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Contentious tax: quarterly review

Published on 20 September 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In this quarterly review, Adam Craggs and Michelle Sloane consider HMRC’s increasing propensity to seek the production of documents from accountants and other professional advisers, HMRC’s new policy of challenging taxpayers’ loan relationships, and the increase in the number of domicile enquiries launched by HMRC.

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Retailers: No more need for a customer telephone number?

Published on 19 September 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Adam Williamson, Paralegal

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In the proceedings brought by the German federation of consumer associations against Amazon, the Advocate General found that a retailer does not have to provide a telephone number as long as the consumer can contact the retailer quickly, the information provided is clear and accessible and communication can happen effectively.

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Tinkler - Notice of enquiry invalid

Published on 19 September 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Tinkler v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1392, the Court of Appeal has allowed the taxpayer's appeal and held that HMRC's notice of enquiry under section 9A, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), was invalid.

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Court orders mediation

Published on 19 September 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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The High Court has upheld a tiered dispute resolution clause in accordance with established principles of contractual interpretation. The court ordered a stay of proceedings for mediation, and in support of the mediation also ordered pleadings to be served in advance in order to optimise the prospects of a settlement.

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Arbitration or winding up?

Published on 17 September 2019. By Charles Allen, Partner

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In But Ka Chon v Interactive Brokers LLC [2019] HKCA 873, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's decision to reject an application to set aside a statutory demand. The appellant had argued (among other things) that an arbitration clause in his agreement with the respondent required their dispute to be referred to arbitration.

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Football, the beautiful investment game?

Published on 17 September 2019. By Alex Farrow, Associate and Courtney Bryan-Isaacs,

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Another football season is upon us and we dream of silverware to be won. However, planning for the next transfer window begins almost immediately for those clubs listed on a stock market. There are opportunities to increase their share price through new signings, managers and sponsorship deals.

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Emerging Risks: Equity release products increasing, despite concerns over lack of understanding

Published on 12 September 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

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Equity release products are becoming an increasingly popular option to home owners looking to release cash, especially with the over 65 population. However despite the increase in use and the encouragement of these products from the Equity Release Council, advisers need to tread with caution to ensure customers are aware of the potential pitfalls.

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Mergers and Aquisitions update August 2019

Published on 12 September 2019. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

当法律事務所の紛争解決部門の同僚が、最近のある判例につい-C興味深い考察を記し-Cいる https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/commercial-disputes/clarity-clarity-clarity-more-contract-drafting-lessons-from-the-court/。これを読むと、不要になった契約を打ち切る方法を常に考え-Cおくことの重要性があらため-C分かる。

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High Court waits for no lawyer

Published on 11 September 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Karina Plain, Associate (Australian qualified)

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An appeal was recently lost after an application for an oral hearing was made just two days late. Evans v Pinsent Mason LLP [2019] EWHC 2150 (QB) This decision is a timely reminder of the strictness of court deadlines and of the importance of being upfront with the court (and your opponent) which, on this occasion, was unwilling to forgive ambiguity as to whether the deadline had been met.

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Smart & Son - Supreme Court confirms VAT incurred on funds raised for business purpose was recoverable

Published on 06 September 2019. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Frank A Smart & Son [2019] UKSC 39, the Supreme Court has held that a farming company was entitled to repayment of input VAT charged on its acquisition of single farm payment entitlement units which were related to its overall economic activities and future taxable supplies.

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Hong Kong insurance regulation update - Regulator Codes of Conduct for Brokers and Agents

Published on 06 September 2019. By Andrew Carpenter, Of Counsel

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With effect from 23 September 2019, the independent Hong Kong Insurance Authority (the IA) will take over regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three existing self-regulatory organisations (the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers, the Professional Insurance Brokers Association, and Insurance Agents Registration Board) and administer a new statutory licensing regime.

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Natasha's law - legislation requiring ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged foods presented in Parliament

Published on 06 September 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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On Thursday 5th September, 'Natasha's Law' was presented in Parliament. This is new legislation which mandates full ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged food.

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - September 2019

05 September 2019

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Our quarterly update is designed to keep you up to speed with developments in disputes, and how you can avoid them, in the private client world.

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Tax update - September 2019

05 September 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s consultation on draft regulations implementing the requirement to disclose certain cross-border arrangements; (2) the Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s statement to Parliament on HMRC powers; and (3) the government’s response to the Joint Committee’s recommendations on the Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill.

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Blog

Using was/now price reductions

Published on 03 September 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Nandeep Judge, Paralegal

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A recent ASA decision against Zestify Media has confirmed that a “WAS” price must represent a genuine saving when compared with a “NOW” price. This means checking that sales were actually made at the higher price during the relevant period and ensuring you don't advertise the lower price for materially longer than the higher price.

