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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update: August 2019

21 August 2019

In this update we report on (1) revised guidance on the Customs Special Procedures for the Union Customs Code; (2) the consultation HMRC has opened into proposed changes to the rules for red diesel used in private pleasure crafts; and (3) the government’s programme to replace EU international agreements with bilateral agreements ready for the UK’s exit from the EU. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) whether HMRC has the power to permit temporary trading pending the determination of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal; (2) excise wrongdoing penalties raised out of time; and (3) an appeal against an assessment for unpaid excise duty.

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Blog

High Court rejects Part VII transfer - Prudential and Rothesay Life

Published on 20 August 2019. By Neil Brown, Partner

High Court rejects Part VII transfer in Prudential and Rothesay Life case which had been approved by the regulators and blessed by the independent expert.

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Snapshot

Snapshots Summer 2019

16 August 2019

This is your roundup of all recent legal updates spanning advertising & marketing, commercial cases,technology / digital, data protection and intellectual property.

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Blog

FCA introduces 18-month grace period for two-factor authentication for online transactions

Published on 16 August 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Jani Ihalainen, Paralegal

The Financial Conduct Authority this week agreed an 18-month "implementation plan" for Strong Customer Authentication (also known as "two-factor authentication").

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Blog

Sharpen your blue pencil: the doctrine of severance in employment cases

Published on 15 August 2019. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Patrick Brodie, Partner

In Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd [2019] UKSC 32, one such business asked the Supreme Court to reconsider the law and to change it to be fit for modern day purposes. In its landmark judgment handed down in July, the Supreme Court has done so. The core facts of the case are not unusual. Egon Zehnder (EZ) is a global specialist executive search and recruitment business. EZ recruited Mary-Caroline Tillman in 2004. As the High Court judge observed, the company regarded Ms Tillman as “a bit special”. She was recruited into a senior role on a salary of £120,000 and first year bonus of £100,000 and then rose steadily through the ranks of the organisation. By 2012, Ms Tillman was joint global head of the company’s financial services practice and a shareholder in the Swiss holding company.

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Blog

Clarity, clarity, clarity; more contract drafting lessons from the court

Published on 15 August 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Victoria Rogers, Associate

Keep under review options for terminating contracts which are no longer needed or pay the price. We discuss an interesting approach from the High Court to the well-known principles of contractual interpretation in Macquarie Capital v Nordsee. [2019] EWHC 1655 (Comm)

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Blog

Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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Blog

Abridged Advice and Workplace Pension Schemes - digging deeper into the FCA's Latest Pension Transfer Consultation Paper

Published on 15 August 2019. By Anthony Cutler, Associate

Now that the dust has settled on the FCA's latest Consultation Paper on Pension Transfers (CP19/25), is there more to the regulator's proposals than first met the eye?

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Blog

The Senior Managers and Certification regime: The Final Countdown

Published on 08 August 2019. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

With only a few months to go until the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) is extended to apply to all sole-regulated firms, the FCA has released further near-final rules and produced a report on its findings as to how firms in the banking sector have embedded the regime since March 2016.

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Blog

Lidl held to mislead consumers with cheesy price comparison

Published on 08 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

When looking at Lidl's price comparison ad, which compared a number of prices of products with Morrisons, the Advertising Standards Authority found that if a retailer knows their competitor is offering a price promotion on a product, it can’t use the competitor’s normal higher price to make the comparison. This applies even if the backdrop to a savings claim is a year-long price comparison.

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Blog

eFootball transfers: Juve and Man U snub FIFA to sign for PES

Published on 07 August 2019. By Stuart Harris, Associate

The RPC Sports group round-up football eSports deals: Juventus and Manchester United sign eSports partnerships with Pro Evolution Soccer, whilst Liverpool FC partners with FIFA.

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Publication

General liability newsletter - August 2019

Published on 05 August 2019. By Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety and Gavin Reese, Partner and Robert John, Senior Associate and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate

The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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Blog

Inverclyde – Enquiry into LLP returns invalid as opened under incorrect statutory provisions

Published on 01 August 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

In Inverclyde and another v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0408 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that enquiries opened, and closure notices issued, to limited liability partnerships (LLPs) were invalid as HMRC should have enquired into the LLPs returns under paragraph 24, Schedule 18, Finance Act 1998 (FA 1998) and not section 12AC, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA).

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Blog

An innocent party is entitled to damages, even though performance of the contract is impossible

Published on 01 August 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Eliot Henderson, Associate

The Court of Appeal considered the proper interpretation of exceptions or force majeure clauses and provided guidance on the correct application of the compensatory principle of damages in Classic Maritime v Limbungan. Classic Maritime Inc v Limbungan Makmur SDN BHD & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1102

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Publication

Tax update - August 2019

01 August 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s summary of responses to its ‘protecting your taxes in insolvency’ consultation; (2) HMRC’s policy paper on the misuse of company insolvencies; and (3) HMRC’s new guidance on loan relationships and derivatives regime anti-avoidance rules.

