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Royal Bank of Canada – Canadian bank liable to pay UK tax on assigned oil royalties

Published on 05 August 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Royal Bank of Canada v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 267 (TC) the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that a Canadian bank was subject to UK tax on royalties assigned to it following its oil company creditor entering receivership.

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Calculating fair value – is it really fair?

Published on 04 August 2020. By Chris Brierley, Legal Director

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The difficulties in determining what is meant by the phrase "fair value" have been highlighted by a recent decision of the Privy Council in the case of Shanda Games Ltd v Maso Capital Investments Ltd.

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Where there's a will there's a remote possibility of a way

Published on 03 August 2020. By Simon Love, Senior Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic the government has acted to change the law to allow wills to be witnessed remotely.

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Podcast

A look at the Lloyd's Market Association

03 August 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.

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Podcast

Taxing Matters: HMRC ramps up use of Account Freezing and Forfeiture orders

03 August 2020

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Welcome to the second episode of our Taxing Matters podcast. In this series we review land-mark cases and key tax developments and discuss the commercial impact they could have on your business.

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Blog

Roundup of ASA guidance on advertising responsibly in relation to COVID-19

31 July 2020

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Retailers seeking to reference the Covid-19 pandemic in their advertising should be aware of the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) recent guidance and robust enforcement activity in this area.

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Return of the MAC (clauses) and practical steps for the retail world

31 July 2020

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The Covid-19 crisis is putting Material Adverse Change (or material adverse effect) (MAC) clauses back in the spotlight, none more so than in the world of retail.

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Blog

Force majeure in a retail context in light of COVID-19

31 July 2020

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In general commercial contracts, force majeure clauses can often be overlooked as standard ‘boilerplate’ with little negotiation between the parties. Covid-19 and the disruption caused to businesses has highlighted how important these clauses can be for all types of commercial agreements and we anticipate that there will be significant focus on force majeure wording going forwards.

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Consumers return to retail. The retail story in China…where are things now?

31 July 2020

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Globally, the retail sector has been heavily impacted by Covid-19. As the epicentre for the outbreak of the virus in January 2020. China is now one of the first economies showing signs of recovery, and retailers are looking to understand the pattern there, in order to help predict how retail will recover (and how long it will take to do so) following enforced store closures and restrictions on people’s daily lives.

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Blog

The summer of discontent?

Published on 31 July 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Ben Roberts, Partner

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What comes to mind when you hear the word "summer"? The unbridled joy of no more school for 6 whole weeks? Buckets, spades and wind-swept beaches? Perhaps the call of a sun-soaked tropical island? For most, summer means taking some time out to recharge and switch off.

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Blog

Livestream shopping: making platform partnerships a success

31 July 2020

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Livestream shopping is a live shopping event – think QVC - hosted by a brand on its own, or a third party website/mobile app. Usually, a celebrity, social media influencer or brand worker demonstrates a product and answers questions from a digital audience in real-time. Viewers are able to immediately purchase the item from an embedded link online. Just like presenters on QVC, livestreaming hosts sell a wide range of products, from apparel and cosmetics to electronics and even cars. In China, live streaming is a wildly popular way to shop, with the market worth an estimated US$63bn to its economy in 2019. (but the technology is starting to catch on in the US and UK too). The first major livestream shopping player emerged in China in 2016 when Alibaba first launched Taobao Live. Since then, platforms like Tmall, Douyin or Xiaohongshu have become key Chinese e-commerce sites and saw a big spike in demand during lockdown as shoppers were forced to shop from home

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Blog

Retail returns in light of COVID-19

31 July 2020

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Many retail businesses have reopened/are preparing to reopen as the Covid-19 lockdown eases. Whilst retailers hope that sales will surge as consumers rush to the shops that they have been unable to visit since March, some fear that a large percentage of transactions will be returns of goods purchased pre-lockdown.

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Stores in focus; reopenings, safety and single use (plastic) setback

31 July 2020

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With stores reopened, retailers face an unprecedented operational challenge in delivering the retail experience.

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Furlough fraud and Government clawback: managing the risk

31 July 2020

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HMRC has the right to go back up to five years when considering businesses’ (including retailers’) records relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the “furlough scheme”) and will be able to clawback funds which have been claimed in error, or fraudulently, under new powers contained in the Finance Bill 2020, which is expected to become law in the latter half of 2020.

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Publication

Revisiting Your Multi-Tier Dispute Resolution Clauses

Published on 31 July 2020. By Yuankai Lin, Partner

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 19

Published on 31 July 2020. 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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Furlough forecast: What kind of employment law claims are on the horizon?

31 July 2020

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As retail workforces continue to be re-organised, what kind of employment claims could be brought by employees in the coming months, in light of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or furlough scheme) and what can you do in anticipation?

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Blog

Temporary COVID-19 measures in respect of AGMs and other general meetings

31 July 2020

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The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA), which came into force on 26 June 2020, provides temporary measures which enable companies to comply with their legal requirements on holding annual general meetings (AGMs) and other meetings whilst still respecting social distancing legislation and guidance.

