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"Agency" is not always enough to engage the law of bribery and secret commissions

Published on 13 March 2019. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Jonathan Cary, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has held that the payment by a seller of a fee to an acquisition agent without the buyer's knowledge does not render the contract for sale void or voidable. The decision turned on whether there was sufficient trust and confidence in the relationship between the buyer and the acquisition agent. Prince Arthur Ikpechukwu Eze v Conway and another [2019] EWCA Civ 88

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A Right Royal Deadlock: Can "Crown" use unlock patented drug?

Published on 12 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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Can the Government settle the dispute between NHS and Vertex Pharmaceuticals through "Crown" use of the patented drug, Orkambi.

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Judge makes alarming comments about validity of standstill agreements in Inheritance Act claims

Published on 12 March 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate and Rhian Howell, Partner

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In a recent judgment, the High Court has cast doubt on the extent to which the court will recognise standstill agreements in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

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A licence to kill... a licence

Published on 11 March 2019. By Tim Anderson, Partner and Jason Varney, Senior Associate

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In the second of a number of short articles we are producing in relation to businesses in the tech space, we will be discussing a real life example of what not to do when diligencing a tech company and its third party IP licence agreements.

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Seeking the "right regulation" of digital services: Lords' Communications Committee articulates its vision

Published on 11 March 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner

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In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, told the US Senate Judiciary Committee that the question was no longer whether there should be regulation of the internet, but what is the right regulation.

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When does delay by HMRC render a discovery assessment invalid?

Published on 07 March 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In the recent case of Clive Beagles v HMRC [2018] UKUT 380 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a delay of nearly two and a half years between (i) HMRC discovering that a taxpayer's self-assessment tax return was insufficient and (ii) HMRC issuing an assessment, was too long. As the discovery had become 'stale' by the time of the assessment, the assessment was invalid.

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Enforceable oral contracts – Supreme Court looks to conduct and context

Published on 07 March 2019. By Eliot Henderson, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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To avoid expensive litigation, contracting parties should ensure that all essential terms are expressly agreed within a legally binding contract. Where some essential terms are missing, but the parties clearly intend to be bound by and act on their agreement, the court will be keen to find an enforceable agreement. Wells v Devan 2019, UKSC 4.

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BMW Rides to Victory

Published on 06 March 2019. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

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BMW, the well-known manufacturer of cars, motorcycles and engines, secured summary judgment in respect of its claim for trade mark infringement and passing off arising out of the registration of a UK company under the BMW name.

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Roma wasn't built in a day; how Netflix conquered the Oscars

Published on 05 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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In 2017, at the Cannes Film Festival, the film 'Okja' was debuted. It was produced by Brad Pitt's production company 'Plan B' and starred Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. It also featured a giant CGI pig, whose capture and treatment raised issues on animal welfare, and whose - spoiler alert – rescue, made the hairs on the back of one's neck stand up.

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Law Society introduces new Code for Completion by Post

Published on 04 March 2019. By Tom Toulson, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Conveyancing practitioners need of course to familiarise themselves with the new Code, in advance of its implementation date of 1 May 2019. Following Dreamvar, the new Code underlines the fact that the burden of detecting fraudulent sellers falls squarely on the sellers' solicitors.

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Curzon – contractor loan scheme notifiable under DOTAS but scheme administrator not a 'promoter'

Published on 04 March 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Curzon Capital Ltd [2019] UKFTT 0063 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a contractor loan scheme was a notifiable arrangement for the purposes of the disclosure of tax avoidance arrangements (DOTAS) regime, but that the scheme administrator was not a promoter. Accordingly, HMRC's application for an order that the arrangements were notifiable was dismissed.

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Publication

Tax update - March 2019

04 March 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) clarification from HMRC on time limits for discovery assessments into tax returns where the loss of tax is due to avoidance; (2) HMRC’s updated guidance for settling disguised remuneration schemes; and (3) confirmation in Spotlight 48 that taxpayers who have taken out disguised remuneration loans do not need to obtain a deed of release or exclusion of the loan from the lender before HMRC will agree a settlement.

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Product liability update - February 2019

28 February 2019

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A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news, from the Product Safety Marking in the event of a “no deal” Brexit to Social media and product advertising.

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Organ Donation: The New Law

Published on 28 February 2019. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

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An "opt-out" system for organ donation is expected to come into effect in England next year after passing the final parliamentary vote this week

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VAT Update - February 2019

27 February 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the VAT IT system rules and processes if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) EU exit legislation; and (3) revisions to HMRC’s Notice of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Who was best dressed at the Oscars?

Published on 27 February 2019. By Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor

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Always popular, often outrageous, and unfortunately sometimes sexist; the best and worst dressed lists have been must-have articles for publishers around award season since 1940. But does success or failure on these lists have any impact on the brand of the celebrity, or the designer?

