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High Court refuses permission for unissued contempt application where breach of freezing order only technical

Published on 14 October 2021. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Poppy St John, Associate

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In Pharmagona Limited v Taheri,(1) the High Court refused to seal and issue a contempt application as the breach, if it had occurred, was only technical, and it was therefore inappropriate for the application to succeed.

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Financial Crime Time - Your update from RPC: 2021 Q3

Published on 13 October 2021. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Michelle Sloane, Partner and Alice Kemp, Senior Associate (Employed Barrister)

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Welcome to the latest edition of our round-up of news making the headlines in the world of financial crime and compliance. Our aim is to give you an easily digestible, bite-sized overview of issues that may affect your business.

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Turning the ratchet - understanding anti-dilution rights in venture capital

Published on 13 October 2021. By Peter Sugden, Partner

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In the third 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 anti-dilution rights.

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Quarterly Contentious Tax Review

Published on 13 October 2021. By Robert Waterson, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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The Tax Law Review Committee (TLRC) has published an in-depth review of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), how it operates and why. In some respects, it is not working as well as it could for certain users. The review makes a number of positive recommendations, which we discuss below, together with two important developments concerning (1) the requirement for HMRC to initiate a formal enquiry and (2) HMRC's strategy on settling disputes relating to the use of historic tax avoidance arrangements.

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RPC Bites 38 – Green Claims Code gets the green light, McDonald's announces new plant-based products and EU to UK import controls delayed until 2022

Published on 12 October 2021. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner and Sarah Mountain, Senior Associate and Dani Barnes, Associate and Ellie Ward, Associate and Harpreet Kaur, Associate

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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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Sports Ticker (11 October 2021) - DAZN and BT Sport European Super League and new AJ deal

Published on 11 October 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate and Jaleela Johnson, Associate and Joseph Akwaboa, Associate

In a fortnight during which Tyson Fury retained his world title in an epic bout against Deontay Wilder, we feature Qatar joining the F1 circuit, AJ's new "career-long" deal with Matchroom, Excel Esports' exciting additions to its FIFA roster, and DAZN's potential bid for BT Sport.

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The Ads that can't be skipped

Published on 11 October 2021. By Tom James, Trainee Solicitor

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Product placement is an increasingly popular form of advertising in which goods are deliberately featured in a tv show, film etc. Whilst it used to be primarily confined to use in films such as Back to the Future (Nike), and ET (where Reese's Pieces were ET's favourite snack). Use of product placement is on the rise, and this summer Love Island was dubbed "the most commercialised show ever".

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Construction Contracts Part 1 – Who is party to the contract?

Published on 11 October 2021. By Paul Smylie, Associate and Alan Stone, Partner and Tom Green, Partner

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It may at first sight appear difficult to imagine a scenario where works are performed and paid for but it is not clear who the parties to the contract are. Common sense would suggest that is simply the person or company who performs the work and the person or company who pays for it. However, it is not always readily discernible who those parties are, for example because payment is being made by a person or company who is not obtaining the benefit of the works or because a different party appears to be giving directions under the contract.

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The Week That Was - 8th October 2021

Published on 08 October 2021. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

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Navigating the hazards of Part 36 offers Part 2

Published on 08 October 2021. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate

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In our first article we looked at problems associated with settlement offers made in multiparty actions and settlement offers where the intended consequence is unclear. In this article we look at some of the issues that can be caused by the litigation process itself and upon the way the offer is made.

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International data transfers: time to update to the new standard contractual clauses

Published on 08 October 2021. By Rachel Davis, Head of People Operations & Projects and Jon Bartley, Partner

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Retailers which rely upon standard contractual clauses for transferring personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to update their agreements to the new SCCs.

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Publication

High Court reviews permission for expert reports and delay after general adjourned period

Published on 07 October 2021. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Rebecca Wong, Senior Associate and Jennifer Leung, Associate

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In Redland Precast Concrete Products (China) Ltd v AES Steel Mould (Hong Kong) Ltd1 the Court of Appeal emphasised that it is unlikely to interfere with the exercise of a first instance court’s case management discretion regarding directions for expert reports, unless an applicant can show that the lower court’s decision is plainly wrong. This presents a party seeking to challenge such directions with a high threshold to overcome in order to obtain permission to appeal. In this case, the applicant (the plaintiff) was unable to meet the threshold – therefore, its application for permission to appeal was refused by the court. Had the plaintiff acted more expeditiously, immediately after the general adjourned period (when the courts were generally closed between January and May 2020 because of the pandemic), things may have turned out differently.

