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Ang(er) over jurisdiction challenge: High Court seeks to clarify whether speculative investment by a private individual is a business or consumer activity

Published on 10 May 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Harriet Evans, Associate

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Failed jurisdiction challenge against a private individual making speculative currency transactions on the basis that she could be considered a consumer under the Recast Brussels Regulation (Romana Ang v Reliantco Investments Limited [2019] EWHC 879 (Comm))

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Blog

No exceptions to exclusionary rule: Court of Appeal confirms established principle

Published on 10 May 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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While evidence of pre-contractual negotiations can be adduced to demonstrate how a transaction came about or what its commercial aims were, it cannot be relied on to aid the interpretation of the contractual provisions themselves. Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council ) [2019] EWCA Civ 526.

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Blog

"Goodwill Hunting": Latest on Cybersquatting

Published on 09 May 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

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In a recent Court of Appeal decision, it has been held that cybersquatting (ie the practice of registering well-known brand names as internet domains to later resell them at profit) does not in and of itself amount to passing off. A claimant is still required to demonstrate relevant goodwill in the name or mark relied upon. It follows that an unused mark (which, by its very nature, lacks sufficient goodwill) is incapable of supporting an action for passing off based on cybersquatting.

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Publication

Financial litigation roundup Spring/Summer 2019

08 May 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our financial litigation roundup. In this edition, we consider recent judgments and ongoing cases from the banking and financial world in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as legal developments across those jurisdictions.

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Disclosure Pilot Scheme: Cooperation and culture

Published on 07 May 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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Partners Parham Kouchikali and Davina Given discuss the Disclosure Pilot Scheme and the change in cooperation and culture needed for the pilot to be successful for all parties involved.

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Blog

The High Court removes its cap for litigation funders

Published on 03 May 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Chris Ross, Partner and Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

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The High Court has declined to cap a litigation funder's liability for adverse costs at the amount of funding provided. It confirmed that the so-called Arkin cap is an approach to be considered, not a rule to be followed (Davey v Money [2019] EWHC 997 (Ch)).

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Publication

General liability newsletter April 2019

Published on 30 April 2019. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate and Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety

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The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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Tax update - May 2019

30 April 2019

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In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s consultation on private residence relief, HMRC’s revised guidance on agreeing the value of shares with HMRC Shares and Assets Valuation when operating an EMI or SIP and HMRC’s guidance on calculating tax and NICs due on the loan charge.

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Blog

Hargreaves: Even staler!

Published on 29 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Hargreaves v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0244 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has again found that HMRC's discovery of an underpayment of tax had become 'stale' and accordingly the subsequent assessment issued under section 29, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) was invalid.

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Blog

Government assessing business rates for warehouses

Published on 29 April 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Jani Ihalainen, Paralegal

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The Financial Times recently reported that the Government has been assessing warehouse rents, in advance of the next revaluation for business rates.

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Blog

More than you bargained for: the implied duty of good faith

Published on 26 April 2019. By David Wallis, Partner and Neil Brown, Partner

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The recent High Court decision in Bates v. Post Office (No. 3) confirms a general principle that if a contract is a "relational" contract then it will include an implied obligation of good faith. Previously, there had been doubt whether such a general principle exists, as historically this was not an approach recognised by the English courts.

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Blog

Derivative transactions – the obligation to report

Published on 25 April 2019. By Edward Colville, Legal Director

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As the recent £34.9m fine for Goldman Sachs shows, the FCA takes the obligation to report derivative transactions seriously. How does this affect parties who trade infrequently, and what changes to the reporting requirement can we expect post-Brexit?

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Publication

Court of Appeal considers the test for dishonest assistance following Ivey

25 April 2019

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In Group Seven v Notable Services LLP the Court of Appeal considered and applied the two stage test of dishonesty set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting in a claim for dishonest assistance in a breach of trust by various members of a legal disciplinary practice.

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Publication

VAT update April 2019

25 April 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on intra-group VAT reverse charge; (2) draft regulations which will tighten the rules on when VAT adjustments may be made following a change to the price of goods and services; and (3) HMRC’s updated policy paper which provides an overview of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Blog

What if third parties helped to hide the golden egg?

