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Supreme Court judgment on SAAMCo

Published on 22 March 2017. By Nick Bird, Partner

On 22 March 2017 the Supreme Court handed down its decision on the application of SAAMCo to claims against professionals.

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Tribunal concludes that capital gains tax legislation is compliant with Human Rights and EU law

Published on 20 March 2017. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In William Reeves v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 192 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that section 167 Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA) is compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and EU law.

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Blog

Secret 'wealth-screening' by charities breaks data laws

Published on 20 March 2017. By Victoria Noto, Associate

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An ICO investigation into charity fundraising practices has led to two charities being fined and eleven being issued with Notices of Intent to fine.

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Tribunal allows taxpayers' appeal in foreign exchange losses case

Published on 16 March 2017. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In Smith and Nephew Overseas Limited and others v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 151, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed appeals against HMRC's disallowance of foreign exchange losses incurred as a result of a change in functional currency following a company reorganisation.

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Italian data protection authority issues fines totalling more than €11m for illegal data processing

Published on 14 March 2017. By Eliot Henderson, Associate

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The fines are thought to be the highest ever issued by a European data protection authority.

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Blog

The Insurance Block Exemption: The End of an Era

Published on 13 March 2017. By Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate and Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

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31 March 2017 sees the expiry of the Insurance Block Exemption

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Publication

Between a rock and a hard place

Published on 13 March 2017. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

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Difficulties for lenders arising out of limitation

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“Gagging orders”: an office holder’s secret weapon

13 March 2017

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Practitioners are fully aware of the extensive powers available under ss 235 and 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) allowing administrators and liquidators as office holders (OHs) to require individuals and organisations to disgorge information.

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Blog

Planning to Protect Pubs

09 March 2017

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A review of recent article 4 directions removing permitted development rights from pubs and proposed legislation to protect them from development and demolition.

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Ridgecrest – Tribunal allows appeal against Regulation 80 determinations

Published on 08 March 2017. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Ridgecrest Cleaning Services Pendergate Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 778 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed an appeal against determinations of underpaid tax made under Regulation 80 of the Income Tax (PAYE) Regulations 2003 (the PAYE Regulations), as HMRC had not obtained the necessary statutory consent from the Appellant to notify it of changes to employee PAYE codes electronically.

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Blog

Licensees beware - SAP wins victory against Diageo for breach of software licence agreement

Published on 08 March 2017. By Eliot Henderson, Associate

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In a significant ruling for software customers and providers, the High Court found that Diageo breached the "Named User" pricing mechanism of its software licence agreement with SAP.

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Blog

In-specie pension contributions - what's the fuss all about?

Published on 08 March 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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SIPP and SSAS providers and members continue to be left in limbo over potential tax charges arising from in-specie contributions. HMRC has suspended tax relief on contributions whilst it investigates the position, leaving providers and members without tax relief and the risk of tax assessments back to 2009.

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Publication

FOS backs down and agrees: award limit applies in avoidance cases

Published on 08 March 2017. By Robert Morris, Partner

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In R (on the application of Aviva Life & Pensions (UK) Limited) v Financial Ombudsman Service [2017]1 Aviva judicially reviewed a Financial Ombudsman Service decision that required them to reinstate a life insurance policy they had avoided for non-disclosure.

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Publication

Financial litigation roundup

Published on 06 March 2017. By Tom Hibbert, Partner

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Welcome to the latest edition of our financial litigation roundup, which considers recent judgments, ongoing cases and legal developments from the banking and financial world in the UK and Asia.

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Finally, a victory in the on-going battle against business rates

03 March 2017

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The Supreme Court ruling in Newbigin v Monks represents a welcome and important victory for UK property developers.

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Blog

HMRC's failure to exercise its discretion unreasonable

Published on 03 March 2017. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In G B Housley Limited v HMRC [2016] EWCA Civ 1299, the Court of Appeal allowed the Appellant's appeal and restored the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) which had discharged HMRC's VAT assessment on the basis HMRC had failed to correctly exercise its discretion.

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Publication

Has the FCA made settling more appealing?

