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Time (bar) is of the essence...

19 September 2011

Last Thursday marked the third anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers which may have drawn a line in the sands of time for complaints about the mis-selling of investments before September 2005.

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HMRC opens its books to mortgage lenders

Published on 16 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Having been first announced in the March 2010 Budget and following a pilot, the mortgage verification scheme, a joint venture between HMRC, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association, was finally launched at the start of the month.

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CMC trade association should be welcomed, not derided

15 September 2011

A number of CMCs combined last week to launch the Association of Professional Claims Managers (APCM) to "increase the professionalism and levels of service provided by regulated claims management companies".

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FOS announces plans to publish Ombudsman decisions (in full)

13 September 2011

On Friday, the FOS released a consultation paper on its proposal to publish Ombudsman decisions.

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SFO turns to tax returns to uncover bribery

12 September 2011

It was reported last week that the SFO will call for companies' tax returns in a bid to uncover (particularly overseas) bribery payments.

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SFO to request tax records

Published on 12 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The SFO warned last week that companies suspected of paying bribes to win work overseas may be forced to hand over their tax records, in the hope that these may yield evidence of such bribes.

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First Bribery Act prosecution - an opportunity missed

09 September 2011

The news of the first prosecution under the new Bribery Act will leave commentators and headline writers alike disappointed.

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Start your engines – OFT launches private motor insurance call for evidence

08 September 2011

The OFT has this morning issued a 'call for evidence' on the UK private motor insurance industry.

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FOS complaints: you win some; you lose some (or only a few; or almost all)

06 September 2011

Today's latest round of FOS complaints data tells the expected tale of woe about PPI complaints but also shows a remarkable disparity between firms' success rates.

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Mortgage Verification Scheme to combat mortgage fraud

06 September 2011

HMRC, the CML and the BSA have just launched the Mortgage Verification Scheme aimed at combating mortgage application fraud.

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Is the tide turning? HMRC lose discovery assessment appeal

Published on 02 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Concern has been building for some time amongst taxpayers and their advisers about HMRC's apparently unfettered use of discovery assessments.

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PPI: The storm before the hurricane?

Published on 31 August 2011. By James Wickes, Partner

Yesterday the FSA announced the levels of redress paid by firms during the first six months of 2011 to consumers who have complained about mis-selling of PPI.

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Blog

One ombudsman, two ombudsmen, three ombudsmen, more?

31 August 2011

In a world where the various ombudsmen are replacing the Courts for the resolution of consumer claims, what happens when two or more respondent firms are covered by the jurisdiction of different ombudsman schemes?

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Too easy? The UK's recent deal with the Swiss banks

Published on 26 August 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Swiss banking sector contributes 6.7% of the country's gross domestic product, almost 10% of tax revenues and provides the country with 142,000 skilled jobs.

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Blog

Morrison fined by the FSA

25 August 2011

At first sight, headlines about a hefty fine meted out by the FSA on a former director of a supermarket chain may have led people to presume that Sir Ken Morrison had incurred the wrath of the Food Standards Agency rather than the Financial Service Authority.

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The CASS alarm bells continue to ring

17 August 2011

The FSA's latest pronouncements about CASS make it all the more likely that insurance intermediaries will press for 'risk transfer' in their terms of business agreements with insurers to avoid CASS altogether.

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Double immunity - the PRA and FCA will remain untouchable

16 August 2011

On reading reports recently about criticism of the FSA's handling of an unauthorised investment scheme which left 800 investors £11.5 million out of pocket

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"Unacceptable" HMRC under fire from Treasury Select Committee

Published on 16 August 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee (the "Committee") recently released its report entitled "Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs" (the "Report").

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Those who live in glass houses... UK's anti-bribery controls to be subject to UN peer review

11 August 2011

Timing is everything. Just as the Bribery Act 2010 beds in, it has been announced that the UK will be subject to peer review under the UN Convention against Corruption.

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Blog

Unravelling trust transactions – the party’s still on in Jersey

Published on 11 August 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

I previously reported on the English Court of Appeal’s decision in the combined appeals of Futter v Futter and Pitt v Holt which clarified (or so we thought) the approach to setting aside transactions for mistake under English law.

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Going backwards? Retrospective legislation can bite!

Published on 10 August 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Retrospective legislation is a particularly hot topic at the moment.

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Blog

Guardian beefs up its privacy code

Published on 09 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Guardian News & Media, owner of the Guardian and Observer, has revised its internal editorial guidelines and beefed up the sections that protect privacy.

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Blog

Above board, or backroom deals?

04 August 2011

The National Audit Office ('NAO') has recently recommended (see HM Revenue & Customs 2010-11 Accounts) that HMRC should ensure that a clear separation should exist between the negotiation and approval of large tax settlements in order to maintain public confidence in the appropriateness of all such settlements.

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Blog

FOS believes respondent firms should be seen but not heard

03 August 2011

Tucked at the end of Ombudsman News edition 95 in a little Q&A section about recent queries to its technical advice desk is a bold statement about the FOS' reluctance to hold oral hearings.

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Automatic numberplate recognition: is it legal?

Published on 02 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

A report in the Guardian last week reminds readers of the strong likelihood that local police forces have tracked their movements with the use of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR).

