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Restarting your business and implementing Government guidance to support NHS Test and Trace

Published on 02 July 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner

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In its latest guidance on keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services (23 June 2020), the Government has recommended that businesses operating in these sectors keep a temporary record of customers and visitors for 21 days. This will assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.

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Waiving goodbye to privilege – reliance is key

Published on 02 July 2020. By Daniel Hemming, Partner

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In what circumstances will a party waive privilege over legal advice by referring to it in evidence?

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Tax Bites - July 2020

Published on 02 July 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of RPC's Tax Bites - providing monthly bite-sized updates from the tax world.

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Hart v Large: Important guidance for surveyors when advising prospective purchasers

Published on 02 July 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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The judgment in Hart v Large provides important guidance on the scope of a surveyor's duty when advising prospective purchasers. It also highlights that the courts may be willing to depart from the usual measures of loss, in order to achieve what they consider to be a fair outcome.

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HMRC powers to tackle furlough fraudsters – take action now!

Published on 02 July 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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At the time of writing, over 25% of the UK workforce is being supported by the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme) at a cost of around £20 billion. In addition to this, some 2.6 million people are enrolled on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (the SEISS) at an additional cost of £7.5 billion.

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All change! No extension means major changes for IP rights holders from 1 January 2021

Published on 02 July 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate

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Under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement, 30 June 2020 was the last day that the UK could have requested an extension to the Brexit transition period. The COVID-19 outbreak prompted many to speculate that a request would be made but the deadline passed, without event.

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All change! No extension means major changes for IP rights holders from 1 January 2021

Published on 02 July 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate

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Under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement, 30 June 2020 was the last day that the UK could have requested an extension to the Brexit transition period. The COVID-19 outbreak prompted many to speculate that a request would be made but the deadline passed, without event.

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Blog

'Nosecco' is a no-no, says the High Court

Published on 01 July 2020. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate

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In recent years, health and wellbeing has been big business in the UK. The COVID-19 outbreak has only further stoked the desire to obtain and maintain healthy minds and bodies and the trend looks set to continue, across the retail sector.

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Publication

Health and Safety Bulletin – June 2020

01 July 2020

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Health and Safety update.

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Health and Safety Bulletin – June 2020

01 July 2020

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Health and Safety update.

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Cyber bytes - Issue 17

Published on 01 July 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Senior Associate and Rachel Ford, Senior 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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Bella Figura – Unauthorised payment charge set aside

Published on 01 July 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Bella Figura [2020] UKUT, the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a scheme sanction charge stood as a valid assessment and partially allowed the taxpayer's cross-appeal, setting aside HMRC's assessments of an unauthorised payments charge and surcharge as being out of time.

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Publication

Take 10 #2

30 June 2020

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Welcome to RPC's fortnightly digest for media lawyers. This month's digest reports on key media developments and latest cases.

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Take 10 #1

30 June 2020

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Welcome to RPC's fortnightly digest for media lawyers. This month's digest reports on key media developments and latest cases.

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PRA and FCA joint forum publishes guidance to all firms on climate-related financial risks

Published on 30 June 2020. By Edward Colville, Legal Director

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On 29 June 2020, the Climate Financial Risk Forum (CFRF) published a guide providing practical recommendations to firms of all sizes on the financial risks associated with climate change.

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COVID-19 Update on Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 29 June 2020. By Sarah Wilkinson, Senior Associate and Catherine Young, Associate

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This blog sets out an update to government intervention affecting commercial tenants in response to COVID-19. We are continuing to field 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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No hugs or kisses from the General Court

Published on 29 June 2020. By Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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The General Court has dismissed an action brought by Global Brand Holdings, LLC (Global Brand), against the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The action concerned the EUIPO's refusal to register an EU trade mark (EUTM) for "XOXO" on grounds that it lacked distinctive character.

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Publication

Corporate tax update - June 2020

Published on 26 June 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 May 2020. As well as some further COVID-19 related tax developments, this month’s report also has a bit of a sports theme with summaries of decisions involving an ex-England cricket captain and football referees. As ever we hope you, your family and friends are all staying safe.

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V@ update - June 2020

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

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Welcome to RPC's V@, a monthly update on developments in the VAT world that may impact your business. In this month’s update we report on (1) VAT treatment on fixed odds betting terminals and gaming machines; (2) VAT treatment of property search fees charged by solicitors and conveyancers; and (3) domestic reverse charge VAT for construction services ­delay in implementation.

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Privileged but admissible? When can without prejudice material be pleaded in statements of case?

