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How can I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

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How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

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How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

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The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

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The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

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Macleod – insurance premiums paid not earnings from taxpayer's employment

Published on 15 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited and William Mitchell v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0046 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that insurance premiums paid by the company on policies taken out in the sole director's name were not earnings from employment.

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Tang - Bare trust existed notwithstanding lack of trust document

Published on 12 April 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Lily Tang v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 81, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that there was a bare trust despite the absence of a trust document and that the bare trustee was not liable to notify HMRC or for tax in relation to funds she held on trust.

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Brexit delay prolongs uncertainty for insurers

Published on 12 April 2019. By Neil Brown, Partner

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Yesterday's announcement of Halloween as the new deadline for Brexit will prolong uncertainty for many UK insurers.

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Is it now inevitable corporates will face new “failure to prevent economic crime” offences?

11 April 2019

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Back in September 2014, the then Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP announced that the Government was considering proposals to create a new corporate offence of failing to prevent economic crime. A change of corporate culture was sighted as being necessary to fully address the scale of fraud reported by the Global Economic Crime Survey.

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Royal College of Surgeons call for Robust Reporting in the Private Healthcare Sector

Published on 10 April 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

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The Royal College of Surgeons (the “RCS”) has today called for independent healthcare providers to “improve standards in the independent sector and prevent the circumstances that enabled Paterson to continue practising from happening again.”

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Fixing Fast Fashion: Parliament aims to put the brakes on retailers

Published on 10 April 2019. By Lucy Houghton, Trainee Solicitor and Jeremy Drew, Partner

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'Fast fashion' has been providing inexpensive, up to date styles to the mass market for decades, keeping the consumer both on trend, and in the black. However, as society becomes increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact of the retail sector, Parliament has thrown a spotlight upon the sustainability of 'fast fashion' and the modern retailing practices which underpin it.

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Vaginal mesh: the evidence

Published on 10 April 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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NICE guidelines inform debate over the evidence for the risks and benefits of mesh products

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Worried you'll run out of milk: what does your contract say?

Published on 09 April 2019. By Rachael Ellis, Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

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This isn't a 'B'-word blog, don't worry. But with 'B' looming (in whatever form it may take) UK businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty when it comes to their supply chain – talk continues of border delays, stock piling and shortages.

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Sleeping on the job

Published on 09 April 2019. By Katie Fry-Paul, Trainee Solicitor

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Given an increasing interest in wellness, sleep is a hot topic for both individuals and businesses. With sleep-related productivity issues estimated as costing the UK economy up to £40 billion, this article takes a look at the impact that sleep has on businesses – as well as the opportunities that it presents.

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Albatel - TV presenter wins £1.2m tax case

Published on 08 April 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In Albatel Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0195 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the so-called IR35 legislation did not apply to the provision of services by Lorraine Kelly to ITV.

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The latest cyber stats revealed (the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019)

Published on 05 April 2019. By Rachel Ford, Associate

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Whilst cyber attacks decrease, the threats to businesses remain. We give you the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019.

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UK property – big tax changes for non-UK residents

Published on 05 April 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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From 6 April 2019, all gains from UK real estate realised on disposal by non-residents, whether residential or commercial property and whether by way of direct or "indirect" disposal, will be subject to UK capital gains tax or corporation tax.

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English Court trumps the FBI

Published on 05 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate

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In HP's high profile claim against Mike Lynch in relation to its acquisition of Autonomy, the English High Court has held that the implied undertaking against collateral use of documents received in the course of litigation prevented disclosure of those documents to the FBI.

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All bets are off for binary options

Published on 04 April 2019. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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Following consultation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on 29 March 2019 that, as of 2 April 2019, the sale, marketing and distribution of binary options (including securitised binary options) to retail consumers will be prohibited indefinitely.

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Game theory and the art of litigation strategy - Article 4

Published on 02 April 2019. By Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

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Escaping the Hobbesian Trap – the impact of aggression in litigation settlement strategy

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Gardner Shaw – directions subject to a pending appeal should not have been varied

Published on 01 April 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In Gardner Shaw UK Ltd and others v HMRC [2018] UKUT 419 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) should not have varied directions which the FTT had previously issued, when they had been the subject of an unsuccessful appeal to the UT and when an appeal to the Court of Appeal was pending.

