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Professional & Financial Risks

Publication

Challenging extensions of time to serve writs on defendants in Hong Kong

22 October 2019

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In another recent high profile judgment, the High Court of Hong Kong has (in effect) sent out an important warning to plaintiffs who apply to the court for an extension of time in which to serve their writ on a defendant. On making such applications, plaintiffs must be very careful to discharge their continuing and important duty to be full and frank with the court – in particular, in the evidence filed in support of such applications, plaintiffs must specifically and clearly confirm the position regarding the limitation periods for different claims in the writ and whether any claim is time barred.

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Blog

Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

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Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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Blog

The problem of integrity

21 June 2019

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Integrity is beginning to look like the indispensable quality that we could all do without.

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Blog

Lost chances à la Moda

Published on 04 June 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Nick Bird, Partner

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Lost chance case-law has come a long way since the ground-breaking decision in Allied Maples. One of its more interesting offshoots is the case of Moda International Brands Ltd v Gateley LLP & Anor. Moda is required reading for any firm of solicitors who wants to defend a lost chance claim arising from its transactional work for a claimant.

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Blog

What’s gone wrong with putting things right?

Published on 21 May 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Nick Bird, Partner

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Solicitors are becoming concerned about their ability to put things right when they make mistakes. We do not consider that much has changed in this area. It is as important as it has always been for a solicitor to realise if he or she has made a mistake and to think carefully about how to remedy it. This is not an easy task. We hope this article will assist in guiding solicitors and their insurers through this complex area.

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Publication

Court of Appeal considers the test for dishonest assistance following Ivey

25 April 2019

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In Group Seven v Notable Services LLP the Court of Appeal considered and applied the two stage test of dishonesty set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting in a claim for dishonest assistance in a breach of trust by various members of a legal disciplinary practice.

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Publication

Audit profession – a year of reflection

25 March 2019

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In this legal update we look back at some of the key developments for the audit profession in 2018 and consider what the rest of 2019 may hold for the industry.

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Blog

Judge makes alarming comments about validity of standstill agreements in Inheritance Act claims

Published on 12 March 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate and Rhian Howell, Partner

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In a recent judgment, the High Court has cast doubt on the extent to which the court will recognise standstill agreements in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

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Blog

Law Society introduces new Code for Completion by Post

Published on 04 March 2019. By Tom Toulson, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Conveyancing practitioners need of course to familiarise themselves with the new Code, in advance of its implementation date of 1 May 2019. Following Dreamvar, the new Code underlines the fact that the burden of detecting fraudulent sellers falls squarely on the sellers' solicitors.

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Blog

Supreme Court Refuses to allow a Claim against Lawyers for Loss of a Dishonest Claim

Published on 13 February 2019. By Joe Bryant, Partner and Nick Bird, Partner and Will Sefton, Partner

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On 13 February 2019 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in its first decision on loss of chance principles for 14 years (in Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2019] UKSC 5).

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Blog

SAAMCo and BPE re-affirmed: the proper approach to loss in professional negligence cases

Published on 31 January 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Tom Toulson, Associate

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A recent Court of Appeal decision reaffirms the importance of the "information" and "advice" categories when considering the losses for which a professional should be held liable.

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Blog

Four UK financial crime compliance predictions for 2019

Published on 15 January 2019. By Sam Tate, Partner

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Last week we published our "UK white-collar crime enforcement predictions for 2019". This week, it is the turn of financial crime compliance.

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Blog

Four UK white collar crime predictions for 2019

Published on 08 January 2019. By Sam Tate, Partner and Toby Lamarque, Managing Consultant - Regulatory and Financial Crime

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The coming year presents itself as particularly unpredictable for white collar crime enforcement in the UK, given the shadow of Brexit, changes of staff at the SFO and a series of long-standing cases due for resolution. Nostradamus would struggle, but, nevertheless, here is RPC's forecast of what to expect in 2019.

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Blog

LSB approves SRA’s revolution in legal services regulation

Published on 07 November 2018. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s new regulatory arrangements were approved by the Legal Services Board on 6 November 2018. Part of the changes will allow solicitors of England & Wales to sell legal advice to the public from within unregulated firms, as long as they steer clear of reserved legal activities such as conveyancing and litigation. These firms will not be regulated by the SRA and will not need to take out full SRA-mandated professional indemnity insurance. These new kinds of legal practice offer unique opportunities for competition with big law firms, and for in-house legal teams to be converted from a cost to a profit centre. RPC has exceptional degree of experience in advising on innovation in the the provision of legal services.

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Blog

Court of Appeal enforces fraudster’s claim against lawyers

Published on 08 October 2018. By Nick Bird, Partner

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In Stoffel & Co v Maria Grondona the Court of Appeal applied Lord Toulson’s judgment in Patel v Mirza to permit a fraudulent mortgagor to enforce her claim against her conveyancing solicitors. There may though be stronger grounds for the defence in other claims against professionals.

