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Budget 2018 – 10 key business tax takeaways

Published on 08 November 2018. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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Interest-only mortgages - the new PPI?

Published on 08 November 2018. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

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A new wave of complaints is hitting the mortgage market, concerning interest-only mortgages taken out before the financial crisis. Why is this happening and what should we look out for?

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LSB approves SRA’s revolution in legal services regulation

Published on 07 November 2018. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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The Solicitors Regulation Authority’s new regulatory arrangements were approved by the Legal Services Board on 6 November 2018. Part of the changes will allow solicitors of England & Wales to sell legal advice to the public from within unregulated firms, as long as they steer clear of reserved legal activities such as conveyancing and litigation. These firms will not be regulated by the SRA and will not need to take out full SRA-mandated professional indemnity insurance. These new kinds of legal practice offer unique opportunities for competition with big law firms, and for in-house legal teams to be converted from a cost to a profit centre. RPC has exceptional degree of experience in advising on innovation in the the provision of legal services.

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Griffiths – appeal against HMRC penalties allowed as notice to file was invalid

Published on 07 November 2018. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

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In Griffiths v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0527 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has allowed the taxpayer's appeal against penalties imposed by HMRC as HMRC's notice to file a tax return was invalidly issued and in any event, the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for failing to submit his return.

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Five ways the civil courts are fighting back against cybercrime

Published on 06 November 2018. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Eliot Henderson, Associate

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Service by text and data room, worldwide freezing orders against persons unknown, self-identification orders and hearings on paper and in private are ways the court is dealing with cyber-crime. Here are five ways that the courts are addressing the imbalance that exists between victims and criminals who seek to hide behind a veil of anonymity in this digital age.

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Part three: food for thought – some key features of the SMCR

Published on 06 November 2018.

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Having laid out the basic architecture under the SMCR, this final part of the series looks more closely at various elements of the new regime, which we consider particularly noteworthy and which give rise to specific issues to be addressed.

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連載コラム・欧州M&A最前線2018年8月

Published on 06 November 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

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今月のコラムは、涼しい雨の東京で書いている。ここ1週間、ミーティング続きで忙しかったが、話題の中心はやはり英国の欧州連合(EU)離脱とそのM&Aへの影響だった。全般的に、ブレグジット交渉が完結するまでは、英国でのM&A取引の法的枠組みに変わりはない。

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Jackie Doyle-Price appointed Minister for the Prevention of Suicides

Published on 05 November 2018. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

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What is the role of the Minister for the Prevention of Suicides, and how will her appointment impact Insurers?

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Something out of the ordinary (share capital)

Published on 05 November 2018. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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The term ordinary share capital is widely used in UK tax provisions. While the term has a statutory definition a recent table by the Chartered Institute of Taxation shows how HMRC has interpreted it in practice.

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Speech is golden

Published on 05 November 2018. By Ben Harris, Associate

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With voice shopping projected to rise to £3.5 billion in UK sales by 2022, we consider how smart speakers are making waves and breaking barriers in the retail sector.

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Crypto Assets and ICOs as seen by ESMA's SMSG

Published on 05 November 2018. By Ella Shanks, Associate

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On 19 October 2018, ESMA's Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) published a report on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto assets. The report is a useful one-stop shop for relevant definitions, classifications and statistics and we summarise the highlights in this two-part series.

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Tech talent: To purchase or to hire…that is the question

Published on 02 November 2018. By Jason Varney, Senior Associate

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When acquiring tech companies & their human talent, there are some key considerations that buyers should take into account when formulating their M&A strategy

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General liability newsletter November 2018

Published on 01 November 2018. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate and Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety

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The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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Drafting: you do the maths

Published on 01 November 2018. By Neil Brown, Partner

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Chartbrook v. Persimmon provides a good example of why contracts can benefit from worked mathematical formulae to aid courts in interpreting key contractual clauses.

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Tax update November 2018

01 November 2018

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In this month’s update we report on proposals under consideration by the Treasury to extend capital gains tax relief to private landlords, HMRC’s factsheet on new higher penalties that it can impose where taxpayers have failed to declare and pay tax in relation to offshore matters and the annual report of Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB). We also comment on three recent decisions relating to the partial writing-off of loans, Schedule 36 information notices and late filing penalties.

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"Loss" in Translation

Published on 31 October 2018. By Ben Mark, Partner and Dani Barnes, Associate

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IPEC judge lifts costs cap of £25,000 for an inquiry as to damages

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Managing expectations: key considerations for early stage start-ups and their investors

Published on 30 October 2018. By Peter Sugden, Partner

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Peter Sugden discusses "good leaver / bad leaver" provisions in early-stage venture capital investment to help explain key terms for start-up business.

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Part 2: What does the SMCR mean for me?

Published on 29 October 2018.