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Tax update - April 2019

01 April 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s guidance on self-reporting failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion; (2) HMRC’s consultation on secondary preferential creditor status on insolvency of a business; and (3) a Parliamentary Select Committee’s call for a public register of beneficial ownership in each British Overseas Territory. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the concept of “staleness” in discovery assessment appeals; (2) a failed DOTAS application brought by HMRC; and (3) the extra-territorial reach of HMRC information notices.

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The essential ingredients

Published on 29 March 2019. By James Miller, Managing Partner

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Vision, purpose, focus. In my experience as a Managing Partner, these are essential ingredients for high performance organisations; essential ingredients for high performance teams; and essential ingredients for high performance individuals.

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VAT update March 2019

26 March 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on claiming exemption from Making Tax Digital for VAT; (2) the latest edition of HMRC’s impact assessment for the movement of goods if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and (3) HMRC’s policy change on VAT treatment of personal contract purchases.

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Audit profession – a year of reflection

25 March 2019

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In this legal update we look back at some of the key developments for the audit profession in 2018 and consider what the rest of 2019 may hold for the industry.

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Praesto - input tax recoverable on fees incurred in defending proceedings against its director

22 March 2019

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In Praesto Consulting UK Ltd v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 353, the Court of Appeal has held that a company was entitled to recover input tax on legal fees it incurred in defending civil proceedings brought against its director.

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Health and safety update March 2019

21 March 2019

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Welcome to our March 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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What are the circumstances in which acting in breach of EU sanctions will kill a claim?

Published on 21 March 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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An Iranian oil company was defrauded in a failed attempt to circumvent EU sanctions - does its claim survive the Patel v Mirza illegality test?

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New corporate criminal offence: Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

19 March 2019

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The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017, introduces new strict liability corporate criminal offences of failure to prevent criminal facilitation of tax evasion. The legislation came into force on 30 September 2017.

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Time to abandon 'fairness'?

Published on 18 March 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In recent years the word 'fair' has become a common feature of HMRC's lexicon. It is often connected with claims by HMRC that a taxpayer is not paying his or her "fair share of tax". It is disseminated with predictable regularity across HMRC press releases, guidance notes and spokesperson's quotes.

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"Agency" is not always enough to engage the law of bribery and secret commissions

Published on 13 March 2019. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Jonathan Cary, Partner

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The Court of Appeal has held that the payment by a seller of a fee to an acquisition agent without the buyer's knowledge does not render the contract for sale void or voidable. The decision turned on whether there was sufficient trust and confidence in the relationship between the buyer and the acquisition agent. Prince Arthur Ikpechukwu Eze v Conway and another [2019] EWCA Civ 88

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A Right Royal Deadlock: Can "Crown" use unlock patented drug?

Published on 12 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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Can the Government settle the dispute between NHS and Vertex Pharmaceuticals through "Crown" use of the patented drug, Orkambi.

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Judge makes alarming comments about validity of standstill agreements in Inheritance Act claims

Published on 12 March 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate and Rhian Howell, Partner

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In a recent judgment, the High Court has cast doubt on the extent to which the court will recognise standstill agreements in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

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A licence to kill... a licence

Published on 11 March 2019. By Tim Anderson, Partner and Jason Varney, Senior Associate

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In the second of a number of short articles we are producing in relation to businesses in the tech space, we will be discussing a real life example of what not to do when diligencing a tech company and its third party IP licence agreements.

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Seeking the "right regulation" of digital services: Lords' Communications Committee articulates its vision

Published on 11 March 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner

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In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, told the US Senate Judiciary Committee that the question was no longer whether there should be regulation of the internet, but what is the right regulation.

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When does delay by HMRC render a discovery assessment invalid?

Published on 07 March 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In the recent case of Clive Beagles v HMRC [2018] UKUT 380 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a delay of nearly two and a half years between (i) HMRC discovering that a taxpayer's self-assessment tax return was insufficient and (ii) HMRC issuing an assessment, was too long. As the discovery had become 'stale' by the time of the assessment, the assessment was invalid.

