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High Court considers the Ramsay principle in the context of a proposed scheme of arrangement

23 November 2016

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In Re Home Retail Group Plc , the High Court considered the so-called Ramsay principle of purposive construction in deciding whether a cancellation scheme following the sale of a business, to be carried out in connection with a takeover, fell within the anti-avoidance provisions contained in section 641(2A), Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006).

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The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Published on 23 November 2016. By Catherine Percy, Partner and Alice Wilson, Senior Associate

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Insureds can have their cake but only if they eat it too

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VAT update, November 2016

Published on 23 November 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this month’s update we report on new regulations which allow HMRC to refuse registration of VAT representatives, HMRC’s new policy on the correct treatment of VAT incurred by a business prior to its VAT registration and the EU’s extension of the UK’s VAT derogation permitting the UK to restrict input tax recovery on car leasing costs to 50% where the car is available for private use.

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Blog

Adjudication costs not recoverable as costs of proceedings

Published on 23 November 2016. By Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The Technology & Construction Court ("TCC") has recently considered whether there are circumstances in which a party can recover adjudication costs; the position, ordinarily, being that the costs of adjudication are not recoverable from the other side.

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"Refine but not replace Solvency II" declares the ABI

Published on 21 November 2016. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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In its response to the Select Committee inquiry into the impact of Solvency II (as reported by us in September), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has called on the Government to refine and not replace Solvency II. The response also claims that the implementation of the new regulations is harming customers, distorting markets and potentially unnecessarily affecting UK firms' ability to compete in the EU and globally.

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Blog

Approaches to supervising the conduct of intermediaries, IAIS paper

Published on 21 November 2016. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has published an application paper on approaches to supervising the conduct of intermediaries.

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Smartphones, smartwatches... 'smart' offices?

Published on 18 November 2016. By Sophie Tuson, Associate

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Robot security guards, coffee machines that remember how you like your cappuccino, and smartphone apps which enable employees to control heating and lighting at the touch of a button. Welcome to the brave new world of the ‘smart’ office.

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The ins and outs of tall buildings

Published on 18 November 2016. By Johanna Hall, Senior Associate

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Whilst iconic design can be fabulous, RPC asks if we will see developers and architects put more thought into the needs of their occupiers and surrounding landowners, and less of a focus on headline-grabbing exterior designs.

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Blog

High Court dismisses Libyan Investment Authority's claim against Goldman Sachs

Published on 17 November 2016. By Simon Hart, Partner

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The High Court dismissed the Libyan Investment Authority's claim against Goldman Sachs based on two causes of action, undue influence and unconscionable bargains, in relation to a series of transactions which the parties entered into (the Disputed Trades) between September 2007 and April 2008, causing the LIA to lose billions.

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Blog

BBC prevented from submitting evidence in IR35 case

16 November 2016

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In Paya Limited and Tim Willcox Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0660 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the BBC could not provide witness evidence of its own motion to the FTT in tax appeals, to which it was not a party.

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Blog

High Court considers validity and timing of contractual notices in close-out procedures

Published on 16 November 2016. By Jake Hardy, Partner

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The Commercial Court in London has considered a range of issues arising from the application of the close-out provisions of the standard form GMRA (Global Master Repurchase Agreement), year 2000 version (2000 GMRA).

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TerraLex: 19,000 lawyers. 100 countries. One network

15 November 2016

Terri Gavulic, Executive Director of TerraLex, explains how this international network of law firms offers the kind of low-fuss cost effective cross-border solution that clients value.

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Publication

Wealth and Trusts quarterly digest

Published on 15 November 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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Our quarterly digest aims to bring you up to date commentary and analysis on key sector developments. RPC’s 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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Blog

The Olympic party that nobody wants to host

14 November 2016

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Rio de Janeiro knows how to throw a party. But now that the dust has settled after the carnival celebration of hosting the Olympic Games, what state has the city been left in?

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Blog

Salinger: IHT scheme succeeds

Published on 11 November 2016. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In M L Salinger and J L Kirby v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 677 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the transfer of a reversionary interest had not been a transfer of value for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes and allowed the taxpayers' appeal.eal.

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Acceptance or a counter-offer - what relevance are communications after the fact?

Published on 11 November 2016. By Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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In Caroline Gibbs v Lakeside Developments the High Court held that an email purporting to accept a settlement offer but attaching a consent order specifying a different payment date was not an acceptance but a counter-offer.

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Blog

Building on Brexit

10 November 2016

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The Impact of Brexit on the Construction Industry and the House of Commons Briefing Paper

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Essar v Norscot: the landmark decision third party funding has been waiting for?

Published on 10 November 2016. By Daniel Hemming, Partner and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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The Commercial Court rejected an application to set aside an arbitral award entitling the respondent to its costs of third party litigation funding on the ground of serious irregularity. It also held that the Arbitration Act 1996 power to award "legal and other costs" included the costs of litigation funding.

