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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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COP that! HMRC propose a new contractual disclosure facility

Published on 28 July 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Partner

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Blog

Partnership residence – a rallying cry!

Published on 29 June 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Partner

An important decision of the First-tier Tribunal has been released in the case of Mark Higgins Rallying (a firm) v. Revenue & Customs [2011] UK FTT 340 (TC).

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Mortgage fraud against lenders: FSA's report on how lenders manage the risk

29 June 2011

The FSA recently published a report on how lenders manage the risk posed by mortgage fraud.

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Corporates facing criminal penalties need certainty when self-reporting

24 June 2011

On Monday of this week I reported in the Financial Times the increasing reliance by the OFT on whistleblowers who come to the OFT through its leniency programme to reveal details of anti-competitive arrangements in exchange for immunity from civil fines and criminal penalties.

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Industry seeks to put FOS in its place - and FOS fights back

23 June 2011

In recent weeks the performance and powers of the FOS have been under intense scrutiny with its own Annual Review, the BBA's judicial review of the PPI complaints rules and FSA announcements about award limits and rule changes.

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Audit – a global market requires global thinking

23 June 2011

The OFT has finally dared to lift the lid on the UK's audit market to peer inside what is likely to be a Pandora's box of complex issues.

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FSA secures first conviction for boiler room fraud

22 June 2011

The FSA recently secured its first criminal conviction for boiler room fraud. At Southwark Crown Court, David Mason pleaded guilty to:

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Law Society anti-bribery guide useful for non-lawyers

20 June 2011

The Law Society has recently published a guidance note on the Bribery Act 2010 and how its member firms should comply with the Act.

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Treasury plans reduction in burden of the Money Laundering Regulations by decriminalisation

20 June 2011

HM Treasury has recently proposed amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations to encourage a risk based approach to anti money laundering compliance and thereby reduce the regulatory burden on SMEs.

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Lloyd's Managing Agents faced with four separate anti-bribery reporting obligations

20 June 2011

The recent Lloyd's Market Bulletin on the Bribery Act is an excellent guide for Managing Agents, but it suggests that in the event of an incident of bribery (or even suspected bribery) the Managing Agents may need to make as many as four separate reports about their suspicions:

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Financial Services Bill – FOS naming and shaming could harm blameless businesses

17 June 2011

The FOS, under proposed new legislation set out in yesterday’s draft Financial Services Bill, would be required to publish reports on its determinations into consumer complaints, naming and potentially shaming businesses involved.

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Blog

Justice Secretary expresses concern over MPs defying injunctions

Published on 16 June 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Times has today reported that the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke yesterday told the Joint Committee on the Defamation Bill that he was concerned about the growing habit of using parliamentary privilege to defy court gagging orders.

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National Crime Agency: an FBI for the UK?

16 June 2011

The recent speculation that the SFO would be wound up (as discussed in my earlier blog) has somewhat over-shadowed the plans for a National Crime Agency (NCA).

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Timing is everything... but not in the fight against bribery and corruption!

16 June 2011

With the implementation of the Bribery Act only two weeks away, absolutely the last thing that should have been of concern was the break up of the lead anti-corruption investigator and prosecutor, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

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A former judge reflects on privacy injunctions

Published on 15 June 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Mr Justice Eady's interview last month by Joshua Rosenberg -

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Resolving PPI complaints – pay them all, defend in Court or request a FOS hearing?

14 June 2011

Barclays announced yesterday that it will reimburse all customers who complained about the sale of their PPI before 20 April in full (plus 8% interest) without any further investigation of the individual claims.

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HMRC steps up the pace with new taskforces

Published on 08 June 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

We have already had the offshore disclosure facility, the new disclosure opportunity, the Liechtenstein disclosure facility and the new regime for offshore penalties.

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Cost of 'root cause' rule changes unknown

03 June 2011

The FSA's confirmation that the PPI complaints handling guidance relating to root cause analysis will be applied to all complaints handling from 1 September has clarified what the FSA expects of firms.

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Richard Burger appointed Partner at RPC

03 June 2011

As Head of RPC's Regulatory Group, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Burger as Partner.

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FOS maximum award limit to rise to £150k

02 June 2011

A month later than planned, the FSA announced on 27 May that the proposals set out in CP 10/21 would be implemented.

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Decline in FSA performance against service standards – as expected

31 May 2011

At a time when financial services firms are not only under more scrutiny from the FSA but also require their regulator to be as effective and efficient as possible, the FSA's level of performance has declined.

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A digest of recent news (1) - UK judgments

Published on 30 May 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

For one reason and another, the blog has been unable to report on much of the recent news. This entry is an attempt to remedy the situation. Normal service should be resumed shortly.

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Blog

Bank of Scotland fined for root cause failings

27 May 2011

Far sooner than I expected, on Wednesday the FSA sent a strong message to the complaints handlers in every regulated firm that the rules on root cause analysis mean what they say.

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Final responses by 1 June for complaints for over £100k

25 May 2011

There is likely to be a small but not insignificant flurry of final responses sent before 1 June regarding high value complaints as firms try to avoid the likely increase in the FOS award limit from £100k to £150k which will apply from January 2012.

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Director of SFO talks tough on corrupt foreign companies

25 May 2011

Richard Alderman, Director of the SFO, says he will use the Bribery Act to tackle corrupt foreign companies as the SFO's top priority.

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