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The commission omission? English High Court balances text and context in contractual interpretation

Published on 28 May 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Ben Harris, Associate

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English law's flexible, rational, yet stable approach to contractual interpretation has been demonstrated again in Clark Street Associates v Norsk Titanium(1), a decision concerning commission payments.

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Publication

Coronavirus – a bumpy road ahead for D&O

28 May 2020

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Globally, insurers are waiting to see how COVID-19 related exposures will impact their respective D&O books. RPC has accessed a number of pre-eminent insurance practices in the major claims centres to swap notes on the possible D&O exposures in their respective jurisdictions and how they envisage insurers might act in response.

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Tales from COVID: Insurance in the time of coronavirus - Business interruption

Published on 27 May 2020. By Peter Mansfield, Partner

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In conjunction with our US alliance partners, Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP, we have produced a series of 'informal chats' with the title 'Tales from Covid: Insurance in the Time of Coronavirus'.

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Blog

Game Match - Football referees held not to be employed for tax purposes – the final whistle for HMRC?

Published on 27 May 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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In Professional Game Match Officials Limited v HMRC [2020] UKUT 147 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) confirmed that certain football referees and other match day officials were not employees of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) and accordingly it did not have tax and NICs liabilities in respect of the officials in question.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update May 2020

Published on 26 May 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In this update we report on (1) temporary changes to customs authorisations during the coronavirus outbreak; (2) the government's plans to introduce 10 new freeports; and (3) a new liability for carrying out an operation or dilution on wine. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) refusal of permission to appeal an excise duty assessment out of time; (2) the customs classification of mobility scooters; and (3) liability to pay excise duty in relation to the movement of dutiable goods under a suspension regime.

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Publication

Draft Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (Remedial) Order 2020: Second Report

22 May 2020

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On 18 May 2020, the commons Human Rights Committee published their second report on the reforms proposed to bereavement damages available in the UK.

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Blog

Cyber bytes - Issue 14

Published on 22 May 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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

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Blog

Hong Kong Courts – Closing the GAP

Published on 22 May 2020. By Carmel Green, Partner

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The general adjourned period (GAP), during which the courts in Hong Kong were closed save for urgent and essential court business, started on 29 January 2020 with the early onset of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 13 – eSports, St Andrews and EFL salary caps

Published on 22 May 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

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Blog

Update on the FCA's review of Defined Benefit transfer advice

Published on 21 May 2020. By Zoe Melegari, Associate

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The FCA has been looking to improve the quality of pension transfer advice for some time now. However, despite the crackdown on defined benefit transfers being announced as a strategic priority earlier this year, it appears that factors, such as Covid-19 have put the FCA's investigations into advice suitability on the back foot – for now, at least.

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Blog

To perform or not to perform? When tendering performance means actual performance

Published on 21 May 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Partner and Kirtan Prasad, Senior Associate

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A consultant was alleged to be in material breach of a consultancy contract for refusing to supply his services. He responded to a notice of material breach by stating that he was willing to perform. However, the Court of Appeal held that this was insufficient to remedy the breach (Bains v Arunvill Capital Limited and others)(1).

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Blog

Cyber Bytes - Issue 13

Published on 20 May 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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

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Blog

COVID-19 legal update – Your workforce: Could workers who can work from home (and their employers) break the law by returning to the workplace too soon?

Published on 20 May 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Partner and Joanna Holford, Senior Associate

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The government has stated that that those who can work from home should do so and those who cannot should go to work. Is it an offence to go to the place of work when it is possible to work from home?

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Blog

Top 10 for the 10s Claims against surveyors and valuers

Published on 20 May 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The 2010s started with an influx of valuation claims, primarily involving lenders seeking to recoup losses suffered as a result of the financial crisis, loans being made to sub-prime borrowers and the declining property market.

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Blog

Henkes – FTT has jurisdiction to determine mixed questions of fact and law on application for closure notice

Published on 20 May 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In Henkes v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 159 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) decided that it has jurisdiction to determine mixed questions of fact and law on an application for a closure notice and appeal against an information notice.

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Publication

International risk team - What’s my part in all this?

19 May 2020

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One of the most common issues to arise in offshore energy construction claims is the application of WELCAR’s Defective Parts clause.

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Publication

Corporate tax update - May 2020

19 May 2020

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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 April 2020. April was not a “bumper” month for corporate tax developments but (as you would expect) there have been some Covid-19 related developments of note. This month's report also includes a summary of the Supreme Court's decision in Zipvit (on input VAT recovery). We hope you, your family and friends are all staying safe

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Blog

Adams v Carey – the judgment – over 2 years in the making, where does it leave the SIPP market

Published on 19 May 2020. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and David Allinson, Senior Associate and Rachael Healey, Partner

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More than two years since the trial in March 2018, the High Court has dismissed the claim against Carey Pensions on all counts. The landmark case is sure to have far reaching ramifications for the SIPP industry and beyond.

