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Tax update - December 2019

05 December 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) two recent decisions concerning insolvent companies and EBTs in the context of insolvency law; (2) proposed legislation on HMRC’s use of automated processes; and (3) the taxation of cryptoasset transactions using exchange tokens. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) legitimate expectation; (2) the payment of costs by HMRC due to its unreasonable behaviour; and (3) the meaning of ‘deliberate’ in the Taxes Acts.

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Blog

Prevention principle – can parties sue for breach of contract occasioned by their own breach?

Published on 05 December 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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According to the High Court in TMF Trustee Ltd v Fire Navigation Inc, the prevention principle can excuse a breach of contract when a party has been prevented from performing the relevant obligation by a breach of the other party.

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Blog

Locke – Court of Appeal quashes follower and accelerated payment notices

Published on 04 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In R (on the application of Locke) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1909, the Court of Appeal quashed follower and accelerated payment notices issued to a participant in a film finance partnership, because HMRC had been wrong in considering that a judicial ruling was relevant to the arrangements under consideration.

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Blog

Can retail drones deliver the goods?

Published on 03 December 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Trainee Solicitor

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A recent flurry of patent registrations provides an insight into how this futuristic technology could soon become a reality for consumers.

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Blog

Bossing the rules

Published on 03 December 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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Watch out for RPC's new blog mini-series on the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

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Blog

A Litigator's Quiz: First Candle of Advent

02 December 2019

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Legal professional privilege burns bright in the hearts of most disputes lawyers. Does it burn bright enough to light the first Advent candle in 2019?

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Publication

Product liability update - November 2019

02 December 2019

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A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news.

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Blog

Does workplace recycling deserve to be binned?

Published on 29 November 2019. By Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Trainee Solicitor

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It has been a big year for action on climate change - from Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech at the UN, to the Extinction Rebellion's pink yacht, which blockaded Oxford Circus. In a number of ways the British public are making greater efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Over the past two decades, the rate of household recycling has risen from 11% in 2000 to 45.2% in 2017/18.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 4 2019

Published on 28 November 2019. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks over the last two weeks.

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Blog

In house lawyer prevented from relying on a leaked email and an overhead conversation

Published on 28 November 2019. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Steven Rajavinothan, Associate

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Mr Curless was a senior legal counsel at Shell International Limited (Shell) from January 1990 until he was made redundant in January 2017. He suffers from Type 2 diabetes and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. He brought a claim against Shell for disability discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

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Publication

VAT update - November 2019

28 November 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the revocation of the Cross-border Trade (Public Notices) (EU Exit) Regulations; (2) the new VAT group provisions; and (3) the digitisation of the tribunal service. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) who the recipient of a supply is in circumstances where there is more than one potential recipient; (2) single purpose vouchers and the time of supply; and (3) inaccuracy penalties in the absence of any supply.

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Blog

Dear Legal, can we put a laundrette in store?

Published on 28 November 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Rachael Ellis, Associate

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How should brands navigate a change to their high street store space?

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Blog

Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme – Taxation of manufactured overseas dividends breached EU law

Published on 27 November 2019. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In HMRC v Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1610, the Court of Appeal dismissed HMRC's appeal and held that the imposition of withholding tax on manufactured overseas dividends was contrary to EU law.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update November 2019

26 November 2019

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In this update we report on (1) the new customs legislation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) steel safeguard quotas; and (3) the recent deadline extension for customs authorisations made indirectly. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) civil evasion penalties; (2) the meaning of “holding” goods; and (3) tariff classification.

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Blog

Costs proportionality: answers at last?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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Practitioners have been waiting six years for authoritative guidance on how the new post-April 2013 proportionality test applies in the hope that we will be better able to predict the outcome of costs assessment and, therefore, better equipped to advise our clients. A recent Court of Appeal decision has been described as delivering this; however, it raises a number of new issues which are sure to give rise to further satellite litigation. As such, proportionality remains the great unknown.

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Blog

Endometriosis: painfully under-diagnosed?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

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Endometriosis, described as a "silent source of unnecessary misery", affects over two million women in the UK. So, why is it taking over 7 years to diagnose?

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Publication

Corporate tax update November 2019

22 November 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on the key developments from September and October 2019. No update would be complete in the current climate without a report on a recent IR35 decision (this month, we bring you two). This month’s update also includes summaries as to HMRC’s latest thinking on the regime for offshore receipts in respect of intangible property, as well as case summaries on the interpretation of the UK-Irish double tax treaty, cross-border loss relief and the effect of statements in HMRC’s published manuals.

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Blog

Regulatory change as far as the PI can see

Published on 21 November 2019. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

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Dramatic regulatory change, and an increase in regulatory action, is affecting a number of important sectors in the professional indemnity market, as we exit 2019 and look ahead at 2020. We consider below some key points to be aware of.