Published on 25 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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What if third parties helped to hide the golden egg?

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The fraudster is insolvent – can you add more eggs to the basket?

Published on 24 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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The fraudster is insolvent – can you add more eggs to the basket?

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What to do if the golden egg hatches (or you need to trace into the fraudster's other assets)

Published on 24 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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What to do if the golden egg hatches (or you need to trace into the fraudster's other assets)

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Blog

How can I find the golden egg? Part 2: ask the Easter bunny (or third parties)

Published on 23 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How can I find the golden egg? Part 2: ask the Easter bunny (or third parties)

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Egg supplier ends up with egg on its face

Published on 18 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner

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Egg supplier ends up with egg on its face

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Should fraud unravel all? The Supreme Court thinks so

Published on 18 April 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Karina Plain, Associate (Australian qualified)

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Should fraud unravel all? The Supreme Court thinks so

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Blog

Snow Factor – Upper Tribunal determines the meaning of "financial extremity"

Published on 18 April 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Snow Factor Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKUT 77 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has determined the meaning of the phrase "financial extremity might be reasonably expected to result from that decision of HMRC" in section 85(B), Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

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Blog

How can I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

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Blog

How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

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How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

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The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

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Blog

Macleod – insurance premiums paid not earnings from taxpayer's employment

Published on 15 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited and William Mitchell v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0046 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that insurance premiums paid by the company on policies taken out in the sole director's name were not earnings from employment.

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Blog

Tang - Bare trust existed notwithstanding lack of trust document

Published on 12 April 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Lily Tang v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 81, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that there was a bare trust despite the absence of a trust document and that the bare trustee was not liable to notify HMRC or for tax in relation to funds she held on trust.

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Blog

Brexit delay prolongs uncertainty for insurers

Published on 12 April 2019. By Neil Brown, Partner

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Yesterday's announcement of Halloween as the new deadline for Brexit will prolong uncertainty for many UK insurers.

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Publication

Is it now inevitable corporates will face new “failure to prevent economic crime” offences?

11 April 2019

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Back in September 2014, the then Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP announced that the Government was considering proposals to create a new corporate offence of failing to prevent economic crime. A change of corporate culture was sighted as being necessary to fully address the scale of fraud reported by the Global Economic Crime Survey.

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Blog

Royal College of Surgeons call for Robust Reporting in the Private Healthcare Sector

Published on 10 April 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

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The Royal College of Surgeons (the “RCS”) has today called for independent healthcare providers to “improve standards in the independent sector and prevent the circumstances that enabled Paterson to continue practising from happening again.”

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Blog

Fixing Fast Fashion: Parliament aims to put the brakes on retailers

Published on 10 April 2019. By Lucy Houghton, Trainee Solicitor and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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'Fast fashion' has been providing inexpensive, up to date styles to the mass market for decades, keeping the consumer both on trend, and in the black. However, as society becomes increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact of the retail sector, Parliament has thrown a spotlight upon the sustainability of 'fast fashion' and the modern retailing practices which underpin it.

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Blog

Vaginal mesh: the evidence

Published on 10 April 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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NICE guidelines inform debate over the evidence for the risks and benefits of mesh products

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Blog

Worried you'll run out of milk: what does your contract say?

Published on 09 April 2019. By Rachael Ellis, Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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This isn't a 'B'-word blog, don't worry. But with 'B' looming (in whatever form it may take) UK businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty when it comes to their supply chain – talk continues of border delays, stock piling and shortages.

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Blog

Sleeping on the job

Published on 09 April 2019. By Katie Fry-Paul, Trainee Solicitor

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Given an increasing interest in wellness, sleep is a hot topic for both individuals and businesses. With sleep-related productivity issues estimated as costing the UK economy up to £40 billion, this article takes a look at the impact that sleep has on businesses – as well as the opportunities that it presents.

