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Causation - the multi-billion pound question

Published on 21 February 2012. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The FSA's £1.5m fine imposed on Santander UK plc yesterday raises again the question of whether causation should be required for firms in the financial services industry to be liable to their clients.

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Chief Executive of Ann Summers gets privacy injunction

17 February 2012

Mr Justice Tugendhat has today handed down a short judgment explaining why he made an interlocutory order to prevent the publication of private and confidential information about Jacqueline Gold, the high-profile Chief Executive of Ann Summers.

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Cabinet minister's 17-year-old son gets privacy injunction but not anonymity

Published on 15 February 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The son of Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, has obtained an injunction against the publishers of the Daily Star Sunday.

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Unknown Associates

13 February 2012

How much evidence do you need to substantiate a claim for tax relief?

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Strasbourg Rulings on Two Personal Privacy Claims

Published on 08 February 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights yesterday handed down its much anticipated decisions in the important privacy cases Axel Springer and von Hannover.

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FOS undeterred in its plans to publish firm names in Ombudsman decisions, despite concerns

06 February 2012

The FOS has released a summary of responses to its September 2011 paper "publishing ombudsman decisions: next steps" confirming its plan to publish all Ombudsman decisions.

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Einhorn not pleased as Punch with insider dealing fine of £7.2m

03 February 2012

If you honestly believe that information given to you is not inside information but the FSA thinks your belief is unreasonably held, then you lay yourself open to sanctions for market abuse, notwithstanding that you have no intention to commit market abuse.

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Should Demi Moore's emergency call have been kept private?

Published on 30 January 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

When the actress Demi Moore needed emergency medical care at her home in Los Angeles last week, her friend called 911.

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A Voyage of Discovery: two recent Court of Appeal decisions

Published on 30 January 2012. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

In December of last year, two differently constituted panels of the Court of Appeal handed down important judgments on the discovery provisions contained in sections 29 and 30B Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA 1970').

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Damages for unauthorised access to medical records

Published on 29 January 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

A judge has awarded £12,500 to a man whose pre-existing personality disorder was exacerbated after his partner accessed his medical records and challenged him about his mental illness.

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Online privacy rights strengthened by EU data protection reform

Published on 28 January 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The EU has proposed important reforms to data protection laws. The reforms have two aims: increased online privacy rights and boosting the digital economy by removing or easing some unnecessary administrative burdens.

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Building Information Modelling

25 January 2012

This is the first of three blogs about Building Information Models, or BIM. This blog will explain what a BIM is and why it is significant. We will then look at the risks associated with BIM; finally, we will provide some practical advice on how these risks can be tackled.

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Ending legal aid for millionaire defendants

Published on 17 January 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Readers may not be aware of an extraordinary anomaly in our criminal justice system which has led to a significant drain on the legal aid fund.

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Dividends paid to 'innocent' shareholders by 'criminal' companies vulnerable to civil recovery

17 January 2012

When Mabey & Johnson Limited's parent received a dividend, little did it think that it would be vulnerable to civil recovery following the conviction of its subsidiary's employees for corruption and breaches of UN sanctions.

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FOS supplementary PPI case fee suggests inefficiencies of scale

13 January 2012

The National Audit Office's report published yesterday into the FOS' 'efficient handling of financial services complaints' challenged FOS to 'achieve efficiencies of scale' but, ...

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Tribunal criticises HMRC's unreasonable behaviour and awards costs to the taxpayer

Published on 09 January 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Nicholas Deluca v HMRC (TC01422) the First-tier Tribunal (Sir Stephen Oliver QC) criticised HMRC's conduct and directed that they make a contribution of half the costs incurred by Mr Deluca in connection with an HMRC enquiry into his tax return and his subsequent appeal to the Tribunal.

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The 22 more free FOS cases of Christmas

06 January 2012

On the twelfth day of Christmas, our Ombudsman service gave to us a proposal that would see smaller and medium sized firms given many more free complaints before a case fee applies.

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'Tentacles across the system':  Joint Committee believes in monsters too…

05 January 2012

The report published in December by the Joint Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill offered no festive cheer:

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Happy New maximum award limit

23 December 2011

It is a sobering thought that FOS complaints made from January will be subject to the increased maximum award limit of £150k.

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Public Accounts Committee Report – HMRC criticised for 'cosy' deals

Published on 21 December 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The report of the Public Accounts Committee ('the Committee') into alleged 'sweetheart' deals reached by HMRC with some of the largest companies in the UK was published yesterday.

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Goldman Sachs, Whistleblowing and HMRC – the sorry saga continues!

Published on 19 December 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Osita Mba is a solicitor working at HMRC's Solicitor's Office.

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No more nodding NEDs - FSA to make non-execs consumer champions

19 December 2011

NEDs (and their D&O insurers) will be increasingly exposed to regulatory risk because of the FSA's new guidance.

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HMRC criticised again over delay in issuing late filing penalties

Published on 16 December 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Readers may recall that in a recent blog I commented on the case of Hok Limited v Revenue & Customs Commissioners (TC1286) .