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Blog

The Supreme Court holds that "subsequently acquired evidence" is to be disregarded in assessing loss of chance in a DTI compensation scheme

Published on 21 November 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Cheryl Laird, Associate (Scottish Qualified)

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On 20 November 2019 the Supreme Court handed down its second 2019 judgment on loss of chance principles in Edwards v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2019] UKSC 54. It held in favour of the claimant rejecting the lawyers' argument that the issue of loss should be determined based on all of the facts available at the date of the professional negligence proceedings.

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Blog

Changing retail landscape leads to decline in employee numbers

Published on 21 November 2019. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Josh Tonks, Paralegal

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The retail sector continues to face change and challenge from every conceivable angle and employment within the sector is following this trend.

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Blog

Contribution to legal costs: natural love and affection or calculated self-interest?

Published on 20 November 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Suzan Kurdi, Senior Associate

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When will an order for costs be made against a family member who was not a party to the underlying proceedings, but who contributed significantly to funding the losing party's defence? Answer: when the funder has a personal interest in the litigation. Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc (and others) v Maksat Arip (and others)[1]

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Blog

Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd – HMRC did not breach a taxpayer's legitimate expectation

Published on 20 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In R (oao Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1643, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the taxpayer's claim that a statement in HMRC’s International Manual created a legitimate expectation, because the taxpayer had not relied on it substantively and, even if it had done, there was insufficient "unfairness" in frustrating the taxpayer's expectation.

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Blog

Online intermediaries: Fresh guidance from the CJEU on the scope of the E-Commerce Directive

Published on 15 November 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

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In Glawischnig-Piesczek, C-18/18 the CJEU has given fresh guidance on online intermediaries and the scope of their obligations under the E-Commerce Directive.

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Blog

A judgment that will "benefit" manufacturers facing the "risks" of products litigation

Published on 15 November 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director and Emma Kislingbury, Associate

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In the Seroxat group litigation, the Court has endorsed using a risk/benefit approach in claims under the CPA and upheld the trial judge's ruling regarding the limited scope of the Claimants' case

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Blog

First Choice – HMRC ordered to pay taxpayer's costs as a result of its unreasonable behaviour

Published on 13 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In First Choice Recruitment Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 412 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the taxpayer was entitled to its costs because HMRC had acted unreasonably.

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Blog

Sandoz Purple leaves Glaxo Blue

Published on 12 November 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Greg Burke, Associate

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Surveys fail to persuade High Court of passing off.

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Blog

Medicinal Cannabis – approved for NHS use

Published on 11 November 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

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Two cannabis based medicines have now been approved for use by the NHS in England following new guidelines from NICE.

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Publication

Regulatory update - November 2019

11 November 2019

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Welcome to the November edition of our monthly Regulatory Update, which aims to pull together key developments from the past month across the various UK regulators – and help you to navigate the regulatory maze.

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Blog

Risky business: the perils of taking over someone else's contract

Published on 07 November 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Ben Harris, Associate

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The High Court has held that the tort of inducing breach of contract requires more than merely "facilitating" a breach. Flexidig Ltd v A Coupland (Surfacing) Ltd(1) also reminds third parties of the perils of becoming embroiled in others' disputes.

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Blog

Anchor Defendants: Court of Appeal confirms no 'sole object' test applies

Published on 07 November 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Emily Fischer, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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Recently, the Court of Appeal confirmed that article 6(1) of the Lugano Convention is not subject to a 'sole object' test. Where claimants have a sustainable claim against an 'anchor defendant' that they intend to pursue to judgment, they may rely on article 6(1) to bring a foreign co-defendant within the jurisdiction. This will be the case even if the claimant's sole object in suing the anchor defendant is to sue the foreign co-defendant in the same proceedings.

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Publication

Tax update - November 2019

07 November 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the government’s response to the Treasury Sub-Committee’s conclusions and recommendations in “Disputing Tax”; (2) the outcome of the consultation into offshore receipts in respect of intangible property; and (3) HMRC’s briefing regarding reform of the off-payroll working rules. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the meaning of “trading company” in the context of entrepreneurs’ relief; (2) whether HMRC can conduct informal enquiries; and (3) the disposal of a business with goodwill and the capital gains tax implications of that disposal.

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Blog

Cliff: Tax tribunal considers the meaning of ‘deliberate’

Published on 06 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Cliff v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 564, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the taxpayer had 'deliberately' submitted an inaccurate return to HMRC.

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Blog

Queen's speech spells out major environmental changes for retailers

Published on 05 November 2019. By Steven Aitken, Senior Associate

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The recent Queen’s speech laid out major environmental regulatory changes including plans, for the first time, to enshrine environmental policies in law. A new regulator will also be set up to police environmental standards. At a more granular level, retailers will be impacted by the government's plans for a major extension of the carrier bag charge, among other proposed changes.

