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Blog

Copyright in designs: G-Stars in their Eyes

Published on 23 September 2019. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Alessandro Cerri, Associate

The CJEU has ruled on the requirements for copyright to vest in designs and applied art.

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Blog

Contentious tax: quarterly review

Published on 20 September 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In this quarterly review, Adam Craggs and Michelle Sloane consider HMRC’s increasing propensity to seek the production of documents from accountants and other professional advisers, HMRC’s new policy of challenging taxpayers’ loan relationships, and the increase in the number of domicile enquiries launched by HMRC.

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Blog

Retailers: No more need for a customer telephone number?

Published on 19 September 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Adam Williamson, Paralegal

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

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Blog

Tinkler - Notice of enquiry invalid

Published on 19 September 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Tinkler v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1392, the Court of Appeal has allowed the taxpayer's appeal and held that HMRC's notice of enquiry under section 9A, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), was invalid.

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Blog

Court orders mediation

Published on 19 September 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

The High Court has upheld a tiered dispute resolution clause in accordance with established principles of contractual interpretation. The court ordered a stay of proceedings for mediation, and in support of the mediation also ordered pleadings to be served in advance in order to optimise the prospects of a settlement.

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Publication

Arbitration or winding up?

Published on 17 September 2019. By Charles Allen, Partner

In But Ka Chon v Interactive Brokers LLC [2019] HKCA 873, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's decision to reject an application to set aside a statutory demand. The appellant had argued (among other things) that an arbitration clause in his agreement with the respondent required their dispute to be referred to arbitration.

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Blog

Football, the beautiful investment game?

Published on 17 September 2019. By Alex Farrow, Associate and Courtney Bryan-Isaacs,

Another football season is upon us and we dream of silverware to be won. However, planning for the next transfer window begins almost immediately for those clubs listed on a stock market. There are opportunities to increase their share price through new signings, managers and sponsorship deals.

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Blog

Emerging Risks: Equity release products increasing, despite concerns over lack of understanding

Published on 12 September 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

Equity release products are becoming an increasingly popular option to home owners looking to release cash, especially with the over 65 population. However despite the increase in use and the encouragement of these products from the Equity Release Council, advisers need to tread with caution to ensure customers are aware of the potential pitfalls.

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Blog

Mergers and Aquisitions update August 2019

Published on 12 September 2019. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

当法律事務所の紛争解決部門の同僚が、最近のある判例につい-C興味深い考察を記し-Cいる https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/commercial-disputes/clarity-clarity-clarity-more-contract-drafting-lessons-from-the-court/。これを読むと、不要になった契約を打ち切る方法を常に考え-Cおくことの重要性があらため-C分かる。

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Press and Media

Russia/CIS disputes Partner to boost global arbitration and litigation capability

11 September 2019

Law firm RPC's global dispute resolution capability has received a further boost with the hire of Russia/CIS specialist Tatiana Minaeva. A Russian, English and German speaker, Tatiana joins the firm's London office and will have a particular focus supporting clients across Russia, other CIS states and Eastern Europe, as well as in Israel and Turkey.

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Blog

High Court waits for no lawyer

Published on 11 September 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Karina Plain, Associate (Australian qualified)

An appeal was recently lost after an application for an oral hearing was made just two days late. Evans v Pinsent Mason LLP [2019] EWHC 2150 (QB) This decision is a timely reminder of the strictness of court deadlines and of the importance of being upfront with the court (and your opponent) which, on this occasion, was unwilling to forgive ambiguity as to whether the deadline had been met.

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Blog

Smart & Son - Supreme Court confirms VAT incurred on funds raised for business purpose was recoverable

Published on 06 September 2019. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In HMRC v Frank A Smart & Son [2019] UKSC 39, the Supreme Court has held that a farming company was entitled to repayment of input VAT charged on its acquisition of single farm payment entitlement units which were related to its overall economic activities and future taxable supplies.

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Blog

Hong Kong insurance regulation update - Regulator Codes of Conduct for Brokers and Agents

Published on 06 September 2019. By Andrew Carpenter, Of Counsel

With effect from 23 September 2019, the independent Hong Kong Insurance Authority (the IA) will take over regulation of insurance intermediaries from the three existing self-regulatory organisations (the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers, the Professional Insurance Brokers Association, and Insurance Agents Registration Board) and administer a new statutory licensing regime.

