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Taxpayers are entitled to organise their affairs so that the minimum amount of tax is paid!

Published on 02 April 2012. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The recent decision of the First-tier Tax Tribunal ('FTT') in James Albert McLaughlin v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs1, is a timely reminder that taxpayers are perfectly entitled to organise their affairs so that the minimum amount of tax is paid.

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HMRC have to play by the rules too!

26 March 2012

The recent decision of the First-tier Tax Tribunal ('the Tribunal') in Furukawa Electric Europe Limited v Revenue & Customs Commissioners [2012] UKFTT 129 (TC) ('Furukawa'),...

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No discovery – HMRC fail before the First-Tier Tribunal

Published on 19 March 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

HMRC's ability to raise 'discovery' assessments under section 29 of the Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA'), is a topical issue at the moment and there have been a number of important cases in recent months (see our previous blog here of30/01/12).

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MoJ publishes first statistics on privacy injunctions

16 March 2012

Yesterday the Ministry of Justice published the first set of statistics on privacy injunctions, following the recommendations in the report by Lord Neuberger's Committee on Super Injunctions published in May last year.

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Hector Sants’ resignation will throw finance sector into confusion

16 March 2012

Hector Sants’ resignation this morning is surprising given that his remit was to deliver an orderly transition to the government’s new twin peaks regulatory structure.

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It ain't broke, but… - Government finally confirms how it proposes to fix the UK competition regime

15 March 2012

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills today published its long-awaited response to its consultation on reforming the UK competition regime.

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Back to the beginning – root cause analysis re-booted by de facto PPI past business review

13 March 2012

The FSA's guidance to firms on contacting PPI customers that have not complained marks a resumption of hostilities in the PPI arena and amounts, in effect, to an industry-wide direction to conduct a past business review (PBR).

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No more 'sweetheart' deals with the taxman?

Published on 12 March 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

HMRC have recently announced new governance arrangements for "significant tax disputes".

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Giggs' claim for privacy damages is struck out

Published on 08 March 2012. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Ryan Giggs has lost his claim for damages against News Group Newspapers ("NGN").

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FRC plans to focus on disciplinary action

08 March 2012

The FRC has published its Draft Plan & Budget for 2012/13.

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PPI – end of an era or a new chapter?

Published on 08 March 2012. By James Wickes, Partner

The FOS recently released its latest six-monthly figures showing the types and levels of complaints received by financial institutions.

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HMRC run contrary arguments before the First-tier Tribunal!

Published on 05 March 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Cobb v HMRC [2012] UK FTT 40 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') said that HMRC should be able to suspend all or part of a penalty imposed for a careless inaccuracy in a tax return of an individual...

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Was Lehmans' collapse unforeseeable?  The High Court said it was - but FOS disagrees

05 March 2012

The courts and FOS are now headed down very different paths in their approach to credit crunch losses suffered by clients of regulated firms.

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FSA delivers on AML promise

02 March 2012

Following its thematic review and report on "Banks’ management of high money-laundering risk situations" published in June last year, the FSA on Monday announced that it has fined Coutts £8.75 million for anti-money laundering (AML) control failings.

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ICO fines Midlothian Council £140,000 - ICO's highest ever fine for data breaches

Published on 01 March 2012.

The Information Commissioner's Office (the "ICO") has fined Midlothian Council £140,000 for five separate security breaches, which involved accidental disclosure of confidential and sensitive personal data about children and carers to the wrong recipients.

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Supreme Court widens scope of 'client money'

01 March 2012

The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that client money held in un-segregated accounts should be treated the same as client money held in segregated accounts, ...

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Leading regulatory and corporate crime silk to lead the AADB

01 March 2012

Yesterday the FRC announced the appointment of Gareth Rees QC to the position of Executive Counsel to the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB).

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MoU between FCA and FOS: will complaints handling become more risky?

29 February 2012

The FOS published a draft MoU with the future FCA that has blurred an already hazy line between the ombudsman and regulator.

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When is a document within a taxpayer's "possession or power"?

Published on 27 February 2012. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

HMRC have a range of powers available to them under Schedule 36 of the Finance Act 2008 ("Schedule 36") to require persons to produce documents and information and to inspect premises.

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Inquiry into the SFO better late than never

23 February 2012

Following the collapse of some high profile cases, Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, has ordered an inquiry to review the SFO's casework and broader issues, including how the SFO chooses which cases to investigate.

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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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