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Blog

Section 14A, don't delay!

Published on 24 May 2018. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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The Court of Appeal has upheld a judge's decision to deal summarily with a dispute as to the claimant's date of knowledge under s14a Limitation Act 1980. The judgment also contains a handy summary of the key law in the area.

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Blog

Dreamvar and identity fraud in conveyancing transactions

Published on 17 May 2018. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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The issue at stake in the combined appeals of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya and P&P Property Ltd v Owen Catlin LLP was a fairly fundamental one, namely: “Who ought to bear the risk of loss when a fraudster pretends to sell a property?”

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Blog

Professional negligence adjudication – it's all part of the Protocol

Published on 04 May 2018. By Cristina Faro, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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On 1 May 2018, an amendment to the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol saw a further attempt to encourage parties to use the professional negligence adjudication scheme first devised as a pilot scheme in February 2015.

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Publication

Asset management market study update

Published on 10 April 2018.

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On 5 April 2018 the FCA published proposals to address concerns identified in its asset management market study

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Publication

Enhancing the cross-border distribution of collective investment funds

16 March 2018

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The European Commission has published a draft Regulation and Directive on the cross-border distribution of investment funds. The aim is to establish a genuine internal capital market by addressing fragmentation and removing regulatory barriers (namely Member States’ marketing requirements, regulatory fees and notification and administrative requirements), which can all prevent the cross-border distribution of investment funds in the European Union.

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Blog

Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions Limited – a win for principals on vicarious liability

Published on 14 March 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has reinforced the idea that liability will only attach to a principal in cases where a tort committed by an agent can be shown to have been completed as an integral part of the business activities of the principal. Furthermore, all elements composing the tort must take place within the course of the agency. The case thickens the lines defining what conduct of an agent could lead to recovery from the principal.

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Blog

Bad news for litigants in person?

Published on 21 February 2018. By Tom Toulson, Associate

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When a litigant in person fails to correctly serve a claim form they can expect the courts to take a firm approach, following the Supreme Court's decision in Barton v Wright Hassall

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Blog

Insuring Cryptocurrency risk, and why a duck might not actually be a duck

Published on 13 February 2018. By Max Rossiter, Trainee Solicitor

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Cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines with their soaring value and accelerating use. Their regulation has remained somewhat of an afterthought, however. This blog post looks at some of the pitfalls and the larger implications for financial professionals and the insurance industry that the risks of cryptocurrency present.

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Blog

FOS consultation on SME access to Ombudsman service

Published on 23 January 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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The FCA is currently consulting on proposed new rules to allow larger small and medium sized enterprises to refer complaints to the FOS.

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Blog

To each his own: which papers belong to the solicitor?

Published on 12 January 2018. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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Although it has previously been established that clients don't necessarily own all of their solicitors' file, clients don't always appreciate this when making a file request. Some recent case law provides support to solicitors when dealing with such requests.

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Blog

Name and Shame: HM Land Registry to publish list of worst offenders

Published on 09 January 2018. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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HM Land Registry has announced plans to publish a list of the top 500 entities responsible for the highest number of applications and ranking them by their track record of correctly completing Land Registry forms and applications.

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Blog

Unauthorised introducers, the Pension Ombudsman and SSASs

Published on 04 January 2018. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The Pension Ombudsman has rejected a complaint against a SSAS provider in relation to investments in carbon credit investments made on the instigation of an unauthorised introducer. In contrast to FOS decisions we have seen, the Pension Ombudsman appeared to put the onus and risk on the consumer for engaging with an unauthorised introducer.

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Blog

Broken bonds - the FCA clamps down on firm promoting mini-bonds

Published on 21 November 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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According to a recent article in Citywire, the FCA has ordered a firm promoting mini-binds to "cease all regulated activity" following a series of losses being incurred by investors in respect of mini-bonds.

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Publication

Favourable approach for insurers to the construction of exclusion clauses

31 October 2017

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In a recent decision the Commercial Court has followed the Supreme Court in the Impact Funding case. It declined to apply the contra proferentem rule to an exclusion clause in an insurance policy. Insurers will welcome the decision.

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Blog

PE funds: Risks to LP limited liability status 

24 October 2017

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One of the key attributes of an English limited partnership is that the general partner has unlimited liability for the debts and obligations of the limited partnership.

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Blog

Transferring limited partnership interests

24 October 2017

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A limited partner may assign its interest in a limited partnership, subject to the general partner's consent and any contrary agreement between the limited partners.

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Blog

Are there dark clouds on the horizon for SIPP providers?

Published on 17 October 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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According to Citywire, the FCA is poised to complete further supervisory work on the SIPP industry with a specific focus on non-standard investments. We understand that the FCA has questioned SIPP providers on the number of high risk investments they hold following a spate of complaints about such products in recent years.

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Blog

Over the Insured's Dead Body

Published on 13 September 2017. By Tom Toulson, Associate

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One year on from the entry into force of the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 and the fun and games are just getting started.

