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New light on the Ramsay doctrine

Published on 20 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In HMRC v Mayes [2011] EWCA Civ 407,the Court of Appeal was asked to decide whether a taxpayer was entitled to corresponding deficiency relief and/or capital gains tax loss relief under a tax avoidance structure known as "Ships 2".

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Workplace affairs are private - especially if one half of the couple has children

Published on 20 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Court of Appeal's judgment in ETK v News Group [2011] EWCA Civ 439 has prompted gasps of horror from some sections of the media.

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OTS publishes final report on review of tax reliefs

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

On 3 March 2011, the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) published its final report on its tax reliefs review.

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Tribunal finds for taxpayer in SDLT sub-sale partnership avoidance case

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has ruled in favour of the taxpayer in relation to an SDLT avoidance arrangement that relied on the transfer of rights provisions in section 45 of the Finance Act 2003 and the partnership provisions in paragraph 10 of Schedule 15 to the Finance Act 2003 - DVS3 RS Ltd v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 138.

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Court of Appeal rules no UK relief for US tax paid by parent of tick-the-box company

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Court of Appeal has upheld HMRC's appeal in Bayfine against the decision of the High Court concerning the availability of treaty relief or unilateral relief in the UK – Bayfine v HMRC [2011] EWCA Civ 304.

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Berry gilt strips tax avoidance arrangement fails on appeal to the Upper Tribunal

Published on 15 April 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Upper Tribunal (Lewison J) ('UT') has dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the First-tier Tribunal's ('FTT') decision that he was not entitled to relief for losses suffered as a result of a gilt strip tax planning arrangement – Berry v HMRC [2011] UKUT 81.

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Phone-hacking is not a hanging offence

Published on 15 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

In February Donald Trelford, the respected former editor of the Observer, wrote in the Independent that the phone-hacking saga was a case of "dog eats dog gone barking-mad".

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Bribery Act systems and controls - start with a risk assessment

14 April 2011

Companies have until 1 July 2011 to put in place anti-bribery systems and controls. There is some confusion though over what this entails.

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FSA fines increase again - more 'crime'? Or just more 'punishment'?

12 April 2011

The latest twelve-month figure for the total of FSA fines has risen again.

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Lloyds Banking Group – opportunist knocked?

12 April 2011

The Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, published its long awaited report yesterday.

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The "half-lives" of celebrities: a theory of phone-hacking

12 April 2011

In today's Independent Dominic Lawson offers an interesting view on how phone-hacking was allowed to take hold at the News of the World.

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No 'Red Tape Challenge' for financial services

11 April 2011

The Government launched last week its Red Tape Challenge with no mention of financial services regulation.

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OFT Annual Plan – Focus on economic growth

08 April 2011

The OFT's Annual Plan for 2011/2012, published on 31 March 2011, set out its priorities for the coming year and in the context of budget reductions of 25% over four years.

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Super Injunctions: committee reporting soon

Published on 08 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

By the end of this month we expect the committee investigating super injunctions to publish its report.

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RPC's Financial Services Update - April 2011

07 April 2011

Our Financial Services Update (April 2011 edition) is now available. It includes:

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Legal regulation catching up - and fast

07 April 2011

Yesterday saw the first publication of the SRA's "Handbook". The adoption of FSA terminology and approach continues.

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Who's watching the London Insurance Market?

05 April 2011

As anticipated back in February, the FSA's restructure in anticipation of the new split between the PRA and the FCA came into operation yesterday.

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Money Advice Service - costs lots of money but provides no specific advice

04 April 2011

The FSA today launched its rebranded Moneymadeclear and Consumer Financial Education Body as the Money Advice Service which will cost the industry £43.7m this year.

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The EU Council’s Conclusions On Revising EU Data Protection Law — Why Did They Bother?

Published on 04 April 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The super tanker that is the European Union legislative process is currently trying to turn itself round with a view to revising data protection law.

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FSA warns firms about outsourcing of transaction monitoring

01 April 2011

FSA regulated firms must comply with their transaction reporting obligations and ensure adequate procedures are in place to check the accuracy of their reports to the FSA.

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Complaints data is meaningless out of context

30 March 2011

Statisticians will say that today's publication by the FSA of its half-yearly complaints data on firms provides a useful insight into firms' behaviours.

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Blog

Bribery Act guidance finally published

30 March 2011

After several refusals, the Bribery Act guidance has finally made it over the fence. The revised guidance should not come as a great surprise to UK plc; least of all to the FSA regulated sector which has been geared up to tackle the risks of bribery and corruption since at least 2009 and the FSA's thematic reviews in this area.

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CMCs exposed to FOS and FSA attack under MoUs with CMR

29 March 2011

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) published last week between the FOS and the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) may help respondent firms to deal effectively with perceived misconduct by CMCs.

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Lack of controlled IT function - glitch delays FSA implementation of Approved Person rules

28 March 2011

The FSA announced last week it was delaying the implementation of its new rules on Controlled Functions because it had been unable to complete the necessary changes to its Online Notifications and Applications (ONA) system to process the new Controlled Function applications and notifications.

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FSA lays down law for CASS audits

25 March 2011

The FSA has turned its concerns about auditors' client assets reports into action with new rules and a clear policy statement. Client assets will remain a regulatory priority.

