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VAT update - February 2018

21 February 2018

In this month’s update we report on the EU Commission’s proposals to reduce VAT compliance costs for small businesses, guidance published by HMRC following the Supreme Court’s decision in InvestmentTrust Companies and the latest consultation to implement “making tax digital” for VAT.

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Blog

The Gig Economy: a Pressure Cooker of Problems

Published on 20 February 2018. By Umut Bektas, Trainee Solicitor

What do companies such as Deliveroo, Uber and Handy all have in common? They have all become hugely successful in the era of the gig economy. But what is the gig economy and what problems does the market face in today's society?

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Blog

Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited v Bester Generacion UK Limited: Judicial guidance on the applicability of the HGCRA to a dispute under a power generation contract

19 February 2018

Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited (Equitix), a special purpose vehicle, entered into a design and build contract with Bester Generacion UK Limited (Bester) for the construction of the Wrexham Biomass Fired Energy Generating Plant (the Project).

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Blog

Sky judge kicks bad faith questions to the ECJ

Published on 19 February 2018. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

In a significant decision in Sky v Skykick [2018] EWHC 155, Mr Justice Arnold has referred a number of questions to the CJEU on bad faith and the clarity and precision of trade mark specifications. The CJEU's response may have significant implications for trade mark owners – particularly those holding very broad registrations.

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Blog

A game changer for concussion injuries? New study investigating CTE creates a potential headache for defendants and their insurers

Published on 16 February 2018. By James Davies, Senior Associate

A new study shows that repeated hits to the head, not concussions, cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the neurodegenerative disease experienced by American football players, boxers and other athletes.

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Blog

Stadion - CJEU confirms circumstances where different elements of a supply can be taxed at different rates

Published on 16 February 2018. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In Stadion Amsterdam CV v Staatssecretaris van Financiën C-463/16, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed that, in the absence of specific statutory language to the contrary, a single supply, which includes two individually priced elements, is taxable at the rate of the principle supply.

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Blog

Bilta: litigation privilege attaches to documents created during internal investigation into VAT claim

Published on 16 February 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Bilta (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) and ors v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and another [2017] EWHC 2525 (Ch), the High Court has held that documents prepared by the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS) in the course of an investigation into allegations made by HMRC were protected by litigation privilege.

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Blog

Reality Retail

Published on 16 February 2018. By Amelia Cave, Associate and Ben Harris, Associate

Continuing its trend of introducing disruptive innovations to the retail market, Amazon recently opened its first checkout-free supermarket, 'Amazon Go', to the public. In light of this, we thought we would take a look at some of the other retailers using innovative technology to revitalise their bricks and mortar offering.

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Press and Media

Three RPC insurance partners announced as winners of Client Choice Awards 2018

15 February 2018

Insurance partners Gavin Reese, Paul Castellani, and Antony Sassi recognised for excellent client care and service quality

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Publication

Corporate tax update

15 February 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly. In this final 2017 edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the fourth quarter of 2017.

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Blog

Court of Appeal holds that a facility agreement based on the LMA model form does not constitute lenders' standard terms for UCTA: But never say never…

Published on 15 February 2018. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Jonathan Cary, Partner

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that a facility agreement based on the LMA model form did not constitute the lenders' standard terms for the purposes of UCTA. Had UCTA applied, the terms of the facility agreement would have been subject to a reasonableness test.

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Blog

Brexit chess game to be played out at Chequers

Published on 15 February 2018. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

The Life Sciences industry demands certainty over the Government's approach to regulation after Brexit. It is hoped that Government meetings this month will achieve that.

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Press and Media

Value of UK litigation funders’ "war chests" hits £1 billion - up 42% in a year

14 February 2018

Litigation funders ramp up case sourcing strategies to deploy the extra capital

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update, February 2018

Published on 13 February 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Welcome to the February edition of our customs and excise quarterly update.

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Blog

Mr Justice Langstaff to chair contaminated blood inquiry

Published on 13 February 2018. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

Mr Justice Langstaff will lead the public inquiry into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1970s and 80s

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Blog

Insuring Cryptocurrency risk, and why a duck might not actually be a duck

Published on 13 February 2018. By Max Rossiter, Trainee Solicitor

Cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines with their soaring value and accelerating use. Their regulation has remained somewhat of an afterthought, however. This blog post looks at some of the pitfalls and the larger implications for financial professionals and the insurance industry that the risks of cryptocurrency present.

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Blog

Beware of the risks when notifying warranty claims

Published on 13 February 2018. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Eliot Henderson, Associate

In Teoco UK Limited v Aircom Jersey 4 Limited, Aircom Global Operations Limited(1) the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court's decision to strike out certain breach of warranty claims on the basis that the buyer had given the seller inadequate notice of those claims. The buyer's attempt to keep its options open by drafting its notices widely proved fatal to its claims, as it failed to identify the specific warranties to which its claims related as required by the share purchase agreement.