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Enforceable oral contracts – Supreme Court looks to conduct and context

Published on 07 March 2019. By Eliot Henderson, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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To avoid expensive litigation, contracting parties should ensure that all essential terms are expressly agreed within a legally binding contract. Where some essential terms are missing, but the parties clearly intend to be bound by and act on their agreement, the court will be keen to find an enforceable agreement. Wells v Devan 2019, UKSC 4.

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BMW Rides to Victory

Published on 06 March 2019. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

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BMW, the well-known manufacturer of cars, motorcycles and engines, secured summary judgment in respect of its claim for trade mark infringement and passing off arising out of the registration of a UK company under the BMW name.

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Roma wasn't built in a day; how Netflix conquered the Oscars

Published on 05 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

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In 2017, at the Cannes Film Festival, the film 'Okja' was debuted. It was produced by Brad Pitt's production company 'Plan B' and starred Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. It also featured a giant CGI pig, whose capture and treatment raised issues on animal welfare, and whose - spoiler alert – rescue, made the hairs on the back of one's neck stand up.

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Law Society introduces new Code for Completion by Post

Published on 04 March 2019. By Tom Toulson, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

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Conveyancing practitioners need of course to familiarise themselves with the new Code, in advance of its implementation date of 1 May 2019. Following Dreamvar, the new Code underlines the fact that the burden of detecting fraudulent sellers falls squarely on the sellers' solicitors.

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Curzon – contractor loan scheme notifiable under DOTAS but scheme administrator not a 'promoter'

Published on 04 March 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Curzon Capital Ltd [2019] UKFTT 0063 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a contractor loan scheme was a notifiable arrangement for the purposes of the disclosure of tax avoidance arrangements (DOTAS) regime, but that the scheme administrator was not a promoter. Accordingly, HMRC's application for an order that the arrangements were notifiable was dismissed.

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Tax update - March 2019

04 March 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) clarification from HMRC on time limits for discovery assessments into tax returns where the loss of tax is due to avoidance; (2) HMRC’s updated guidance for settling disguised remuneration schemes; and (3) confirmation in Spotlight 48 that taxpayers who have taken out disguised remuneration loans do not need to obtain a deed of release or exclusion of the loan from the lender before HMRC will agree a settlement.

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Product liability update - February 2019

28 February 2019

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A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news, from the Product Safety Marking in the event of a “no deal” Brexit to Social media and product advertising.

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Organ Donation: The New Law

Published on 28 February 2019. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

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An "opt-out" system for organ donation is expected to come into effect in England next year after passing the final parliamentary vote this week

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VAT Update - February 2019

27 February 2019

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In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the VAT IT system rules and processes if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) EU exit legislation; and (3) revisions to HMRC’s Notice of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Who was best dressed at the Oscars?

Published on 27 February 2019. By Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor

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Always popular, often outrageous, and unfortunately sometimes sexist; the best and worst dressed lists have been must-have articles for publishers around award season since 1940. But does success or failure on these lists have any impact on the brand of the celebrity, or the designer?

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Spotlight on private wealth - February 2019

27 February 2019

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Welcome to our new look Spotlight. Our quarterly update highlights developments in the private client world – with a focus on disputes and how to avoid them.

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Managing more bribery risk post-Brexit

Published on 25 February 2019. By Sam Tate, Partner

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We regularly hosts financial crime related round-tables exploring with interested groups including government and enforcement agencies, clients and NGOs, practical solutions and insights to the most complex and topical issues.

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Medicinal Cannabis – How far have we really come?

Published on 25 February 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

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Cannabis, for medicinal purposes, was legalised nearly four months ago in the UK, but how many patients are actually reaping the benefits, and how far have we really come?

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Jimenez - Court of Appeal confirms extra-territorial reach of information notices

Published on 25 February 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

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In R (oao Jimenez) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 51, the Court of Appeal has held that HMRC can issue an information notice to a taxpayer under paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), even if he is non-resident.

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Customs and excise quarterly update: February 2019

22 February 2019

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In this update we report on the effect of a no deal Brexit in relation to (1) customs processes and procedures; (2) binding tariff information; and (3) changes to tax procedures. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) obtaining an injunction when HMRC revoke Authorised Warehousekeeper status; (2) the application of retrospective inward processing authorisation periods; and (3) the seizure of vehicles.

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