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Blog

Albatel - TV presenter wins £1.2m tax case

Published on 08 April 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In Albatel Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0195 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the so-called IR35 legislation did not apply to the provision of services by Lorraine Kelly to ITV.

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Blog

The latest cyber stats revealed (the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019)

Published on 05 April 2019. By Rachel Ford, Associate

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Whilst cyber attacks decrease, the threats to businesses remain. We give you the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019.

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Blog

UK property – big tax changes for non-UK residents

Published on 05 April 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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From 6 April 2019, all gains from UK real estate realised on disposal by non-residents, whether residential or commercial property and whether by way of direct or "indirect" disposal, will be subject to UK capital gains tax or corporation tax.

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Blog

English Court trumps the FBI

Published on 05 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate

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In HP's high profile claim against Mike Lynch in relation to its acquisition of Autonomy, the English High Court has held that the implied undertaking against collateral use of documents received in the course of litigation prevented disclosure of those documents to the FBI.

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Blog

All bets are off for binary options

Published on 04 April 2019. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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Following consultation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on 29 March 2019 that, as of 2 April 2019, the sale, marketing and distribution of binary options (including securitised binary options) to retail consumers will be prohibited indefinitely.

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Blog

Game theory and the art of litigation strategy - Article 4

Published on 02 April 2019. By Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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Escaping the Hobbesian Trap – the impact of aggression in litigation settlement strategy

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Blog

Gardner Shaw – directions subject to a pending appeal should not have been varied

Published on 01 April 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In Gardner Shaw UK Ltd and others v HMRC [2018] UKUT 419 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) should not have varied directions which the FTT had previously issued, when they had been the subject of an unsuccessful appeal to the UT and when an appeal to the Court of Appeal was pending.

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Publication

Tax update - April 2019

01 April 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s guidance on self-reporting failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion; (2) HMRC’s consultation on secondary preferential creditor status on insolvency of a business; and (3) a Parliamentary Select Committee’s call for a public register of beneficial ownership in each British Overseas Territory. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the concept of “staleness” in discovery assessment appeals; (2) a failed DOTAS application brought by HMRC; and (3) the extra-territorial reach of HMRC information notices.

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Blog

The essential ingredients

Published on 29 March 2019. By James Miller, Managing Partner

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Vision, purpose, focus. In my experience as a Managing Partner, these are essential ingredients for high performance organisations; essential ingredients for high performance teams; and essential ingredients for high performance individuals.

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Publication

VAT update March 2019

26 March 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on claiming exemption from Making Tax Digital for VAT; (2) the latest edition of HMRC’s impact assessment for the movement of goods if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and (3) HMRC’s policy change on VAT treatment of personal contract purchases.

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Publication

Audit profession – a year of reflection

25 March 2019

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In this legal update we look back at some of the key developments for the audit profession in 2018 and consider what the rest of 2019 may hold for the industry.

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Praesto - input tax recoverable on fees incurred in defending proceedings against its director

22 March 2019

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In Praesto Consulting UK Ltd v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 353, the Court of Appeal has held that a company was entitled to recover input tax on legal fees it incurred in defending civil proceedings brought against its director.

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Health and safety update March 2019

21 March 2019

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Welcome to our March 2019 health and safety update where we look at the health and safety stories that have recently hit the headlines as well as the latest fines and sentences that have been handed down.

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Blog

What are the circumstances in which acting in breach of EU sanctions will kill a claim?

Published on 21 March 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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An Iranian oil company was defrauded in a failed attempt to circumvent EU sanctions - does its claim survive the Patel v Mirza illegality test?

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Publication

New corporate criminal offence: Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

19 March 2019

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The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017, introduces new strict liability corporate criminal offences of failure to prevent criminal facilitation of tax evasion. The legislation came into force on 30 September 2017.

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Blog

Time to abandon 'fairness'?

Published on 18 March 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In recent years the word 'fair' has become a common feature of HMRC's lexicon. It is often connected with claims by HMRC that a taxpayer is not paying his or her "fair share of tax". It is disseminated with predictable regularity across HMRC press releases, guidance notes and spokesperson's quotes.

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