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Publication

VAT update - March 2020

Published on 26 March 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s recently published policy paper in relation to the VAT liability of digital publications; (2) EU Council Regulation (EU) 2020/283 and Council Directive (EU) 2020/284 in relation to combatting VAT fraud; and (3) EU Council Directive (EU) 2020/285 in relation to the special scheme for small enterprises. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) whether a specific form is required for the notification of an assessment of VAT; (2) when VAT is collectable as a debt due; and (3) what constitutes a reasonable excuse for incorrectly issuing a zero-rating VAT certificate.

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Blog

The "war" against Coronavirus: implications for the Life Sciences industry when regulations are loosened

Published on 25 March 2020. By Dorothy Flower, Partner and Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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Politicians have reached for military metaphors when setting out their response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Governments hope that the Life Sciences industry will win the fight against the virus by arming the healthcare sector with pharmaceutical and medical device solutions. In the first of a series of blog posts over the coming months on Coronavirus, we examine the pressures that industry must balance when responding to the call to arms.

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 25 March 2020. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Ben Taverner, Associate

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This blog sets out various issues for commercial tenants to consider in relation to impending rent payments and government intervention in response to Covid-19. We are currently fielding numerous enquiries from tenants seeking advice about whether rent holidays, reductions and other concessions can be obtained in these unprecedented times.

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 25 March 2020. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Ben Taverner, Associate

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This blog sets out various issues for commercial tenants to consider in relation to impending rent payments and government intervention in response to Covid-19. We are currently fielding numerous enquiries from tenants seeking advice about whether rent holidays, reductions and other concessions can be obtained in these unprecedented times.

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Blog

Credit Suisse: Appeal allowed as HMRC had failed to open a valid enquiry

Published on 25 March 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd and others v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 86 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a company's appeal against a closure notice on the grounds that HMRC had not issued a valid notice of enquiry.

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Blog

COVID-19: help for supermarkets and other retailers with competition law compliance in challenging times

Published on 24 March 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The Government is providing the supermarkets with the necessary comfort, so that they can co-operate with each other in order to keep the shelves stocked and deliveries continuing during the course of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Blog

COVID 19 Your workforce: What on earth is "furlough"?

Published on 24 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Patrick Brodie, Partner

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Meaning of furlough, especially in the context of companies dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

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Blog

COVID-19 - The official guidance on remote hearings; early engagement is key to success

Published on 24 March 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and David Cran, Head of IP and Tech

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COVID-19. The courts are trying to conduct "business as usual" as much as possible in this challenging climate. The latest official guidance, published on Friday, covers remote hearings in all Civil Courts in England & Wales; it relates to all types of hearings – applications, trials and appeals.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: pay and costs - practical ideas our clients are exploring

Published on 24 March 2020. By Patrick Brodie, Partner and Kelly Thomson, Partner

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COVID-19 Your workforce: pay and costs - practical ideas our clients are exploring. These are extraordinary times that place extraordinary pressures on all of us, including dealing with your workforce. We set out below some ideas that we are hearing about from our clients and some areas you may wish to think about in terms of your employee costs.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: supporting mental health when home working

Published on 24 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Patrick Brodie, Partner

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COVID-19 Your workforce: supporting mental health when home working. Many of us are working from home during this crisis and while this can be an effective way of working for some, it is less happy for others; loneliness, caring for vulnerable dependants and challenging home environments are all being experienced. There may be members of your teams who fall into these categories.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the Impact on Litigation

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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In these unusual times, we are all having to adapt our social, family and working lives to deal with an unprecedented global situation which throws up a vast number of new worries and issues to deal with. This article looks at concerns raised specifically about litigating in the current climate.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Regulatory Update

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Our lawyers' liability and regulatory team take a look at the areas of solicitors' regulation that are likely to be impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the consequent move towards working away from the office.