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Blog

Natasha's law - legislation requiring ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged foods presented in Parliament

Published on 06 September 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

On Thursday 5th September, 'Natasha's Law' was presented in Parliament. This is new legislation which mandates full ingredients labelling on all pre-packaged food.

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - September 2019

05 September 2019

Our quarterly update is designed to keep you up to speed with developments in disputes, and how you can avoid them, in the private client world.

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Publication

Tax update - September 2019

05 September 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s consultation on draft regulations implementing the requirement to disclose certain cross-border arrangements; (2) the Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s statement to Parliament on HMRC powers; and (3) the government’s response to the Joint Committee’s recommendations on the Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill.

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Blog

Using was/now price reductions

Published on 03 September 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Nandeep Judge, Paralegal

A recent ASA decision against Zestify Media has confirmed that a “WAS” price must represent a genuine saving when compared with a “NOW” price. This means checking that sales were actually made at the higher price during the relevant period and ensuring you don't advertise the lower price for materially longer than the higher price.

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Blog

Levy – Tribunal rejects application for final and partial closure notices

Published on 30 August 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In The Executors of Mrs R W Levy v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 418 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), has held that HMRC was not in a position to issue either a final or partial closure notice.

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Blog

Enter the avatar - is this medicine's new "reality"?

Published on 29 August 2019. By Florence Page, Senior Associate

A brief look at the use of virtual and augmented reality technology in medical treatment, and some of the legal issues that could arise

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Blog

Notice givers take care – ignore the contract at your peril

Published on 29 August 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Tim Potts, Associate

The Court of Appeal has confirmed in Stobart Group Ltd & Anor v William Stobart & Anor [1] that an objective test will be applied when assessing whether a unilateral contractual notice has been validly given. This decision also provides a cautionary reminder of the consequences of a party's failure to comply strictly with contractual notice provisions. [1] [2019] EWCA Civ 1376

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Publication

Product liability update August 2019

29 August 2019

A round-up of some of the recent product liability stories making the news.

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Blog

Auto-renewals and other consumer terms under the spotlight

Published on 28 August 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate

The CMA has launched an investigation into potentially unfair terms in online gaming customer terms and conditions, such as auto-renewals, cancellation processes and discretion to alter clauses.

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Publication

Corporate tax update August 2019

27 August 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team. This month’s update reports on the key developments from July 2019 and includes a summary of the key business tax measures coming out of the publication of the draft Finance Bill 2020 legislation. There is also commentary on the draft regulations and consultation document published by HMRC on the UK’s implementation of DAC6 (mandatory disclosure of cross-border tax planning arrangements).

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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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Press and Media

65% increase in challenges to rates bills by businesses in the last quarter

14 August 2019

There has been a 65% increase in the number of businesses challenging their rates bill in the last quarter, with 4,000 challenges made in the first quarter of 2019, up from 2,430 challenges in Q4 2018*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Press and Media

FCA gives payments and e-commerce industry extra time to implement Strong Customer Authentication

13 August 2019

Jeremy Drew, Co-Head of Retail at RPC, the City headquartered law firm comments: “Retailers are going to be delighted that the FCA is taking a pragmatic approach to enforcement of SCA.”

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Press and Media

Government must act fast to waive UK competition law for food & drink industry to prepare for no deal Brexit, say lawyers

09 August 2019

The Government must act fast to waive competition laws to allow the food & drink industry to prepare for a possible “no deal” Brexit, says City-headquartered law firm RPC.

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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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Press and Media

Sales at UK’s leading online retailers rise 16% in just one year

05 August 2019

Sales at the UK’s Top 20 largest online retailers have risen 16% in the last year to £9.5bn, up from £8.2bn the year before*, shows new research from RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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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

ANO - pre-ordained transactions avoided CGT losses being caught by pre-entry loss rules

Published on 05 August 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In ANO (No1) Limited v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 406 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a pre-ordained series of transactions implemented to avoid the application of Schedule 7A, Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA) to pre-entry losses were effective.

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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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Press and Media

Retail insolvencies up 6% in a year to 1,260

31 July 2019

There has been a 6% rise in the number of retail businesses entering insolvency, to 1,260 in the past year (year-end June 30 2019) from 1,189 the previous year*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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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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