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Blog

Intention to be bound: High Court construes commitment letter against equity participant

Published on 09 November 2016. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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The High Court held that the defendant signatory to a commitment letter intended to be legally bound by that document and was consequently in anticipatory repudiatory breach of contract. The decision highlights the need for contracting parties to be clear in documenting both their internal and external decision-making processes.

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Court of Appeal sheds light on innocent party's right to affirm frustrated contract

08 November 2016

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Court of Appeal held that the innocent party could not affirm a contract once its commercial purpose had been frustrated in order to claim on-going damages.

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Blog

The Future of America

Published on 07 November 2016. By Rob Paine, Associate

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The presidential candidates offer opposing visions for America. This article takes a brief trip into the two possible futures that await the US on 8 November 2016.

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The cost of power in the US election

Published on 02 November 2016. By Charlotte Thompson, Associate

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Electioneering in the US is big business.

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Blog

A Presidential Personality

Published on 02 November 2016. By Rebecca Taylor, Associate

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As much on this side of the pond as on the other, success on the political stage today seems to be determined by candidates’ personalities over their policies.

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Publication

Tax update, November 2016

Published on 02 November 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this update we report on the proposed new corporate offence of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion, success against HMRC in the Supreme Court in relation to unlawful disclosure of confidential information and HMRC’s new specialist team which has been set up to tackle exploitation of freelance workers.

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Chinese 'netizens' and the US Presidential Election

02 November 2016

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What do grassroots Chinese people think about the US election? Weibo and WeChat, the two dominant online social platforms in China, have provided a mixed answer.

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Blog

Lomas – Court confirms statutory interest payable on insolvency is not 'yearly interest' and criticises HMRC's change of position

Published on 01 November 2016. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In Lomas and others v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2492 (Ch), the High Court has confirmed that statutory interest payable on insolvency is not 'yearly interest' for UK tax purposes. The administrators therefore had no obligation to account for income tax on the interest payments made. The Court was also critical of HMRC's contradictory guidance on this issue.

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Blog

Clinton v Trump: Battle of Policies

01 November 2016

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Summer 2012: the build up to the election was one of disillusionment, widespread poverty, pervasive economic trouble, and exacerbated inequality. The battle was Obama v Romney. Fast forward four years and here we go again… This time, the battle is Clinton v Trump. The main differential in any political election comes down to policies. So how do the candidates differ?

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Blog

The keys to the White House in six easy steps

Published on 31 October 2016. By Chloe Johnston, Associate

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Many of us will find the choice between this year's clashing candidates simple, but the system that put these two hopefuls in the frame is slightly less straightforward.

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Blog

Enhanced annuity non-advised sales – not as bad as first feared?

Published on 31 October 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA's thematic review into non-advised enhanced annuity sales found no evidence of an industry wide or systemic failure to provide customers with information about enhanced annuities or the open market option. There will not be a general industry wide remedial action.

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Blog

Chelsea swap Adidas for £900m Nike deal

Published on 28 October 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate

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Chelsea FC and Nike have agreed the largest kit sponsorship/ supply agreement in the English Premier League worth £900m (£60m per year for 15 years). The announcement comes nearly 6 months after the Chelsea and Adidas kit sponsorship/supply agreement was terminated part way through a 10 year term.

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Blog

Partial success for taxpayer in Dutch-subsidiary quantification judgment following FII

Published on 28 October 2016. By Robert Waterson, Partner

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In Six Continents Ltd and Another v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2426 (Ch), the High Court held that the claimants are entitled to a credit at the foreign nominal rate (FNR) of corporation tax in respect of dividends paid from a Dutch subsidiary but are not entitled to a credit in respect of dividends linked to the return of share capital.

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Blog

Fair dealing defence in copyright infringement – a key summary

Published on 27 October 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate

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A recent key decision on fair dealing defence impacts reporting current events in copyright infringement claims.

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Third Party Rights and the SMR and SIMR: the regulators' Achilles' heel?

26 October 2016

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The FCA has recently gone to the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a significant ruling in relation to third party rights. This could have profound effects on the enforcement of SMR and SIMR.

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VAT update, October 2016

Published on 26 October 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this month’s update we report on new HMRC guidance in relation to retrospective VAT group treatment, use and enjoyment rules in relation to insurance repaid services and a new consultation on the introduction of a new penalty for those involved in VAT fraud. We also report on three recent cases involving the collection of commercial waste and whether this constitutes a “special purpose regime”, whether a stall at a craft fair amounted to the grant of a licence to occupy land and was not therefore exempt from VAT and whether a taxpayer can withdraw its request that the proceedings be excluded from the costs regime.