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Blog

A level playing Field?

Published on 31 August 2017. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

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Frank Field's Work and Pensions Select Committee is intending to review the impartiality of defined benefit pension transfer advice. What could this mean for the advisory industry and its PI insurers?

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Blog

FCA's review into non-advised retirement product sales

Published on 21 July 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA has published its retirement outcomes review interim report. The report forms part of the FCA's assessment of the impact of the pension freedoms on the pension market and consumer behaviour. Although the focus of the report is non-advised sales it provides a useful insight for all those involved in the pensions market in relation to (1) customer behaviour post the introduction of the pension freedoms and (2) how the pension market is responding to those reforms. The report also puts forward some proposed "remedies" in relation to areas where the FCA considers behaviour may be detrimentally impacting customers. The remedies include permitting customers to access part of their pension at an earlier date in what appears to be an attempt by the FCA to steer customers away from drawdown products.

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Blog

A Simple Twist of ATE

Published on 25 May 2017. By Philip McCormack, Associate

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This blog considers the pitfalls of over-reliance on ATE cover and suggested solutions.

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Publication

Conveyancing liability

12 May 2017

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The perils of reports on title: Orientfield Holdings Limited v Bird & Bird

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Blog

Corporate crime – the new offence of failure to prevent tax evasion

Published on 11 May 2017. By Cristina Faro, Associate

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At the end of April, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 was passed, bringing to life a new raft of measures aimed at increasing state powers to tackle financial crime. The rules are set to come into force in September 2017 and include new powers to obtain information, share knowledge and recover criminal property. Of most relevance to the professional community is the new power to prosecute corporate bodies whose agents or employees fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion carried out by another person, including customers and suppliers.

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Blog

A case of unintended consequences

Published on 12 April 2017. By Victoria Sugden, Senior Associate and Tim Bull, Partner

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Supreme Court Judgment of Lowick Rose LLP (formerly known as Hurst Morrison Thomson LLP) (in liquidation) v Swynson Ltd and another [2017] UKSC 32

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Blog

Complaints against insolvency practitioners hold steady

Published on 11 April 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The insolvency service has published the latest figures for complaints against insolvency practitioners made to the Complaints Gateway during 2016. The statistics indicate that the Gateway has received a reasonably steady level of complaints since it was established in 2013 but promisingly for practitioners the Gateway does appear to be weeding out more complaints with the Gateway having rejected 29% of complaints in 2016, compared to 18% in the Gateway's first year.

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Blog

Whose file is it anyway: What should a solicitor provide to a client when met with a request for "the file"?

Published on 28 March 2017. By Claire Revell, Senior Associate

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The Law Society has published new guidance on what a solicitor should do when a client requests a copy of its file.

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Blog

Altogether now – aggregation in solicitors' professional negligence claims

Published on 23 March 2017. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director and Anna Greco, Associate

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The Supreme Court in AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others [2017] UKSC 18 provides welcome clarification of how you can aggregate claims against solicitors under the SRA's Minimum Terms and Conditions.

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Publication

Supreme Court judgment on SAAMCo

Published on 22 March 2017. By Nick Bird, Partner

On 22 March 2017 the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the application of SAAMCo to claims against professionals.

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Publication

Between a rock and a hard place

Published on 13 March 2017. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

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Difficulties for lenders arising out of limitation

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Blog

BDO report finds fraud at a 5-year high

Published on 01 March 2017. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate and Esme Watson, Associate

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There has been a cascade of negative headlines in recent months about increased incidences of fraud in the UK. Stretched police resources, combined with an array of opportunities for online exploitation of businesses and consumers, are perceived to have made it a good time to be a fraudster.

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Publication

Buyer’s solicitor beware!

06 February 2017

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Is it safe to act for a purchaser in a property transaction?

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Blog

Adjudication costs not recoverable as costs of proceedings

Published on 23 November 2016. By Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The Technology & Construction Court ("TCC") has recently considered whether there are circumstances in which a party can recover adjudication costs; the position, ordinarily, being that the costs of adjudication are not recoverable from the other side.

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Blog

Enhanced annuity non-advised sales – not as bad as first feared?

Published on 31 October 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA's thematic review into non-advised enhanced annuity sales found no evidence of an industry wide or systemic failure to provide customers with information about enhanced annuities or the open market option. There will not be a general industry wide remedial action.

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Blog

Uncrystallised personal pensions safe from creditors

Published on 14 October 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has resolved previously conflicting case law to confirm that a bankrupt cannot be obliged to crystallise his pension benefits in order to produce income to pay off creditors.

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Blog

New Guidance on when lawyers can attend an SFO section 2 interview

Published on 18 August 2016. By James Wickes, Partner

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On 6 June 2016, the SFO issued 3 short guidance notes to replace the Operational Handbook that had previously governed interviews under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987 (Section 2).

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