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FCA sees SM&CR as catalyst and opportunity to transform culture in financial services

Published on 09 January 2020. By Lauren Murphy, Associate and Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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Its recent 'Dear CEO' letter, the FCA sets out its expectations on firms and Senior Managers in tackling non-financial misconduct. For some time the FCA has emphasised the importance of culture at firms causing financial conduct issues. In this recent letter, the FCA makes clear that non-financial misconduct will be a key focus for its supervision of firms and senior managers.

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Publication

Annual Insurance Review 2020

Published on 08 January 2020. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance and Robert Morris, Partner

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Hello and welcome to the 2020 edition of RPC’s annual insurance review. Here you will find updates from our experts across a whole range of business classes as well as from around the world. In the articles that follow you will be able to read our take on key issues that have impacted your market in the year gone – and our thoughts on the issues likely to affect you in the year to come.

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Tread Bentley when expanding your product offering

Published on 08 January 2020. By Dani Barnes, Associate and Georgia Davis, Legal Director

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The High Court held that luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors infringed BENTLEY clothing firm's trade marks.

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Marine and shipping

Published on 08 January 2020. By William Jones, Senior Associate and Toby Savage, Partner

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In this chapter of our Annual Insurance Review 2020, we look at the main developments in 2019 and expected issues in 2020 for marine and shipping.

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Higgins – for the purposes of PPR relief "period of ownership" starts on completion

Published on 08 January 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Desmond Higgins v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1869, the Court of Appeal has held that the date of acquisition of an off-plan property for the purposes of principal private residence relief (PPR) was the date of completion and not the date of exchange of contracts.

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Equitable Life – High Court approves Part VII transfer, and distinguishes Prudential/Rothesay

Published on 06 January 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner

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The High Court has approved a large Part VII transfer by Equitable Life of life assurance and pensions policies, and has easily distinguished the decision in Prudential/Rothesay.

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Bossing the Rules: StaRs Rule 1.4: “you do not mislead anyone”

Published on 23 December 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Aimee Talbot, Associate

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The Solicitors’ Practice Rules 1990 (“SPR”) did not contain any express prohibition on misleading anyone; although, depending on the circumstances, such conduct was likely to have contravened the basic principles. Like today’s principles, these required solicitors not to do anything in the course of practising as a solicitor (or permit anyone to do anything on their behalf) which compromises or impairs (or is likely to compromise or impair) the good repute of the solicitor or the profession or the solicitor’s duty to the court.

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A litigator's quiz: Fourth candle of Advent

Published on 23 December 2019. By Davina Given, Partner

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The UK Supreme Court, and Lady Hale's brooch, hit the headlines this year with a landmark constitutional decision on the prorogation of Parliament. Outside that context, however, the Supreme Court has been busy. In this fourth and final part of our Advent quiz, test your knowledge of the key commercial decisions of 2019 and the decisions to look out for in 2020.

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Blog

Unpacking Christmas Ads: A British Retailer's Christmas Miracle?

Published on 20 December 2019. By Lucy Baughan, Trainee Solicitor

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This blog discusses what makes Christmas ads "successful" both through the eyes of the public at large and from the perspective of the British retailers themselves. In some cases, popular Christmas ads lead to an increase in sales over the festive period. However, as some retailers have experienced, festive ads are not always a retailer's Christmas miracle and come with their own limitations.

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Blog

Open justice versus confidentiality - which wins?

Published on 19 December 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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Court proceedings can expose the most sensitive details of an individual's personal and financial affairs. However, the principle of open justice requires that the public is given sufficient information about proceedings so that they can understand and scrutinise the decisions courts make.

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Blog

Oral contract does not prevent agent from being paid in circumstances not catered for in contract

Published on 19 December 2019. By Tim Brown, Partner and Rosy Gibson, Associate

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In a recent case, the Court of Appeal held that an oral contract for a specified introduction fee payable to an agent if a property sold at a particular price did not prevent the agent from being remunerated when that property was sold for a lesser sum (despite the contract being silent on the matter). Philip Barton v Timothy Gwyn-Jones [2019] EWCA Civ 1999. However, the sum awarded by the court was significantly lower than the introduction fee specified in the contract.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #1 - the process

Published on 19 December 2019. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Associate

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In this series of articles, we explain the procedure for disciplinary investigations against architects. This article gives an overview of the process. The remaining articles will examine each stage of the process and highlight the dos and don'ts for architects unfortunate enough to be the subject of investigations. In essence, there are 4 stages.

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - December 2019

19 December 2019

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Our quarterly update is designed to keep you up to speed with developments in disputes, and how you can avoid them, in the private client world.

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Health and safety update December 2019

19 December 2019

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Welcome to our December 2019 health and safety update where we look at the health and safety stories that have recently hit the headlines as well as the latest fines and sentences that have been handed down.

