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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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Publication

Sports Ticker 8 – Sturridge ban, Cycling World League and Sun Yang's ban

Published on 12 March 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology 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

Aria Technology – No specific form required for notification of assessment of VAT

Published on 11 March 2020. By Alice Kemp, Associate (Employed Barrister)

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In Aria Technology Ltd v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 182, the Court of Appeal confirmed that there is no particular form or formality required of an assessment under section 73(1), Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA) and an assessment can be contained in more than one document as long as the minimum requirements are set out in a clear and unambiguous way.

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Blog

Beware a broad brush approach to costs assessment

Published on 10 March 2020. By Stacey Davies, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Court of Appeal dismisses former client's objection to solicitors' invoices on assessment.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 8 2020

Published on 10 March 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to the eighth 2020 edition of Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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Publication

International risk: the evolution of the remedy of avoidance

10 March 2020

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There used to be a side-splitting “joke” amongst the barrister authors of a particular insurance law textbook that its title ought to have been “How to Avoid”. This was because twenty-five years ago telephone calls between insurance carriers and their lawyers might often have started with: “We are going to get clobbered. How can we get out of this?”. Back then the insurance market was a very different place to what it is now. It was somewhat fragmented and there was a heady mix of under-capitalisation and LMX spiral business (a hazardous game of “pass the exploding parcel” played through mutual reinsurance). A big loss could spell doom – hence the “joke”.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 9

Published on 09 March 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, 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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Snapshot

Snapshots Winter 2019

09 March 2020

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This is your roundup of all recent legal updates spanning advertising & marketing, commercial cases,technology / digital, data protection and intellectual property.

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Blog

The FCA's key concerns for the pensions market in 2020

Published on 09 March 2020. By Zoe Melegari, Associate

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In its Sector Views published on 18 February 2020, the FCA has announced its strategic priorities for the pensions sector for this coming year. Key issues include transfer advice, which continues to be a supervision priority, and poor value products that lead to lower living standards in retirement.

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Blog

Transformation and risk – what the future holds for retail

Published on 09 March 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology

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Data, AI, and the impact of Covid-19. Kyle Monk – Head of Insight and Analytics at go-to trade association the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – left plenty of food for thought on the future for retailers, and those who advise them, at a talk delivered last week.

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Blog

Restrictive covenants in shareholders' agreements and commercial contracts

Published on 06 March 2020. By Ben Magahy, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal has recently reaffirmed the approach to the enforceability of restrictive covenants in shareholders' agreements and other commercial contracts.

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Publication

Happy Birthday to the SIPP

06 March 2020

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This week marks the 30th anniversary of the first self invested personal pension (SIPP).

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Blog

Beware: English jurisdiction clauses do not mean choice of English law

Published on 06 March 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Fred Kuchlin, Associate

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Where parties have agreed in a contract that the English courts will have jurisdiction in the event of a dispute, it does not automatically follow that English law will be the governing law. A party recently found this out, to its cost, when a different governing law clause meant an expired limitation period. This case demonstrates that those entering into contractual agreements should carefully consider a choice of law clause that specifically designates the laws of a country that suits them. GDE LLC v Anglia Autoflow Limited.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #2 - Wind power

Published on 05 March 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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Wind power is, unsurprisingly, generated by wind (typically as little as a light breeze) passing over and turning the turbine's blades. The blades are connected via a shaft and gearbox to a generator, which converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy. A transformer then increases the voltage of the generated energy to enable transmission to the grid.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #2 - Wind power

Published on 05 March 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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Wind power is, unsurprisingly, generated by wind (typically as little as a light breeze) passing over and turning the turbine's blades. The blades are connected via a shaft and gearbox to a generator, which converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy. A transformer then increases the voltage of the generated energy to enable transmission to the grid.

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Publication

Tax update - March 2020

05 March 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) updated guidance provided in HMRC’s SDLT manual in relation to section 75A, Finance Act 2003; (2) a House of Commons briefing paper discussing insolvency and joint and several liability notices for directors; and (3) a Policy Paper concerning upcoming changes to the regulations for the Non-residents Landlord Scheme. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) capital gains losses incurred in respect of properties which were never completed; (2) a landfill “fluff” case; and (3) inheritance tax agricultural property and business property relief.