02 March 2017

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Changes to the Regulatory Enforcement Process

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Solicitors duty to warn - when does it arise?

01 March 2017

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The Court of Appeal has recently dismissed an appeal against the decision of Michael Bowes QC sitting as a deputy judge in the Queen’s Bench Division in Balogun v Boyes Sutton & Perry [2017] EWCA Civ 75.

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Blog

BDO report finds fraud at a 5-year high

Published on 01 March 2017. By Esme Watson, Senior Associate

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There has been a cascade of negative headlines in recent months about increased incidences of fraud in the UK. Stretched police resources, combined with an array of opportunities for online exploitation of businesses and consumers, are perceived to have made it a good time to be a fraudster.

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Publication

Tax update, March 2017

Published on 01 March 2017. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s Spotlight 36 which has been issued in respect of planning designed to circumvent the loan taxation rules in Part 7A ITEPA; new draft legislation in relation to the taxation of non-domiciled individuals and a recent report by the Public Accounts Committee on the taxation of high net worth individuals.

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Blog

The new statutory obligation to report on payment practices

28 February 2017

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Key points (and links) for businesses to note about the draft Reporting Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017 which comes into effect in April 2017.

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Court of Appeal rejects claim for misuse of confidential information in TV format

27 February 2017

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The Court of Appeal has confirmed a decision that confidential information was not misused by a large telecommunications organisation when it developed a television programme format with multiple similarities to one pitched to (and rejected by) it by individuals from the music industry a year previously.

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Publication

Guide to Real Estate Funds

22 February 2017

Welcome to the BVCA Guide to Real Estate Funds, the latest in our series of guides into business sectors, investment strategies and international markets.

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VAT update, February 2017

Published on 22 February 2017. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s withdrawal of three VAT extra-statutory concessions, the National Audit Offce’s investigation into VAT evasion by overseas online retailers and HMRC’s responses to the various “Making Tax Digital” consultations.

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Blog

A punishment to fit the crime – CJEU allows punitive damages in IP infringement cases

Published on 22 February 2017. By Ben Mark, Partner

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In a recent decision, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that the EU Enforcement Directive does not preclude the legal provision of punitive damages in infringement cases in EU Member States.

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Couple awarded £17,000 damages for distress caused by neighbour's CCTV surveillance

22 February 2017

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The compensation is an example of the rise of "distress" claims as a result of breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

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Timing and detail critical in misfeasance claims against HMRC

Published on 22 February 2017. By Robert Waterson, Partner

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The claimant taxpayer, who had been wrongly convicted for cheating the public revenue, had his claim of misfeasance in public office against HMRC struck out by the High Court because it was brought too late and he had failed adequately to plead his case.

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Blog

Demand guarantees not subject to doctrine of strict compliance

Published on 21 February 2017. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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High Court holds that the doctrine of strict compliance does not automatically apply to demand guarantees (or performance bonds) in the way that it applies to letters of credit.

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CIL review: A note of caution to charities

20 February 2017

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An overview of the CIL review team's recommendations for reform of CIL and consideration of the effect the loss of charitable exemptions could have on charities

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"Fraud unravels all" – or does it?

20 February 2017

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The English Commercial Court has upheld the enforcement of a foreign arbitration award against a buyer of goods even though the seller submitted forged bills of lading under the letter of credit

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Publication

Wealth and trusts quarterly digest, February 2017

Published on 16 February 2017. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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The digest provides up to date commentary and analysis on key sector developments. Our tax, wealth and trusts teams are able to provide a wide ranging service to assist you and your clients in responding to market trends and legal developments. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have and always welcome feedback on the content of our publications.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update, February 2017

Published on 16 February 2017. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this quarterly update we report on new customs examination powers which allow HMRC to examine goods away from ports, airports and other approved places under customs control after clearance, the Government’s response to its consultation on a new due diligence scheme for UK fulfilment houses handling goods imported from outside the EU and HMRC’s new raw tobacco approval scheme.

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Blog

Robo-Advice: not so black and white?

