked:


Escalators were created by Charles Seeberger in 1900, but the trademark name rights were sold to the Otis Elevator Company a few years later. Otis lost their right to the trademark in 1950 in a well publicised case (Haughton Elevator Co v Seeberger) because they had used the term in a generic manner in their own advertising – thus allowing other companies to also use it in a generic manner when referring to a ‘moving stairway’.


The Hoover started off as a simple vacuum cleaner, manufactured by the Hoover Company. Over time, it has become a generalised term used, particularly in the United Kingdom, for any type of vacuum cleaner, regardless of the manufacturer. It has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary as a verb for vacuuming.


German company Bayer AG released a drug called Asprin in the late 1800’s. Unfortunately, under war reparations as specified in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, asprin ceased to be a registered trademark in the UK, USA, Russia and France. Now it is used as a generic term to describe the actual drug rather than the product (which continues to be described as Asprin with a capital A).


Amarjit Atwal, Litigation Paralegal

Who governs the internet?

Is Cyberspace literally above the law?

There are those who argue that cyberspace is a separate sovereign space where laws and governments do not apply.

“You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement

This quote was taken from John Perry Barlow’s article published in 1996. Known as a cyber-libertarian political activist, basically meaning he helps defend your rights in the digital world, he also co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, their sole aim is to battle and defend digital freedom in the courts.

On the face of it people like John Perry Barlow are saints as they take into consideration privacy, freedom of speech and fair use of the internet, but have they crossed a virtual border? Stating that if an individual is in the virtual/digital environment they have no governing or corporeal body to regulate them is a tad farfetched, a world without any laws and regulations sounds like a plot in a Hollywood movie.

In all honestly we should all keep our feet well-grounded, as even though an individual may be surfing the internet and “visiting” cyberspace, they technically may not have even left their front room, as we are not mysteriously transported into cyberspace.  This means that if one was to use the internet for illegal or anti-social behaviour they are subject to the laws and regulations of the country they reside in.

The whole truth and nothing but the truth

The truth is that there is no governing body of the internet per se instead there are volunteer groups which consist of:

Internet Activities Board (IAB) – The technical body that oversees the development of the Internet suite of protocols.  Within this organisation it has two task forces, the IETF and IRTF, which are responsible for investigating a specific area.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) – Develops and maintains the Internet’s communication protocols. Addresses problems and coordinates new services. Appoints working groups to define standards, coordinate services between providers and performs the real work.

Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) – Looks into long-term research problems that could be critical in five to ten years.

In addition to these three bodies, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seen as the technical coordination body for the Internet.

If there is no actual regulated body who governs the internet, a question must be raised. Can we regulate the actions of individuals in the digital environment at all?

Vinesh Patel, Paralegal