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Dressing down for The Consortium for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Published on 18 December 2019. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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Balsamic vinegar manufacturers (outside of Modena) can use the terms 'aceto' and 'balsamico' following a decision made by the CJEU relating to protected geographical indications.

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Jafari – HMRC criticised for breach of its duty to assist the Tribunal

Published on 18 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Jafari v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 692 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) criticised HMRC for failing in its duty to bring relevant authorities to its attention.

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A litigator's quiz: Third candle of Advent

16 December 2019

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The third Sunday of Advent was traditionally a time to lift the gloom of Advent and celebrate Christmas to come – and hence was also known as Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday or Rose Sunday. So what has there been to celebrate in the legal profession in 2019?

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Contentious tax quarterly review (Q4 2019)

Published on 16 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In this quarterly review we consider: HMRC’s increasing propensity to seek to strike out the taxpayer’s case; recent developments in relation to IR35; the timing of tribunal decisions; and the potential implications of the Inverclyde decision.

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Unfair prejudice saga – Court of Appeal tries to impose some order

Published on 12 December 2019. By Chris Ross, Partner and Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

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The Future of Retail is Green

Published on 12 December 2019. By Henry Priestley, Senior Associate and Harpreet Kaur, Trainee Solicitor

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2019 has been a year of environmental awareness, aptly demonstrated by David Attenborough's Glastonbury appearance and Greta Thunberg's speech to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit.

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General Election roundtable sheds light on key issues for the Healthcare and Life Sciences sectors.

Published on 11 December 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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Last week RPC invited guests to a roundtable to debate the UK political parties' manifesto promises affecting the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Some policies attracted criticism whilst one party bucked the national trend to emerge a winner.

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Publication

Regulatory update - December 2019

11 December 2019

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Welcome to the December edition of our monthly Regulatory Update, which aims to pull together key developments from the past month across the various UK regulators – and help you to navigate the regulatory maze.

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Knibbs – HMRC's challenge to carry-back loss relief claims was correct

Published on 11 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Knibbs and ors v HMRC and R (oao Astley and ors) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1719, the Court of Appeal has held that Schedule 1B, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) can apply to a claim for carry-back loss relief.

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Cyber_Bytes - Issue 5 2019

Published on 10 December 2019. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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A litigator's quiz: Second candle of Advent

09 December 2019

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Festive fraud seems a contradiction in terms. But Advent is traditionally a time to reflect on sin, so this week our quiz focuses on the year in crime and civil fraud under English law. Good luck trying to light the second Advent candle!

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Tax update - December 2019

05 December 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) two recent decisions concerning insolvent companies and EBTs in the context of insolvency law; (2) proposed legislation on HMRC’s use of automated processes; and (3) the taxation of cryptoasset transactions using exchange tokens. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) legitimate expectation; (2) the payment of costs by HMRC due to its unreasonable behaviour; and (3) the meaning of ‘deliberate’ in the Taxes Acts.

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Prevention principle – can parties sue for breach of contract occasioned by their own breach?

Published on 05 December 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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According to the High Court in TMF Trustee Ltd v Fire Navigation Inc, the prevention principle can excuse a breach of contract when a party has been prevented from performing the relevant obligation by a breach of the other party.

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Locke – Court of Appeal quashes follower and accelerated payment notices

Published on 04 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In R (on the application of Locke) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1909, the Court of Appeal quashed follower and accelerated payment notices issued to a participant in a film finance partnership, because HMRC had been wrong in considering that a judicial ruling was relevant to the arrangements under consideration.

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Can retail drones deliver the goods?

Published on 03 December 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Trainee Solicitor

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A recent flurry of patent registrations provides an insight into how this futuristic technology could soon become a reality for consumers.

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Bossing the rules

Published on 03 December 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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Watch out for RPC's new blog mini-series on the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

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A Litigator's Quiz: First Candle of Advent

02 December 2019

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Legal professional privilege burns bright in the hearts of most disputes lawyers. Does it burn bright enough to light the first Advent candle in 2019?

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Publication

Product liability update - November 2019

02 December 2019

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A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news.

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Does workplace recycling deserve to be binned?

Published on 29 November 2019. By Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Trainee Solicitor

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It has been a big year for action on climate change - from Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech at the UN, to the Extinction Rebellion's pink yacht, which blockaded Oxford Circus. In a number of ways the British public are making greater efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Over the past two decades, the rate of household recycling has risen from 11% in 2000 to 45.2% in 2017/18.

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Cyber_Bytes - Issue 4 2019

Published on 28 November 2019. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks over the last two weeks.

