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Who's paying (and voting) for Employment Tribunal fees?

Published on 01 May 2015. By Rebecca Rose, Associate

It's about politics. So, what three-word issue links the UK's relationship with the EU, public service funding, gender equality and immigration?

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Blog

Burden of proof for information notices on taxpayer

Published on 30 April 2015. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Joshy Mathew v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 139 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ("FTT"), considered where the burden of proof lies for establishing whether documents or information is "reasonably required", for the purposes of paragraph 1(1), Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008.

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Blog

CFAs continue for insolvent companies

Published on 30 April 2015. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) came into force, making the success fee applied to a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA), and the After the Event (ATE) insurance premiums, irrecoverable by a successful party to litigation proceedings.

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Blog

High Court considers iniquity exception for disclosure of privileged documents

Published on 30 April 2015. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner

In the case of London Borough of Brent v Kane, the court considered an application for the disclosure of legal advice that was alleged to have been given for an iniquitous purpose such that the benefit of any privilege that might otherwise have attached to the document was lost.

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Blog

The rise of the food bank: society in action

Published on 29 April 2015. By Amelia Payne, Associate

The existence of, and the ever increasing reliance upon, food banks is an issue which has oft been mooted during the run up to the election with Jeremy Paxman ...

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Justice for taxpayer where tax charge "repugnant to common fairness"

Published on 29 April 2015. By Tom Lloyd, Senior Associate

The Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber has upheld a taxpayer's appeal against a £383,000 tax charge which potentially left him facing bankruptcy.

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Pyrrhus defeats the FCA

29 April 2015

The Upper Tribunal has directed the FCA to prohibit former insurance broker Stephen Allen from performing any function in relation to a regulated activity.

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Charterparty arbitration clauses: too much of a good thing?

29 April 2015

It is a fact of commercial life that, at least with the benefit of hindsight, contracts are not always drafted clearly.

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Blog

Get your 'om' back

Published on 28 April 2015. By Rebecca Rose, Associate

You may have read Sarah Carmichael's 2014 article 'Are you sitting comfortably' on the dangers of having a predominantly sit-down job. For those of you who didn't instantly hand in your notice and take up a job landscape gardening, there is good news: yoga.

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Blog

Bringing EU regulation home – a sign of things to come?

Published on 28 April 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

A short recent judgment is a reminder of the need for financial institutions to keep an eye not only on what their home regulator is doing, but also European regulators.

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Blog

As seen at CofA – split decision on 'own name' in Assos v Asos

Published on 27 April 2015. By David Cran, Partner

The Court of Appeal has held that use of the ASOS brand by the well-known online clothing retailer, Asos, created a likelihood of confusion with and damaged the distinctive character of the earlier ASSOS Community Trade Marks owned by Assos, the specialist cycle clothing retailer, but Asos could nonetheless rely on the 'own name' defence to avoid trade mark infringement.

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Blog

High Court dismisses negligence claim as taxpayer did not stand up to tax authority!

Published on 23 April 2015. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP (the "Tax Advisers") have successfully defended a claim brought against them for losses arising out of negligent tax advice.

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Blog

Enforcing jurisdiction agreements in the EU – Brussels casts out "abusive litigation tactics"

22 April 2015

Disputes over jurisdiction (i.e. where a claim is heard and determined) are commonplace in shipping and international trade.

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Blog

Court of Appeal opens the door to 'distress-only' data breach claims where no financial loss

21 April 2015

Green tint 4

In an important ruling, the Court of Appeal confirms that misuse of private information is a tort and rules on the meaning of "damage" under s13 of the Data Protection Act ("the DPA"), allowing claimants to recover compensation for "distress" resulting from a breach of the Act without also having to prove pecuniary losses.

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Blog

Under pressure: will the FOS provide Accelerated Dispute Resolution?

17 April 2015

The FOS will soon be under increased pressure to reduce the time it takes to reach its decisions following the implementation of the EU Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) directive in three months' time.

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Blog

Cyber Insurance: A Critical Weapon In The War On Cyber Attack

Published on 17 April 2015. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

It will have been hard to have missed the reports of the recent surge in high profile cyber attacks – whether in relation to the Kaspersky Labs $1bn cyber robbery, points stealing from British Airways' air-miles accounts or the Sony Pictures hack following controversy over the film The Interview.