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The new “Conduct Rules” are a minimum, basic standard of good personal conduct and behaviour applicable to all financial services personnel, and against which the FCA will hold individuals to account.

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#Ad-vice for Influencers and Brands: how to comply with CAP's new Influencer's Guide

Published on 26 October 2018. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

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To help influencers and brands comply with the legal requirements around influencer marketing the CAP issued An Influencer's Guide to making clear that ads are ads, developed in conjunction with the CMA.

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Reeves - CGT holdover relief available where transferor is foreign controller of transferee

Published on 25 October 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Reeves v HMRC [2018] UKUT 293 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a non-resident taxpayer was entitled to holdover relief from capital gains tax (CGT) on a disposal he had made when he gifted his interest in a limited liability partnership (LLP) to a UK-resident company, of which he was the sole shareholder.

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Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission to target cryptocurrency exchanges

24 October 2018

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The outgoing chairman of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (the “SFC”), Carlson Tong Ka-shing, has reportedly stated that the SFC is looking to extend its regulatory reach to Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency exchanges, which have so far been operating in a largely unregulated sphere.

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VAT Update October 2018

24 October 2018

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In this month’s update we report on changes to the VAT treatment of supplies of digital services, the European Parliament’s adoption of changes which are intended to simplify VAT for small businesses and the European Commission’s proposals for VAT rates and intra-EU supplies. We also comment on three recent decisions relating to the VAT option to tax a property third party access to documents filed at the First-tier Tribunal and the validity of Alternative Dispute Resolution agreements that are wrong in law.

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Part 1: What is the SMCR?

Published on 23 October 2018.

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The Senior Managers & Certification Regime (“SMCR”) will replace the FCA’s existing approved persons regime and represents a paradigm shift in the financial services industry in the UK.

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Reflections on the UK Bribery Act seven years on

Published on 23 October 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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Following the appearance of RPC's Sam Tate at the annual IBA conference earlier this month, where he joined a panel of experts discussing Corruption and Corrupt Contracts, here are our reflections on how the Bribery Act has changed the landscape of bribery offences and corporate criminal liability, first published by the IBA earlier this year and now updated.

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Professional Game Match Officials – football referees not employed for tax purposes

Published on 22 October 2018. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

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In Professional Game Match Officials Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 528, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that football referees and other match day officials were not employees of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

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Stephen Hawking's big questions for Life Sciences

Published on 19 October 2018. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

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Stephen Hawking's posthumously published "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" is a fascinating foretelling of legal challenges that the life sciences sector may face.

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HMRC cannot require an auditor to provide information regarding a taxpayer's audited accounts even if the auditor also acts as the taxpayer's tax accountant

Published on 19 October 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

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In HMRC ex parte a Taxpayer [2018] UKFTT 541 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that paragraph 24, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), protects a taxpayer's auditor, who also prepares and files the taxpayer's tax returns, from having to disclose information and documents to HMRC regarding the taxpayer's audited accounts.

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Information requirements to change under European communications contracts

Published on 18 October 2018. By Marlon Cohen, Senior Associate

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The rules around what needs to be provided to consumers under communications contracts are going to be changing under the new European Electronic Communications Code. This will have implications for consumer contracts provided by communication providers in Europe, including broadband, voice and "over the top" providers.

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Publication

Corporate tax update

18 October 2018

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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. In this third 2018 edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the third quarter of 2018.

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FCA proposes FOS award limit increase to £350,000

Published on 17 October 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Ashley Daniells, Associate

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The FCA has announced plans for an increase in the current FOS compensation cap. Currently standing at £150,000, the changes would see the limit increase to £350,000, an increase of 133%. It is also proposed that the limit will further increase automatically each year in line with inflation.

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Oil or nothing: Court of Appeal considers damages in continuing misrepresentation claim

Published on 16 October 2018. By Harriet Evans, Associate and Davina Given, Partner

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The Court of Appeal recently held that a director who had made continuing fraudulent misrepresentations was liable for damages calculated at the point of sale and not at the point of entering into the contract. This judgment is a reminder that, in the right case, deceit may be used to pierce the corporate veil. It also highlights the considerations when assessing damages regarding continuing representations, particularly when there is time between the representation being made and the performance of the contract.

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Done Brothers – supplies through fixed odds betting terminals exempt from VAT

Published on 15 October 2018. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

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In Done Brothers (Cash Betting) Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 406 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that supplies made through fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) are exempt from VAT.

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What's next for the FCA after Brexit?

Published on 10 October 2018. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

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Brexit - you can rarely go a day without hearing this word. But what does it mean in real terms for financial professionals? The FCA has acknowledged that a looming Brexit will have implications for how the FCA works in the future and has begun to discuss its plans.

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Meet your new loss adjustor: the drone

Published on 10 October 2018. By Leah Wood, Associate

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Listed by Lloyd's in 2016 as an 'emerging risk', drones have caught insurers' attention in the last few years. However, the potential benefits for the industry go further than the new capital received from premiums.