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Levy – Tribunal rejects application for final and partial closure notices

Published on 30 August 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In The Executors of Mrs R W Levy v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 418 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), has held that HMRC was not in a position to issue either a final or partial closure notice.

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Enter the avatar - is this medicine's new "reality"?

Published on 29 August 2019. By Florence Page, Senior Associate

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A brief look at the use of virtual and augmented reality technology in medical treatment, and some of the legal issues that could arise

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Notice givers take care – ignore the contract at your peril

Published on 29 August 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Tim Potts, Associate

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The Court of Appeal has confirmed in Stobart Group Ltd & Anor v William Stobart & Anor [1] that an objective test will be applied when assessing whether a unilateral contractual notice has been validly given. This decision also provides a cautionary reminder of the consequences of a party's failure to comply strictly with contractual notice provisions. [1] [2019] EWCA Civ 1376

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Product liability update August 2019

29 August 2019

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

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Auto-renewals and other consumer terms under the spotlight

Published on 28 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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The CMA has launched an investigation into potentially unfair terms in online gaming customer terms and conditions, such as auto-renewals, cancellation processes and discretion to alter clauses.

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Corporate tax update August 2019

27 August 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on the key developments from July 2019 and includes a summary of the key business tax measures coming out of the publication of the draft Finance Bill 2020 legislation. There is also commentary on the draft regulations and consultation document published by HMRC on the UK’s implementation of DAC6 (mandatory disclosure of cross-border tax planning arrangements).

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Customs and excise quarterly update: August 2019

21 August 2019

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In this update we report on (1) revised guidance on the Customs Special Procedures for the Union Customs Code; (2) the consultation HMRC has opened into proposed changes to the rules for red diesel used in private pleasure crafts; and (3) the government’s programme to replace EU international agreements with bilateral agreements ready for the UK’s exit from the EU. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) whether HMRC has the power to permit temporary trading pending the determination of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal; (2) excise wrongdoing penalties raised out of time; and (3) an appeal against an assessment for unpaid excise duty.

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Blog

High Court rejects Part VII transfer - Prudential and Rothesay Life

Published on 20 August 2019. By Neil Brown, Partner

High Court rejects Part VII transfer in Prudential and Rothesay Life case which had been approved by the regulators and blessed by the independent expert.

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FCA introduces 18-month grace period for two-factor authentication for online transactions

Published on 16 August 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Jani Ihalainen, Paralegal

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The Financial Conduct Authority this week agreed an 18-month "implementation plan" for Strong Customer Authentication (also known as "two-factor authentication").

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Sharpen your blue pencil: the doctrine of severance in employment cases

Published on 15 August 2019. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Patrick Brodie, Partner

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In Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd [2019] UKSC 32, one such business asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the law and to change it to be fit for modern day purposes. In its landmark judgment handed down in July, the Supreme Court has done so. The core facts of the case are not unusual. Egon Zehnder (EZ) is a global specialist executive search and recruitment business. EZ recruited Mary-Caroline Tillman in 2004. As the High Court judge observed, the company regarded Ms Tillman as “a bit special”. She was recruited into a senior role on a salary of £120,000 and first year bonus of £100,000 and then rose steadily through the ranks of the organisation. By 2012, Ms Tillman was joint global head of the company’s financial services practice and a shareholder in the Swiss holding company.

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Clarity, clarity, clarity; more contract drafting lessons from the court

Published on 15 August 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Victoria Rogers, Associate

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Keep under review options for terminating contracts which are no longer needed or pay the price. We discuss an interesting approach from the High Court to the well-known principles of contractual interpretation in Macquarie Capital v Nordsee. [2019] EWHC 1655 (Comm)

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Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

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Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

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Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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The Senior Managers and Certification regime: The Final Countdown

Published on 08 August 2019. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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With only a few months to go until the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) is extended to apply to all sole-regulated firms, the FCA has released further near-final rules and produced a report on its findings as to how firms in the banking sector have embedded the regime since March 2016.

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Lidl held to mislead consumers with cheesy price comparison

Published on 08 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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When looking at Lidl's price comparison ad, which compared a number of prices of products with Morrisons, the Advertising Standards Authority found that if a retailer knows their competitor is offering a price promotion on a product, it can’t use the competitor’s normal higher price to make the comparison. This applies even if the backdrop to a savings claim is a year-long price comparison.

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eFootball transfers: Juve and Man U snub FIFA to sign for PES

Published on 07 August 2019. By Stuart Harris, Associate

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The RPC Sports group round-up football eSports deals: Juventus and Manchester United sign eSports partnerships with Pro Evolution Soccer, whilst Liverpool FC partners with FIFA.

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General liability newsletter - August 2019

Published on 05 August 2019. By Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety and Gavin Reese, Partner and Robert John, Senior Associate and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate

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The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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ANO - pre-ordained transactions avoided CGT losses being caught by pre-entry loss rules

Published on 05 August 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In ANO (No1) Limited v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 406 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a pre-ordained series of transactions implemented to avoid the application of Schedule 7A, Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA) to pre-entry losses were effective.

