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Drones: don't fly out of bounds (legally)

27 July 2016

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Various commercial industries have already woken up to the myriad opportunities offered by drone technologies. Whilst the regulatory regime evolves, it is important that companies don’t fall foul of the law.

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Planning: the sequential test

26 July 2016

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For those involved in retail development, a recent Planning Court case serves as a helpful summary and update on the interpretation of the sequential test set out in para 24 of the NPPF.

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Winning the battle but losing the war

22 July 2016

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We have previously commented on the need for claimants to establish all elements of a claim (duty, breach, causation and loss) if they want to achieve more than a Pyrrhic victory. The case of Mortgage Express v Countrywide Surveyors Limited provides another example of this, but with a slightly different twist.

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Pensions freedoms where are we now?

Published on 22 July 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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On 14 July 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority published three releases relating to pension freedoms. The releases provide an insight into the FCA's areas of concern following the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015.

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China’s richest man strikes deal to host new global football tournament

Published on 21 July 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Associate

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Earlier this month, it was reported that the Dalian Wanda Group planned to create a European club tournament to rival the UEFA Champions League.

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High Court criticises HMRC's conduct finding that it breached taxpayer's legitimate expectation

Published on 20 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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High Court criticises HMRC's conduct finding that it breached taxpayer's legitimate expectation

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Corporate tax update, second quarter 2016

19 July 2016

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On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU in an historic referendum result. A period of some political, economic and social uncertainty will undoubtedly follow (and we've already had a turbulent few weeks) but as far as corporate tax is concerned there should be no immediate consequences. It remains to be seen what happens to the planned further reduction in corporation tax to 15% as announced by the then-Chancellor George Osborne. Some initial views on the likely corporate tax consequences of Brexit are set out below. It has also been announced that Royal Assent to this year's Finance Bill is not now expected before the Autumn. In the aftermath of the referendum result, it is perhaps easy to forget that some significant changes to the UK corporate tax regime are planned. Whether all of these changes now proceed, at the pace originally intended, will become clear in due course. In this edition we therefore also highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the second quarter of 2016.

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Price fixing online – a new competition authority warning

Published on 18 July 2016. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has released an open letter to suppliers and retailers warning against online practices which constitute price fixing.

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Blog

Failure to comply with direction leads to strike out of taxpayers' appeals

Published on 15 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In the recent case of Grindley & Others v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0834 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has directed that the taxpayers' appeals be struck out for failure to comply with a direction issued by the FTT.

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High Court allows claim against foreign subsidiary and English parent company to be heard in the UK

Published on 13 July 2016. By Chris Ross, Partner and Simon Hart, Partner

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The High Court has rejected applications by an English parent company and its Zambian subsidiary that claims brought against them in London should be dismissed in favour of proceedings taking place in Zambia.

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"Mis-selling" claim fails on appeal in Hong Kong

Published on 12 July 2016. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

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Hong Kong Court of Appeal confirms challenges in bringing mis-selling claims against banks and financial intermediaries.

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Tribunal finds HMRC was not entitled to issue a discovery assessment

Published on 08 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Anderson v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 335 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer's appeal and held that HMRC was not entitled to issue a discovery assessment pursuant to section 29(1) TMA, as the taxpayer had not been careless.

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Time Charters corrected on underperformance

07 July 2016

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High Court narrows shipowners' defences to an underperformance claim

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Publication

Tiuta International Ltd (in liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors

06 July 2016

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The Court of Appeal recently overturned a first instance decision in an application for summary judgment in the matter of Tiuta International Ltd (in liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 661

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Publication

Tax update, July 2016

06 July 2016

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In this month's edition of our Tax Update we will report on HMRC's (1) revised corporate interest deductibility rules consultation, (2) new company taxation manual, and (3) off-payroll working and IR35 consultation. We also comment on three recent cases concerning 'trading', the applicability of income tax on employment termination payments, and SDLT planning.

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Blog

ISPs' appeal is "blocked" 

Published on 06 July 2016. By Ben Mark, Partner and David Cran, Partner

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In a judgment handed down today, the Court of Appeal, led by Lord Justice Kitchin, has overwhelmingly rejected the appeal by the five largest ISPs and upheld the High Court decision to grant Richemont a blocking order requiring those ISPs in the UK to prevent access to various third party websites from advertising and selling goods which infringe Richemont's trade mark rights.

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Pension freedom advice complaints: Delays and insistent clients cause of concern for the FOS

Published on 01 July 2016. By Matthew Watson, Associate

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Following reassuring news about low pension-related complaint numbers, the Financial Ombudsman's latest newsletter has revealed further details of the types of complaints they have received since the sweeping changes to the pension freedom rules in April of last year.

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Pre-judgment interest rate – prime plus 1%

Published on 30 June 2016. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

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In May 2016 the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong handed down three consistent decisions confirming that (among other things) prime rate plus 1% should continue to be used as the starting point for awarding pre-judgment interest on damages awarded by the courts in civil disputes.

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Tribunal dismisses taxpayer's appeal as trade not conducted on a commercial basis

Published on 30 June 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Gray v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0379 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a taxpayer conducting promotional activities for his musician wife was not entitled to set losses from those activities against profits from his legal business.

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Publication

VAT update, June 2016

29 June 2016

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The result of last week's referendum on the UK's membership of the EU is likely to lead to a prolonged period of uncertainty in many areas of taxation

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6 top priorities for GCs following the Brexit vote

29 June 2016

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6 clear priorities for in house legal leaders emerged from the dialogue that I had with Bruce Macmillan, the former in-house lawyer who heads our Centre for Legal Leadership:

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Pension Deed rectified by Summary Judgment without a hearing

Published on 29 June 2016. By Alan Williams, Partner and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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The High Court has recently granted summary judgment for rectification of a trust deed without a hearing. The judge did this "in such plain circumstances" where the evidence demonstrated that there was "no real prospect of a realistic challenge" to the position that the final version of the deed should have been executed, not an earlier draft.