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Blog

Sheffield United, or divided? Implying duties of good faith

Published on 04 November 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Samuel Coppard, Associate and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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The High Court has held that the duty to act with good faith should not be implied into an agreement between the owners of Sheffield United FC.

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Publication

General liability newsletter - October 2019

04 November 2019

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Welcome to the October edition of our general liability newsletter. This month looks at recent cases involving; fraud, privilege, covert surveillance, non-party access and legal costs.

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Blog

When is opinion evidence admissible?

Published on 31 October 2019. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Gill O'Regan, Senior Associate

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To be prima facie admissible in court, opinion evidence must be relevant and prepared by someone who would be qualified to give expert evidence. Only evidence which falls within CPR 35 will be subject to the attendant restrictions on admissibility contained in that rule (Gregory v Moore).

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Blog

Travelers Insurance Company Ltd (Appellant) v XYZ (Respondents) [2019] UKSC 48

Published on 31 October 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Cristina Faro, Associate

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The Supreme Court has reviewed the principles concerning third-party costs orders and ruled that an insurer was not liable for uninsured claimants' costs.

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Publication

VAT update October 2019

31 October 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) how businesses who have paid too much VAT, as a result of an error in the TOMS, can correct it; (2) delays to the introduction of the domestic VAT reverse charge on construction services; and (3) the OTS’s update on its VAT review. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) whether a charity’s supply of educational services was for “remuneration”; (2) salary sacrifice arrangements and their effectiveness; and (3) whether an assessment was made to “best judgement”.

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Blog

Emerging Risks: crypto-assets under international and domestic regulatory scrutiny

Published on 30 October 2019. By Carina McFadden, Associate and Ashley Daniells, Associate

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The latest in our emerging risks series of blogs discusses the long-running saga of cryptocurrency regulation. At an international level, the Financial Stability Board has been looking at the regulation of stablecoin. On the domestic front, the Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper regarding the recovery of their costs for supervising cryptoasset businesses.

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Blog

Pertemps – Upper Tribunal provides guidance on salary sacrifice arrangements

Published on 30 October 2019. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Pertemps Ltd [2019] UKUT 234 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has provided helpful guidance on salary sacrifice arrangements and their effectiveness.

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Blog

Liverpool FC fail to register 'LIVERPOOL' trade mark alone

Published on 28 October 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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Liverpool FC has failed to register a trade mark for 'LIVERPOOL' at the UKIPO on the basis of the city's "geographical significance".

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Blog

World freezing orders: recent dissipations and reasonable delays

Published on 24 October 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Christina Moran, Associate

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Delay is not fatal to the continuation of a world freezing order and an applicant need not adduce evidence of recent dissipations (1) PJSC National Bank Trust v Boris Mints [2019] EWHC 2061 (2) Holyoake v Candy [2017] EWCA Civ 92

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Blog

Sporting compromise – tips for settling sports disputes

Published on 24 October 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Joshua Charalambous, Associate

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Some practical tips for sports clubs when settling disputes – with a focus on those issues that regularly arise in a sporting context.

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Blog

Potter – Tribunal considers the meaning of "trading company" in the context of entrepreneurs' relief

Published on 23 October 2019. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In Jacqueline Potter and Neil Potter v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0554 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has confirmed that the owners of a company were entitled to entrepreneurs relief (ER) as the activities of the company amounted to trading.

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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

Taking it personally – retailers using hyper-personalisation to target consumers in the digital age

Published on 22 October 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

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In a modern day society widely dubbed as 'The Digital Age', corporations must compete like never before to capture a fluid market seeking instant gratification.

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Publication

Privilege Absolute: documents remain privileged forever, unless privilege is waived

Published on 21 October 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Laura Stocks, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has taken a robust stance against an attempt to retrospectively redraw the boundaries of legal professional privilege in the recent decision of Addlesee and others v Dentons Europe LLP1.

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Blog

Rents, Returns and Turnover in the Age of Online Retail

Published on 18 October 2019. By Ben Taverner, Associate

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News has surfaced recently that H&M has approached some of its landlords with a view to agreeing bespoke turnover rent arrangements for new leases and for lease renewals. The arrangements take the form of "total occupational deals" as they propose offering landlords a single sum as a proportion of turnover for each store to cover service charge, rent and business rates.

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Blog

No Deal Brexit – implications for data and privacy law compliance

Published on 17 October 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Richard Breavington, Partner

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The Brexit rollercoaster ride continues. At the time of writing, the UK and EU have just announced the agreement of a new withdrawal deal but there are serious doubts about whether it will be backed by Parliament. Despite the requirements of the Benn Act, the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal continues to be a concern.

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Blog

Actuarial monitoring scheme announced

Published on 16 October 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and George Smith, Senior Associate

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The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has launched a new monitoring scheme, designed to improve the effectiveness of actuarial regulation, as well as make wide-spread improvements across the profession. The Actuarial Monitoring Scheme was created following a consultation by the IFoA.

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