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Inverclyde – Enquiry into LLP returns invalid as opened under incorrect statutory provisions

Published on 01 August 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In Inverclyde and another v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0408 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that enquiries opened, and closure notices issued, to limited liability partnerships (LLPs) were invalid as HMRC should have enquired into the LLPs returns under paragraph 24, Schedule 18, Finance Act 1998 (FA 1998) and not section 12AC, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA).

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An innocent party is entitled to damages, even though performance of the contract is impossible

Published on 01 August 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Eliot Henderson, Associate

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The Court of Appeal considered the proper interpretation of exceptions or force majeure clauses and provided guidance on the correct application of the compensatory principle of damages in Classic Maritime v Limbungan. Classic Maritime Inc v Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1102

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Tax update - August 2019

01 August 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s summary of responses to its ‘protecting your taxes in insolvency’ consultation; (2) HMRC’s policy paper on the misuse of company insolvencies; and (3) HMRC’s new guidance on loan relationships and derivatives regime anti-avoidance rules.

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Court of Appeal guidance on liability of financial advice networks for appointed representatives

Published on 31 July 2019. By George Smith, Senior Associate

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In what circumstances is a financial advice network liable for the acts and omissions of its appointed representatives (ARs)? The Court of Appeal has today provided valuable guidance for those operating this business model. The decision will be welcomed by financial advice networks in confirming, in particular, that they are able to place restrictions on the business of ARs for which they have accepted responsibility.

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Corrado – Tribunal cancels follower notice penalties 

Published on 31 July 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Giulio Corrado v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 275 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has set aside a follower notice penalty as the taxpayer's failure to take corrective action in response to a follower notice was reasonable in all the circumstances.

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Warshaw – preference shares equal to ordinary share capital and taxpayer entitled to entrepreneurs' relief

Published on 29 July 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Steven Warshaw v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 268 (TCC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has confirmed that as the relevant preference shares did not attract a fixed dividend, they could amount to ordinary share capital for the purpose of entrepreneur's relief (ER).

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Development Securities – Jersey-incorporated SPVs held not to be UK tax resident

Published on 26 July 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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In Development Securities plc and others v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0169 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a number of Jersey-incorporated companies were in fact resident for tax purposes in Jersey. This decision overturned the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), which had held that the companies were UK tax resident as a result of the central management and control (CMC) of the companies being exercised in the UK (through the companies’ parent). The UT took the view that the FTT had incorrectly concluded that the Jersey company directors had abdicated their decision-making responsibility.

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The Art of the (Settlement) Deal

Published on 26 July 2019. By Laura Evans, Associate and Davina Given, Partner

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According to the English Court of Appeal, giving up a right which the debtor does not even know he has is sufficient consideration for settling a debt. But the vexed question of what amounts to "good" consideration remains uncertain enough for those entering into a contract always to consider whether good consideration has been given. If in doubt, pay a nominal amount.[1]

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Make the most of a mediation - 10 Top Tips

Published on 25 July 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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Preparation for a mediation is key- you get out what you put in. Here are our top 10 tips for making the most out of the mediation process to successfully settle your dispute.

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VAT update July 2019

23 July 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the revocation of the VAT (Finance) (EU Exit) Order; (2) a recent HMRC Brief that clarifies HMRC’s policy on the scope of VAT for transport services; and (3) new regulations which amend the rules on when VAT adjustments may be made following a change to the price of goods and services.

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Carlsberg in the clear on the inappropriate targeting of under-18s

Published on 22 July 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

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What steps do you need to take to ensure that age restricted products do not target the wrong audience?

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Pushing back on APP scams

Published on 18 July 2019. By Ian Dinning, Associate

An Authorised Push Payment (APP) is where a payer instructs their payment service provider, such as their bank, to send money from their account to another. These payments are usually made through the Faster Payment Service or CHAPS.

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"Alexa, my symptoms are…"

Published on 17 July 2019. By Chloe Scott, Trainee Solicitor

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Amazon has announced that Alexa will now provide its users medical advice directly from the NHS website. This blog looks at the potential impacts of this change.

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Is it time for a three day weekend?

Published on 17 July 2019. By Chloe Scott, Trainee Solicitor

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Reducing the number of days in work was an idea first explored by John Maynard Keynes in 1930 when he predicted that in the next 100 years the working week would only be 15 hours. Whilst his prediction has yet to come to fruition, an increasing number of businesses are switching to a four day week in light of claims of increased productivity and staff happiness.

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Corporate tax update July 2019

16 July 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s report includes summaries of the recent decision of the Upper Tribunal on corporate tax residence in Development Securities plc, two ECJ decisions on cross-border loss relief and yet another decision on the application of the ‘IR35’ rules.

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