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Blog

UK Government introduces “suspension” of wrongful trading provisions

31 July 2020

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In March 2020, Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced that provisions on wrongful trading would be suspended. The move came as part of a wider package of measures that sought to provide assistance to businesses – and their beleaguered boards – experiencing financial distress due to Covid-19. Now set out in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA), which was passed on 26 June 2020, the provisions adapt the wrongful trading regime making directors’ liability for the “relevant period” unlikely.

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Blog

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act – Supplier Terms

31 July 2020

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On 26 June 2020 the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act (CIGA) came into force. The CIGA has made both permanent and short-term changes to the insolvency regime in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.

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Publication

V@ update - July 2020

Published on 30 July 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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Welcome to RPC's V@, a monthly update on developments in the VAT world that may impact your business.

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British Gymnastics lands well in trade mark infringement proceedings

Published on 29 July 2020. By Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Greg Burke, Associate

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The national governing body (NGB) for Gymnastics in Britain has succeeded in trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings against an organisation using the sign “UK Gymnastics”, in a Judgment which is likely to assist several Sport England and UK Sport-funded NGBs. In particular, it shows how to deal with organisations using signs which suggest they are an NGB (when they are not).

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Publication

RPC Sports Ticker (29 July 2020) – Cyber Security, Lions in South Africa and Lululemon

Published on 29 July 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Partner 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

JJ Management – Court of Appeal confirms HMRC can conduct informal enquiries

Published on 29 July 2020. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In JJ Management Consulting LLP v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 784, the Court of Appeal confirmed that it is within HMRC's powers to assess tax following informal enquiries without the need for HMRC to give notice under section 9A, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA).

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Publication

Corporate Tax update - July 2020

Published on 29 July 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

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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 some of the key developments from June 2020. Included in this update are a summary of a decision on the correct tax treatment of bonuses paid to members of an LLP, and an AG’s opinion on the VAT reverse charge position of services supplied for non-economic activity purposes. There’s also an update on HMRC guidance on “exceptional” circumstances in which anticipated losses can be used to claim back overpaid corporation tax. Finally, this update also reports on Covid-19 driven extensions to DAC6 reporting deadlines and to deadlines for notifying VAT options to tax. As ever we hope you, your family and friends are all staying safe.

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Blog

D&O – the irrelevance of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act

Published on 28 July 2020. By Simon Goldring, Partner and Richard Booth, Senior Associate

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The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act ("the Act") came into expedited effect on 26 June 2020 and is intended to maximise the chance of corporate survival and reduce the threat of personal liability on directors during this unprecedented economic crisis.

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Publication

Retail Compass Summer edition 2020

Published on 28 July 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Karen Hendy, Partner

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Welcome to the Summer 2020 edition of Retail Compass – our guide to key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues.

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Publication

Reform of audit industry: it's time to split

Published on 28 July 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Rebecca Birkby, Senior Associate

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Audit has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the past few years in the wake of a series of high-profile business collapses such as Carillion, Patisserie Valerie and Thomas Cook in the UK and, more recently, Wirecard in Germany, and there is no shortage of calls for reform of the audit industry.

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Publication

Business interruption update

Published on 27 July 2020. By Toby Savage, Partner and Victoria Sherratt, Partner and Catherine Percy, Partner and Leigh Williams, Partner

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In the wake of the government lockdowns across the globe and as restrictions begin to be eased in some countries, RPC has accessed a number of pre-eminent insurance practices in the major claims centres to swap notes on some of the key legislative developments to date in their respective jurisdictions and any recent cases of interest.

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Blog

Drafting Formulae – the power of worked examples

Published on 27 July 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner

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This blog considers a recent decision in which the High Court interpreted that worked examples took priority over narrative drafting, where the two were inconsistent.

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Sega’s early win against Man Utd in Football Manager trade mark case

Published on 27 July 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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As first published by leading sports law resource LawInSport, Jeremy Drew and Samuel Coppard discuss Man United’s trade mark infringement proceedings against Sega and Sports Interactive in relation to Football Manager.

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Blog

Tax incentives for HK Insurance market

Published on 24 July 2020. By Andrew Carpenter, Partner

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First proposed in December last year, the Hong Kong Legislative Council has now passed a measure that will reduce profits tax on several insurance businesses.

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Publication

International risk team: The future at Lloyd’s

Published on 24 July 2020. By Hugh Thomas, Senior Associate and Toby Savage, Partner

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At the end of last year Lloyd’s published its Blueprint One, another instalment in the Future at Lloyd’s initiative. Blueprint One is a strategic document which maps out the ways in which the Corporation intends to combine data, technology and new ways of working in order to revolutionise the Lloyd’s market. The proposals are wide ranging and touch upon all facets of business at Lloyd’s, from risk placement through to claim payment, along with initiatives for attracting more capital and the development of new products.

