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Blog

Looking at the success of the UK's war on plastic

Published on 29 May 2019. By Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor and Simon Edwards, Partner

Savvy brands will be working to realise the potential of reducing plastic consumption; not just from a sustainability perspective but also from a sales and branding perspective. Not only could it help to save the penguins, but also to boost sales.

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Press and Media

Average ICO fine jumps 14% in a year to £143,000 in the wake of GDPR

28 May 2019

The average fine levied by the Information Commissioner’s Office has risen 14% in the year since the introduction of GDPR, rising from £125,000 in 2017/18 to £143,000 in 2018/19*, says City-headquartered law firm RPC.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update: May 2019

28 May 2019

In this update we report on (1) changes to customs authorisations following a no-deal Brexit; (2) making declarations using traditional simplified procedures; and (3) the Pubs Code Adjudicator’s guidance on accounting for duty paid on alcohol and volumes of unsaleable draught products.

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Blog

Q Ltd – interim injunction continued pending appeal

Published on 23 May 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In Q Ltd v HMRC [2019] EWHC 712 (QB), in considering the balance of risk, the High Court continued an interim injunction pending the outcome of the taxpayer's appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).

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Video

Disclosure Pilot Scheme: Technology

Published on 22 May 2019. By Dan Wyatt, Senior Associate and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

How does the Disclosure Pilot encourage the use of technology?

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Blog

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance and corporate property deals – the importance of timing!

Published on 21 May 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

The First-Tier Tribunal has, in a recent decision, caused something of a stir for clients and advisors familiar with the well-trodden (and, usually, tax-efficient) use of offshore unit trusts to hold UK property.

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Blog

What’s gone wrong with putting things right?

Published on 21 May 2019. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Nick Bird, Partner

Solicitors are becoming concerned about their ability to put things right when they make mistakes. We do not consider that much has changed in this area. It is as important as it has always been for a solicitor to realise if he or she has made a mistake and to think carefully about how to remedy it. This is not an easy task. We hope this article will assist in guiding solicitors and their insurers through this complex area.

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Blog

Financial Reporting Council considers the test for "misconduct"

Published on 20 May 2019. By Robert Morris, Partner and Matthew Watson, Associate

A recent Financial Reporting Council (FRC) Tribunal decision provides some welcomed clarity on the distinguishing features of misconduct and negligence for those in the accountancy profession.

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Press and Media

FCA investigations into directors of financial services companies jump 29% in a year

20 May 2019

The number of investigations opened by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into directors of financial services companies jumped 29% to 58 in 2018* (year to December 2018), up from 45 in 2017

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Press and Media

24% fall in the number of M&A deals in the retail sector last year

20 May 2019

The number of UK retail sector M&A deals has fallen by 24% in the last year, to 27 in 2018/19 (year to March 31 2019) from 37 the year before.

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Blog

HMRC's unreasonable conduct leads to costs award against it

Published on 20 May 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In E v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 771 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has found that HMRC acted unreasonably in not withdrawing an information notice earlier than it did and awarded the taxpayer his costs.

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Press and Media

65 hacking prosecutions last year, up from 47 – but still too small a percentage of reported cybercrimes

16 May 2019

Over 17,900 incidences of computer hacking reported in the UK in 2018. However, despite the rise last year, the number of prosecutions still represents less than 1% of reported cybercrimes in the UK.

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Press and Media

City law firm RPC advises NYSE-listed Allison Transmission on its acquisition of an electric vehicle technology specialist, Vantage Power

15 May 2019

This transaction continues our strong record of advising on significant tech deals

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Blog

Novel approach to measuring damages resulting from a breach of warranty

Published on 15 May 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Emily Rome, Associate

The accepted approach of diminution in the value of the target company has been unsuccessfully challenged in Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited v ING Bank NV ([2019] EWHC 676 (Comm)).

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Video

Disclosure Pilot Scheme: A balancing act

13 May 2019

Disclosure has always involved a balancing act between all parties involved, to progress cases in an efficient and cost effective manner, but the Disclosure Pilot Scheme seeks to change where that balance lies. Partners Parham Kouchikali and Davina Given discuss in more detail.

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Blog

Atherton – discovery assessment not stale and taxpayer was careless

Published on 10 May 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Richard Atherton v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0041 (TCC) the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a discovery had not become stale by the time an assessment was issued under section 20, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) and that the taxpayer had been careless in making an inadequate 'white space' disclosure in his self-assessment return.

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Blog

Ang(er) over jurisdiction challenge: High Court seeks to clarify whether speculative investment by a private individual is a business or consumer activity

Published on 10 May 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Harriet Evans, Associate

Failed jurisdiction challenge against a private individual making speculative currency transactions on the basis that she could be considered a consumer under the Recast Brussels Regulation (Romana Ang v Reliantco Investments Limited [2019] EWHC 879 (Comm))

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Blog

No exceptions to exclusionary rule: Court of Appeal confirms established principle

Published on 10 May 2019. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Matthew Evans, Senior Associate

While evidence of pre-contractual negotiations can be adduced to demonstrate how a transaction came about or what its commercial aims were, it cannot be relied on to aid the interpretation of the contractual provisions themselves. Merthyr (South Wales) Ltd v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council ) [2019] EWCA Civ 526.

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Blog

"Goodwill Hunting": Latest on Cybersquatting

Published on 09 May 2019. By Ben Mark, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

In a recent Court of Appeal decision, it has been held that cybersquatting (ie the practice of registering well-known brand names as internet domains to later resell them at profit) does not in and of itself amount to passing off. A claimant is still required to demonstrate relevant goodwill in the name or mark relied upon. It follows that an unused mark (which, by its very nature, lacks sufficient goodwill) is incapable of supporting an action for passing off based on cybersquatting.