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Blog

An acceptable degree of uncertainty

26 October 2016

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Certainty, we are told, is a good thing, as a matter of both legal principle and commercial common sense. Certainty means predictability, which companies and merchants value because it allows them to plan and make decisions in the knowledge of the likely outcomes. This has been a major feature of English commercial law since at least the time of Lord Mansfield.

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Corporate tax update, third quarter 2016

20 October 2016

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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. Summer 2016 will certainly go down as one of the more interesting in recent British history but developments in UK tax law continue regardless of the wider political turmoil. In this edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the third quarter of 2016. As far as the tax legislative timetable is concerned, in this quarter: the Finance Bill 2016 finally received Royal Assent on 15 September 2016 (known as Finance Act 2016); it was announced that this year’s Autumn Statement will be given on 23 November 2016; it was also announced that draft Finance Bill 2017 clauses will be published on 5 December 2016 (for consultation until 30 January 2017).

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Blog

How can lawyers intelligently use AI?

20 October 2016

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In recent weeks, the legal press has been inundated with reports of different Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools being utilised by law firms. In case you are wondering what’s what, this post will clarify what a handful of the different systems can do, which firms are using them and the impact on legal services.

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Blog

Scrapping of secondary annuity markets – a backpedalling on Pension Reforms?

Published on 20 October 2016. By Matthew Watson, Senior Associate

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In a further nail in the coffin of the Cameron-Osborne legacy the government announced this week that it would be scrapping one of George Osborne's flagship proposed reforms to the pensions market – a proposed secondary market for annuities.

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Blog

Insurance Europe argues draft delegated acts must be consistent with IDD

19 October 2016

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Insurance Europe has expressed concern that the level 2 delegated acts for the Insurance Distribution Directive do not respect the original agreed framework in the legislative text with significant implications including a potential de facto ban on commission.

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FCA consults on the regulation of GCs

18 October 2016

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The FCA has outlined in a discussion paper its views about the extent to which GCs should come within its regulatory remit.

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Eden Consulting Services - Tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider HMRC's duty to act fairly in administering its statutory powers

Published on 18 October 2016. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In Eden Consulting Services (Richmond) Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 656 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) determined, as a preliminary issue, that it did not have jurisdiction to consider HMRC's alleged conduct, behaviour and abuse of its powers in determining an appeal against unauthorised payment charges and that such issues are properly for judicial review proceedings and/or the HMRC Adjudicator.

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Blog

Uncrystallised personal pensions safe from creditors

Published on 14 October 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has resolved previously conflicting case law to confirm that a bankrupt cannot be obliged to crystallise his pension benefits in order to produce income to pay off creditors.

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Blog

Enforcing the duty of responsibility against senior managers: the Regulators' view

13 October 2016

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The FCA and PRA have issued consultations giving guidance on how they propose to enforce the duty of responsibility against senior managers in banks – and the rest of financial services from 2018.

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Blog

Stan Murray-Hession: Tribunal allows taxpayer's share loss relief claim

Published on 12 October 2016. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Stan Murray-Hession v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 612, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), held that Mr Murray-Hession (the Appellant) had subscribed for shares within the meaning of section 135(2), Income Tax Act 2007 (ITA), so that share loss relief, under section 131, ITA, was available.

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Blog

Digital comparison tools under review

Published on 12 October 2016. By Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The UK's CMA has launched a market study into price comparison tools, such as price comparison websites and smartphone apps. The aim is to establish what action, if any, is required to improve how this market works. The CMA has until 28 March 2017 to decide whether to open an in-depth market investigation.

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Blog

15% increase in counterfeit goods seized in 2015

Published on 11 October 2016. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

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According to the "Report on EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Results at the EU Border 2015", the number of goods that were detained at the EU's external borders for suspected infringement of an IP right grew by an estimated 15% in 2015 compared with 2014.

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FCA and PRA set out wide-ranging rules and proposals for the SIMR and SMCR

11 October 2016

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Falling like autumn leaves, the FCA and PRA have published a number of papers relating to the senior insurance managers regime as well as the senior managers and certification regime (which will apply to insurers from 2018).

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ICO issues record £400,000 fine for TalkTalk data breach

11 October 2016

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The record fine is an indication that the new Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, is looking to take a robust approach to enforcement ahead of the introduction of the GDPR in May 2018.

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The FCA gives its provisional view on regulating the role of the GC.

10 October 2016

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In house lawyers have different roles but, fundamentally, many will help their businesses identify legal risks and define a tolerance towards those risks. They then use Contracts, Advice & Training (CAT) to keep those Risks At Tolerance (RAT) – they use CATs to control RATs.

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Tribunal rejects HMRC's attempt to transfer PAYE liability to employee

Published on 07 October 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Stephen West v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 536 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer's appeal and confirmed that under the PAYE system the obligation to pay income tax fell on the employer, and liability will only be transferred to the employee under the regulation of the Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003, if he has received his remuneration knowing that his employer has wilfully and deliberately failed to deduct PAYE.

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