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Managing SM&CR during the Coronavirus crisis

Published on 02 April 2020. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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This blog considers the challenges caused by CV-19 in relation to the governance and SM&CR compliance of regulated firms in the UK.

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Blog

EUIPO issues clarification on COVID-19 extension of time for trade mark and design proceedings

Published on 01 April 2020. By Alessandro Cerri, Associate and Ben Mark, Partner

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The EUIPO has issued a clarification in respect of Decision No EX-20-3 noting that the extension of deadlines in trade mark and design EUIPO proceedings to 1 May 2020 applies automatically.

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Publication

Health and Safety Bulletin – March 2020

01 April 2020

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

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Blog

COVID-19: the battle between fact and fiction

Published on 01 April 2020. By Emma Kislingbury, Senior Associate

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In the era of fake news, and at a time of global panic, how is the government responding to the daily spread of unauthorised health claims around COVID-19?

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Blog

Back to Brexit – House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Committee recommendations on financial services after Brexit

Published on 01 April 2020. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Committee has published recommendations on the financial services industry post-Brexit. The Committee recognised that this may not be a government priority due to COVID19, but EU negotiations and the future of the UK's financial services industry will be important issues in future months.

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Blog

COVID-19: CMA provides guidance to business on its approach to co-operation in response to the pandemic

Published on 01 April 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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Businesses, which do not benefit from the specific competition law exemptions granted by the Secretary of State (in the groceries, Solent Ferries and healthcare services sectors), may co-operate without fear of enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (the "CMA"), provided that this co-operation is undertaken "solely to address concerns arising from the current crisis and does not go further or last longer than what is necessary".

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Blog

Booth – Penalty appeal struck out

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

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In CF Booth Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 35 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) struck out the taxpayer's appeal against penalties imposed for deliberate inaccuracies in its VAT returns, on the basis that the appeal amounted to an 'abuse of process'.

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COVID-19: key financial workers

31 March 2020

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released guidance on steps financial services firms should take to help identify 'key workers'.

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Podcast

The role of an insurance broker

31 March 2020

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Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This episode we are joined by Steve Ray, Director at Howden Group and our topic for discussion is the role of an insurance broker.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 9 – Fury, NASCAR and Sky Sports pause

Published on 31 March 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of TMT and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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

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Blog

COVID-19: The suspension of wrongful trading provisions and a moratorium for businesses in restructuring – what is the likely impact on your business?

Published on 31 March 2020. By Paul Bagon, Partner and James Whelan, Associate

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COVID-19: On 28 March 2020 the Business Secretary announced further new far-reaching measures to help businesses combat the financial impact of COVID-19. What it the likely impact of the suspension of wrongful trading provisions and a moratorium for businesses in restructuring on your business?

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Publication

The government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

30 March 2020

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The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is part of a package of temporary measures to support businesses during these challenging times. The CBILS is intended to give lenders confidence to continue to provide finance to SMEs.

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Blog

Business Tenant Protection from Forfeiture under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate and Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner

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Following the Government's 23 March press release in which it was confirmed that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rents "because of Coronavirus" would be protected from eviction, legislation is now in force which goes some way to clarify what this means in practice.

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Blog

COVID-19 forces POS and FOS office closures – what does it mean for complaints?

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and Christopher Cole, Associate

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The COVID-19 outbreak (and the subsequent UK lockdown) continues to impact our daily lives and it seems the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and The Pensions Ombudsman (POS) are not immune. With office closures announced, we look at the impact this will have on outstanding complaints and those yet to be made.

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Blog

COVID-19: Virtual hearings - what we've learned

Published on 27 March 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner

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Remote court hearings have very quickly become the "new normal". We've taken part in a fair few in recent weeks so wanted to share some practical tips that we hope will help those about to enter the virtual courtroom….

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Blog

New FCA signposting travel insurance rules

Published on 27 March 2020. By Lauren Murphy, Associate

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Earlier this month the FCA published a policy statement detailing new requirements aimed at helping consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) obtain travel insurance. The new requirements demonstrate the FCA's continuing focus on improving the treatment and protection of vulnerable consumers accessing insurance and other forms of financial services.

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Blog

Hot off the Press: COVID-19 - Your workforce: a Q&A on claiming for wage costs through the Job Retention Scheme

Published on 27 March 2020. By Patrick Brodie, Partner and Kelly Thomson, Partner

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On 26th March, HMRC issued guidance on claiming for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We explore some answers to key questions and add some questions of our own.

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Blog

The Archers does Insurance – a light-hearted look at coverage issues following the Grey Gables explosion

Published on 27 March 2020. By Sian Morgan, Senior Associate

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For radio aficionados, the long running radio soap The Archers is a welcome daily escape from daily life. However, the last few episodes have not been without their drama. For a medmal insurance lawyer looking to unwind after a day of (home)working, there are a number of taxing fictional issues to which one can turn one's mind.

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Publication

Cybersecurity and COVID-19: Opportunities for change in the face of challenge

27 March 2020

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COVID-19 is not the first and will not be the last pandemic, but it is the first one that has brought the importance of cyber resilience and adaptability in the era of global trade to the forefront of many businesses' minds.

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Publication

Key regulatory guidance following COVID-19 pandemic

Published on 27 March 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

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As the world tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s Regulators have published a host of useful guidance that firms should take good note of during this period of uncertainty. While not an exhaustive list, we hope this summary highlights the key obligations and requirements currently being brought in by the Regulators.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: a caution against putting equality on the backburner

Published on 27 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Rachel Pears, Inclusion & Diversity Lead / Internal Employment Counsel

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UK business, like much of the rest of the world, is and will, for some time, remain firmly in the grip of COVID-19's tentacles.

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Publication

Regulatory update - March 2020

Published on 27 March 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

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Welcome to the March 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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Publication

Insurance broker E&O exposures: COVID-19

26 March 2020

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As insurers brace themselves for large volumes of notifications across all lines of business relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) we expect to see a second wave of E&O notifications by insurance brokers when policyholders (businesses and individuals) find themselves without adequate cover for losses relating to the pandemic. Some insurers are already seeing a spike in such notifications.

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Blog

COVID-19 – FCA's update for consumers

26 March 2020

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In the current unsettling time, in addition to publishing guidance for firms, the FCA is keen to maintain contact with consumers. The FCA wants to ensure consumers are being protected and therefore, is providing regular advice on the steps that consumers can take to stay aware of any potential impact on their finances.

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Blog

COVID-19 forces HMRC to temporarily change its stamp duty processes

Published on 26 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Yesterday (25th March) HMRC announced some "temporary" changes to its stamp duty processes, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Publication

VAT update - March 2020

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

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

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

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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Blog

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

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

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

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Regulatory Update

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

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

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the Impact on Litigation

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

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

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COVID-19: FCA's update for firms

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

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

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Blog

FOS warns consumers to ensure insurance applications correct

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

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

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

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

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

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Publication

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

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

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

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Spring Budget 2020 - main tax announcements

Published on 19 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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

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Publication

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

Published on 19 March 2020. By Lucy Cadwallader, Associate

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

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Blog

Signing documents during COVID-19

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

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

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Blog

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

Published on 18 March 2020. By Alan Williams, Partner

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

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Blog

McMillan – Gambling proceeds not taxable income

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

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

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Publication

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

Published on 16 March 2020. By Peter Sugden, Partner

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

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Publication

Contingency market coronavirus briefing – event cancellation

16 March 2020

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

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Blog

Litigation funder liable for uncapped adverse costs

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

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

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Publication

Covid-19 risk update for UK insurers

12 March 2020

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

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