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Publication

Novel Coronavirus ("Covid-19") and its potential implications for Business Interruption Insurers

20 February 2020

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In the context of the novel coronavirus dominating international news headlines, RPC Partners Antony Sassi and Mark Errington, consider some key insurance issues with respect to the potential application of notifiable disease and supply chain extensions to standard business interruption insurance policies.

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Blog

CE-Filing nightmare not so scary if you act quickly…

Published on 20 February 2020. By Nick Bird, Partner and Sally Lord, Senior Associate

We all know that CE-filing at court can sometimes be difficult, particularly when you are trying file documents close to the deadline. Whilst this case involves the filing of a Notice of Appointment of Administrators, this case may give solicitors comfort if something similar happens in litigation and a genuine mistake has been made in the e-filing process which, on the face of it, would mean that the document was filed out of time.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update February 2020

20 February 2020

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In this update we report on the government’s plans to (1) introduce 10 new freeports; (2) introduce import controls; and (3) its consultation into the UK’s tariff policy following the UK’s departure from the EU. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) time limits to issue a post-clearance demand under the Community Customs Code; (2) tariff classification of fluid and blanket warming cabinets used in hospitals; and (3) what constitutes “complicity” in the context of smuggling.

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Blog

Equitable compensation for breach of fiduciary duty: a question of loss?

Published on 20 February 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Benedict Coxon, Associate (Australian Qualified)

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A director who extracted money from a company by way of sham invoices may have a defence to an equitable compensation claim for misappropriation of the company's funds, if the director could have lawfully transferred the funds to the same recipients for no value. The Court of Appeal explored this possibility in Auden McKenzie (Pharma Division) Ltd v Patel

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Blog

ICO revises guidance on timescales for responding to a data subject access request

Published on 19 February 2020. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Joseph Akwaboa, Associate

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The ICO’s guidance has been amended to state that the time limit for a response to a DSAR starts from the day the request is received (even if it is not a working day) until the corresponding calendar date in the next month, instead of the day after the request.

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Blog

Snow Factor – Tribunal applies Halifax principle to redefine supplies of winter sports training

Published on 19 February 2020. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In Snow Factor Ltd and Snow Factor Training Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0664 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that certain VAT arrangements were abusive within the scope of the Halifax principle, and redefined supplies of winter sports training by a non-profit making company as a supply by its profit making parent and therefore as falling outside the education exemption in Item 1, Group 6, Schedule 9, Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

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Publication

The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments

18 February 2020

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The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments – the signing of the Memorandum of Guidance as to Enforcement of Money Judgments (the “MOG”) marks a significant milestone in bilateral relations between the Singapore and Myanmar judiciaries.

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Podcast

A look at MGAs

18 February 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 episode we look at MGAs with the help of Tim Jones, Director at MPR Underwriting.

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Publication

SRA v Ryan Beckwith and the regulation of the private lives of solicitors

Published on 17 February 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

In October 2019, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) upheld professional misconduct allegations against Mr Ryan Beckwith, an ex-magic circle partner. The Tribunal’s reasons were published on 30 January 2020.

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Blog

Legal advice privilege not lost by repeating the client's instructions

Published on 17 February 2020. By Will Sefton, Partner and Tom Toulson, Associate

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In Raiffeisen Bank International AG v Asia Coal Energy Ventures Ltd (1) Ashurst LLP (2) [2020] EWCA Civ 11, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that legal advice privilege over a client's instructions to their lawyers is not lost, merely because the client authorises their lawyers to repeat the substance of those instructions to another party.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 6 – Coronavirus, Nike Air Zoom Alphafly and the 'Mozart of Chess'

Published on 14 February 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 sixth edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from the sports industry.

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Blog

Lenders face more allegations about their actions on restructuring

Published on 14 February 2020. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate

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Representatives of a lender on a board will not automatically impose directors' duties on the lender, but they may apply where a director's specific instructions have led directly to a breach of fiduciary duty. The High Court recently explored this issue in an appeal in the case of Standish v Royal Bank of Scotland plc.

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Publication

Regulatory update - February 2020

13 February 2020

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

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Blog

FRC - The Final Curtain Call

Published on 13 February 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The FRC has released its draft budget plan and budget for 2020/21.

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Blog

Charnley - Tribunal puts HMRC out to pasture in allowing business and agricultural relief

Published on 12 February 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

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In W Charnley and M Hodgkinson as executors of the estate of Thomas Gill (deceased) v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0650 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) confirmed that inheritance tax agricultural property relief (APR) and business property relief (BPR) was available in relation to Mr Gill's estate.

