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Press and Media

Six major global trends in insurance in 2020: RPC’s Annual Insurance Review

08 January 2020

The fallout from protests such as Extinction Rebellion and the increasing popularity of ‘telemedicine’ – medicine over the internet – are just two of the major trends that are set to impact insurers in 2020, according to RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

Tread Bentley when expanding your product offering

Published on 08 January 2020. By Dani Barnes, Associate and Georgia Davis, Legal Director

The High Court held that luxury car manufacturer Bentley Motors infringed BENTLEY clothing firm's trade marks.

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Publication

Marine and shipping

Published on 08 January 2020. By William Jones, Senior Associate and Toby Savage, Partner

In this chapter of our Annual Insurance Review 2020, we look at the main developments in 2019 and expected issues in 2020 for marine and shipping.

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Blog

Higgins – for the purposes of PPR relief "period of ownership" starts on completion

Published on 08 January 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Partner

In Desmond Higgins v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1869, the Court of Appeal has held that the date of acquisition of an off-plan property for the purposes of principal private residence relief (PPR) was the date of completion and not the date of exchange of contracts.

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Blog

Equitable Life – High Court approves Part VII transfer, and distinguishes Prudential/Rothesay

Published on 06 January 2020. By Neil Brown, Partner

The High Court has approved a large Part VII transfer by Equitable Life of life assurance and pensions policies, and has easily distinguished the decision in Prudential/Rothesay.

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Press and Media

48% rise in the value of fines issued to audit firms by the FRC – nearly £25m in 2019

02 January 2020

There has been a 48% increase in the value of fines issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to audit firms in 2019. Fines issued to auditors have risen to £24.9m in 2019 (year to December 31) from £16.8m in 2018*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

Bossing the Rules: StaRs Rule 1.4: “you do not mislead anyone”

Published on 23 December 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

The Solicitors’ Practice Rules 1990 (“SPR”) did not contain any express prohibition on misleading anyone; although, depending on the circumstances, such conduct was likely to have contravened the basic principles. Like today’s principles, these required solicitors not to do anything in the course of practising as a solicitor (or permit anyone to do anything on their behalf) which compromises or impairs (or is likely to compromise or impair) the good repute of the solicitor or the profession or the solicitor’s duty to the court.

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Blog

A litigator's quiz: Fourth candle of Advent

Published on 23 December 2019. By Davina Given, Partner

The UK Supreme Court, and Lady Hale's brooch, hit the headlines this year with a landmark constitutional decision on the prorogation of Parliament. Outside that context, however, the Supreme Court has been busy. In this fourth and final part of our Advent quiz, test your knowledge of the key commercial decisions of 2019 and the decisions to look out for in 2020.

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Blog

Unpacking Christmas Ads: A British Retailer's Christmas Miracle?

Published on 20 December 2019. By Lucy Baughan, Associate

This blog discusses what makes Christmas ads "successful" both through the eyes of the public at large and from the perspective of the British retailers themselves. In some cases, popular Christmas ads lead to an increase in sales over the festive period. However, as some retailers have experienced, festive ads are not always a retailer's Christmas miracle and come with their own limitations.

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Press and Media

Worrying decline in use of HMRC mediation to settle tax disputes

20 December 2019

HMRC figures show a worrying decline in use of mediation to settle tax disputes in the past year, with the number of cases entering mediation falling 25% from 553 in 2017/18 to just 417 in 2018/19*, says City-headquartered law firm RPC.

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Blog

Open justice versus confidentiality - which wins?

Published on 19 December 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Emma West, Senior Associate

Court proceedings can expose the most sensitive details of an individual's personal and financial affairs. However, the principle of open justice requires that the public is given sufficient information about proceedings so that they can understand and scrutinise the decisions courts make.

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Blog

Oral contract does not prevent agent from being paid in circumstances not catered for in contract

Published on 19 December 2019. By Tim Brown, Partner and Rosy Gibson, Associate

In a recent case, the Court of Appeal held that an oral contract for a specified introduction fee payable to an agent if a property sold at a particular price did not prevent the agent from being remunerated when that property was sold for a lesser sum (despite the contract being silent on the matter). Philip Barton v Timothy Gwyn-Jones [2019] EWCA Civ 1999. However, the sum awarded by the court was significantly lower than the introduction fee specified in the contract.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #1 - the process

Published on 19 December 2019. By Ben Goodier, Partner and Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Senior Associate

In this series of articles, we explain the procedure for disciplinary investigations against architects. This article gives an overview of the process. The remaining articles will examine each stage of the process and highlight the dos and don'ts for architects unfortunate enough to be the subject of investigations. In essence, there are 4 stages.