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Hong Kong's Legislative Council to consider Cancellation of MPF Offsetting

Published on 06 October 2021. By Andrea Randall, Partner and Sakshi Buttoo, Registered Foreign Lawyer

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Under the Employment Ordinance, employers can offset long service payment or severance payment due to an employee against the employer's mandatory and voluntary contributions to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), Hong Kong's pension system.

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Blog

Professional Game Match Officials - Court of Appeal sends football referees case back to the Tax Tribunal

Published on 06 October 2021. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In HMRC v Professional Game Match Officials Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 1370, the Court of Appeal (CoA) held that the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and Upper Tribunal (UT) both erred in law in their approaches to the question of 'mutuality of obligation' and upheld the UT's decision that the FTT had erred in its approach to the issue of control. The case has been sent back to the FTT to reconsider whether there was sufficient mutuality of obligation and control in the individual contracts for them to be contracts of employment.

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Podcast

How to create an insurer - the Inigo story (a podcast with Karen Graves)

05 October 2021

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Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode our guest is Karen Graves, Chief Operating Officer at Inigo Insurance and we will be discussing what goes into creating an insurer.

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Publication

CMA publishes guidance on environmental claims – how can retailers avoid greenwashing?

Published on 05 October 2021. By Sophie Tuson, Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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Regulators are taking action in respect of ‘greenwashing’ to help protect consumers from misleading environmental claims. Following an investigation last year that found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance to help businesses understand and comply with their consumer protection law obligations in order to avoid enforcement action. Based on six core ‘principles’, the guidance broadly restates the position under existing UK consumer law (particularly under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008) and includes examples of what compliance might look like in practice for green claims. Following a two-month consultation period, the CMA published its final guidance on 20 September 2021 and will expect businesses to comply by January 2022. The CMA has said there will be no ‘grace period’ come January 2022 – this is because they will be applying existing law and, strictly speaking, businesses should already be complying with this.

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Tooth and claw?: The meaning of words in tax assessments

Published on 05 October 2021. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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The concept of 'staleness' in the context of discovery assessments (assessments issued to taxpayers by HMRC outside of any statutory enquiry), gathered momentum following the Upper Tribunal’s decision in Charlton and others v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 467 (TC). As 'discovery' is only relevant to returns and tax years where HMRC has not opened a statutory enquiry, many commentators considered that the concept provided a degree of procedural fairness in the discovery assessment process, and that HMRC should not be permitted to delay issuing an assessment for a considerable period of time after making a discovery. As recently as February of this year, Judge Malek in the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) in Mehrban v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 53 (TC), noted that it was an “absurdity” to say that the concept of staleness does not exist.

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The Week That Was - 1 October 2021

Published on 01 October 2021. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

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The Omnibus Directive – New EU consumer rights are on the way

Published on 01 October 2021. By Anna Greco, Associate and Oliver Bray, Senior Partner

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The Omnibus Directive – new EU consumer rights are on the way ~ Anna Greco and Olly Bray of RPC consider aspects of the Directive of particular importance for retailers.

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The rise of ESG finance

Published on 01 October 2021. By Sukh Ahark, Partner

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ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) finance remains a hot topic and continues to grow rapidly, with Bloomberg predicting the $2.2 trillion ESG debt market to hit $11 trillion by 2025, based on the rate of growth during the past five years.

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Publication

V@ Update – September 2021

Published on 30 September 2021. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Rebekka Sandwell, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the September 2021 edition of RPC's V@, an update which provides analysis and news from the VAT world relevant to your business.

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DNAe Group Holdings – Higher R&D relief claims available

Published on 29 September 2021. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In DNAe Group Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2021] TC/201804348, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that 125% research and development (R&D) tax credits for an SME was available, despite the company being the strategic investment vehicle of a larger group.

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Blog

Navigating the hazards of Part 36 offers Part I

Published on 28 September 2021. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate

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Most claims seek money from other people. Although such claims might be for money owed for goods and services, or compensation for loss caused by breach of contract, or compensation for injury or damage to property or for defamation, the fundamental point of the claim is that the Claimant wants to be paid, and will agree to settle if sufficient money is offered.

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What if the CEO asks me... about ESG-linked financing facilities

Published on 28 September 2021. By Edward Colville, Legal Director and Sukh Ahark, Partner

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As focus moves from short term lockdown liquidity on to longer term financing needs, loan facilities linked to ESG and sustainability targets are back in the news.