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Budget 2011: Focus on tax relief and avoidance / evasion

25 March 2011

As anticipated, this week's budget has targeted high net worth (HNW) individuals through its clampdown on tax relief and avoidance schemes.

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CAT mauls OFT's fining policy

22 March 2011

The OFT suffered a significant setback when the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) recently handed down its judgment on appeals by construction companies against fines levied by the OFT, undermining its 'minimum deterrence threshold'.

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Another ruling on privacy injunctions

22 March 2011

Judgment was handed down today in a case where a privacy injunction was made in 2008.

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Privacy in Tweets - the debate continues

Published on 22 March 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Addressing the Westminster Media Forum on the regulation of privacy and online media earlier today Baroness Buscombe, Chairman of the PCC, referred to the PCC's decision in Baskerville

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What is suitability?

21 March 2011

Many mis-selling claims turn on whether or not the investment recommended was suitable.

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Privacy and the Protection of Freedoms Bill

Published on 21 March 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Protection of Freedoms Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 11 February 2011, is the second part of the UK Coalition Government's mission to 'restore freedoms and civil liberties through the abolition of unnecessary laws'.

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The legal protection of online identities

21 March 2011

Millions of people post comments on the web in response to articles, blogs and stories. Many do so anonymously.

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Harassment by letter-writing

Published on 17 March 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Are letters capable of amounting to a course of conduct amounting to harassment?

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BIS Consultation on 'A Competition Regime for Growth' – evolution or revolution?

16 March 2011

BIS has published for consultation detailed proposals on the reform of the competition regime in the UK.

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Unravelling trust transactions: advisers in the firing line

Published on 16 March 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

Advisers can no longer expect trustees to mitigate unexpected losses by unravelling transactions under the Re Hastings Bass principle, leaving those advisers exposed to negligence claims.

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Another victim of the FSA's CASS crusade

15 March 2011

The FSA today issued a Final Notice against ActivTrades Plc, a foreign exchange broker, that has been fined £85,754 for CASS breaches committed even after the high profile run of CASS cases in June last year.

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Gamekeeping, poaching and revolving doors

15 March 2011

Following on from Steven Francis' comments on the need for the FSA to appreciate the benefits of a revolving-door policy to its recruitment and retention of quality regulators,...

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TSC grills FSA on RDR

15 March 2011

Before the 9 March Treasury Select Committee (TSC) hearing on the RDR, Conservative MP Mark Garnier had promised to give FSA chief executive Hector Sants and chairman Adair Turner "hell".

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Damning criticism of the FSA - by the Chief Executive of the FSA

14 March 2011

In his recent speech on the new regulatory framework, the FSA's Chief Executive, Hector Sants, provided a damning critique of the FSA's past approach to consumer protection, effectively conceding the failure of the FSA's headline TCF initiative.

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Can employers spy on their employees?

11 March 2011

The US media have reported a number of instances in which companies have hired private detectives to spy on workers taking "sickies".

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Finality. Finally? Don't hold your breath…

10 March 2011

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, FSA chief executive, Hector Sants conceded that the regulator is willing - if the Committee recommends - to re-examine whether a 15 year long-stop time bar should apply to financial services complaints.

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Gamekeepers and poachers should be friends

10 March 2011

We noted in August 2010 that staff were leaving the FSA in record numbers after the general election, including all three managing directors.

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Fuzzy-matching and the sanctions regimes

10 March 2011

Given the ongoing political unrest in the Middle East and the speed at which individuals, entities and entire regimes can be added to HM Treasury and OFAC's consolidated sanctions lists (most recently, Libya and Tunisia), ...

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Kaupthing arrests: will advisers be liable regardless?

09 March 2011

The dramatic news today about dawn raids and nine arrests made by the SFO in London and Reykjavik at the culmination of a year-long investigation into Kaupthing's collapse will, regardless of the outcome of the criminal enquiries, have little bearing on any liabilities faced by advisers for complaints from clients who lost money in the collapse of the Icelandic bank.

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Going, going, gone concern

09 March 2011

The Chief Executive of the FSA in a recent speech has talked about how the new FCA will approach prudential regulation of those firms for which it is responsible. This includes all insurance brokers.

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The FSA's last risks warning

04 March 2011

The new FCA's focus will be 'conduct risk', "that is, the risk that firm behaviour will result in poor outcomes for customers."

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OFT promises faster enforcement kick off

03 March 2011

The OFT has published final Guidance setting out its process and procedures when undertaking Competition Act investigations.

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Equal treatment means just that – ECJ confirms invalidity of derogation from Gender Directive

01 March 2011

In a landmark judgment published today, the ECJ ruled that insurers cannot charge different premiums to women and men based on gender. As anticipated by us and the UK insurance market, the ECJ has agreed with the Advocate General's recommendations in the Test-Achats case.

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Gender Directive: will Sheilas' Wheels stop rolling?

01 March 2011

The insurance industry anxiously awaits the European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment in the Test-Achats case expected today.

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Anonymity order lifted in marital privacy case

Published on 28 February 2011.

A High Court judge has lifted an anonymity order protecting the identity of a formerly married couple involved in a privacy dispute.

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