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Blog

ICOs in Hong Kong

13 February 2018

We have all seen the rise in the price of Bitcoin in the last year, and may also be aware (at the very least) of the existence of ICOs. But what are ICOs? And what legal framework do they operate in? ICOs in Hong Kong.

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Blog

Sabotage at sea - The LADY M

13 February 2018

In The LADY M, the English Commercial Court held that shipowners could rely on the Hague-Visby Rules fire defence even when the fire was set by the crew (without owners’ knowledge). In so doing, the admiralty concept of barratry received rare consideration by the Courts.

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Blog

RICS Conflict Avoidance Pledge

12 February 2018

It is a well-known fact that the costs of resolving disputes can quickly escalate, and that it is often not cost and time effective to pursue even mid-sized claims through arbitration or litigation. In an attempt to circumvent the need for this sort of dispute resolution, by avoiding disagreements developing into disputes, the Conflict Avoidance Coalition has formed and introduced a "Conflict Avoidance Pledge".

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Blog

Trainees Take on 2018: can we predict the unpredictable?

Published on 08 February 2018. By Daisy Fulton, Trainee Solicitor and Anna Greco, Associate and Leah Wood, Trainee Solicitor and Samantha Thompson, Associate and Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor

Despite the rollercoaster that was 2017, our trainees did fairly well in predicting its twists and turns, including that Trump would continue without restraint on Twitter. In an attempt to continue our success, the trainees have submitted their predictions for 2018. Disclaimer: we failed to foresee the rise in Bitcoin last year (and therefore must continue to work), so please do not rely on the below for your investment advice! Read on to see our bets on Brexit, US Politics, the World Cup and 'automated bundling'!

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Blog

Cannon: Tax barrister not careless in relying on advice received from his accountant

Published on 07 February 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Cannon v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 859 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal has held that a tax barrister was not careless in relying on tax advice received from an accountant retained to give professional advice on specified issues.

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Blog

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Published on 06 February 2018. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Implications for humans and animals of the recent successful cloning of monkeys by Chinese researchers

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Blog

Privilege: A welcome respite from ENRC?

Published on 05 February 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Mafruhdha Miah, Associate

Are interviews held with employees to prepare a report intended to deter a governmental authority from taking legal action privileged?

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Blog

English Holdings - UT allows set-off of corporation tax loss against general income

Published on 05 February 2018. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In English Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0346 (TC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) upheld a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) which allowed an appeal by a non-UK resident company against a decision of HMRC refusing its claim to offset losses arising in its UK permanent establishment (PE) against profits earned by its UK property rental business.

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Blog

CMA clamps down on unfair gambling promotions

Published on 01 February 2018. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Stuart Harris, Associate

The CMA has spoken: online gambling operators must act now to avoid falling foul of misleading terms and practices. See below for our list of dos and don’ts.

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Publication

Government announces new office for product safety and standards

01 February 2018

On 21 January 2018, the Government announced the creation of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), a new national oversight body tasked with “identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs”.

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Publication

Tax update - February 2018

01 February 2018

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s recently published guidance relating to penalties for enablers of defeated abusive tax arrangements; the publication by the EU of a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters; and the outcome of HMRC’s consultation on reporting obligations for offshore structures.

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Blog

Beneficial House – Tribunal orders HMRC to issue closure notices in tax avoidance case

Published on 31 January 2018. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

Beneficial House; Stanley Dock; Chancery (UK) LLP, Valhalla Private Client Services LLP; Business Premises Renovation Allowance; BPRA; Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme rules; DOTAS; Tax on restoration of hotel; HMRC closure notices; closure notices; Tribunal orders HMRC to issue closure notices; application for a closure notice; section 28 TMA..

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Blog

Duty calls: What information should be provided to patients following treatment?

Published on 31 January 2018. By Florence Page, Senior Associate

Summary of the High Court's recent decision in a case concerning the duty to inform a patient of treatment outcomes and the requirement for follow-up, further treatment, or monitoring.

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Blog

Trainees took on 2017: were they right?

30 January 2018

Following RPC trainees' 2017 "predictions", our editors take a look back at the key trends and events over the last 12 months to determine whether the trainees were right!

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Blog

Retrospective and prospective delay analyses – do they provide the same results?

26 January 2018

The recent case of Fluor v Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co considered the difference between prospective and retrospective approaches to delay analysis and whether they lead to the same results.

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Blog

Organ donation: have your say

Published on 26 January 2018. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

Organ donation is, for some, a difficult topic of conversation, but a Government consultation is encouraging us to think about it and share our views.