Published on 26 June 2020. By Simon Hart, Partner and Rosy Gibson, Associate

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The High Court considered the scope of the existing exceptions to the Without Prejudice Rule in its recent decision of Berkeley Square Holding & others v Lancer Property Asset Management & others(1). This well-known rule protects communications made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute from later deployment in court. The Court allowed passages from papers prepared for a mediation to be admitted into the proceedings under two exceptions to the Without Prejudice Rule.

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Publication

Regulatory update - June 2020

Published on 26 June 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

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Welcome to the June 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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Spotlight on private wealth - June 2020

25 June 2020

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Our quarterly update is designed to keep you up to speed with developments in the private wealth world.

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FCA appoints new CEO

Published on 25 June 2020. By Jennifer Inman, Paralegal

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Nikhil Rathi, the UK head of the London Stock Exchange, as its new permanent chief executive, making him the first BAME leader of the UK's city regulator.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 15 – Black Lives Matter, Dillian Whyte and Disney

Published on 24 June 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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RPC Bites #11

Published on 24 June 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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Sippchoice – Allowable contributions to a SIPP are restricted to payments of money

Published on 24 June 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Sippchoice Ltd [2020] UKUT 0149 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has allowed HMRC’s appeal and confirmed that 'contributions paid' to a SIPP are restricted to contributions of money and do not encompass transfers of non-monetary assets.

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Relief from sanction: claimant being forced to pursue his solicitors for negligence is not desirable

Published on 23 June 2020. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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A recent High Court decision demonstrates a common-sense, realistic approach to relief from sanctions. Solicitors might have become used to judges, when striking claims out, reassuring the claimant that they can always sue their solicitors for negligence. In a welcome judgment, Mr Justice Fancourt reversed a decision to refuse relief from sanction.

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SRA powers and client legal professional privilege: Part I

Published on 23 June 2020. By Graham Reid, Partner

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Legal professional privilege gets a pretty good billing in the case-law.

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International risk team: Practical issues resulting from the impact of lockdown restrictions on BI/DSU losses

Published on 22 June 2020. By Alex Almaguer, Senior Associate and Chris Burt, Senior Associate

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There has been much discussion about the general impact of COVID-19 on the insurance sector. In this note we highlight some practical issues (re)insurers are facing following the imposition of lockdown restrictions implemented by governments on existing or new BI/DSU losses where there is covered PD that is unconnected with COVID-19.

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Freezing orders: risk of dissipation? Get real

Published on 18 June 2020. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

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The High Court has issued an important reminder of the need for solid evidence of a real risk that the respondent will take steps to dissipate their assets to frustrate a judgment in applications to continue a worldwide freezing order (WFO). Evidence of dishonesty alone is not enough, and conduct falling short of dishonesty is less likely to suffice. Evidence of untrustworthiness, or even dishonesty, does not amount to sufficiently robust evidence of a real risk of dissipation to continue a worldwide freezing order.

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Video

TerraLex virtual meeting: The new wave of M&A

Published on 18 June 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner and Paul Joukador, Partner

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In this video presentation, RPC's Neil Brown and Paul Joukador meet with Lori Green and Rick McGuirk to discuss issues related to force majeure, frustration of purpose, material adverse change, and how they’ve been impacted and will likely change in the post-pandemic world.

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Lessons from Lockdown - Conducting AGMs in Hong Kong

Published on 18 June 2020. By Andrew Carpenter, Partner and Yvonne Tang, Senior Associate

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Equity Release Market Under the Spotlight

Published on 18 June 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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Yesterday the FCA published its key findings from exploratory work involving "later life lending". This type of lending is broadly where consumers 55 and over use borrowing to access cash in later life. One of those options is equity release which was the focus of the FCA's work. The FCA's focus on equity release appears to have resulted from an initial review of the broader later life lending market, at which time the FCA identified some "poor outcomes" in equity release sales.

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Beware the desire to "make hay while the sun shines" – the ASA warns marketers to "think very carefully" before making COVID-19 claims

Published on 17 June 2020. By Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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There is no denying the recent popularity of health and wellness trends: As at the end of 2018, the market had an estimated global value of $4.2 trillion. During the current climate, it has understandably gathered even more traction, with consumers increasingly concerned about obtaining and maintaining healthy bodies and minds.

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Beware the desire to "make hay while the sun shines" – the ASA warns marketers to "think very carefully" before making COVID-19 claims

Published on 17 June 2020. By Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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There is no denying the recent popularity of health and wellness trends: As at the end of 2018, the market had an estimated global value of $4.2 trillion. During the current climate, it has understandably gathered even more traction, with consumers increasingly concerned about obtaining and maintaining healthy bodies and minds.