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Blog

Linpac – Tribunal confirms that EU group relief claims did not replace earlier domestic claims to relief

Published on 04 March 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In Linpac Group Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 60 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed an appeal against an HMRC decision that the taxpayer's claim for group relief had been withdrawn by a subsequent claim.

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Blog

And the winner is... that pre-loved dress

Published on 03 March 2020. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Ela Broderick-Basar, Trainee Solicitor

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The recent awards season has seen a new dress-code emerging on the red carpet - wearing clothing either rented or previously worn, in an aim to project a message of sustainability. This reflects trends in the wider fashion world, where sustainability models like rental and resale are emerging fast as brands and consumers look to minimise their impact.

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Podcast

A CEO's outlook of the insurance market (with Sian Fisher)

03 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 look at the insurance market from the perspective of Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

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Blog

So Long Blues

Published on 28 February 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Greg Burke, Associate

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Following our previous IP hub update, Glaxo has suffered fresh survey woes.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 7 – 'Premflix and Chill', McIlroy and Allianz

Published on 28 February 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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

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Blog

Product Law update - Feb 2020

Published on 28 February 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director and Elinor Sidwell, Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of our product law update, this month we focus on product regulation post Brexit, the relationship between the limitation longstop and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and product recalls of electrical goods across the UK.

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Blog

Trainees Take on 2020

Published on 27 February 2020. By Charlie Gould, Associate and Elizabeth Zang, Trainee Solicitor and Georgia Durham, Trainee Solicitor and Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Associate and Matt Davies, Trainee Solicitor and Poppy St John, Trainee Solicitor and Sean Cannon, Associate

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RPC's trainees had mixed fortunes in attempting to predict the major events of 2019. As can be seen from our 2019 predictions blog, Theresa May's departure was correctly predicted, but the trainees were well wide of the mark in forecasting Beto O'Rourke as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for the US Presidency: Beto suspended his campaign on November 1 2019, a full four months before primary season. No one foresaw the UK's first December general election since 1923 either, which is perhaps more forgivable.

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Publication

Are you compliant with the new rules in Singapore? Asia? Beyond?

27 February 2020

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With the implementation of the GDPR in Europe (2018) and the rise of serious cyber-attacks in Asia, many APAC countries are making major changes to their data privacy laws. Navigating the various regulatory regimes can be complex particularly for companies doing business across the region and beyond.

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Publication

VAT update - February 2020

26 February 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) publication by the EU of the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/21; (2) publication by HMRC of letters to businesses regarding preparations for customs and border arrangements after the Brexit transition period; and (3) the new Value Added Tax (Miscellaneous Amendments, Revocation and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (Appointed Day No. 1) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) the application of the Halifax principle to what HMRC considered to be VAT avoidance arrangements involving supplies of winter sports training; (2) whether there is a private right of action to enforce the statutory duty to provide a VAT invoice; and (3) whether the general partner of a property fund was entitled to recover VAT incurred on set-up and operating costs.

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Blog

Defined Benefit pension transfers and SIPP FOS complaints on the rise

Published on 26 February 2020.

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Official FOS figures from the end of 2019 show Defined Benefit pension transfers and SIPP complaints are on the rise although the percentage of these complaints upheld has dropped. How will the FOS respond in an area where we have seen a heavy CMC presence?

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Blog

MXC Dunlin – Interest due on repayments of tax paid in the 1980s

Published on 26 February 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In MCX Dunlin (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2020] EWHC 11 (Ch), the High Court has held that interest was due on repayments of liabilities to petroleum revenue tax (PRT) dating from the 1980s, which had been met by crediting advance PRT (APRT).

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Publication

Artificial Intelligence and law firms – considerations for lawyers and insurers arising from M&A transactions

24 February 2020

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Law firms continue to broaden their reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) across different practice areas. Many are partnering with third party tech companies to develop the application of AI in corporate due diligence and contract drafting, litigation document disclosure and as an aid to predicting litigation outcomes. However do insurers really understand what challenges AI technology presents to law firms and how it might be changing their risk profile?

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #3 – The review stage

Published on 24 February 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

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Further to our previous two articles which provided (1) an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process and (2) a review of the complaints stage we explain the next stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the review stage.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #3 – The review stage

Published on 24 February 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

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Further to our previous two articles which provided (1) an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process and (2) a review of the complaints stage we explain the next stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the review stage.

