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Blog

SC double decision on vicarious liability

Published on 03 April 2020. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

Handed down on 1 April, the two, separate, Supreme Court judgments on vicarious liability were no April Fool's jokes; they are serious and welcome responses to a difficult issue.

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Blog

COVID-19 - The Groceries Sector: Temporary Competition Law Exemption Comes into Force

Published on 03 April 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

In light of "exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy" arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Secretary of State (the "SoS") has announced temporary competition law arrangements in the groceries sector.

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Blog

Business Rates Reform – Response to COVID-19 and the 2020 outlook

Published on 02 April 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate

This year's budget, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 11 March, attracted particularly high levels of attention from the media and business community. The spread of COVID-19 has put enormous pressure on British businesses in the short-to-medium-term and bricks-and-mortar retailers are especially strained, having come into the crisis on the back of their worst trading conditions for a decade.

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - April 2020

Published on 02 April 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

Our quarterly update is designed to keep you up to speed with developments in the private wealth world. In this edition we explore sham trusts, heritage property and removing trustees. We also keep pace with the latest developments in the art sector. If you have any feedback on this update or would like to know more about the issues covered, or anything else, get in touch.

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Blog

FCA's expectations of insurance firms

Published on 02 April 2020. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

Over the last couple of weeks, the FCA has been publishing information and guidance for firms in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to its general update on COVID-19, the FCA has set out specific expectations of insurance firms.

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Publication

Tax update - April 2020

Published on 02 April 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on certain arrangements which purport to avoid the ‘managed services companies’ legislation; (2) recently published draft legislation on voluntary restitution in the context of the loan charge; and (3) the Government’s decision to suspend the extension of IR35 to the private sector.

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Blog

Managing SM&CR during the Coronavirus crisis

Published on 02 April 2020. By Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

This blog considers the challenges caused by CV-19 in relation to the governance and SM&CR compliance of regulated firms in the UK.

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Blog

EUIPO issues clarification on COVID-19 extension of time for trade mark and design proceedings

Published on 01 April 2020. By Alessandro Cerri, Associate and Ben Mark, Partner

The EUIPO has issued a clarification in respect of Decision No EX-20-3 noting that the extension of deadlines in trade mark and design EUIPO proceedings to 1 May 2020 applies automatically.

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Publication

Health and Safety Bulletin – March 2020

01 April 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of our Health and Safety update.

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Blog

COVID-19: the battle between fact and fiction

Published on 01 April 2020. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

In the era of fake news, and at a time of global panic, how is the government responding to the daily spread of unauthorised health claims around COVID-19?

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Blog

Back to Brexit – House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Committee recommendations on financial services after Brexit

Published on 01 April 2020. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

The House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Committee has published recommendations on the financial services industry post-Brexit. The Committee recognised that this may not be a government priority due to COVID19, but EU negotiations and the future of the UK's financial services industry will be important issues in future months.

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Blog

COVID-19: CMA provides guidance to business on its approach to co-operation in response to the pandemic

Published on 01 April 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

Businesses, which do not benefit from the specific competition law exemptions granted by the Secretary of State (in the groceries, Solent Ferries and healthcare services sectors), may co-operate without fear of enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (the "CMA"), provided that this co-operation is undertaken "solely to address concerns arising from the current crisis and does not go further or last longer than what is necessary".

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Blog

Booth – Penalty appeal struck out

Published on 01 April 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In CF Booth Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 35 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) struck out the taxpayer's appeal against penalties imposed for deliberate inaccuracies in its VAT returns, on the basis that the appeal amounted to an 'abuse of process'.

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Blog

COVID-19: key financial workers

Published on 31 March 2020. By Rob Paine, Associate

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released guidance on steps financial services firms should take to help identify 'key workers'.

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Press and Media

RPC boosts professional indemnity team with well-respected insurance partner hire

Published on 31 March 2020. By Daniel Kulcsar, PR & Communications Manager

UK-headquartered law firm RPC has hired professional indemnity specialist Scott Ashby as Partner to join the firm's leading insurance team in Bristol. Scott joins from Beale & Co, where he acted for a wide variety of national and international firms, defending them against claims brought against lawyers and accountants. Scott joined RPC on 30 March 2020.

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Blog

COVID-19: The suspension of wrongful trading provisions and a moratorium for businesses in restructuring – what is the likely impact on your business?

Published on 31 March 2020. By Paul Bagon, Partner and James Whelan, Associate

COVID-19: On 28 March 2020 the Business Secretary announced further new far-reaching measures to help businesses combat the financial impact of COVID-19. What it the likely impact of the suspension of wrongful trading provisions and a moratorium for businesses in restructuring on your business?

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Publication

The government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

30 March 2020

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is part of a package of temporary measures to support businesses during these challenging times. The CBILS is intended to give lenders confidence to continue to provide finance to SMEs.

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Blog

Business Tenant Protection from Forfeiture under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ben Taverner, Associate and Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner

Following the Government's 23 March press release in which it was confirmed that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rents "because of Coronavirus" would be protected from eviction, legislation is now in force which goes some way to clarify what this means in practice.