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Blog

Tougher sentences proposed for counterfeiters

Published on 24 July 2020. By Alice Kemp, Associate (Employed Barrister) and Michelle Sloane, Partner

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On 8 July 2020, the Sentencing Council issued draft Sentencing Guidelines for offences under section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (unauthorised use of trade mark) which, if implemented, will substantially increase the severity of potential sentences imposed by the courts on those individuals and corporations who have committed a section 92 offence.

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Blog

W&I Insurance: The rise of synthetic warranties?

Published on 22 July 2020. By Jeremy Cunningham, Partner and Alex Farrow, Associate

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Warranty and indemnity (W&I) insurers are seeking innovative ways to service the M&A market in a Covid-19 pandemic induced downturn. This article discusses the potential uses for W&I insurance policies with synthetic aspects in meeting the market's current needs.

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Orders for pre-action disclosure – exceptional in a commercial context?

Published on 22 July 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Suzan Kurdi, Senior Associate

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Although parties are expected to exchange key documents before starting proceedings in the English court, a recent decision in the Commercial Court highlights the limited nature of those obligations, particularly in a commercial context.

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Blog

Sheiling - Belief in procedural invalidity of APN can constitute reasonable excuse

Published on 22 July 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Sheiling Properties Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKUT 175 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT), in dismissing an appeal against penalties for non-payment of accelerated payment notices (APNs), confirmed that a reasonable belief that the APNs were invalid could constitute a reasonable excuse for non-payment.

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Blog

RPC Bites #13

Published on 21 July 2020. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

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Welcome to RPC Bites. Our aim in the next 2 minutes is to provide you with a flavour of some key legal, regulatory and commercial developments in the Food & Drink sector over the last fortnight… with the occasional bit of industry gossip thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!

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Blog

Reproduction of infringing content online: who's liable?

Published on 21 July 2020. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Louise Morgan, Senior Associate

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Keyword advertising, search engine optimisation and liability for infringement via online marketplaces: In recent years, there has been a plethora of cases concerning the various ways that trade marks may be infringed, through use on the internet.

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Podcast

Taxing Matters: Furlough Fraud

20 July 2020

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Welcome to the inaugural episode of our Taxing Matters podcast. In this series we review land-mark cases and key tax developments and discuss the commercial impact they could have on your business.

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Blog

Schrems II – Groundhog Day for Data Transfers

Published on 17 July 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Theofili Elenoglou, Associate

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On Thursday 16 July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) delivered its judgment in one of the most highly anticipated court cases in data protection, Case C-311/18 Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems (widely referred to as “Schrems II”). This decision came almost 8 months after Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe published his Opinion, which albeit not binding, provided a strong indication for the CJEU's judgment.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 17 - Man City, British Gymnastics and Varnish

Published on 17 July 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Partner 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

El Dorado in the Commercial Court: Domestic Law, Foreign Law and Foreign Relations

Published on 17 July 2020. By Benedict Coxon, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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Why is a dispute between Mr Nicolás Maduro and Mr Juan Guaidó as the rival contenders to the Presidency of Venezuela being heard by the English Commercial Court? The answer involves US$1 billion of gold reserves held at the Bank of England and who has the authority to deal with them.

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Blog

It's good to talk

Published on 16 July 2020. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Adam Forster, Senior Associate

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A successful party has been declined some of its costs on the basis of an unreasonable refusal to engage in mediation. Wales (t/a Selective Investment Services) v CBRE Managed Services Ltd & Aviva.

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Publication

Is your OEE cover under control?

15 July 2020

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This month marked the 32nd anniversary of the devastating fire and explosion which destroyed the Piper Alpha platform in the UK sector of the North Sea. The event remains one of the largest ever offshore catastrophes, tragically claiming 167 lives.

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Podcast

A look at US insurance trends

15 July 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 are joined by Scott Seaman, co-chair of the insurance practice group at our US alliance firm Hinshaw & Culbertson. For this episode we will be looking at; social inflation, bad faith and punitive damages in the context of the US insurance market.

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Blog

Pickles - Credit available for drawing from directors' loan accounts not taxable as distributions

Published on 15 July 2020. By Harry Smith, Senior Associate

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In Pickles v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 00195 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that excessive consideration for goodwill left outstanding on directors' loan accounts was not taxable under section 1020, Corporation Tax Act 2010 (CTA), as distributions.

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Blog

Wheeling and Dealing: how e-scooters could spin opportunities for insurers

Published on 14 July 2020. By Sharona Zovich, Trainee Solicitor

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E-scooters, or "Personal Light Electric Vehicles," have become increasingly popular on a global scale over recent years.

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Blog

M&A - how due diligence is being changed by coronavirus

Published on 13 July 2020. By Jeremy Cunningham, Partner

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This blog considers what new areas of M&A due diligence may need to be prioritised in light of business changes brought about by coronavirus and the resulting disruption to normal business activity.

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Blog

VAT'll do nicely – temporary VAT rate cut to boost hospitality and tourism sectors

Published on 13 July 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Last week, as part of efforts to boost the UK economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chancellor announced a temporary (6 month) cut in the rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation, and admissions to certain attractions.

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