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Intention to be bound: High Court construes commitment letter against equity participant

Published on 09 November 2016. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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The High Court held that the defendant signatory to a commitment letter intended to be legally bound by that document and was consequently in anticipatory repudiatory breach of contract. The decision highlights the need for contracting parties to be clear in documenting both their internal and external decision-making processes.

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Court of Appeal sheds light on innocent party's right to affirm frustrated contract

08 November 2016

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Court of Appeal held that the innocent party could not affirm a contract once its commercial purpose had been frustrated in order to claim on-going damages.

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The Future of America

Published on 07 November 2016. By Rob Paine, Associate

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The presidential candidates offer opposing visions for America. This article takes a brief trip into the two possible futures that await the US on 8 November 2016.

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The cost of power in the US election

Published on 02 November 2016. By Charlotte Thompson, Associate

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Electioneering in the US is big business.

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A Presidential Personality

Published on 02 November 2016. By Rebecca Taylor, Associate

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As much on this side of the pond as on the other, success on the political stage today seems to be determined by candidates’ personalities over their policies.

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Tax update, November 2016

Published on 02 November 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this update we report on the proposed new corporate offence of failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion, success against HMRC in the Supreme Court in relation to unlawful disclosure of confidential information and HMRC’s new specialist team which has been set up to tackle exploitation of freelance workers.

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Chinese 'netizens' and the US Presidential Election

02 November 2016

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What do grassroots Chinese people think about the US election? Weibo and WeChat, the two dominant online social platforms in China, have provided a mixed answer.

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Lomas – Court confirms statutory interest payable on insolvency is not 'yearly interest' and criticises HMRC's change of position

Published on 01 November 2016. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Lomas and others v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2492 (Ch), the High Court has confirmed that statutory interest payable on insolvency is not 'yearly interest' for UK tax purposes. The administrators therefore had no obligation to account for income tax on the interest payments made. The Court was also critical of HMRC's contradictory guidance on this issue.

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Clinton v Trump: Battle of Policies

Published on 01 November 2016.

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Summer 2012: the build up to the election was one of disillusionment, widespread poverty, pervasive economic trouble, and exacerbated inequality. The battle was Obama v Romney. Fast forward four years and here we go again… This time, the battle is Clinton v Trump. The main differential in any political election comes down to policies. So how do the candidates differ?

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The keys to the White House in six easy steps

Published on 31 October 2016. By Chloe Johnston, Associate

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Many of us will find the choice between this year's clashing candidates simple, but the system that put these two hopefuls in the frame is slightly less straightforward.

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Enhanced annuity non-advised sales – not as bad as first feared?

Published on 31 October 2016. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA's thematic review into non-advised enhanced annuity sales found no evidence of an industry wide or systemic failure to provide customers with information about enhanced annuities or the open market option. There will not be a general industry wide remedial action.

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Chelsea swap Adidas for £900m Nike deal

Published on 28 October 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Associate

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Chelsea FC and Nike have agreed the largest kit sponsorship/ supply agreement in the English Premier League worth £900m (£60m per year for 15 years). The announcement comes nearly 6 months after the Chelsea and Adidas kit sponsorship/supply agreement was terminated part way through a 10 year term.

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Partial success for taxpayer in Dutch-subsidiary quantification judgment following FII

Published on 28 October 2016. By Robert Waterson, Partner

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In Six Continents Ltd and Another v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2426 (Ch), the High Court held that the claimants are entitled to a credit at the foreign nominal rate (FNR) of corporation tax in respect of dividends paid from a Dutch subsidiary but are not entitled to a credit in respect of dividends linked to the return of share capital.

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Fair dealing defence in copyright infringement – a key summary

Published on 27 October 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Associate

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A recent key decision on fair dealing defence impacts reporting current events in copyright infringement claims.

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Third Party Rights and the SMR and SIMR: the regulators' Achilles' heel?

26 October 2016

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The FCA has recently gone to the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a significant ruling in relation to third party rights. This could have profound effects on the enforcement of SMR and SIMR.

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VAT update, October 2016

Published on 26 October 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this month’s update we report on new HMRC guidance in relation to retrospective VAT group treatment, use and enjoyment rules in relation to insurance repaid services and a new consultation on the introduction of a new penalty for those involved in VAT fraud. We also report on three recent cases involving the collection of commercial waste and whether this constitutes a “special purpose regime”, whether a stall at a craft fair amounted to the grant of a licence to occupy land and was not therefore exempt from VAT and whether a taxpayer can withdraw its request that the proceedings be excluded from the costs regime.

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An acceptable degree of uncertainty

26 October 2016

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Certainty, we are told, is a good thing, as a matter of both legal principle and commercial common sense. Certainty means predictability, which companies and merchants value because it allows them to plan and make decisions in the knowledge of the likely outcomes. This has been a major feature of English commercial law since at least the time of Lord Mansfield.