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HMRC issues 'nudge' letters to non-doms for suspected unpaid tax

Published on 28 September 2021. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Harry Smith, Senior Associate

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HMRC is targeting wealthy UK tax residents claiming a non-UK domicile who may not have paid the remittance basis charge. HMRC has issued hundreds of 'nudge' letters to taxpayers encouraging them to reconsider their tax position.

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Balance on the board: Eight things UK PLCs need to know about the FCA's diversity targets

Published on 27 September 2021. By Karen Hendy, Head of Corporate and Connor Cahalane, Partner

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The Financial Conduct Authority's proposals will mean UK listed companies need to disclose whether their boards and senior management teams meet new gender and ethnic diversity targets.

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Podcast

Connecting the dots

27 September 2021

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In a world of increasing digitisation, globalisation and remote working, now more than ever taxpayers are starting to ask "how are HMRC going to find out?".

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Publication

Sports Ticker (24 September 2021) - RFU appoints Ilube as new chairman, ECB's new kit sponsorship deal and NFTs meet fantasy

Published on 24 September 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate and Jaleela Johnson, Associate and Joseph Akwaboa, 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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The Week That Was - 24 September 2021

Published on 24 September 2021. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

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Hong Kong Employee Focus: Things to consider before handing in your notice

Published on 24 September 2021. By Andrea Randall, Partner and Sakshi Buttoo, Registered Foreign Lawyer

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Before you hand over your notice of resignation, it is important take a moment to plan ahead and think through the legal and practical considerations of your decision.

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Security for costs – through what lens is the enforcement criteria viewed?

Published on 22 September 2021. By Nina Pulimood, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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Political obstacles can trump legal obstacles when court is considering enforcement in security for costs applications Haque v Hussain(i)

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Exceptional Circumstances: CPR 52.30 and a lesson on drafting grounds of appeal from the Court of Appeal

Published on 22 September 2021. By Rosy Gibson, Associate and Chris Ross, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has given guidance on how to draft grounds of appeal in a rap over the knuckles for lawyers responsible for "over-lengthy and ill-focused" grounds (Municipio de Mariana v (1) BHP Group PLC and (2) BHP Group Ltd(i)).

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Publication

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 35

Published on 22 September 2021. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Daniel Guilfoyle, Partner and Ian Dinning, Senior Associate and Rachel Ford, Senior Associate and Christopher Ashton, Senior Associate and Bethan Griffiths, Senior Associate and Ridvan Canbilen, Associate

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We hope you enjoy this latest edition of Cyber Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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KSM Henryk Zeman - Tribunal can consider 'legitimate expectation' arguments in VAT appeal

Published on 22 September 2021. By Harry Smith, Senior Associate

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Taxpayer can bring legitimate expectation/judicial review arguments in appeal against HMRC decision on VAT in First-tier Tribunal – a new step in tax litigation.

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Retail Compass Autumn edition 2021

Published on 21 September 2021. By Karen Hendy, Partner and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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Welcome to the Autumn edition of Retail Compass, where we guide you through key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and provide our thoughts on those crucial, need-to-know issues.

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Podcast

Slipcase: How to know what you don’t know (With Alex Hearn)

20 September 2021

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Welcome to Insurance Covered. In this episode we discuss Slipcase a curator of insurance focused news and insights. Our guest is Alex Hearn, Managing Director at Slipcase and we will be looking at how Slipcase can become a valuable tool for those working in the world of insurance.

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The Week That Was - 17 September 2021

Published on 17 September 2021. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

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Sanctions and next steps

Published on 17 September 2021. By Emma Wherry, Senior Associate and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Further to our previous articles detailing the stages of the Architect Registration Board's (ARB) disciplinary process up to the Hearing, this final article considers the sanctions the PCC can impose and briefly considers what steps can be taken if an unfavourable decision is reached.

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Witnesses overseas and preparations for trial during a pandemic

Published on 17 September 2021. By Samuel Hung, Partner and Jacky Darsono, Partner and Jennifer Leung, Associate

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A couple of recent High Court decisions demonstrate some of the issues that arise when a party applies for one or more of their witnesses to give evidence at trial by video conferencing facilities, or seeks an adjournment of a trial, because a witness is overseas and experiencing difficulties in returning to Hong Kong in time for a trial date given the COVID-19 pandemic. In such circumstances, the courts’ ultimate priority is the administration of justice, which involves (among other things) balancing the parties’ competing interests while exercising their case management powers. A trial date (a “milestone date”) is generally sacrosanct and live evidence in person at trial is the norm.