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Blog

Taxpayer succeeds in his application for judicial review of HMRC's decision not to return overpaid income tax

16 April 2015

In R (on the application of Andrew Michael Higgs) v HMRC [2015] UKUT 0092 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal ("UT"), exercising its jurisdiction to consider judicial review proceedings, has granted relief in favour of a taxpayer in a dispute in which HMRC refused to repay overpaid income tax.

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Blog

Oxford solicitor receives biggest SDT fine yet

Published on 14 April 2015. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

Former solicitor Nigel Harvie has been ordered to pay £305,000 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal ("SDT") – the biggest fine (by a long way) ever imposed by the tribunal.

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Blog

Watch where you work

Published on 13 April 2015. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Recently, I attended a law fair on behalf of RPC and was asked an interesting question.

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Fraud Alert 3 – a new weapon

Published on 09 April 2015. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

In July 2014 and February 2015 we warned about fraudsters targeting law firms client accounts, especially on Friday afternoons.

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Upper Tribunal imposes penalty in excess of £1 million on QC for failure to comply with information notices

Published on 08 April 2015. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In HMRC v Romie Tager [2015] UKUT 0040 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (Judge Colin Bishopp) ("UT"), has considered tax related penalties under paragraph 50, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008, for failure to comply with an information notice.

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Blog

Key Reforms to CPR Part 36

Published on 08 April 2015. By Tina Campbell, Senior Associate

Part 36 is a crucial tool in litigation. Most claims end in a settlement and the incentives and penalties within Part 36 help to encourage parties to make/accept sensible offers.

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Blog

Have the pension reforms lived up to eggs-pectations?

Published on 08 April 2015. By Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

It was widely reported that this Easter anyone over the age of 55 would be considering their nest eggs, rather than chocolate ones, in the wake of the new pension reforms which came into force on Monday.

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Firms in danger where data breach causes distress

07 April 2015

Hot on the heels of the launch of the pensions wave of the FCA's ScamSmart (as discussed by Sam's post), last Sunday a Daily Mail expose revealed that private pension data is being passed on by data firms without their customers' knowledge.

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Blog

Success for successor company in tax appeal

02 April 2015

In Leekes Limited v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 0093 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ("FTT") has held that a taxpayer that succeeded to a trade was entitled to set carried-forward pre-succession losses ...

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Blog

New Compulsory Marine Liability Insurance Gives Shipowners and their Insurers the Blues

Published on 02 April 2015. By Iain Anderson, Partner

The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007 comes into force later this month (18 April 2015 and 17 May 2015 for Malta and Tuvalu respectively, but 14 April 2015 for all other contracting states, including the UK).

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Friends without benefits – what happens when investments go wrong?

Published on 01 April 2015.

Investors have had something of a hard time suing financial institutions or financial advisers in Hong Kong for alleged claims sounding in breach of contract or negligence.

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Professional Indemnity insurance for financial advice: is the market broken?

Published on 01 April 2015. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

In yesterday's New Model Adviser, Mark Neale has urged advisers to put pressure on professional indemnity insurers to fix a market he has described as a 'broken reed'.

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Blog

Google v Vidal-Hall: the rise and rise of data protection rights

31 March 2015

In an important decision handed down on Friday, the Court of Appeal confirmed that misuse of private information is a tort, and that claimants may recover damages under the Data Protection Act 1998 (the "DPA") for distress without also proving pecuniary losses.

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Precarious parties and general uncertainty – will the UK election lead to EU ejection?

30 March 2015

The general election is fast approaching and once again it's causing headaches in the world of business. It's been the highlight of the political calendar since 1802, but it still manages to instil fear into the heart of every business leader. Why?

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Blog

Supreme Court clarifies the limits on contractual discretion

Published on 30 March 2015. By David Cran, Partner

A recent decision of the Supreme Court1 has confirmed that the limits on contractual discretion include a requirement to take relevant issues into account and that the discretion is not exercised irrationally.

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Extending the PRA's powers over auditors and actuaries

Published on 27 March 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

Auditors and actuaries are used to being overseen by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

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Pensions, pensions, and yet more pensions in the FCA's Business Plan

Published on 27 March 2015. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The FCA has published its Business Plan for 2015/2016.