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Corporate tax update, third quarter 2016

20 October 2016

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Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly. Summer 2016 will certainly go down as one of the more interesting in recent British history but developments in UK tax law continue regardless of the wider political turmoil. In this edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the third quarter of 2016. As far as the tax legislative timetable is concerned, in this quarter: the Finance Bill 2016 finally received Royal Assent on 15 September 2016 (known as Finance Act 2016); it was announced that this year’s Autumn Statement will be given on 23 November 2016; it was also announced that draft Finance Bill 2017 clauses will be published on 5 December 2016 (for consultation until 30 January 2017).

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How can lawyers intelligently use AI?

20 October 2016

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In recent weeks, the legal press has been inundated with reports of different Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools being utilised by law firms. In case you are wondering what’s what, this post will clarify what a handful of the different systems can do, which firms are using them and the impact on legal services.

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Scrapping of secondary annuity markets – a backpedalling on Pension Reforms?

Published on 20 October 2016. By Matthew Watson, Associate

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In a further nail in the coffin of the Cameron-Osborne legacy the government announced this week that it would be scrapping one of George Osborne's flagship proposed reforms to the pensions market – a proposed secondary market for annuities.

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Insurance Europe argues draft delegated acts must be consistent with IDD

19 October 2016

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Insurance Europe has expressed concern that the level 2 delegated acts for the Insurance Distribution Directive do not respect the original agreed framework in the legislative text with significant implications including a potential de facto ban on commission.

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FCA consults on the regulation of GCs

18 October 2016

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The FCA has outlined in a discussion paper its views about the extent to which GCs should come within its regulatory remit.

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Eden Consulting Services - Tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider HMRC's duty to act fairly in administering its statutory powers

Published on 18 October 2016. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In Eden Consulting Services (Richmond) Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 656 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) determined, as a preliminary issue, that it did not have jurisdiction to consider HMRC's alleged conduct, behaviour and abuse of its powers in determining an appeal against unauthorised payment charges and that such issues are properly for judicial review proceedings and/or the HMRC Adjudicator.

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Uncrystallised personal pensions safe from creditors

Published on 14 October 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has resolved previously conflicting case law to confirm that a bankrupt cannot be obliged to crystallise his pension benefits in order to produce income to pay off creditors.

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Enforcing the duty of responsibility against senior managers: the Regulators' view

13 October 2016

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The FCA and PRA have issued consultations giving guidance on how they propose to enforce the duty of responsibility against senior managers in banks – and the rest of financial services from 2018.

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Stan Murray-Hession: Tribunal allows taxpayer's share loss relief claim

Published on 12 October 2016. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Stan Murray-Hession v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 612, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), held that Mr Murray-Hession (the Appellant) had subscribed for shares within the meaning of section 135(2), Income Tax Act 2007 (ITA), so that share loss relief, under section 131, ITA, was available.

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Digital comparison tools under review

Published on 12 October 2016. By Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The UK's CMA has launched a market study into price comparison tools, such as price comparison websites and smartphone apps. The aim is to establish what action, if any, is required to improve how this market works. The CMA has until 28 March 2017 to decide whether to open an in-depth market investigation.

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15% increase in counterfeit goods seized in 2015

Published on 11 October 2016. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

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According to the "Report on EU Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Results at the EU Border 2015", the number of goods that were detained at the EU's external borders for suspected infringement of an IP right grew by an estimated 15% in 2015 compared with 2014.

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FCA and PRA set out wide-ranging rules and proposals for the SIMR and SMCR

11 October 2016

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Falling like autumn leaves, the FCA and PRA have published a number of papers relating to the senior insurance managers regime as well as the senior managers and certification regime (which will apply to insurers from 2018).

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ICO issues record £400,000 fine for TalkTalk data breach

11 October 2016

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The record fine is an indication that the new Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, is looking to take a robust approach to enforcement ahead of the introduction of the GDPR in May 2018.

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The FCA gives its provisional view on regulating the role of the GC.

10 October 2016

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In house lawyers have different roles but, fundamentally, many will help their businesses identify legal risks and define a tolerance towards those risks. They then use Contracts, Advice & Training (CAT) to keep those Risks At Tolerance (RAT) – they use CATs to control RATs.

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Tribunal rejects HMRC's attempt to transfer PAYE liability to employee

Published on 07 October 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Stephen West v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 536 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer's appeal and confirmed that under the PAYE system the obligation to pay income tax fell on the employer, and liability will only be transferred to the employee under the regulation of the Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003, if he has received his remuneration knowing that his employer has wilfully and deliberately failed to deduct PAYE.