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Blog

ESMA to use new powers to attack the sale of CFDs and binary bets to retail investors

Published on 25 January 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

ESMA has launched a public consultation on measures to protect retail investors investing in contracts for difference (CFDs) and binary bets. Potential changes include wide-ranging restrictions on the marketing and sale of CFDs, and a complete prohibition on the sale of binary bets to retail investors. An intervention would mark ESMA's first use of its new powers under MiFID II, which came into force on 3 January.

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Publication

2018 TerraLex guide to navigating cross-border copyright rules

Published on 24 January 2018. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Ciara Cullen, Partner

Drawing together contributions from copyright experts in 21 territories we have found are key to global businesses, this guide explores questions regarding legislation and regulation, ownership, infringement, remedies, enforcement and copyright reform on a country-by-country basis.

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Blog

FOS consultation on SME access to Ombudsman service

Published on 23 January 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

The FCA is currently consulting on proposed new rules to allow larger small and medium sized enterprises to refer complaints to the FOS.

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Blog

FOS consultation on SME access to Ombudsman service

Published on 23 January 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate

The FCA is currently consulting on proposed new rules to allow larger small and medium sized enterprises to refer complaints to the FOS.

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Publication

VAT Update - January 2018

23 January 2018

In this month’s update we report on the VAT treatment of pension fund management services for insurers; the establishment of the EU cross-border prosecution service; and guidance published by HMRC following the Supreme Court’s decision in Littlewoods.

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Blog

Commodity specification breach – can I reject?

23 January 2018

A common question which arises in day to day commodity trading is whether a buyer can reject goods which do not meet the specifications set out in the contract. This blog discusses the factors which commonly come into play in determining that question.

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Blog

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Changes ahead for UK road traffic laws

Published on 22 January 2018. By Sarah Hill, Legal Director

The UK Government has recently launched a consultation on proposals to amend the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (Regulations) and the Highway Code. The proposed changes will clarify the legal position for use of features in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and should bring the UK law in line with recent updates to international rules.

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Blog

New Year, New You? How about joining the virtual reality gym…

Published on 19 January 2018. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

Looking to beat the January gym rush? Well, look no further than American based firm Black Box VR who have combined gaming and gyming to create a virtual reality workout using just a resistance machine and headset.

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Blog

Incorrect Ownership Certificates: A Cautionary Tale

19 January 2018

In a case which the judge deemed to be "a cautionary tale about how not to submit a planning application and its consequences", the High Court has recently tackled the question of the effect of incorrect ownership certificates submitted with planning applications. In considering the issue, the Court has given us a helpful reminder of when such an error might lead to the quashing of a planning permission.

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Blog

Thorny issues of jurisdiction and claim form service laid bare by High Court

Published on 18 January 2018. By Alex Wilson, Associate and Samantha Thompson, Associate

In Howard Kennedy v The National Trust for Scotland [2017] EWHC 3368 (QB), the High Court considered two complex issues: one relating to the doctrine of forum non conveniens and the other to the CPR provisions on service of a claim form. In his judgment, handed down yesterday, Sir David Eady stayed the action in England & Wales on the basis that Scotland is the more appropriate forum. He also provided guidance on the tricky interplay between deemed and actual service of a claim form, ultimately holding that the claim form in this case had been validly served in time.

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Blog

Big Data, big problems?

Published on 18 January 2018. By Ella Shanks, Associate

Big Data is here to stay, whether we like it or not. It has transformed the way businesses operate and continues to streamline everyday life for individuals. However, Big Data has big implications for privacy; this blog considers the highs and lows of Big Data and what the law is doing to intervene.

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Blog

Cooke: Tribunal allows taxpayer's discovery assessment appeal

Published on 18 January 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Cooke v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 844 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has allowed an appeal against a discovery assessment issued by HMRC pursuant to section 29, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA). The FTT found that the 'hypothetical officer' could have been reasonably expected to be aware that certain claims in the taxpayer's return were excessive.

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Publication

Annual Insurance Review 2018

17 January 2018

Welcome to RPC’s Annual Insurance Review for 2018.

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Blog

And the (Christmas) results are in: Part II

Published on 17 January 2018. By Henry Priestley, Senior Associate and Umut Bektas, Trainee Solicitor

Since our previous update many retail companies across the UK have posted their festive financials with several big retailers posting disappointing Christmas results.

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Press and Media

Top 10 industry highlights for 2018: RPC’s Annual Insurance Review

17 January 2018

RPC, the City-headquartered professional services firm, has selected 10 industry highlights expected to impact the insurance market in 2018 as part of its Annual Insurance Review. The insights are based on the expertise and experience of individuals and teams in RPC’s market-leading insurance practice.

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Publication

Accountants

17 January 2018

In this chapter of our Annual Insurance Review 2018, we look at the main developments in 2017 and expected issues in 2018 for accountants.

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