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Blog

COVID-19 forces POS and FOS office closures – what does it mean for complaints?

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and Christopher Cole, Associate

The COVID-19 outbreak (and the subsequent UK lockdown) continues to impact our daily lives and it seems the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and The Pensions Ombudsman (POS) are not immune. With office closures announced, we look at the impact this will have on outstanding complaints and those yet to be made.

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Blog

COVID-19 and tax residence

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

This blog considers the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to maintaining offshore tax structures.

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Blog

COVID-19 and tax residence

Published on 30 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

This blog considers the potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to maintaining offshore tax structures.

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Blog

COVID-19: Virtual hearings - what we've learned

Published on 27 March 2020. By Dan Wyatt, Senior Associate

Remote court hearings have very quickly become the "new normal". We've taken part in a fair few in recent weeks so wanted to share some practical tips that we hope will help those about to enter the virtual courtroom….

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Blog

New FCA signposting travel insurance rules

Published on 27 March 2020. By Lauren Murphy, Associate

Earlier this month the FCA published a policy statement detailing new requirements aimed at helping consumers with pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) obtain travel insurance. The new requirements demonstrate the FCA's continuing focus on improving the treatment and protection of vulnerable consumers accessing insurance and other forms of financial services.

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Blog

Hot off the Press: COVID-19 - Your workforce: a Q&A on claiming for wage costs through the Job Retention Scheme

Published on 27 March 2020. By Patrick Brodie, Partner and Kelly Thomson, Legal Director

On 26th March, HMRC issued guidance on claiming for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We explore some answers to key questions and add some questions of our own.

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Blog

The Archers does Insurance – a light-hearted look at coverage issues following the Grey Gables explosion

Published on 27 March 2020. By Sian Morgan, Senior Associate

For radio aficionados, the long running radio soap The Archers is a welcome daily escape from daily life. However, the last few episodes have not been without their drama. For a medmal insurance lawyer looking to unwind after a day of (home)working, there are a number of taxing fictional issues to which one can turn one's mind.

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Publication

Cybersecurity and COVID-19: Opportunities for change in the face of challenge

27 March 2020

COVID-19 is not the first and will not be the last pandemic, but it is the first one that has brought the importance of cyber resilience and adaptability in the era of global trade to the forefront of many businesses' minds.

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Publication

Key regulatory guidance following COVID-19 pandemic

Published on 27 March 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

As the world tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s Regulators have published a host of useful guidance that firms should take good note of during this period of uncertainty. While not an exhaustive list, we hope this summary highlights the key obligations and requirements currently being brought in by the Regulators.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: a caution against putting equality on the backburner

Published on 27 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Rachel Pears, Inclusion & Diversity Lead / Internal Employment Counsel

UK business, like much of the rest of the world, is and will, for some time, remain firmly in the grip of COVID-19's tentacles.

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Publication

Regulatory update - March 2020

Published on 27 March 2020. By Gavin Reese, Partner

Welcome to the March 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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Publication

Insurance broker E&O exposures: COVID-19

26 March 2020

As insurers brace themselves for large volumes of notifications across all lines of business relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) we expect to see a second wave of E&O notifications by insurance brokers when policyholders (businesses and individuals) find themselves without adequate cover for losses relating to the pandemic. Some insurers are already seeing a spike in such notifications.

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Blog

COVID-19 – FCA's update for consumers

Published on 26 March 2020. By Whitney Simpson, Senior Associate

In the current unsettling time, in addition to publishing guidance for firms, the FCA is keen to maintain contact with consumers. The FCA wants to ensure consumers are being protected and therefore, is providing regular advice on the steps that consumers can take to stay aware of any potential impact on their finances.

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Blog

COVID-19 forces HMRC to temporarily change its stamp duty processes

Published on 26 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

Yesterday (25th March) HMRC announced some "temporary" changes to its stamp duty processes, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Publication

VAT update - March 2020

Published on 26 March 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s recently published policy paper in relation to the VAT liability of digital publications; (2) EU Council Regulation (EU) 2020/283 and Council Directive (EU) 2020/284 in relation to combatting VAT fraud; and (3) EU Council Directive (EU) 2020/285 in relation to the special scheme for small enterprises. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) whether a specific form is required for the notification of an assessment of VAT; (2) when VAT is collectable as a debt due; and (3) what constitutes a reasonable excuse for incorrectly issuing a zero-rating VAT certificate.

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Blog

The "war" against Coronavirus: implications for the Life Sciences industry when regulations are loosened

Published on 25 March 2020. By Dorothy Flower, Partner and Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

Politicians have reached for military metaphors when setting out their response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Governments hope that the Life Sciences industry will win the fight against the virus by arming the healthcare sector with pharmaceutical and medical device solutions. In the first of a series of blog posts over the coming months on Coronavirus, we examine the pressures that industry must balance when responding to the call to arms.