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Blog

Nederlands Uitgeversverbond v Tom Kabinet Internet – a CJEU guide on how to play it by the book

Published on 11 February 2020. By Esme O'Hagen, Associate

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Tom Kabinet (the Defendant) is a Dutch company which sells used e-books online (the Books). The Books are purchased by the Defendant, either from individuals or official distributors, and are then re-sold for a lower price to customers who are registered on the Defendant's website as members of a "reading club".

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 7 2020

Published on 10 February 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to the seventh 2020 edition of Cyber_Bytes, our bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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Publication

The march of the machines?

Published on 10 February 2020. By Leigh Williams, Partner and William Jones, Senior Associate

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You may have seen the piece by the BBC a couple of weeks ago about Artificial Intelligence entering into a “winter”, following its “summer” of the last decade). In short, there appears to be a growing consensus that AI has been over-hyped particularly by those selling it.

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Blog

UK formally leaves EU - practical matters you ought to be thinking about now

07 February 2020

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The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. This is not the end, or the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. The much more important future relationship needs to be determined. There is a hiatus until 31 December 2020 when nothing changes with regard to free trade and movement of people between the UK and the EU.

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Publication

General liability newsletter - January 2020

06 February 2020

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Welcome to the latest edition of our general liability newsletter, rounding up the key cases from January 2020. This month we look at recent cases involving; claims for court fees, late applications to vacate trial, part 36 settlements & litigation privilege.

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Publication

Tax update - February 2020

06 February 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s Venture Capital Schemes Manual; (2) the review into the off-payroll working rules; and (3) a briefing paper regarding retrospective taxation put before the House of Commons. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the meaning of “structure” for the purposes of capital allowances; (2) an HMRC challenge to carry-back loss relief claims; and (3) principal private residence relief.

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Blog

Online resale price maintenance practices attract highest fines yet from the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The CMA announced on 22 January 2020 that it has fined Fender, the guitar manufacturer, £4.5 million for illegal resale price maintenance practices ("RPM").

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Blog

Another successful round for the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

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The Court of Appeal confirms that an absolute online sales ban imposed by a supplier on its authorised retailers is illegal.

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Blog

Devon Waste Management – Waste firms win appeal in landfill 'fluff' case

Published on 05 February 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Devon Waste Management Ltd and Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 1 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the disposal of certain waste materials did not attract a charge to landfill tax.

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Blog

Patch Test: Is your GP watching Love Island?

Published on 04 February 2020. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

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The reality TV phenomenon Love Island returned to viewer's screens on 20 January 2020, opening to an audience of 4.8 million. One contestant's open display of contraceptive choice has caught the attention of viewers and, hopefully, some GPs.

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Video

Can a super regulator save the High Street?

04 February 2020

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Henry Priestley introduces 'The Future of Retail' - a joint publication with Raconteur and The Times, published on 17 December 2019, where Partner Jeremy Drew discusses the need for a super regulator to help rescue the High Street.

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Blog

Between a rock and a card place - the changing nature of professional introductions

Published on 04 February 2020. By Matt Davies, Trainee Solicitor

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To what extent is the humble business card being affected by changes in how professional introductions are made? With details of our professional lives now often available online, there are fewer opportunities to introduce ourselves through our business cards

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Podcast

The Future at Lloyd's Blueprint One

04 February 2020

The Future at Lloyd's Blueprint one

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests! For our maiden episode we look at 'The Future at Lloyd's Blueprint One' with a particular focus on the plans to revolutionize the claims process.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #1 - Solar power

Published on 03 February 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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Solar power is produced by the absorbing of the sun's rays by solar panels. The photovoltaic (pv) cells contained within the panels convert sunlight into electricity, which (after conversion into an alternating current) can then be exported to the grid or used to power the sites on which the panels are situated. This all sounds simple enough, but solar pv arrays can present some challenges from a design and construct perspective.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy

Published on 03 February 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

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2019 was potentially a significant year for the renewable energy industry. Record temperatures and environmental catastrophes highlighted the need to reduce carbon emissions and make greater use of sources of renewable energy, and political parties championing green policies saw – for the most part – their share of the vote increase both domestically and internationally.

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Blog

Bitcoin is 'property' and can therefore be subject of proprietary injunction

Published on 03 February 2020. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

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Following recent case law on the matter, the High Court has found that bitcoin can be 'property' and can therefore be the subject of a proprietary injunction.(1) In reaching its conclusion, the court adopted the detailed analysis of the issue set out in the UK Jurisdictional Task Force's November 2019 Legal Statement on Crypto-Assets and Smart Contracts, thereby providing a far more detailed judicial basis for the finding than found in previous cases. The bitcoins at the heart of this case were part of a ransom payment paid to a hacker who installed malware on a company's IT systems.

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Publication

RPC represents party in key case for establishing the governing law of arbitration agreements.