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Reporting the family courts - new guide published

Published on 01 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

A valuable guide has just been published which sets out the law governing access to, and reporting of, the family courts.

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Blog

COP that! HMRC propose a new contractual disclosure facility

Published on 28 July 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

On 20 July 2011, HMRC published a discussion document entitled: Civil Investigation of Fraud – Contractual Disclosure Facility.

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CMCs - why not cut out the middle man?

25 July 2011

A joint note from the MoJ, FSA, FOS and FSCS issued last week sets out the role that CMCs play in financial services complaints and highlighted the potential drawbacks of engaging a third party in the complaints procedure.

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A "tenuous claim to privacy": Hutcheson v News Group

Published on 23 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Can you expect to keep a second family private? That was the ambitious hope of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson.

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Blog

RDR: To delay or not to delay, that is the question

21 July 2011

The Treasury Select Committee recommended in its recent report that the implementation of RDR be delayed for one year (until January 2014).

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HMRC 'refresh' their litigation and settlement strategy

Published on 21 July 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

As tax practitioners will be aware, HMRC's Litigation and Settlement Strategy ('LSS') is the framework within which HMRC seeks to resolve tax disputes through civil procedures.

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EIS and VCT promotions: suitability not guaranteed

19 July 2011

The FSA's explicit warning about Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) financial promotions will do little to help financial advisers defend complaints about such investments if FOS makes a habit of disregarding their 'preferential tax status'.

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Blog

Reporting the Courts: a view on postponement orders

Published on 19 July 2011.

The principle of open justice has been ardently promoted in our society for many years, as was confirmed by Lord Hewart in R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy who said that “it is not merely of some importance but it is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”.

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News Corp/BSkyB – a blow to an independent competition regime

14 July 2011

In my letter to the editor in today's Financial Times, I reported on the dangers of mixing politics with regulation.

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Blog

Insurance intermediaries must take care with CASS

13 July 2011

The FSA's avowed intention to zero in on insurance intermediaries' client money systems and controls should set alarm bells ringing.

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Blog

Details of the new inquiry into press regulation and phone-hacking

Published on 13 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

It had been thought that the Prime Minister had pledged to set up two separate inquiries: one into phone-hacking and one into press regulation more generally.

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New approaches to funding tax litigation

Published on 12 July 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

There are times when, however hard an advisor tries, a settlement with HMRC is simply not possible.

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Blog

FSA wealth management review deadline only a month away

11 July 2011

By 9 August, wealth managers must respond to the FSA's Dear CEO letter to confirm they are currently meeting the FSA's suitability requirements for client portfolios and mitigating the risk of future non-compliance.

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Blog

Public inquiries into privacy and press regulation

Published on 10 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

BBC Radio 4's PM programme's 'Privacy Commission' has finished hearing evidence and will presumably be publishing its report shortly.

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Blog

Accountability without liability

08 July 2011

Last week the FSA laid the foundations of the FCA with the publication of "The Financial Conduct Authority - Approach to Regulation".

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Blog

FOS does not breach human rights

07 July 2011

The FOS' compliance with fundamental principles of justice was thrown into the spotlight by last week's ECHR decision in the cause célèbre case of Heather Moor & Edgecomb Limited (HME) v UK (FOS).

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Blog

Phone hacking scandal reaches a new plane

Published on 06 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

If, as seems likely, it proves true that the News of the World did indeed hack into the voicemail messages of the abducted teenager Milly Dowler, the phone hacking saga moves onto an entirely new plane.

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Blog

Disclosure of documents in privacy litigation

Published on 06 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

What documents is a claimant entitled to demand from a media defendant in a privacy case?

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Blog

Is it time to regulate MPs like other professionals?

05 July 2011

I am delighted to announce that Sam Bishop, who joins RPC as a trainee in September, won ARDL's 2011 Marion Simmons QC Memorial Essay Prize.

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Blog

Promotion of competition at the centre of new FCA's remit

05 July 2011

Last week the FSA published - "to inform public debate and facilitate stakeholder engagement" - the initial thinking behind how the new FCA, which is expected to be established by end-2012, will approach delivery of its objectives.

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Blog

Estate 4 Limited v HMRC – proactivity can achieve results!

Published on 04 July 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

We are often asked by advisors to assist them in closing down long-running enquiries by HMRC.

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Blog

RPC Practice Notes: guidance for the busy practitioner

Published on 04 July 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In addition to regular updates on the latest tax news and case law developments, RPC Tax Take features Practice Notes written by specialist lawyers at RPC.

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Eight things you need to know about the Bribery Act

01 July 2011

As we have already posted, the Bribery Act comes in force today.

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Bribery Act goes live today - but it's never too late

01 July 2011

The birth of the Bribery Act 2010 today represents a new chapter in corporate criminal liability, but the requirements to have anti-bribery systems and controls in place should not surprise any FSA regulated firm.

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The world (of complaints handling and redress) according to FOS

30 June 2011

Yesterday Natalie Ceeney, Chief Ombudsman, set out her vision for how the financial services complaints and redress system can be improved. Her speech came at an interesting time as the performance and powers of FOS are under scrutiny as never before.

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