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NEDs to be subject to FCA's Code of Conduct

05 October 2016

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The FCA has announced plans to extend the application of the Code of Conduct Sourcebook to standard NEDs in banks and insurers. These changes will apply to all NEDs in regulated financial services from 2018

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FCA plans to apply conduct rules to NEDs in banks and insurers

05 October 2016

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The FCA proposes to extend the application of the Code of Conduct sourcebook to standard NEDs.

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FCA avoids full market study but what next for Big Data?

Published on 04 October 2016. By Rachael Ellis, Associate

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This update considers the FCA's feedback statement on the use of "Big Data" in the retail general insurance sector.

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Tax update, October 2016

Published on 04 October 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this update we report on the Worldwide Disclosure Facility recently announced by HMRC, new sanctions for failure to register, and the latest Spotlights published by HMRC. We also comment on some recent tax decisions relating to industrial buildings allowance, offsetting losses arising in a UK permanent establishment against profits earned by its UK business and opting out of the costs regime.

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A new and better approach to claims against financial advisers?

Published on 03 October 2016. By Robert Morris, Partner

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A Judge has found in favour of Coutts in a claim for negligent investment advice for just under £3.3m plus interest. The Judge’s findings are of interest given that he refused to assess whether the investments recommended were suitable for the Claimants according to a body of accepted professional opinion (the so called “Bolam Test”). Instead, the Judge focused on whether the risks of the investments were properly explained to the Claimants, whether they could afford to take such risks and showed themselves willing to do so.

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Sidestepping Limitation: A Cautionary Tale

Published on 03 October 2016. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Davina Given, Partner

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The defendants were able to make a contribution claim from a third party after settling a competition damages claim with the claimant, even though the third party had a limitation defence against the claimant, which could have extinguished both the defendant's and the third party's liability to the claimant.

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Time for the navigator!

29 September 2016

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Why the current clouds of Brexit uncertainty present a unique opportunity for you

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ABI releases checklist on effective counter fraud practices

Published on 29 September 2016. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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Earlier this month, the ABI released a checklist on effective counter fraud practices. The checklist is designed to assist insurers in putting in place strong fraud defences. It is particularly aimed at smaller insurers with limited counter fraud functions.

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Health and Safety update, September 2016

Published on 29 September 2016. By Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety

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This edition includes details of Merlin Attractions' £5 million fine following the Smiler crash in 2015 at Alton Towers, in addition to the latest case law and health & safety news.

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FAPL v Wells: High Court orders Norwich Pharmacal Relief Against Publicans Screening Premier League Matches Without Permission

29 September 2016

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In this article for Entertainment Law Review first published in June 2016, Andrew Crystal and Joshua Charalambous discuss Snowden J's decision in the Football Association Premier League Limited -v- Richard Alan Wells (& Ors) [2015] EWHC 3910 (Ch).

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Vat update, September 2016

Published on 29 September 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In this update we report on changes to the VAT treatment of single dwellings with more than one building, an extension to the simplified mechanism for employer input tax deductions in relation to investment management services and new guidance on HMRC’s powers to seek to recover underpaid VAT from online marketplaces. We also report on three recent cases involving MTIC fraud, reasonable excuse for late payment of VAT and whether supplies relating to fractional ownership interests in a property are exempt from VAT.

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N Brown Group Plc: Tribunal confirms there is no going back once a taxpayer has opted out of the costs regime

28 September 2016

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In N Brown Group Plc and Another v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 445 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), has confirmed that it did not have the power to permit a taxpayer to withdraw its written request that the proceedings be excluded from the costs regime.

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What do you know about hyperlinking to infringing content online?

Published on 28 September 2016. By Paul Joseph, Partner

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CJEU clarifies position on linking to infringing content - here's what you need to know

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Big data in insurance: The FCA offers its view

Published on 28 September 2016. By Mark Crichard, Partner

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Last week the FCA published a feedback statement on the use of big data in the retail general insurance sector. Its findings are likely to come as welcome news to insurers who are keen to exploit the advantages that big data can offer.

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Claimant investors establish advisory duty against bank

Published on 26 September 2016. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

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In the most recent so-called 'mis-selling' case in Hong Kong, three claimant investors succeeded in establishing that a bank owed them a contractual duty to exercise reasonable care and skill with regard to their portfolio of investments held with the bank.

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Select Committee Inquiry into the impact of Solvency II

Published on 26 September 2016. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

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Last week, the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee announced on the parliament website that it is holding an inquiry into the new regime for insurance regulation under the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC).

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Brexit - A brief update on investment funds

Published on 22 September 2016.

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RPC facilitates conversations between a number of private equity fund sponsors and the BVCA

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Pragmatism in the High Court: Correcting errors in arbitration

22 September 2016

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The High Court has held that the words "any errors of a similar nature" within r27.1 of the London Court of Arbitration Rules 1998 covered clarifying or removing ambiguity within an award by a tribunal.

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