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Wheely good news for product designers?

Published on 17 June 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Alessandro Cerri, Senior Associate

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In Brompton Bicycle, C-833/18, the CJEU has confirmed that copyright can subsist in designs that are shaped to achieve a certain technical result, provided certain conditions are met.

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NCL - Court of Appeal upholds tribunal decisions and confirms that a company was entitled to deductions representing IFRS 2 debits

Published on 17 June 2020. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In HMRC v NCL Investments Ltd and Smith & Williamson Corporate Services Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 663, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that accounting debits relating to the grant of share options to employees were a deductible expense for corporation tax purposes notwithstanding that no monies were actually expended.

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Hong Kong Courts – Expansion of use of remote hearings

Published on 17 June 2020. By Carmel Green, Partner

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As expected, the judiciary in Hong Kong has announced that it will expand the use of remote hearings for civil cases. The first Guidance Note for Remote Hearings for Civil Business in the High Court (Phase 1) came into effect on 3 April 2020. This was during the general adjourned period (GAP), when the courts were generally closed as a result of COVID-19, save for urgent and essential court business. The GAP came to an end on 3 May 2020.

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International risk team: Mediating in a time of social distancing

Published on 16 June 2020. By Naomi Vary, Partner and Damon Brash, Senior Associate

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The new, and arguably more relaxed, government guidance notwithstanding, it seems inevitable that the COVID-19 crisis will leave people more cautious about face-to-face meetings. Nonetheless, disputes will continue, and so must efforts to resolve them.

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Cyber bytes - Issue 16

Published on 16 June 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Senior Associate and Rachel Ford, Senior 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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Beyond the fruit and yoga: surviving or thriving?

Published on 16 June 2020. By Mental Health Workstream,

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Last week the RPC Mental Health Work Stream (our internal network) hosted an interactive session with over 60 colleagues and clients.

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Tales from COVID: Insurance in the time of coronavirus - Bad faith

Published on 12 June 2020. By Peter Mansfield, Partner

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In conjunction with our US alliance partners, Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP, we have produced a series of 'informal chats' with the title 'Tales from Covid: Insurance in the Time of Coronavirus'.

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The curse of COVID strikes again – implementation of the Home Survey Standard delayed

Published on 12 June 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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As a result of the lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new RICS Home Survey Standard, which was due to be implemented next month has now been delayed until December 2020. Whilst this will allow practitioners more time to become familiar with the new standard, it causes an unwelcome disruption to the introduction of a measure that should provide greater clarity for both surveyors and consumers of what is expected when commissioning and conducting a home survey.

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Loan covenant disputes likely to impact almost all industry sectors unless lenders and investors work to find resolution

Published on 12 June 2020. By Sukh Ahark, Partner

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Loan covenant disputes caused by the coronavirus crisis are likely to impact almost all industry sectors in the coming year, unless lenders and investors work together to resolve problems caused by covenant breaches.

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FCA advice checker – FCA statement on what customers should look out for in DB transfer advice

Published on 11 June 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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Wrapping up the documents published by the FCA on 5 June 2020 on the issue of defined benefit pension transfers (DB transfers), we address in this blog the FCA's "advice checker".

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The future of DB transfer advice - the FCA's policy statement

Published on 10 June 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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In part 3 of our blog series on defined benefit pension transfers (DB transfers) we look at the FCA's policy statement on changes to the DB transfer rules. The change that has attracted most press attention is the ban on contingent charging but there are other parts to the policy statement that are likely to have a much more substantive impact on the DB transfer market going forward.

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CK Hutchison wins in the ECJ – better late than never?

Published on 10 June 2020. By Brendan Collar, Associate

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CK Hutchison wins its appeal against the EC's decision to block Three UK’s 2016 merger with O2.

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RPC Bites #10

Published on 10 June 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.

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"Always look on the bright side of life" - even when life has been turned upside down

Published on 10 June 2020. By Ela Broderick-Basar, Trainee Solicitor

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Seeing the coronavirus in a positive light

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No room for error – The decision in Mahoney v Royal Mail

Published on 10 June 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Robert John, Senior Associate

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In a decision reported by Crown Office Chambers, the claim of Mahoney v Royal Mail had been proceeding through the online claims portal uneventfully and in the usual manner. Liability had been admitted by the Defendant at stage 1 and the parties had been negotiating settlement at stage 2.

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