Published on 15 February 2017. By Matthew Watson, Senior Associate

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The Chairman of the FCA, John Griffith-Jones has provided an insight into the Regulator's concerns that the advent of technological developments has blurred the distinction between when customers are receiving advice or guidance.

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The importance of retainer letters

Published on 15 February 2017. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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Court strikes out claim that an adviser owed a duty to point out a claim against a former adviser

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Upper Tribunal confirms transfer of pension fund is not a transfer of value for IHT purposes

Published on 15 February 2017. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Parry & Others [2017] UKUT 4 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a transfer of funds from a registered pension scheme to a personal pension plan made by the deceased shortly before her death was not a 'transfer of value' for the purposes of section 3, Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA). Similarly, the deceased's omission to exercise her right to take lifetime benefits from the personal pension plan was not a transfer of value.

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The Housing White Paper: 5 ways to boost delivery

15 February 2017

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A round-up of five key themes in the Housing White Paper which aim to increase land available for housing and boost build-out rates.

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Computer says...sell, sell, sell!

Published on 14 February 2017. By Alex Farrow, Associate

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False news stories and the stock market - a toxic combination or a risk-taker's dream?

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The long arm of the law: chasing the proceeds of (alleged) crime

Published on 13 February 2017. By Davina Given, Partner

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The English Court has recently upheld a freezing order over the sale proceeds from shares alleged to be a Canadian company's bribes to a Chadian diplomat's wife in the US.

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Green belt development - don't forget the law!

13 February 2017

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A review of the housing white paper in relation to green belt development noting that the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 is a further hurdle.

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Lead market regulator's lawsuit includes professional advisers

Published on 09 February 2017. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Samuel Hung, Senior Associate

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In another significant development in the Securities and Futures Commission's (SFC) efforts to combat market misconduct-type activity involving listed shares in Hong Kong, the lead market regulator has commenced civil proceedings under Section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571) in respect of China Forestry Holdings Co Ltd (in official liquidation). What makes the proceedings noteworthy is that besides naming the company and two of its directors as co-defendants, the regulator's civil complaint also names two co-sponsors and the auditor involved with the company's initial public offering (IPO) in 2009.(1)

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Business rate hikes about to hit retailers

08 February 2017

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Retailers are bracing themselves for increased property costs in the form of newly calculated business rates which take effect in April 2017.

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Publication

Make insolvency great again

08 February 2017

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One of the great criticisms of the new President of the United States of America is that his companies filed for bankruptcy four times when he was a business mogul.

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Brexit does not spell the end of the GDPR

08 February 2017

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The General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR) is due to become law on 25 May 2018. As this will be before “Brexit” (Britain’s exit from the EU) takes effect, the GDPR will apply in the UK from that date.

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Blog

Court of Appeal upholds Financial List decision on application of Rome Convention to derivative instruments

Published on 08 February 2017. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision from the first trial heard within the new Financial List regarding the application of the Rome Convention to derivative instruments.

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VAT recovery on management buyout fees

Published on 07 February 2017. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In Heating Plumbing Supplies Limited [2016] UKFTT 753, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a VAT group's appeal against HMRC's denial of input tax recovery on advisory fees incurred in a management buyout.

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Security for costs – be reasonable!

07 February 2017

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A recent Judgment in Hong Kong on a security for costs application reinforces the wide discretion of the Court as to the form and quantum of security which should be accepted

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Publication

Buyer’s solicitor beware!

06 February 2017

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Is it safe to act for a purchaser in a property transaction?

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M&A deal trends

Published on 06 February 2017. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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Deal trends for the UK M&A market in 2017

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The Survey Says! EU General Court decides on requirements for evidence on distinctive character

Published on 03 February 2017. By Henry Priestley, Partner

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A decision by the General Court highlights the requirement for comprehensive evidence of genuine use when seeking to prove acquired distinctiveness in relation to 3D marks in the EU.

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Electronic Signatures – the future of executing documents?

03 February 2017

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You could be forgiven for failing to spot the release of The EU Regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services in the Internal Market (910/2014/EU) (the Regulation), released post EU referendum. We consider the impact of this and the Law Society's Guidance Note on electronic signatures (the Guidance Note).

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