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Spotlight on private wealth - February 2019

27 February 2019

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Welcome to our new look Spotlight. Our quarterly update highlights developments in the private client world – with a focus on disputes and how to avoid them.

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Managing more bribery risk post-Brexit

Published on 25 February 2019. By Sam Tate, Partner

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We regularly hosts financial crime related round-tables exploring with interested groups including government and enforcement agencies, clients and NGOs, practical solutions and insights to the most complex and topical issues.

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Medicinal Cannabis – How far have we really come?

Published on 25 February 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

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Cannabis, for medicinal purposes, was legalised nearly four months ago in the UK, but how many patients are actually reaping the benefits, and how far have we really come?

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Jimenez - Court of Appeal confirms extra-territorial reach of information notices

Published on 25 February 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In R (oao Jimenez) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 51, the Court of Appeal has held that HMRC can issue an information notice to a taxpayer under paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), even if he is non-resident.

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Customs and excise quarterly update: February 2019

22 February 2019

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In this update we report on the effect of a no deal Brexit in relation to (1) customs processes and procedures; (2) binding tariff information; and (3) changes to tax procedures. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) obtaining an injunction when HMRC revoke Authorised Warehousekeeper status; (2) the application of retrospective inward processing authorisation periods; and (3) the seizure of vehicles.

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Blog

High Court on the Pulse with RCDs

Published on 22 February 2019. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

In the fight between two wearable sports-tech giants, PulseOn v Garmin, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the High Court correctly applied the test for infringement of Registered Community Designs and that Garmin's sports watch did not infringe PulseOn's design.

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Love (or hate) Data?

Published on 21 February 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner and Charles Buckworth, Partner and Jonathan Greenway, Associate

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Personal Data and Special Category Personal Data – what has changed? "The course of true love never did run smooth" - Shakespeare, W., A Midsummer Night's Dream The definition of personal data is obviously fundamental to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). When considering data protection, your first question should always be – 'is this data personal data?'

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FCA issues Final Report in the Wholesale Insurance Broker Market Study

Published on 20 February 2019. By Matthew Griffith, Partner and Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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Today, the FCA released its Final Report in its Wholesale Insurance Broker Market Study. The study, which was launched in 2017, considered competition, transparency and conflicts concerns arising from changes in the market, including an increased use of broker facilities.

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From rehabilitative robotics to automated imaging: educating the workforce for the digital future

Published on 19 February 2019. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

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An independent review into the future impact of digital technology identifies a pressing need for specialist training within the healthcare workforce.

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Is a good arguable case good enough? The Court of Appeal considers the test for establishing jurisdiction

Published on 19 February 2019. By Emma West, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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The test for deciding whether a claimant has a good arguable case is relative following the Court of Appeal's decision in Kaefar v AMS Drilling and others.

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Smoke and mirrors? Big Tobacco slip(stream)s back into Formula One sponsorship deals

Published on 18 February 2019. By Stuart Harris, Associate

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RPC reports on Philip Morris and British American Tobacco securing major partnerships with Ferrari and McLaren, prompting investigations into their compliance with domestic and international advertising laws.

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Blog

When does an Oscar speech become defamatory?

Published on 18 February 2019. By Harry Collins, Trainee Solicitor

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In recent years, it has become the norm for presenters and winners alike at the Oscars to use their stage time to make political statements. However, politics at the Oscars has not always been so accepted. We take a look here at the shifting attitude of the Academy towards politically-charged speeches, and whether they may cross the legal line into defamation.

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Hegarty – HMRC information notices invalid

Published on 15 February 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Hegarty v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0774 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that HMRC issued invalid information notices under paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), as it did not provide any evidence to support its suspicion that the taxpayers had paid insufficient tax.

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Part Three: Five practical implications of side letters and most favoured nations clauses for fund investors and managers

Published on 15 February 2019.

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In this third and final part of our series on side letters and most favoured nation (MFN) clauses in private equity funds, we examine five practical implications for investors and managers.

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Latin America insights - Ecuador

14 February 2019

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Ecuadorian (re)insurance claims have formed a part of RPC’s Latin American practice for some years.

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Happy Valentine's Day from RPC: Love (or hate) data?

Published on 14 February 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner and Charles Buckworth, Partner

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So it is that time of year again. Love is in the air - roses, prosecco (if you're lucky, champagne), chocolates (in boxes covered in sickly hearts as though a heart surgeon has gone serial killer – yes, we're big fans of Luther).

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Supreme Court Refuses to allow a Claim against Lawyers for Loss of a Dishonest Claim

Published on 13 February 2019. By Joe Bryant, Partner and Nick Bird, Partner and Will Sefton, Partner

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On 13 February 2019 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in its first decision on loss of chance principles for 14 years (in Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2019] UKSC 5).

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Publication

Corporate tax update Fourth quarter 2018

12 February 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly. In this final 2018 edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the fourth quarter of 2018.

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Time waits for know-ledge: but what does that mean for limitation?