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Atherley - qualifying loan write off created an allowable loss

Published on 08 October 2018. By Robert Waterson, Partner

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In Douglas Atherley v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0408 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has found that the taxpayer's partial writing-off of a loan made to a company of which he was the sole shareholder, created an allowable loss under section 253(3), Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA).

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Court of Appeal enforces fraudster’s claim against lawyers

Published on 08 October 2018. By Nick Bird, Partner

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In Stoffel & Co v Maria Grondona the Court of Appeal applied Lord Toulson’s judgment in Patel v Mirza to permit a fraudulent mortgagor to enforce her claim against her conveyancing solicitors. There may though be stronger grounds for the defence in other claims against professionals.

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The Latin American challenge – a London market perspective

Published on 08 October 2018. By Alex Almaguer, Senior Associate

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If the London market wants to maintain its leadership in the region, London reinsurers need to look at ways to improve direct communication with local players.

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Relief for Skilled Persons as the Court of Appeal rules they are not amenable to judicial review

Published on 04 October 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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In what circumstances might skilled persons appointed under FSMA be subject to judicial review? The Court of Appeal recently explored the vulnerability of skilled persons to judicial review and dismissed an application for judicial review against KPMG, acting as a skilled person on behalf of Barclays Bank, as it found the framework in which KPMG operated was not sufficient to bring it into the public law arena.

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SFC Disciplinary Action – Customer/Personal Data

03 October 2018

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On 20 September 2018, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) banned an individual named Ngo Wing Chun from re-entering the industry for 12 months (the “Decision”) for having taken the personal data of approximately 995 customers from his employer and emailed it to his personal email. The evidence showed that none of the information had been disclosed to any third parties.

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Tax update October 2018

03 October 2018

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In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s Spotlight 45 on umbrella company avoidance schemes, an update to HMRC’s Venture Capital Schemes Manual; and call for evidence on HMRC powers.

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ESMA renews restrictions on CFDs and binary options

Published on 02 October 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

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The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has decided to renew intervention measures, which restrict the sale of contracts for difference (CFDs) and binary options to retail investors, for a further three months.

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Newton – Tribunal confirms that "statutory records"  should be narrowly construed

Published on 01 October 2018.

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In Newton v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 513 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that, due to the lack of taxpayer appeal rights, the definition of "statutory records" for the purpose of an information notice issued pursuant to Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), must be construed narrowly.

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Health and safety update September 2018

28 September 2018

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Welcome to the latest edition of our 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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CJEU proves even easy copyright cases make bad law

Published on 27 September 2018. By Paul Joseph, Partner

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Commentary on the recent CJEU decision in Renckhoff C-161/17 about the communication to the public right.

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Force Majeure – specificity is vital – Seadrill v Tullow

Published on 26 September 2018. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner

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Force majeure clauses in contracts must be clear on the events that can excuse a party from fulfilling its obligations. Inability to perform under the contract must be wholly caused by that event. So said the High Court in the case of Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd.

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VAT update September 2018

26 September 2018

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In this month’s update we report on the ECON committee’s amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for simplification of VAT for SMEs, the government’s technical note on the impact on VAT in the event of a no-deal Brexit; and Revenue and Customs Brief 6 (2018) on VAT exemption for all domestic service charges.

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High Court warns directors to get match fit for new reporting regulations

Published on 25 September 2018. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

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It is understandable that directors might be reluctant to seek legal advice – be it due to concern about time or cost or a potential conflict of interest if seeking advice internally. However, as a recent case demonstrates, this is a small price to pay to avoid the time and financial cost of a claim, especially when a company's subsequent precarious financial position shines a light on an officer's behaviour and competence.

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Expion: No valid determination of penalties by HMRC

Published on 24 September 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

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In Expion Silverstone Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0460 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that no valid determination was made by an officer of the board under section 100, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), in respect of penalties issued following the failure to file Employment Intermediaries returns.

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<連載コラム・欧州M&A最前線>2018年7月

Published on 21 September 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

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日本と違いロンドンでは気候が変わり、全般的にずいぶんと涼しくなった。この夏は長く異例の暑さったが、M&A市場もそれに負けない熱気を帯びた。当社各部門も多忙を極め、今なお次々とM&Aや投資の取引が成立している。今のところ、この活況は夏が終わっても続きそうな勢いだ。(ナイジェル・コリンズ/M&A専門弁護士)

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Treasury Committee Calls for Cryptocurrencies to be Regulated by the FCA as a Matter of Urgency

Published on 21 September 2018.

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The House of Commons' Treasury Committee published its report on Crypto-assets on 19 September 2018. The report strongly recommends that cryptocurrencies and ICOs be considered regulated activities in the UK as a matter of urgency. But realistically, when can we expect the crypto-market to be regulated in the UK?

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