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Blog

Catastrophe bonds: a storm in a teacup or a floody good opportunity?

Published on 18 May 2020. By Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Associate

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Catastrophe bonds are a type of insurance-linked security. They offer an alternative to reinsurance policies and allow insurers and reinsurers to offload a proportion of their risk. As the name suggests, they are often triggered by damage that an insured suffers as a result of a natural catastrophe such as a hurricane, earthquake or flood, but can also be designed to respond to events such as a pandemic.

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Publication

COVID-19 Secure – Government Guidance released

14 May 2020

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Following Prime Minster Boris Johnson's announcement on Sunday 10 May about limited easing lockdown restrictions, the government published various guidance documents to businesses on 11 May to assist with the process of returning to work.

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Blog

When will reference to a document in a witness statement waive privilege in that document

Published on 14 May 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Gill O'Regan, Senior Associate

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Tread carefully when considering whether and how to reference privileged documents; "deployment" of a document may draw back the cloak of privilege but a "mere reference" may not. Context will be key.

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Blog

Football referees held not to be employed for tax purposes – the final whistle for HMRC?

Published on 14 May 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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Whether an individual is employed, or self-employed, for tax purposes is a question that has – in the era of the 'gig' economy and given the anticipated extension of the off-payroll working (IR35) rules – never required closer examination.

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Blog

SIPP and SSAS providers face further test following in-specie ruling in favour of HMRC

Published on 13 May 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The Upper Tier Tribunal has overturned a decision of the First Tier Tribunal and found in favour of HMRC in a case that is likely to place further pressure on the SIPP and SSAS markets.

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Blog

Looney – Termination payments were trading receipts

Published on 13 May 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Kieran Looney & Anor v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0119 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has dismissed an appeal against the First-tier Tribunal's (FTT) decision that a termination payment and other payments made under a contract entered into by a partnership to provide management training, were trading receipts of a partnership.

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Blog

Return of the MAC (clauses): renegotiating or exiting your supply chain contracts

Published on 12 May 2020. By David Cran, Partner and Marlon Cohen, Senior Associate

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As more challenges arise from the current pandemic, suppliers and customers in the retail supply chain will be looking at their contracts to see how best to navigate the challenges they face. This may involve reviewing existing supply chain arrangements and seeing if there is a way to renegotiate or exit existing contracts.

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Blog

RICS Guidance and Key Developments for Surveyors: #2 Coronavirus, valuations and "material uncertainty"

Published on 12 May 2020. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner and Felicity Strong, Senior Associate

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The recent lockdown has posed a serious challenge to the UK housing market, with the present and future potential impact of COVID-19 on the market inviting comparisons to the post-2008 recession.

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Publication

International risk team: Aggregation issues in Covid-19 related claims

12 May 2020

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A lot of electronic ink has been used by lawyers to debate whether coronavirus on the surface of physical things constitutes damage. Although that may have seemed a crucial question some weeks ago before the lock-down it is probably largely academic now.

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Blog

Tips for minimising costs on Part VII transfers

Published on 11 May 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner

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The Covid-19 crisis might cause insurers to seek to free up capital by disposing of portfolios of legacy business. This blog sets out some tips for carrying out Part VII transfers whilst under increasing costs constraints.

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Blog

FOS complaints and hindsight – categorical statement from the Chief Ombudsman

Published on 11 May 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

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The FCA has been producing a range of temporary measures with the aim of ensuring that firms can work at pace during the pandemic for the benefit of customers. However, where procedures are bypassed or corners cut what will FOS do in response? The response from FOS to that questions raises another – the use of hindsight when coming to its decisions.

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Publication

Tax Bites - May 2020

07 May 2020

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Welcome to the first edition of RPC's Tax Bites ­ providing monthly bite­sized updates from the tax world.

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Blog

The ASA bites back – Burger King 'Rebel Whopper' ads ruled to be misleading and in breach of advertising rules

Published on 07 May 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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At the start of the year, Veganuary hit the headlines, with the British public challenged to ditch animal by-products in favour of a plant-based diet for the month of January.

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Blog

The ASA bites back – Burger King 'Rebel Whopper' ads ruled to be misleading and in breach of advertising rules

Published on 07 May 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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At the start of the year, Veganuary hit the headlines, with the British public challenged to ditch animal by-products in favour of a plant-based diet for the month of January.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 12 – F1 restart, virtual NFL Draft and RFL emergency loan

Published on 07 May 2020. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from around the sports industry.

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Blog

What are good grounds for appeal in insolvency applications?