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Hire Heels: why the rental clothing market matters

Published on 16 September 2021. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Poppy St John, Associate

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The old saying that "you can't wear the same outfit twice" doesn't fit well with younger consumers in particular, who are concerned about sustainability and the environmental hazards posed by fast fashion outlets.

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Tinkler – Supreme Court decides taxpayer is estopped from denying validity of HMRC enquiry

Published on 15 September 2021. By Rebekka Sandwell, Senior Associate

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In Tinkler v HMRC [2021] UKSC 39, the Supreme Court held that, due to the conduct of the taxpayer's advisers, the taxpayer was estopped by convention from denying that HMRC had opened a valid enquiry under section 9A, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), when it had sent the notice of enquiry to the wrong address.

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RPC Insurtech in brief - September 2021

Published on 14 September 2021. By Neil Brown, Partner and Daniel Guilfoyle, Partner and Lauren Murphy, Associate and Marsha Williamson, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the September edition from RPC of Insurtech in brief, providing you with a handful of snappy monthly updates from the industry.

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Takeover Code: What has changed?

Published on 13 September 2021. By Emily McGregor, Senior Associate

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On 5 July 2021, the most significant changes to the Takeover Code (the Code) since 2011 took effect. The changes are intended to standardise the treatment of regulatory clearances and simplify the offer timetable. An overview of the main changes is set out below.

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Publication

RPC Sports Ticker (13 September 2021) - Heineken & women's sports, World 12s and gaming restrictions

Published on 13 September 2021. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate and Jaleela Johnson, Associate and Joseph Akwaboa, Associate

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In a fortnight during which Emma Raducanu broke countless records by winning the US Open, Cristiano Ronaldo made a goalscoring return to Man United, and where Nike gave US head office workers a week off to re-connect with loved ones and “power down” from work, we feature Heineken's latest partnerships in women's sports, a new rugby tournament proposal and BMW and Fnatic's new esports campaign. We also feature China's latest crackdown on under 18 gaming and the suspended World Cup qualifier game between Argentina and Brazil.

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Podcast

Lockdown thoughts: the evolution of HMRC and its increasing powers

13 September 2021

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Given the complexity and, at times, lack of clarity in our tax system, concerns have been raised about the extent of HMRC's powers, particularly regarding the range of penalties that can be imposed for innocent mistakes, and the severity of penalties that can be imposed in relation to offshore matters.

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The Week That Was - 10 September 2021

Published on 10 September 2021. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate

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Welcome to The Week That Was, a round-up of key events in the construction sector over the last seven days.

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RPC Bites 37 – another trade mark dispute brewing for Oatly? the ASA publishes mixed-media advertising advice, along with a pro-advertiser ruling on greenwashing

Published on 09 September 2021. 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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Publication

Corporate bankruptcy and insolvency litigation roundtable

Published on 09 September 2021. By Paul Bagon, Partner

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The corporate bankruptcy & insolvency litigation landscape has experienced a turbulent period over the past year and a half, largely a consequence of the extreme circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, many businesses have sought arrangements and restructuring plans in an attempt to avoid corporate bankruptcy. However, as government COVID-19-related stimulus is withdrawn and the true financial impact of the pandemic becomes clear, the focus turns to which businesses will remain in crisis or fold, and which are able to restructure and survive. As the battle lines are drawn, disputes are sure to rise.

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Blog

JRO Griffiths – storage facility is plant for capital allowances purposes

Published on 08 September 2021. By Rebekka Sandwell, Senior Associate

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In JRO Griffiths Ltd v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 257 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that a facility used to store potatoes was a plant, and that it met other conditions allowing it to qualify for capital allowances.

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Eclipse film partnerships settlement opportunity announced by HMRC

Published on 08 September 2021. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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HMRC announced on 6 September 2021 a settlement opportunity for current and former members of the Eclipse Film Partners (numbers 1 to 40) limited liability partnerships (the Eclipse LLPs), under which HMRC will agree not to seek to impose a 'dry tax' charge in exchange for members settling historic tax liabilities (with interest) and abandoning litigation against HMRC in relation to the Eclipse LLPs. If accepted by each taxpayer, approximately £1.6 billion of 'dry tax' will not be pursued by HMRC.

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