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Blog

COVID-19: FCA's update for firms

Published on 23 March 2020. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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The FCA's website may not be your first port of call to keep up-to-date on the COVID-19/coronavirus situation here in the UK, but it should be on your list. Why?, you may ask!

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Blog

FOS warns consumers to ensure insurance applications correct

Published on 23 March 2020. By Christopher Cole, Associate and Ashley Daniells, Associate

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has warned consumers of the risks in providing incorrect details in relation to insurance policies in a new insight report. The risks include policies being avoided due to misrepresentation or material non-disclosure or potentially facing a significant shortfall due to underinsurance.

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Blog

COVID-19: Impact on court hearings and successful virtual mediations

Published on 20 March 2020. By David Cran, Head of IP and Tech and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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As anticipated, the Courts are now moving to a (mainly) remote working basis.

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Publication

Insureds likely face uphill battle in seeking coverage for coronavirus losses in both US & UK

Published on 20 March 2020. By Victoria Sherratt, Partner and Naomi Vary, Partner and Leigh Williams, Partner and Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

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As the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread, organizations around the globe are facing mounting business disruptions and economic losses. Some of these entities may seek coverage for these losses under a variety of insurance policies. Coverage under any form will depend, of course, on the facts of the claim, policy wordings, and the applicable law. Here, we highlight some policy wordings insurers should keep in mind when evaluating coronavirus-related claims under various coverage forms.

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Blog

Spring Budget 2020 - main tax announcements

Published on 19 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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This blog discusses some of the key tax changes announced in last week's Budget, and subsequent tax developments.

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Publication

Risk management for surveyors – how to be prepared for your PII renewal

Published on 19 March 2020. By Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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Surveyors will be aware of the requirement to have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), both for RICS membership and to protect themselves in the event of a claim. Despite the fact that valuers are facing considerably fewer claims than they did in the years following the 2008 economic crisis, there has still been a reduction in the availability of PII and surveyors are facing a challenging time when they come to renew their insurance.

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Blog

Signing documents during COVID-19

Published on 18 March 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner and Jenny Tran, Senior Associate

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This blog gives some practical advice on how to sign documents during the Covid-19 restrictions, including where signatories and others are working from home without access to usual printing and scanning facilities.

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Blog

Quasi-proprietary claims: use of disputed funds to pay legal costs

Published on 18 March 2020. By Alan Williams, Partner

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In Kea Investments Ltd v Eric John Watson, the High Court considered to what extent a defendant should be permitted to use funds subject to a freezing injunction to fund its legal expenses where the claimant advances a quasi-proprietary claim over those funds

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Blog

McMillan – Gambling proceeds not taxable income

Published on 18 March 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In McMillan v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0082 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that proceeds of gambling were not taxable income.

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Publication

Navigating the dead zone: Understanding liquidation preferences in venture capital #2

Published on 16 March 2020. By Peter Sugden, Partner

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In the second of a series of blogs aimed at demystifying common provisions found in venture capital term sheets (with the hope of accelerating the negotiation process between investors and founders), Peter Sugden looks at liquidation preferences.

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Publication

Contingency market coronavirus briefing – event cancellation

16 March 2020

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On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the current COVID-19 outbreak to be a worldwide pandemic. For the vast majority of people, this label may make little practical difference; the WHO designation does not trigger any automatic or mandatory global reaction, and the decision as to the steps to be taken in response to the outbreak remain in the hands of national governments.

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Blog

Litigation funder liable for uncapped adverse costs

Published on 13 March 2020. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Tim Potts, Senior Associate

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In ChapelGate Credit Opportunity Master Fund Ltd v James Money, the Court of Appeal ordered a funder to pay the full amount of adverse costs. [2020] EWCA Civ 246. In a significant judgment for commercial litigation funders, the court found that the ‘Arkin cap’ (which can cap a litigation funder's liability for adverse costs to the amount of funding that was provided) is not a binding rule to be applied automatically in every case involving a litigation funder. Instead, the court considered all of the facts of the case and exercised its discretion in determining whether to cap the litigation funder's liability for adverse costs.