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - December 2019

19 December 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

Health and safety update December 2019

19 December 2019

Welcome to our December 2019 health and safety update where we look at the health and safety stories that have recently hit the headlines as well as the latest fines and sentences that have been handed down.

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Blog

Dressing down for The Consortium for Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Published on 18 December 2019. By Ciara Cullen, Partner and Charlie Gould, Associate

Balsamic vinegar manufacturers (outside of Modena) can use the terms 'aceto' and 'balsamico' following a decision made by the CJEU relating to protected geographical indications.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 3 – GAME's eSports arena, Amazon broadcasts and Russia's WADA suspension

Published on 18 December 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

Welcome to the third edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from the sports industry.

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Blog

Jafari – HMRC criticised for breach of its duty to assist the Tribunal

Published on 18 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

In Jafari v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 692 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) criticised HMRC for failing in its duty to bring relevant authorities to its attention.

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Press and Media

Why we need a super regulator

17 December 2019

The high street is experiencing a rash of administrations, but could regulators fix the mess?

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Blog

A litigator's quiz: Third candle of Advent

16 December 2019

The third Sunday of Advent was traditionally a time to lift the gloom of Advent and celebrate Christmas to come – and hence was also known as Gaudete (Rejoice!) Sunday or Rose Sunday. So what has there been to celebrate in the legal profession in 2019?

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Blog

Contentious tax quarterly review (Q4 2019)

Published on 16 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

In this quarterly review we consider: HMRC’s increasing propensity to seek to strike out the taxpayer’s case; recent developments in relation to IR35; the timing of tribunal decisions; and the potential implications of the Inverclyde decision.

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Blog

The Future of Retail is Green

Published on 12 December 2019. By Henry Priestley, Partner and Harpreet Kaur, Trainee Solicitor

2019 has been a year of environmental awareness, aptly demonstrated by David Attenborough's Glastonbury appearance and Greta Thunberg's speech to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit.

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Blog

General Election roundtable sheds light on key issues for the Healthcare and Life Sciences sectors.

Published on 11 December 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

Last week RPC invited guests to a roundtable to debate the UK political parties' manifesto promises affecting the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Some policies attracted criticism whilst one party bucked the national trend to emerge a winner.

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Publication

Regulatory update - December 2019

11 December 2019

Welcome to the December 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

Knibbs – HMRC's challenge to carry-back loss relief claims was correct

Published on 11 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

In Knibbs and ors v HMRC and R (oao Astley and ors) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1719, the Court of Appeal has held that Schedule 1B, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) can apply to a claim for carry-back loss relief.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 5 2019

Published on 10 December 2019. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a bi-weekly roundup of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks.

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Blog

A litigator's quiz: Second candle of Advent

09 December 2019

Festive fraud seems a contradiction in terms. But Advent is traditionally a time to reflect on sin, so this week our quiz focuses on the year in crime and civil fraud under English law. Good luck trying to light the second Advent candle!

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Publication

Tax update - December 2019

05 December 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) two recent decisions concerning insolvent companies and EBTs in the context of insolvency law; (2) proposed legislation on HMRC’s use of automated processes; and (3) the taxation of cryptoasset transactions using exchange tokens. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) legitimate expectation; (2) the payment of costs by HMRC due to its unreasonable behaviour; and (3) the meaning of ‘deliberate’ in the Taxes Acts.

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Blog

Prevention principle – can parties sue for breach of contract occasioned by their own breach?

Published on 05 December 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

According to the High Court in TMF Trustee Ltd v Fire Navigation Inc, the prevention principle can excuse a breach of contract when a party has been prevented from performing the relevant obligation by a breach of the other party.

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Publication

Sports Ticker 2 – The Special One, Juventus FC and Lacrosse

Published on 04 December 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Head of IP and Technology and Joshua Charalambous, Senior Associate and Stuart Harris, Associate and Samuel Coppard, Associate

Welcome to the second edition of the RPC Sports Ticker - providing fortnightly bite-size updates from the sports industry.

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Blog

Locke – Court of Appeal quashes follower and accelerated payment notices

Published on 04 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In R (on the application of Locke) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1909, the Court of Appeal quashed follower and accelerated payment notices issued to a participant in a film finance partnership, because HMRC had been wrong in considering that a judicial ruling was relevant to the arrangements under consideration.

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Blog

Can retail drones deliver the goods?

Published on 03 December 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Associate

A recent flurry of patent registrations provides an insight into how this futuristic technology could soon become a reality for consumers.