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Blog

Court of Appeal guidance on liability of financial advice networks for appointed representatives

Published on 31 July 2019. By George Smith, Senior Associate

In what circumstances is a financial advice network liable for the acts and omissions of its appointed representatives (ARs)? The Court of Appeal has today provided valuable guidance for those operating this business model. The decision will be welcomed by financial advice networks in confirming, in particular, that they are able to place restrictions on the business of ARs for which they have accepted responsibility.

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Blog

Corrado – Tribunal cancels follower notice penalties 

Published on 31 July 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Giulio Corrado v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 275 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has set aside a follower notice penalty as the taxpayer's failure to take corrective action in response to a follower notice was reasonable in all the circumstances.

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Press and Media

RPC Partner speaks to the Westminster Media Forum on the future of UK online advertising regulation

31 July 2019

Olly Bray took to brandishing his Love Island water bottle at the Westminster Media Forum recently, to illustrate the issues raised by influencer marketing regulation.

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Blog

Warshaw – preference shares equal to ordinary share capital and taxpayer entitled to entrepreneurs' relief

Published on 29 July 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In Steven Warshaw v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 268 (TCC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has confirmed that as the relevant preference shares did not attract a fixed dividend, they could amount to ordinary share capital for the purpose of entrepreneur's relief (ER).

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Blog

Development Securities – Jersey-incorporated SPVs held not to be UK tax resident

Published on 26 July 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

In Development Securities plc and others v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0169 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a number of Jersey-incorporated companies were in fact resident for tax purposes in Jersey. This decision overturned the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), which had held that the companies were UK tax resident as a result of the central management and control (CMC) of the companies being exercised in the UK (through the companies’ parent). The UT took the view that the FTT had incorrectly concluded that the Jersey company directors had abdicated their decision-making responsibility.

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Blog

The Art of the (Settlement) Deal

Published on 26 July 2019. By Laura Evans, Associate and Davina Given, Partner

According to the English Court of Appeal, giving up a right which the debtor does not even know he has is sufficient consideration for settling a debt. But the vexed question of what amounts to "good" consideration remains uncertain enough for those entering into a contract always to consider whether good consideration has been given. If in doubt, pay a nominal amount.[1]

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Blog

Make the most of a mediation - 10 Top Tips

Published on 25 July 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Emma West, Associate

Preparation for a mediation is key- you get out what you put in. Here are our top 10 tips for making the most out of the mediation process to successfully settle your dispute.

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Publication

VAT update July 2019

23 July 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) the revocation of the VAT (Finance) (EU Exit) Order; (2) a recent HMRC Brief that clarifies HMRC’s policy on the scope of VAT for transport services; and (3) new regulations which amend the rules on when VAT adjustments may be made following a change to the price of goods and services.

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Blog

Carlsberg in the clear on the inappropriate targeting of under-18s

Published on 22 July 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

What steps do you need to take to ensure that age restricted products do not target the wrong audience?

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Press and Media

Top risks to the retail industry in 2019: RPC’s Retail Compass Summer edition 2019

19 July 2019

RPC, the City-headquartered law firm, has launched its Summer 2019 Retail Compass, its guide to the upcoming legal and policy changes affecting the retail industry.

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Blog

Pushing back on APP scams

Published on 18 July 2019. By Ian Dinning, Associate

An Authorised Push Payment (APP) is where a payer instructs their payment service provider, such as their bank, to send money from their account to another. These payments are usually made through the Faster Payment Service or CHAPS.

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Blog

"Alexa, my symptoms are…"

Published on 17 July 2019. By Chloe Scott, Trainee Solicitor

Amazon has announced that Alexa will now provide its users medical advice directly from the NHS website. This blog looks at the potential impacts of this change.

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Blog

Is it time for a three day weekend?

Published on 17 July 2019. By Chloe Scott, Trainee Solicitor

Reducing the number of days in work was an idea first explored by John Maynard Keynes in 1930 when he predicted that in the next 100 years the working week would only be 15 hours. Whilst his prediction has yet to come to fruition, an increasing number of businesses are switching to a four day week in light of claims of increased productivity and staff happiness.

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Publication

Corporate tax update July 2019

16 July 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s report includes summaries of the recent decision of the Upper Tribunal on corporate tax residence in Development Securities plc, two ECJ decisions on cross-border loss relief and yet another decision on the application of the ‘IR35’ rules.

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Blog

Marks & Spencer – 'free' wine supplied as part of a promotional offer was subject to VAT

Published on 16 July 2019. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In Marks and Spencer plc v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0182 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has upheld the First-tier Tribunal's (FTT) decision that wine supplied 'free of charge' as part of a promotion was subject to VAT.