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Blog

Bossing the rules - the SRAs enforcement strategy

Published on 21 February 2020. By Sarah Lloyd, Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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The new SRA Standards and Regulations came into force on 25 November 2019. In this article in our 'Bossing the Rules' series, Sarah Lloyd and Graham Reid examine the SRA's enforcement strategy which sets out their approach to the new rules. Important reading for solicitors and those who insure the profession as guidance on the new rules is scarce.

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Blog

Corporate failure to prevent tax evasion update – a policy is not enough

Published on 21 February 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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It is no secret that the government has a laser focus on making corporates pay for their roles in "facilitating" tax evasion. Recent figures show that HMRC are serious in their drive to hold companies responsible for tax evasion; even companies with seemingly watertight procedures are susceptible. Now is the time to ensure that your regimes are watertight.

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Blog

Life Expectancy - What's the Big Deal?

Published on 21 February 2020. By Rob Paine, Associate

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The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has updated its guidance for insurers participating in longevity risk transfers (PS1/20 and SS18/16), clarifying the risks that should be considered and its expectations of pre-notification for transactions that are large and/or complex.

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Blog

Coronavirus and its damage to the health of businesses

Published on 21 February 2020.

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Coronavirus (nCoV) has dominated the headlines since the first case was confirmed on 19 January 2020. The virus has spread to every region in mainland China. Cases have also been reported in Australia, France, the US, the UK and Japan, among other countries. As the death toll continues to rise and scientists work under pressure to create a vaccine, it is evident that the world is facing a health crisis. But what about the impact it is having on business?

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Blog

High Court: Claimants' litigation funder ordered to provide security for costs

Published on 21 February 2020. By Chris Ross, Partner and Gill O'Regan, Senior Associate

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The High Court has handed down a significant judgment giving important guidance on the Court’s approach to issues of costs-sharing and security for costs against litigation funders in large multi-party claims. The judgment will be a key touchpoint in this developing area of law. RPC acts for Ingenious in the proceedings. The judgment citation is [2020] EWHC 235 (Ch).

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Publication

Novel Coronavirus ("Covid-19") and its potential implications for Business Interruption Insurers

20 February 2020

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In the context of the novel coronavirus dominating international news headlines, RPC Partners Antony Sassi and Mark Errington, 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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Blog

CE-Filing nightmare not so scary if you act quickly…

Published on 20 February 2020. By Nick Bird, Partner and Sally Lord, Senior Associate

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We all know that CE-filing at court can sometimes be difficult, particularly when you are trying file documents close to the deadline. Whilst this case involves the filing of a Notice of Appointment of Administrators, this case may give solicitors comfort if something similar happens in litigation and a genuine mistake has been made in the e-filing process which, on the face of it, would mean that the document was filed out of time.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update February 2020

20 February 2020

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In this update we report on the government’s plans to (1) introduce 10 new freeports; (2) introduce import controls; and (3) its consultation into the UK’s tariff policy following the UK’s departure from the EU. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) time limits to issue a post-clearance demand under the Community Customs Code; (2) tariff classification of fluid and blanket warming cabinets used in hospitals; and (3) what constitutes “complicity” in the context of smuggling.

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Blog

Equitable compensation for breach of fiduciary duty: a question of loss?

Published on 20 February 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Benedict Coxon, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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A director who extracted money from a company by way of sham invoices may have a defence to an equitable compensation claim for misappropriation of the company's funds, if the director could have lawfully transferred the funds to the same recipients for no value. The Court of Appeal explored this possibility in Auden McKenzie (Pharma Division) Ltd v Patel

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Blog

ICO revises guidance on timescales for responding to a data subject access request

Published on 19 February 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Joseph Akwaboa, Associate

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The ICO’s guidance has been amended to state that the time limit for a response to a DSAR starts from the day the request is received (even if it is not a working day) until the corresponding calendar date in the next month, instead of the day after the request.

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Blog

Snow Factor – Tribunal applies Halifax principle to redefine supplies of winter sports training

Published on 19 February 2020. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In Snow Factor Ltd and Snow Factor Training Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0664 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that certain VAT arrangements were abusive within the scope of the Halifax principle, and redefined supplies of winter sports training by a non-profit making company as a supply by its profit making parent and therefore as falling outside the education exemption in Item 1, Group 6, Schedule 9, Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

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Publication

The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments

18 February 2020

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The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments – the signing of the Memorandum of Guidance as to Enforcement of Money Judgments (the “MOG”) marks a significant milestone in bilateral relations between the Singapore and Myanmar judiciaries.

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