Published on 12 February 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Laura Evans, Associate

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Keep limitation under review, Section 14A does not extend the limitation period until each and every breach is identified and a claimant cannot postpone the date of 'knowledge' under Section 14A of the Limitation Act by choosing which breach of duty it relies on.

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Blog

HMRC launches profit diversion compliance facility

Published on 12 February 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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On 10 January 2019, HMRC launched their Profit Diversion Compliance Facility (PDCF). The PDCF is a new voluntary disclosure facility, aimed at multinational enterprises (MNEs), that provides them with an opportunity to disclose and correct tax inaccuracies relating to profits diverted out of the UK.

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General liability newsletter February 2019

11 February 2019

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The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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Hymanson – HMRC's decision to revoke the taxpayer's fixed protection was unreasonable

Published on 11 February 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In G Hymanson v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 667, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that HMRC’s decision to revoke the taxpayer's fixed protection was unreasonable and directed that it be reinstated. In so finding, the FTT applied the equitable maxim ‘that which should be done should be treated as having been done’.

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"Move fast and break things" (just not patients)

Published on 08 February 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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The AoMRC's report on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare presents dilemmas for clinicians, hospital and industry

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Can you sell an Oscar?

Published on 08 February 2019. By Lucy Baughan, Trainee Solicitor

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An Academy Award (an Oscar) is one of the most prestigious accolades which a person in the film industry can receive. The awards symbolise tradition, exceptional quality and exclusiveness. Leaving the film reviews to the Academy itself, we focus on what is behind the Oscars brand: what the brand stands for and the steps the Academy has taken to protect the brand's integrity.

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Publication

Tax update - February 2019

05 February 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) an Economic Affairs Committee report on treating taxpayers fairly; (2) HMRC’s extension of the deadline for responses to its consultation on the taxation of trusts; and (3) the Law Society’s practice note on the offence of failure to prevent the criminal facilitation of tax evasion. We also comment on three recent decisions relating to (1) the principles governing disclosure in the context of tax appeals;(2) business property relief under the Inheritance Tax Act 1984; and (3) the closure of an HMRC enquiry which was “drifting aimlessly”.

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Drafting a contract? Beware the well-intentioned but unenforceable agreement to agree

Published on 05 February 2019. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Rebecca Birkby, Senior Associate

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"Such period as shall reasonably be agreed between (the parties)" is an agreement to agree and therefore unenforceable according to the Court of Appeal in Philip Morris v Swanton Care & Community Limited.

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Wilsons – HMRC unable to obtain law firm's records

Published on 04 February 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Wilsons Solicitors LLP v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 627 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the obligation to keep records under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (MLR) does not make a law firm a relevant data-holder for the purposes of HMRC's data-gathering powers.

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Hyper-Personalisation: the brands who want to know your name

Published on 04 February 2019. By Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

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In a modern day society widely dubbed as 'The Digital Age', corporations must compete like never before to capture a fluid market seeking instant gratification.

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LOIs and liability for inducement of breach of contract

Published on 01 February 2019.

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A recent Court of Appeal ruling highlights the risk to traders and, in particular, to their officers and employees personally, of giving/arranging a letter of indemnity to a carrier against liability arising out of delivery of goods without presentation of the bills of lading. This blog examines the risk of such arrangements giving rise to a liability on their part under the tort of procuring a breach of contract.

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SAAMCo and BPE re-affirmed: the proper approach to loss in professional negligence cases

Published on 31 January 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Tom Toulson, Associate

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A recent Court of Appeal decision reaffirms the importance of the "information" and "advice" categories when considering the losses for which a professional should be held liable.

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Publication

VAT update - January 2019

31 January 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) refunds of VAT in the UK for non-EU businesses; (2) changes to the VAT treatment of retained payments; and (3) revised HMRC guidance on when and how to account for VAT when you transfer a business as a going concern. We also comment on three recent cases involving (1) irrecoverable output tax; (2) the deductibility of a repayment supplement from an interest award; and (3) whether a taxpayer had a legitimate expectation that HMRC guidance could be relied upon.

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FCA promises "greater clarity" over Crypto regulation

Published on 31 January 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made further progress in relation to the regulation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, in an attempt to tackle the growing market. The aim of regulation will be to provide greater clarity to both the industry and consumers.

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連載コラム・欧州M&A最前線>12月・1月

Published on 31 January 2019. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

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2019年の幕開けは、東京と香港への出張で忙しくも生産的だった。ブレグジット問題の目まぐるしい展開は、やはり大きな話題となっていた。英国の誰もがそうだろうが、交渉がここまで遅れ、まだ合意が成り立っていないことに私も驚いている。(

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Can expert evidence be used to determine dishonesty?

Published on 31 January 2019. By Steven Rajavinothan, Associate and Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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Dishonesty in relation to financial market practices is to be determined against an objective standard; expert evidence as to market practices cannot be adduced to decide the issue.

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