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Blog

Bossing the rules

Published on 03 December 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

Watch out for RPC's new blog mini-series on the SRA Standards and Regulations 2019.

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Blog

A Litigator's Quiz: First Candle of Advent

02 December 2019

Legal professional privilege burns bright in the hearts of most disputes lawyers. Does it burn bright enough to light the first Advent candle in 2019?

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Publication

Product liability update - November 2019

02 December 2019

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

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Blog

Does workplace recycling deserve to be binned?

Published on 29 November 2019. By Hannah Ridzuan-Allen, Associate

It has been a big year for action on climate change - from Greta Thunberg's impassioned speech at the UN, to the Extinction Rebellion's pink yacht, which blockaded Oxford Circus. In a number of ways the British public are making greater efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Over the past two decades, the rate of household recycling has risen from 11% in 2000 to 45.2% in 2017/18.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 4 2019

Published on 28 November 2019. By Richard Breavington, Partner and Christopher Ashton, Associate and Rachel Ford, Associate

Welcome to Cyber_Bytes, a round up of key developments in cyber, tech and evolving risks over the last two weeks.

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Blog

In house lawyer prevented from relying on a leaked email and an overhead conversation

Published on 28 November 2019. By Jonathan Cary, Partner and Steven Rajavinothan, Associate

Mr Curless was a senior legal counsel at Shell International Limited (Shell) from January 1990 until he was made redundant in January 2017. He suffers from Type 2 diabetes and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. He brought a claim against Shell for disability discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

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Publication

VAT update - November 2019

28 November 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) the revocation of the Cross-border Trade (Public Notices) (EU Exit) Regulations; (2) the new VAT group provisions; and (3) the digitisation of the tribunal service. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) who the recipient of a supply is in circumstances where there is more than one potential recipient; (2) single purpose vouchers and the time of supply; and (3) inaccuracy penalties in the absence of any supply.

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Blog

Dear Legal, can we put a laundrette in store?

Published on 28 November 2019. By Simon Edwards, Partner and Rachael Ellis, Associate

How should brands navigate a change to their high street store space?

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Blog

Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme – Taxation of manufactured overseas dividends breached EU law

Published on 27 November 2019. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

In HMRC v Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1610, the Court of Appeal dismissed HMRC's appeal and held that the imposition of withholding tax on manufactured overseas dividends was contrary to EU law.

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Press and Media

RPC appoints Director of Information Technology

26 November 2019

City-headquartered law firm RPC is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Denison as Director of Information Technology, starting work at the law firm on 6 January 2020.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update November 2019

26 November 2019

In this update we report on (1) the new customs legislation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) steel safeguard quotas; and (3) the recent deadline extension for customs authorisations made indirectly. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) civil evasion penalties; (2) the meaning of “holding” goods; and (3) tariff classification.

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Press and Media

Beer trademarks hit record high of 2,500 in a year

Published on 25 November 2019. By Daniel Kulcsar, PR & Communications Manager

The number of trademarks registered for beer in the UK has hit a record high in 2018, jumping 6% to 2,519, up from 2,372 in 2017*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Press and Media

Arrests made by HMRC fall to five-year low

Published on 25 November 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The number of arrests of taxpayers made by HMRC for suspected tax evasion has fallen to a five-year low of just 782 in the last year*, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

Costs proportionality: answers at last?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Senior Associate

Practitioners have been waiting six years for authoritative guidance on how the new post-April 2013 proportionality test applies in the hope that we will be better able to predict the outcome of costs assessment and, therefore, better equipped to advise our clients. A recent Court of Appeal decision has been described as delivering this; however, it raises a number of new issues which are sure to give rise to further satellite litigation. As such, proportionality remains the great unknown.

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Blog

Endometriosis: painfully under-diagnosed?

Published on 22 November 2019. By Amber Oldershaw, Associate

Endometriosis, described as a "silent source of unnecessary misery", affects over two million women in the UK. So, why is it taking over 7 years to diagnose?

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Publication

Corporate tax update November 2019

22 November 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 September and October 2019. No update would be complete in the current climate without a report on a recent IR35 decision (this month, we bring you two). This month’s update also includes summaries as to HMRC’s latest thinking on the regime for offshore receipts in respect of intangible property, as well as case summaries on the interpretation of the UK-Irish double tax treaty, cross-border loss relief and the effect of statements in HMRC’s published manuals.

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Blog

Regulatory change as far as the PI can see

Published on 21 November 2019. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

Dramatic regulatory change, and an increase in regulatory action, is affecting a number of important sectors in the professional indemnity market, as we exit 2019 and look ahead at 2020. We consider below some key points to be aware of.

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