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Publication

Covid-19 risk update for UK insurers

12 March 2020

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In the context of the novel coronavirus dominating international news headlines, RPC consider some key insurance issues with respect to the potential application of notifiable disease and supply chain extensions to standard business interruption insurance policies.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 8 – Sturridge ban, Cycling World League and Sun Yang's ban

Published on 12 March 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

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Blog

Aria Technology – No specific form required for notification of assessment of VAT

Published on 11 March 2020. By Alice Kemp, Senior Associate

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In Aria Technology Ltd v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 182, the Court of Appeal confirmed that there is no particular form or formality required of an assessment under section 73(1), Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA) and an assessment can be contained in more than one document as long as the minimum requirements are set out in a clear and unambiguous way.

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Blog

Beware a broad brush approach to costs assessment

Published on 10 March 2020. By Stacey Davies, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Court of Appeal dismisses former client's objection to solicitors' invoices on assessment.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 8 2020

Published on 10 March 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to the eighth 2020 edition of Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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Publication

International risk: the evolution of the remedy of avoidance

10 March 2020

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There used to be a side-splitting “joke” amongst the barrister authors of a particular insurance law textbook that its title ought to have been “How to Avoid”. This was because twenty-five years ago telephone calls between insurance carriers and their lawyers might often have started with: “We are going to get clobbered. How can we get out of this?”. Back then the insurance market was a very different place to what it is now. It was somewhat fragmented and there was a heady mix of under-capitalisation and LMX spiral business (a hazardous game of “pass the exploding parcel” played through mutual reinsurance). A big loss could spell doom – hence the “joke”.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 9

Published on 09 March 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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Snapshot

Snapshots Winter 2019

09 March 2020

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This is your roundup of all recent legal updates spanning advertising & marketing, commercial cases,technology / digital, data protection and intellectual property.

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Blog

The FCA's key concerns for the pensions market in 2020

Published on 09 March 2020. By Zoe Melegari, Associate

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In its Sector Views published on 18 February 2020, the FCA has announced its strategic priorities for the pensions sector for this coming year. Key issues include transfer advice, which continues to be a supervision priority, and poor value products that lead to lower living standards in retirement.

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Blog

Transformation and risk – what the future holds for retail

Published on 09 March 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT

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Data, AI, and the impact of Covid-19. Kyle Monk – Head of Insight and Analytics at go-to trade association the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – left plenty of food for thought on the future for retailers, and those who advise them, at a talk delivered last week.

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Blog

Restrictive covenants in shareholders' agreements and commercial contracts

Published on 06 March 2020. By Ben Magahy, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has recently reaffirmed the approach to the enforceability of restrictive covenants in shareholders' agreements and other commercial contracts.

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Publication

Happy Birthday to the SIPP

06 March 2020

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This week marks the 30th anniversary of the first self invested personal pension (SIPP).

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Blog

Beware: English jurisdiction clauses do not mean choice of English law

Published on 06 March 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Fred Kuchlin, Associate

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Where parties have agreed in a contract that the English courts will have jurisdiction in the event of a dispute, it does not automatically follow that English law will be the governing law. A party recently found this out, to its cost, when a different governing law clause meant an expired limitation period. This case demonstrates that those entering into contractual agreements should carefully consider a choice of law clause that specifically designates the laws of a country that suits them. GDE LLC v Anglia Autoflow Limited.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #2 - Wind power

Published on 05 March 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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Wind power is, unsurprisingly, generated by wind (typically as little as a light breeze) passing over and turning the turbine's blades. The blades are connected via a shaft and gearbox to a generator, which converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy. A transformer then increases the voltage of the generated energy to enable transmission to the grid.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #2 - Wind power

Published on 05 March 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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Wind power is, unsurprisingly, generated by wind (typically as little as a light breeze) passing over and turning the turbine's blades. The blades are connected via a shaft and gearbox to a generator, which converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy. A transformer then increases the voltage of the generated energy to enable transmission to the grid.