Published on 06 May 2020. By Simon Hart, Partner and Emily Saffer, Associate

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Applying for permission to advance fresh evidence on appeal is a tricky application, which has had varying degrees of success in the courts. Zheng Yougxiong v Gate Ventures Plc(1) is a useful example of the application of the criteria, albeit in the context of insolvency proceedings.

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Podcast

A look at Lloyd's Lab

06 May 2020

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Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This week we are taking a look at Lloyd's lab, the renowned insure-tech startup programme. Our guest is Ed Gaze, who is the Lab Manager.

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Blog

Coyle – Upper Tribunal refuses permission to appeal out of time

Published on 06 May 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Michael Coyle t/a Coyle Transport v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0113 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) set aside the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) for errors of law, but reached the same conclusion as the FTT and refused the taxpayer permission to appeal out of time.

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Blog

Regulated Activities Order amendments for the new Bounce Back Loan Scheme

Published on 05 May 2020.

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On 1 May 2020, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Order 2020 was published and came into force on 4 May 2020.

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Blog

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal: new rules, new game?

Published on 05 May 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Thelma Ainsworth, Associate

There are few things that strike fear into the heart of a solicitor more than the prospect of being sent to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This article looks at its new rules of procedure.

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Publication

Arbitrable disputes in the context of winding up proceedings

Published on 05 May 2020. By Prakash Nair, Director

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This note discusses two recent decisions of the Court of Appeal of Singapore that dealt with the standard of review to be applied in winding up proceedings where a debtor asserts that there is a dispute which parties agreed to resolve by way of arbitration.

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Publication

General liability newsletter - April 2020

04 May 2020

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Welcome to the latest edition of our general liability newsletter, rounding up some the key cases from the last few months.

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Blog

New 100% government-backed loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses

Published on 04 May 2020. By Sukh Ahark, Partner and Lauren Murphy, Associate

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The new 'Bounce Back Loans' scheme (the "Scheme") launches today. The Scheme provides small and medium-sized businesses with loans from between £2,000 and £50,000, such cash to be accessible within days.

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Publication

International risk team - The Atlantik Confidence: precautions to take in respect dubious claims in the wake of economic crises

01 May 2020

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Insurers want to pay claims. However, insurance claims history shows that when certain businesses face an existential threat they are inclined to take a very aggressive attitude towards their insurance “assets” in a desperate attempt to generate liquidity.

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Publication

Regulatory Roundup Q1 2020

Published on 30 April 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

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Welcome to the Spring edition of the Regulatory Roundup, which aims to pull together the key developments across regulatory regimes – and help you to navigate the maze.

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Blog

High Court provides a reminder against "over-lawyering" of witness statements

Published on 30 April 2020. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Harriet Evans, Associate

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In a reminder not to "over-lawyer" witness statements, a High Court judge has ordered that statements be revised to remove inappropriate content(1).

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Publication

VAT update - April 2020

Published on 30 April 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the Value Added Tax (Finance) Order 2020 (SI 2020/209), which amends the fund management exemption; (2) HMRC’s guidance on the deferral of VAT payments due to COVID-19; and (3) HMRC’s guidance on how importers can pay no import duty and VAT on medical supplies, equipment and protective garments.

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Blog

Landmark case sees trade mark specifications cut down on grounds of bad faith.

Published on 29 April 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner

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Today, the High Court handed down judgment in Sky v SkyKick. The judgment follows the CJEU's 29 January 2020 decision, which answered various questions that the High Court had referred to it, back in June 2018.

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Blog

New virtual insurer for Hong Kong

Published on 29 April 2020. By Andrew Carpenter, Partner

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This month saw the award of a further virtual insurer licence in Hong Kong – this time for OneDegree (on 15 April 2020). The start-up will focus, initially, on the burgeoning Hong Kong pet insurance market, before a proposed expansion into health and cyber risk.

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Blog

Impact of COVID-19 on telecommunications apparatus

Published on 29 April 2020. By Catherine Young, Associate

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With COVID 19 keeping individuals and businesses in various states of lockdown around the world, the importance of telecommunications in keeping the country connected, both professionally and socially, has been thrown into sharp relief.

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Blog

COVID-19: What is the CMA's current approach to UK merger assessment?

Published on 29 April 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The CMA has been adapting its working practices to react to the ongoing challenges of a change in working environment that has an impact on almost all businesses.

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Blog

Davies – Taxpayers unable to benefit from motive exemption in TOAA or qualify for treaty relief

Published on 29 April 2020. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In Andrew Davies & Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 67 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that the taxpayers did not satisfy the ‘motive exemption’ in the transfer of assets abroad (TOAA) legislation and could not benefit from treaty relief.

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