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Brexit - a legal analysis: Competition

Published on 28 June 2016. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

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The implications for competition law and practice will very much depend on what form of Brexit the UK will end up negotiating. At one end of the spectrum the UK could join the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, an avenue that is likely to generate the fewest changes. If the UK were to seek a total exit, falling back on World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) rules to continue trading with the EU, the potential changes would be more wide-ranging as outlined below.

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Brexit - a legal analysis: IP rights

Published on 28 June 2016. By Paul Joseph, Partner

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IP rights in the UK are all influenced and moulded to a greater or lesser degree by European law.

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High Court encourages use of FOS to resolve disputes

24 June 2016

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The Commercial Court has encouraged the use of the FOS to resolve disputes, by granting a stay to enable claimants to benefit from what it described as a more economical and informal process.

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Hong Kong - China's window of the business world 

23 June 2016

David Smyth - Senior Partner, Asia - considers Hong Kong's role in a global market.

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Brexit and "Topsyturvydom": Wish-casting and dog-whistles portrayed as "fact" and vice versa

22 June 2016

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While I have been absorbing the "debate" about Brexit over the past few weeks, the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan have increasingly been coming to mind. Those gentlemen were legendary for creating comic "Topsy Turvy" situations where absurd scenarios were taken to even more absurd, but apparently logical, conclusions to great comic effect. More recently the term "topsy turvy" has also come to mean "Upside down" and/or "a state of total chaos".

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PRA gold plates EU audit committee requirements for significant insurers

Published on 21 June 2016. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

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Is your audit committee PRA compliant? New PRA rules out this month require designated "significant" insurers to fill their audit committees solely with independent non-executive directors.

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How would a Brexit affect the NHS?

Published on 21 June 2016. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

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The potential effect of a Brexit on the NHS has become a key political battleground with wildly divergent statistics being quoted and outlandish claims being made by both campaigns. Should the UK vote to leave the EU on 23 June there are a number of potential impacts on the NHS, outlined below.

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How would a Brexit affect employment in the UK?

20 June 2016

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Whilst the papers tell us to panic and the politicians speak of a potential apocalypse, the general view is that there will likely be very little immediate change to employment law should we vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016.

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How would a Brexit affect Intellectual Property laws in the UK?

Published on 17 June 2016. By Amelia Cave, Associate

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The future of IP law in the UK might not be at the top of your list of considerations when thinking about which way to vote on the 23 June. However, this area of law is heavily harmonised across the EU meaning that a vote to leave could have serious ramifications for businesses relying on IP rights.

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Caveat Emptor: Buyer's inadequate notice precludes £3.5m warranty claim

Published on 16 June 2016. By Matthew Evans, Senior Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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In Teoco v Aircom (unreported), the High Court has held that a buyer gave inadequate notice of certain breach of warranty claims, thereby preventing it from pursuing those claims (worth c. £3.5m).

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How would a Brexit affect the banking and finance sector in the UK?

16 June 2016

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Financial services represent around £26bn or 57.5% of the City of London's total income and accounts for 7.5% of the total national income of Great Britain; 18% of cross-border lending is arranged in the UK and over 250 foreign banks are in London. A Brexit could threaten the City of London's well established reputation as detailed below.

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The new 'notification injunction'

15 June 2016

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In Holyoake v Candy the High Court considered the court's power to grant a "notification injunction" requiring the Defendants to give written notice before disposing or dealing with their assets. The decision is of interest to applicants seeking an alternative to a freezing injunction where there is concern that a respondent may deal with their assets so as to frustrate the enforcement of any future judgment.

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Anti-suit injunctions

15 June 2016

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In Sea Powerful II, the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong recently dismissed a plaintiff ship owner's appeal against a judge's refusal to grant an anti-suit injunction to restrain the holder of a bill of lading from continuing with court proceedings in mainland China in breach of a Hong Kong arbitration clause

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How would a Brexit affect the property market in the UK?

Published on 15 June 2016.

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Industry participants have forecast a slowdown in residential and commercial property markets in the lead up to polling day on 23 June.

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How would a Brexit affect the cost of living in the UK?

14 June 2016

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The Brexit campaign is littered with statistics about the impact of a Brexit on the UK's economy. But how does this translate to its potential impact on the cost of living?

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How would a Brexit affect law firms in the UK?

13 June 2016

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As with many sectors, the implications of a Brexit for law firms in the UK are largely unknown and heavily dependent on the UK's relationship with the EU. Law firms will need to be alive to the impact across different practice areas as well as on the business as a whole.

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Professional negligence claims set for adjudication

Published on 10 June 2016. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

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How would a Brexit affect environmental protection in the UK?

10 June 2016

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In 2013, the EU introduced an interim ban on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

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How would a Brexit affect the insurance industry in the UK?

09 June 2016

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The insurance industry plays an essential part of the UK economy and manages investments equivalent to 25% of the UK’s total net worth.

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How would a Brexit affect online shopping from the EU?

Published on 08 June 2016. By Rachael Ellis, Associate

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In or out? No matter which side you’re on, there’s one thing we can all agree on: we buy a lot from Europe.

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House of Fraser held to account by Jack Wills

Published on 07 June 2016. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Georgia Davis, Legal Director

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How would a Brexit affect our trade relationship with Europe?

Published on 07 June 2016. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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There are a number of variables which would materially shape our trade relationship with Europe in a post-Brexit world.

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