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Publication

Tax update - March 2020

05 March 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) updated guidance provided in HMRC’s SDLT manual in relation to section 75A, Finance Act 2003; (2) a House of Commons briefing paper discussing insolvency and joint and several liability notices for directors; and (3) a Policy Paper concerning upcoming changes to the regulations for the Non-residents Landlord Scheme. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) capital gains losses incurred in respect of properties which were never completed; (2) a landfill “fluff” case; and (3) inheritance tax agricultural property and business property relief.

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Blog

Linpac – Tribunal confirms that EU group relief claims did not replace earlier domestic claims to relief

Published on 04 March 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In Linpac Group Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 60 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed an appeal against an HMRC decision that the taxpayer's claim for group relief had been withdrawn by a subsequent claim.

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Blog

And the winner is... that pre-loved dress

Published on 03 March 2020. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Ela Broderick-Basar, Trainee Solicitor

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The recent awards season has seen a new dress-code emerging on the red carpet - wearing clothing either rented or previously worn, in an aim to project a message of sustainability. This reflects trends in the wider fashion world, where sustainability models like rental and resale are emerging fast as brands and consumers look to minimise their impact.

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Podcast

A CEO's outlook of the insurance market (with Sian Fisher)

03 March 2020

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Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This episode we look at the insurance market from the perspective of Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

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Blog

So Long Blues

Published on 28 February 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner

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Following our previous IP hub update, Glaxo has suffered fresh survey woes.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 7 – 'Premflix and Chill', McIlroy and Allianz

Published on 28 February 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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Welcome to the second edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from the sports industry.

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Blog

Product Law update - Feb 2020

Published on 28 February 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director and Elinor Sidwell, Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of our product law update, this month we focus on product regulation post Brexit, the relationship between the limitation longstop and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and product recalls of electrical goods across the UK.

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Blog

Trainees Take on 2020

Published on 27 February 2020. By Elizabeth Zang, Trainee Solicitor and Georgia Durham, Trainee Solicitor and Matt Davies, Trainee Solicitor and Poppy St John, Trainee Solicitor and Sean Cannon, Associate

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RPC's trainees had mixed fortunes in attempting to predict the major events of 2019. As can be seen from our 2019 predictions blog, Theresa May's departure was correctly predicted, but the trainees were well wide of the mark in forecasting Beto O'Rourke as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for the US Presidency: Beto suspended his campaign on November 1 2019, a full four months before primary season. No one foresaw the UK's first December general election since 1923 either, which is perhaps more forgivable.

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Publication

Are you compliant with the new rules in Singapore? Asia? Beyond?

27 February 2020

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With the implementation of the GDPR in Europe (2018) and the rise of serious cyber-attacks in Asia, many APAC countries are making major changes to their data privacy laws. Navigating the various regulatory regimes can be complex particularly for companies doing business across the region and beyond.

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Publication

VAT update - February 2020

26 February 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) publication by the EU of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/21; (2) publication by HMRC of letters to businesses regarding preparations for customs and border arrangements after the Brexit transition period; and (3) the new Value Added Tax (Miscellaneous Amendments, Revocation and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (Appointed Day No. 1) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) the application of the Halifax principle to what HMRC considered to be VAT avoidance arrangements involving supplies of winter sports training; (2) whether there is a private right of action to enforce the statutory duty to provide a VAT invoice; and (3) whether the general partner of a property fund was entitled to recover VAT incurred on set-up and operating costs.

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Blog

Defined Benefit pension transfers and SIPP FOS complaints on the rise

26 February 2020

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Official FOS figures from the end of 2019 show Defined Benefit pension transfers and SIPP complaints are on the rise although the percentage of these complaints upheld has dropped. How will the FOS respond in an area where we have seen a heavy CMC presence?

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