31 January 2020

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In the recent case of Kabab-Ji S.A.L v Kout Food Group, RPC and Ricky Diwan QC (Essex Court) represented Kout Food Group before the Court of Appeal. In an important judgment, the Court established that on the proper construction of the relevant contract there was an express choice of English law governing the arbitration agreement despite that agreement providing for any arbitration to be seated in Paris.

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Blog

Vegans: a new protected group?

Published on 31 January 2020. By Joanna Holford, Senior Associate and Kelly Thomson, Partner

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Retailers would be forgiven for thinking that 2020's Veganuary coincided with a new law protecting all those who participate. Much of the press coverage of a recent employment tribunal case appeared to suggest just that. The true picture is a little more nuanced. Munch on that kale while we fill you in...

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Blog

High Court grants proprietary injunction over Bitcoin cyber ransom payment to a third party

Published on 31 January 2020. By Bethan Griffiths, Associate

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Instances of Ransomware are becoming increasingly common. We regularly deal with these types of cases and are seeing an escalation in both the sophistication of the attacks and the ransom demands being made.

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Blog

Breaking news - dominant purpose test extends to legal advice privilege

Published on 31 January 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate and Kiran Dhoot, Trainee Solicitor

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The Court of Appeal has held that legal advice privilege will apply to communications only if seeking or giving legal advice is their dominant purpose.

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Blog

Witness evidence reform - evolution not revolution?

Published on 31 January 2020. By Simon Hart, Partner and Emma West, Senior Associate

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The Witness Evidence Working Group's recommendations for witness evidence reform focus on the more consistent enforcement of existing rules with some limited new measures.

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Blog

First UK Court decision applying Cofemel

Published on 30 January 2020. By Alessandro Cerri, Associate

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The IPEC has issued its first ruling following the CJEU's decision in Cofemel, finding that "complete conformity" with EU law would exclude any requirement of aesthetic appeal.

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Publication

VAT update - January 2020

30 January 2020

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In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the rules relating to distance selling; (2) changes to VAT for intra-EU chain transactions and zero rated goods; and (3) HMRC’s guidance on proposed changes to the VAT treatment of call-off stock arrangements. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) whether VAT zero rating is available for electronic editions of newspapers; (2) the scope and meaning of “services of consultants”, for the purposes of Article 59(c), Principal VAT Directive; and (3) the deductibility of input tax on fees incurred in implementing a tax scheme.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 6 2020

Published on 29 January 2020. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

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Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks over the first month of 2020.

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Blog

CJEU hands down decision in Sky v SkyKick case

Published on 29 January 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Samuel Coppard, Associate

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This morning, the CJEU handed down its judgment for the much anticipated Sky v SkyKick case – certainly one of the most important trade mark referrals from the High Court over the past few years.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 5 – Saracens, W Series and Speedrunning

Published on 29 January 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 fifth edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from the sports industry.

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Blog

Loot Boxes: what's in the box?

Published on 29 January 2020. By Jonathan Greenway, Associate

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On 12 September 2019 the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) released its report into what it calls "immersive and addictive technologies".

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Blog

Lloyd-Webber – capital gains losses allowed over properties which were never completed

Published on 29 January 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Lloyd-Webber and another v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 717 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a payment made under a contract for the acquisition of land was for the acquisition of contractual rights, rather than for the land, giving rise to an allowable loss on termination of the contract.

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Blog

Bossing the rules: lowering the standard?

Published on 27 January 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

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Solicitors everywhere will be concerned at the recent move of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, alongside the recent SRA Standards and Regulations reforms, to alter the standard of proof to be applied in disciplinary proceedings. This article looks at the background to the Tribunal's recent decision, the reasons for the change, and the concerns around it.

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Blog

Full and frank disclosure means more than just putting relevant matters in evidence – a new year warning in UKIP v Braine & Others

Published on 24 January 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner

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New year, new reminder of the obligation to make full and frank disclosure in without notice applications, this time in the context of a falling out within the UKIP party. The obligation can only be satisfied by drawing the court's attention to legal or factual matters which could undermine the applicant's own application; it is not enough to simply put relevant matters in evidence before the court (UKIP v Braine & Others). Injunction, confidential, publication and non-disclosure.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #2 - Complaints to the ARB

Published on 23 January 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

Further to our previous article which provided an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process, we explain the first stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the complaint stage.

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Blog

SSE Generation – UT considers the meaning of structure for the purposes of capital allowances

Published on 22 January 2020. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

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In HMRC v SSE Generation Ltd [2019] UKUT 332 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) dismissed HMRC's appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that the taxpayer was eligible for capital allowances in relation to certain expenditure it incurred in connection with the construction of the Glendoe Hydro Electric Power Scheme.

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Blog

New year's (tax) resolutions

Published on 21 January 2020. By Ben Roberts, Partner

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It's that time of year when people are abiding by, (re)assessing and / or breaking their new year's resolutions. It's no different in the world of tax.

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