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 25 March 2020. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Ben Taverner, Associate

This blog sets out various issues for commercial tenants to consider in relation to impending rent payments and government intervention in response to Covid-19. We are currently fielding numerous enquiries from tenants seeking advice about whether rent holidays, reductions and other concessions can be obtained in these unprecedented times.

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Blog

COVID-19 and Commercial Tenants' Rights Regarding Rent

Published on 25 March 2020. By Elizabeth Alibhai, Partner and Ben Taverner, Associate

This blog sets out various issues for commercial tenants to consider in relation to impending rent payments and government intervention in response to Covid-19. We are currently fielding numerous enquiries from tenants seeking advice about whether rent holidays, reductions and other concessions can be obtained in these unprecedented times.

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Blog

Credit Suisse: Appeal allowed as HMRC had failed to open a valid enquiry

Published on 25 March 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd and others v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 86 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a company's appeal against a closure notice on the grounds that HMRC had not issued a valid notice of enquiry.

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Blog

COVID-19: help for supermarkets and other retailers with competition law compliance in challenging times

Published on 24 March 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

The Government is providing the supermarkets with the necessary comfort, so that they can co-operate with each other in order to keep the shelves stocked and deliveries continuing during the course of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Blog

COVID 19 Your workforce: What on earth is "furlough"?

Published on 24 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Patrick Brodie, Partner

Meaning of furlough, especially in the context of companies dealing with the impact of COVID-19.

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Press and Media

Environment Agency investigations into businesses increase 12% since 2018

Published on 24 March 2020. By Daniel Kulcsar, PR & Communications Manager

The number of investigations into businesses launched by the Environment Agency increased by 12% from 5,518 in 2018 to 6,164 in 2019, says RPC, the City-based law firm.

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Blog

COVID-19 - The official guidance on remote hearings; early engagement is key to success

Published on 24 March 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and David Cran, Partner

COVID-19. The courts are trying to conduct "business as usual" as much as possible in this challenging climate. The latest official guidance, published on Friday, covers remote hearings in all Civil Courts in England & Wales; it relates to all types of hearings – applications, trials and appeals.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: pay and costs - practical ideas our clients are exploring

Published on 24 March 2020. By Patrick Brodie, Partner and Kelly Thomson, Legal Director

COVID-19 Your workforce: pay and costs - practical ideas our clients are exploring. These are extraordinary times that place extraordinary pressures on all of us, including dealing with your workforce. We set out below some ideas that we are hearing about from our clients and some areas you may wish to think about in terms of your employee costs.

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Blog

COVID-19 Your workforce: supporting mental health when home working

Published on 24 March 2020. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director and Patrick Brodie, Partner

COVID-19 Your workforce: supporting mental health when home working. Many of us are working from home during this crisis and while this can be an effective way of working for some, it is less happy for others; loneliness, caring for vulnerable dependants and challenging home environments are all being experienced. There may be members of your teams who fall into these categories.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the Impact on Litigation

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

In these unusual times, we are all having to adapt our social, family and working lives to deal with an unprecedented global situation which throws up a vast number of new worries and issues to deal with. This article looks at concerns raised specifically about litigating in the current climate.

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Blog

Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Regulatory Update

Published on 23 March 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

Our lawyers' liability and regulatory team take a look at the areas of solicitors' regulation that are likely to be impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the consequent move towards working away from the office.

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Blog

COVID-19: FCA's update for firms

Published on 23 March 2020. By Whitney Simpson, Senior Associate and Jonathan Charwat, Senior Associate

The FCA's website may not be your first port of call to keep up-to-date on the COVID-19/coronavirus situation here in the UK, but it should be on your list. Why?, you may ask!

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Blog

FOS warns consumers to ensure insurance applications correct

Published on 23 March 2020. By Christopher Cole, Associate and Ashley Daniells, Associate

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has warned consumers of the risks in providing incorrect details in relation to insurance policies in a new insight report. The risks include policies being avoided due to misrepresentation or material non-disclosure or potentially facing a significant shortfall due to underinsurance.

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Blog

COVID-19: Impact on court hearings and successful virtual mediations

Published on 20 March 2020. By David Cran, Partner and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

As anticipated, the Courts are now moving to a (mainly) remote working basis.

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Publication

Insureds likely face uphill battle in seeking coverage for coronavirus losses in both US & UK

Published on 20 March 2020. By Victoria Sherratt, Partner and Naomi Vary, Partner and Leigh Williams, Partner and Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

As the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to spread, organizations around the globe are facing mounting business disruptions and economic losses. Some of these entities may seek coverage for these losses under a variety of insurance policies. Coverage under any form will depend, of course, on the facts of the claim, policy wordings, and the applicable law. Here, we highlight some policy wordings insurers should keep in mind when evaluating coronavirus-related claims under various coverage forms.

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Blog

Spring Budget 2020 - main tax announcements

Published on 19 March 2020. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

This blog discusses some of the key tax changes announced in last week's Budget, and subsequent tax developments.

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