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Registering the effects of the MLRs

Published on 26 March 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

A recent case is a stark reminder of the wide-reaching impacts of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

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Litigation meets regulation

Published on 26 March 2015. By Davina Given, Partner

In an ever more regulated world, commercial litigators need to be aware of both the risks and opportunities regulation may bring.

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Non-exclusive jurisdiction clauses in cross-border agreements

Published on 25 March 2015. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

Hong Kong courts adopt robust approach to uphold parties' contractual bargain as to their choice of forum

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Avoidance scheme effective despite HMRC's attempt to rely on Ramsay

Published on 25 March 2015. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Gemsupa Limited and Consolidated Property Wilmslow Limited v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 0097 (TC) ...

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Do not-so smart pension reforms mean FCA wants pensioners to be ScamSmart?

24 March 2015

Less than two weeks after Martin Wheatley's speech identifying April's 'big bang' pension reforms as "[t]he defining challenge of our time" ...

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Budget 2015 - impact on insurance

20 March 2015

George Osborne's announcement on Wednesday set out at least two areas of potential impact for the insurance industry.

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Tribunal confirms no penalty for implementing tax avoidance scheme

18 March 2015

In the recent case of Herefordshire Property Company Ltd v HMRC1, the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) ("FTT") allowed the taxpayer's appeal ...

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Supreme caution required when applying double identity rule

Published on 17 March 2015. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Georgia Davis, Legal Director

A recent High Court decision1 not only demonstrates the difficulty for trade mark owners in enforcing descriptive trade marks (and the risk that those trade marks may be found to be invalid) but also highlights potential pitfalls where trade marks co-exist within the same market.

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Unrealistic expectations? - FCA research highlights investors' lack of understanding of structured products

Published on 13 March 2015. By George Smith, Senior Associate

Findings published by the FCA beg the question, are firms are doing enough to ensure that customers understand structured products before investing?

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FCA prepares for Consumer Rights Act

Published on 13 March 2015. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

The FCA last week removed much of its unfair contract terms guidance and a number of undertakings (mainly relating to the mortgage and investment sectors) from its unfair contract terms library, citing the need to update them in light of, amongst other things, the unfair contract terms provisions in the Consumer Rights Bill and the CMA's 2015 guidance consultation on those provisions.

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Hong Kong expected to introduce mandatory low-sulphur fuel regulations

12 March 2015

Many vessels currently calling to Hong Kong voluntarily burn low-sulphur fuel, in return for financial incentives under a scheme introduced by the Government in 2012.

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CMA call for information on use of online reviews

Published on 12 March 2015. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Sarah Hill, Legal Director

Online reviews: love them or hate them, there is no escape. Products, services, large multinationals, SMEs, online or offline, almost everyone is being judged these days.

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Important judgment on liquidators' ability to obtain documents

Published on 11 March 2015. By Samuel Hung, Senior Associate

In an important judgment handed down recently by the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong, ...

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Tribunal finds in favour of property developer who was not trading

11 March 2015

In Terrace Hill (Berkeley) Ltd v HMRC[1], the First-tier Tribunal ("the FTT") rejected HMRC's arguments and concluded that a property developer's activity in relation to the development of an office property was an investment rather than a trading activity and allowed its appeal.

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New Senior Managers' Regimes to kick off in early March 2016

10 March 2015

The FCA and PRA have taken their most significant step to date in the relentless pursuit of greater accountability of senior management and the promotion of good governance and culture.

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Reflex actions: Plaza BV -v- The Law Debenture Trust Corporation

Published on 10 March 2015. By Jake Hardy, Legal Director

The recent judgment of Mrs Justice Proudman in Plaza BV –v- The Law Debenture Trust Corporation1 illustrates and extends a line of authorities in which the English courts have sought to narrow the scope of the mandatory application of Article 2 of the Brussels Regulation 44/2001.

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Solicitors' responsibility for conveyancing credit risk denied by the High Court

10 March 2015

In a transaction the claimant's own counsel described as 'murky', the High Court has dismissed a negligence claim against solicitors for the alleged failure to make further enquiries regarding the solvency of the vendor:

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