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In house lawyer prevented from relying on a leaked email and an overhead conversation

Published on 28 November 2019. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Steven Rajavinothan, Associate

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Mr Curless was a senior legal counsel at Shell International Limited (Shell) from January 1990 until he was made redundant in January 2017. He suffers from Type 2 diabetes and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. He brought a claim against Shell for disability discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

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VAT update - November 2019

28 November 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the revocation of the Cross-border Trade (Public Notices) (EU Exit) Regulations; (2) the new VAT group provisions; and (3) the digitisation of the tribunal service. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) who the recipient of a supply is in circumstances where there is more than one potential recipient; (2) single purpose vouchers and the time of supply; and (3) inaccuracy penalties in the absence of any supply.

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Dear Legal, can we put a laundrette in store?

Published on 28 November 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Rachael Ellis, Associate

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How should brands navigate a change to their high street store space?

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Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme – Taxation of manufactured overseas dividends breached EU law

Published on 27 November 2019. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In HMRC v Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1610, the Court of Appeal dismissed HMRC's appeal and held that the imposition of withholding tax on manufactured overseas dividends was contrary to EU law.

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Customs and excise quarterly update November 2019

26 November 2019

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In this update we report on (1) the new customs legislation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) steel safeguard quotas; and (3) the recent deadline extension for customs authorisations made indirectly. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) civil evasion penalties; (2) the meaning of “holding” goods; and (3) tariff classification.

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Costs proportionality: answers at last?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

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Practitioners have been waiting six years for authoritative guidance on how the new post-April 2013 proportionality test applies in the hope that we will be better able to predict the outcome of costs assessment and, therefore, better equipped to advise our clients. A recent Court of Appeal decision has been described as delivering this; however, it raises a number of new issues which are sure to give rise to further satellite litigation. As such, proportionality remains the great unknown.

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Endometriosis: painfully under-diagnosed?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

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Endometriosis, described as a "silent source of unnecessary misery", affects over two million women in the UK. So, why is it taking over 7 years to diagnose?

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Publication

Corporate tax update November 2019

22 November 2019

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on the key developments from September and October 2019. No update would be complete in the current climate without a report on a recent IR35 decision (this month, we bring you two). This month’s update also includes summaries as to HMRC’s latest thinking on the regime for offshore receipts in respect of intangible property, as well as case summaries on the interpretation of the UK-Irish double tax treaty, cross-border loss relief and the effect of statements in HMRC’s published manuals.

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Regulatory change as far as the PI can see

Published on 21 November 2019. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

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Dramatic regulatory change, and an increase in regulatory action, is affecting a number of important sectors in the professional indemnity market, as we exit 2019 and look ahead at 2020. We consider below some key points to be aware of.

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The Supreme Court holds that "subsequently acquired evidence" is to be disregarded in assessing loss of chance in a DTI compensation scheme

Published on 21 November 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Cheryl Laird, Associate (Scottish Qualified)

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On 20 November 2019 the Supreme Court handed down its second 2019 judgment on loss of chance principles in Edwards v Hugh James Ford Simey Solicitors [2019] UKSC 54. It held in favour of the claimant rejecting the lawyers' argument that the issue of loss should be determined based on all of the facts available at the date of the professional negligence proceedings.

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Changing retail landscape leads to decline in employee numbers

Published on 21 November 2019. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Josh Tonks, Paralegal

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The retail sector continues to face change and challenge from every conceivable angle and employment within the sector is following this trend.

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Contribution to legal costs: natural love and affection or calculated self-interest?

Published on 20 November 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Suzan Kurdi, Senior Associate

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When will an order for costs be made against a family member who was not a party to the underlying proceedings, but who contributed significantly to funding the losing party's defence? Answer: when the funder has a personal interest in the litigation. Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc (and others) v Maksat Arip (and others)[1]

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Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd – HMRC did not breach a taxpayer's legitimate expectation

Published on 20 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In R (oao Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1643, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the taxpayer's claim that a statement in HMRC’s International Manual created a legitimate expectation, because the taxpayer had not relied on it substantively and, even if it had done, there was insufficient "unfairness" in frustrating the taxpayer's expectation.

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Online intermediaries: Fresh guidance from the CJEU on the scope of the E-Commerce Directive

Published on 15 November 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

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In Glawischnig-Piesczek, C-18/18 the CJEU has given fresh guidance on online intermediaries and the scope of their obligations under the E-Commerce Directive.

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A judgment that will "benefit" manufacturers facing the "risks" of products litigation

Published on 15 November 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director and Emma Kislingbury, Associate

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In the Seroxat group litigation, the Court has endorsed using a risk/benefit approach in claims under the CPA and upheld the trial judge's ruling regarding the limited scope of the Claimants' case

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First Choice – HMRC ordered to pay taxpayer's costs as a result of its unreasonable behaviour

Published on 13 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In First Choice Recruitment Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 412 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the taxpayer was entitled to its costs because HMRC had acted unreasonably.

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