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Blog

MPs Vote to Lift Abortion Ban in Northern Ireland

Published on 15 July 2019. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Last Wednesday MPs in Westminster voted in favour of lifting the abortion ban in Northern Ireland by a majority of 332 votes to 99. The passing of the amendment has been hailed as a historic day for women's rights but what does it mean practically?

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Blog

OWD – HMRC unable to permit temporary trading pending appeal

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

In OWD Ltd trading as Birmingham Cash and Carry (in Liquidation) and Anor v HMRC [2019] UKSC 30, the Supreme Court has held that HMRC does not have power under section 88C, Alcohol Duties Liquor Act 1979 (ALDA) or section 9, Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (CRCA), to permit temporary trading pending the determination of an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) against HMRC's refusal to grant approval under the Alcohol Wholesalers Registration Scheme (AWRS).

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Blog

Guidance on misleading "faux fur" claims in clothes and accessories

Published on 09 July 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Stuart Harris, Associate

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has issued an Enforcement Notice advising that retailers should be careful as to how they may unwittingly advertise products as "faux fur" when they may actually contain real animal fur.

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Publication

Retail Compass Summer edition 2019

09 July 2019

Welcome to the Summer 2019 edition of Retail Compass – our guide to key upcoming legal and policy changes affecting Retail and our thoughts on the need-to-know issues.

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Blog

Spurs suffer Champions League defeat to the Advertising Standards Authority

Published on 08 July 2019. By Stuart Harris, Associate and Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

Spurs' heartbreak in Madrid was not the only loss they suffered on their Champions League journey this year. A tweet from Spurs announcing their line-up for their knock-out game against Borussia Dortmund featured the gambling operator William Hill, and was ruled to contravene the CAP Code.

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Blog

FCA announces new rules on peer-to-peer lending

Published on 08 July 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

The FCA has published its policy statement on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending following a lengthy public consultation into the crowdfunding industry in general. The policy statement introduces a large number of new rules for P2P platforms and includes restrictions on direct marketing to non-sophisticated / high net worth investors unless they are receiving regulated advice, and ensuring such investors do not place more than 10% of their investable capital in P2P platforms.

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Blog

Brexit: A blessing or a curse for accountants?

Published on 08 July 2019. By Matthew Watson, Associate

A recent survey has indicated that the accountancy profession is well placed to accommodate the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

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Snapshot

Government consults on HFSS advertising

05 July 2019

What are the Government’s new proposals for advertising restrictions for High in Fat, Salt or Sugar (HFSS) products?

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Snapshot

ASA rules that Chupa Chups ads don’t suck

05 July 2019

If you’re careful about placement and knowing the demographic of your audience, how safe are you showing ads for products high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS)? And what about using characters and celebrities popular with children for sugar-free products, which may be synonymous with the core HFSS range?

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Snapshot

ASA uses child avatars to tackle irresponsible gambling ads targeted at children

05 July 2019

How has the ASA’s introduction of new technology, such as child avatars, impacted on ad monitoring and enforcement?

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Snapshot

Tottenham Hotspur rapped by ASA for use of young player in betting tweet

05 July 2019

When is it possible to feature an individual under the age of 25 in a gambling ad?

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Snapshot

CAP and BCAP issue gambling advertising guidance

05 July 2019

What must you do in order to ensure a gambling ad is not aimed towards children?

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Snapshot

Betfred avoids irresponsible gambling ad breach

05 July 2019

When does an ad showing characters gambling during everyday activities cross the socially responsible line in the BCAP Code?

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Blog

Serving up the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Published on 05 July 2019. By Davina Given, Partner

The Court has reminded us that the duty of full and frank disclosure applies to any application made without notice to the other party. Although this is most typically an issue in applications for injunctions, permission to serve a claim out of the jurisdiction was recently set aside on the grounds of the claimant's failure to disclose to the Court a potential limitation defence to the claim.(1)

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Blog

The Medical Devices Regulation 2017 and good business practice

Published on 05 July 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

When it comes to risk management, businesses in general should take note of the issues covered by the Medical Devices Regulation 2017

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Snapshot

“New Deal for Consumers” Directive

04 July 2019

What is the “New Deal for Consumers” Directive? Where has it got to? And how will it impact my business?

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Snapshot

CMA investigates customers’ auto-renewal terms in online gaming terms and conditions

04 July 2019

How might the CMA’s investigation into auto-renewals and other potentially unfair terms in online gaming contracts affect wider industry?

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Snapshot

No obligation to provide consumer telephone lines: Amazon

04 July 2019

In the proceedings brought by the German federation of consumer associations against Amazon, the Advocate General found that a trader does not have to provide a telephone number as long as the consumer can contact the trader quickly, the information provided is clear and accessible and communication can happen effectively.

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Snapshot

Philip Morris burned by its own internal rules on influencer marketing

04 July 2019

How careful do you need to be when using youthful-looking influencers to promote e-cigarettes?

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