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Box on, ITV: OFCOM knocks out TV advertising industry review and regulatory change

16 December 2011

In contrast to this week's OFT decision that it was an 'administrative priority' to conduct a market study into aspects of the UK private motor insurance industry, OFCOM has declined to launch a similar market investigation into TV advertising for reasons of proportionality.

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OFT gives green light to market study into private motor insurance

14 December 2011

The OFT has this morning confirmed that it is launching a market study into the UK private motor insurance industry following the call for evidence made in September.

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You can't rely on it, but you can't ignore it!

12 December 2011

In furtherance of its statutory objective to reduce financial crime, on Friday the FSA has published a policy statement on financial crime - PS11/15 (the Guide) which has immediate effect.

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Underneath the mistletoe… UCIS review due in 2012

09 December 2011

Another Christmas treat the industry will be glad to put off until the New Year was revealed by the publication of the FSA's Board minutes for July.

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Old business, old customers, old liabilities - and HSBC is still paying

08 December 2011

In today's news it is reported that HSBC will not only have to meet the costs of four file reviews, the FSA Enforcement process, the resulting fine of £10.5m and compensation of nearly £30m

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More Swiss controversy!

Published on 07 December 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

I commented on the UK/Swiss tax deal in my blog of 26 August 2011.

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Bans, bans and more bans

07 December 2011

For the fourth time in as many weeks, the FSA has curtailed the selling of a product under the guise of guidance.

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Making the punishment fit the crime

06 December 2011

The FSA's Final Notices are now littered with directors of financial services firms personally fined and made the subject of prohibition orders, not only for dishonesty but also for lacking competence and capability in the management of their businesses.

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If at first you don't succeed, give up

05 December 2011

Not deterred by the Court of Appeal's recent ruling that the names of junior AML staff are not disclosable under standard disclosure, Messrs Shah and Mahabeer continued their appeal against the following decisions.

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FSA's insistence on senior management responsibility tested before the Tribunal

05 December 2011

Two years on from the FSA's £8 million fine of UBS AG for systems and controls failures in breach of Principles 2 (skill, care and diligence) and 3 (adequate risk management systems)

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What a difference a week makes

Published on 02 December 2011. By Rachael Healey, Partner

This week has seen a number of unwanted early Christmas presents for the IFA industry.

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General Anti-Avoidance Rule ('GAAR') – will the 'centre ground' of tax planning be safe?

Published on 02 December 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

On 21 November the final report of the GAAR Study Group ('the Group'), a committee of the tax world's 'great and the good', chaired by Graham Aaronson QC, was published.

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A reasonable approach to insuring your cat?

01 December 2011

The FSA has taken RBS' insurance firms to task under the UTCCR for the terms of their pet insurance. RBS' wordings had said they would not pay "any costs that we do not consider reasonable or necessary".

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Traded life policy ban – FSA jumps the gun

30 November 2011

I commented earlier in the month on the FSA guidance on product design covering payment protection and structured products.

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RPC evidence submitted to Joint Committee on the Draft Financial Services Bill

29 November 2011

Following up on our concern about FSA proposals to change the law of causation insofar as it applies to financial services ...

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SHIPS 2 - victory for the taxpayer!

Published on 25 November 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Supreme Court has refused HMRC's application for permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision in HMRC v Mayes [2011] EWCA CIV 407, a case involving tax arrangements marketed as "Ships 2".

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Bribery Act sentence misses the mark

23 November 2011

The much reported first prosecution under the Bribery Act proved to be all but an irrelevance.

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There's unreasonable, and there's wholly unreasonable!

21 November 2011

When it comes to awarding legal costs, the Tribunal has often been viewed as an island of leniency, especially when compared to the strict regime which governs High Court litigation.

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LO, LO, LO…

21 November 2011

The Legal Ombudsman (LO) is reaching its long arm into law firms – and is not afraid to use its truncheon!

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CASS – FSA can't see the Wood for the trees?

18 November 2011

The FSA is hammering home its CASS message so hard that I am running out of CASS blog titles!

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Dodgy estate agents beware

17 November 2011

If you have failed to register with the OFT as an estate agent or have registered but are failing to comply with the AML regulations, then beware.

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"I like risky": spread betting firm did not exceed permissions by providing advice

15 November 2011

In for a penny, in for a pound, or in for £313,067.02.

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The (Tax) League of Nations

14 November 2011

This may not come as a huge surprise to tax and finance directors up and down the country, but the UK has continued its slide down the international league table of tax competitiveness, according to a new report from PWC.

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Aiming at different targets? An update on ARROW outcomes

14 November 2011

The FSA's recent Smaller Wholesale Insurance Intermediaries newsletter contains some interesting observations on ARROW visits it has carried out recently.

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RPC’s Financial Services Update – November 2011

11 November 2011

Our Financial Services Update (November 2011 edition) is now available.

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'SFO Confidential' - combatting corruption on a shoestring

11 November 2011

In a resourceful move by Richard Alderman, the SFO last week revealed a new service it hopes will help to identify fraud and bribery in the City.

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Everything you wanted to know about FOS and are no longer afraid to ask

10 November 2011

The FOS opened last week for the business of being open. It is now subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

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