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Publication

Financial litigation roundup Spring/Summer 2019

08 May 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of our financial litigation roundup. In this edition, we consider recent judgments and ongoing cases from the banking and financial world in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as legal developments across those jurisdictions.

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Video

Disclosure Pilot Scheme: Cooperation and culture

Published on 07 May 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Parham Kouchikali, Partner

Partners Parham Kouchikali and Davina Given discuss the Disclosure Pilot Scheme and the change in cooperation and culture needed for the pilot to be successful for all parties involved.

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Blog

The High Court removes its cap for litigation funders

Published on 03 May 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Chris Ross, Partner and Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

The High Court has declined to cap a litigation funder's liability for adverse costs at the amount of funding provided. It confirmed that the so-called Arkin cap is an approach to be considered, not a rule to be followed (Davey v Money [2019] EWHC 997 (Ch)).

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Press and Media

RPC makes up six new Partners in 2019 round

01 May 2019

RPC welcomes Charles Buckworth, Rachel Healey, Ben Mark, Peter Sugden, Robert Waterson and Alan Williams to the Partnership following completion of its annual promotions process.

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Publication

General liability newsletter April 2019

Published on 30 April 2019. By Gavin Reese, Partner and Jonathan Drake, Senior Associate and Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety

The latest general liability news coming out of the courts.

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Publication

Tax update - May 2019

30 April 2019

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s consultation on private residence relief, HMRC’s revised guidance on agreeing the value of shares with HMRC Shares and Assets Valuation when operating an EMI or SIP and HMRC’s guidance on calculating tax and NICs due on the loan charge.

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Blog

Hargreaves: Even staler!

Published on 29 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Hargreaves v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0244 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has again found that HMRC's discovery of an underpayment of tax had become 'stale' and accordingly the subsequent assessment issued under section 29, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) was invalid.

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Blog

Government assessing business rates for warehouses

Published on 29 April 2019. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Jani Ihalainen, Paralegal

The Financial Times recently reported that the Government has been assessing warehouse rents, in advance of the next revaluation for business rates.

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Blog

More than you bargained for: the implied duty of good faith

Published on 26 April 2019. By David Wallis, Partner and Neil Brown, Partner

The recent High Court decision in Bates v. Post Office (No. 3) confirms a general principle that if a contract is a "relational" contract then it will include an implied obligation of good faith. Previously, there had been doubt whether such a general principle exists, as historically this was not an approach recognised by the English courts.

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Blog

Derivative transactions – the obligation to report

Published on 25 April 2019. By Edward Colville, Legal Director

As the recent £34.9m fine for Goldman Sachs shows, the FCA takes the obligation to report derivative transactions seriously. How does this affect parties who trade infrequently, and what changes to the reporting requirement can we expect post-Brexit?

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Publication

Court of Appeal considers the test for dishonest assistance following Ivey

25 April 2019

In Group Seven v Notable Services LLP the Court of Appeal considered and applied the two stage test of dishonesty set out by the Supreme Court in Ivey v Genting in a claim for dishonest assistance in a breach of trust by various members of a legal disciplinary practice.

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Publication

VAT update April 2019

25 April 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on intra-group VAT reverse charge; (2) draft regulations which will tighten the rules on when VAT adjustments may be made following a change to the price of goods and services; and (3) HMRC’s updated policy paper which provides an overview of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Blog

What if third parties helped to hide the golden egg?

Published on 25 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

What if third parties helped to hide the golden egg?

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Blog

The fraudster is insolvent – can you add more eggs to the basket?

Published on 24 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

The fraudster is insolvent – can you add more eggs to the basket?

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Blog

What to do if the golden egg hatches (or you need to trace into the fraudster's other assets)

Published on 24 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

What to do if the golden egg hatches (or you need to trace into the fraudster's other assets)

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Blog

How can I find the golden egg? Part 2: ask the Easter bunny (or third parties)

Published on 23 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

How can I find the golden egg? Part 2: ask the Easter bunny (or third parties)

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Blog

Egg supplier ends up with egg on its face

Published on 18 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner

Egg supplier ends up with egg on its face

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Blog

Should fraud unravel all? The Supreme Court thinks so

Published on 18 April 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Karina Plain, Associate (Australian qualified)

Should fraud unravel all? The Supreme Court thinks so

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Blog

Snow Factor – Upper Tribunal determines the meaning of "financial extremity"

Published on 18 April 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In Snow Factor Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKUT 77 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has determined the meaning of the phrase "financial extremity might be reasonably expected to result from that decision of HMRC" in section 85(B), Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

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Blog

How can I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

How do I find the golden egg? Part 1: ask the fraudster and accept no eggs-cuses

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Blog

How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

Published on 17 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

How do you stop the treasure map leading to the golden egg being destroyed?

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Blog

How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

How do you stop the golden egg rolling away?

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Blog

The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

Published on 15 April 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Emma West, Associate

The greatest Easter egg hunt: asset recovery in the English courts

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Blog

Macleod – insurance premiums paid not earnings from taxpayer's employment

Published on 15 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited and William Mitchell v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0046 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that insurance premiums paid by the company on policies taken out in the sole director's name were not earnings from employment.

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Blog

Tang - Bare trust existed notwithstanding lack of trust document

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

In Lily Tang v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 81, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that there was a bare trust despite the absence of a trust document and that the bare trustee was not liable to notify HMRC or for tax in relation to funds she held on trust.

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Blog

Brexit delay prolongs uncertainty for insurers

Published on 12 April 2019. By Neil Brown, Partner

Yesterday's announcement of Halloween as the new deadline for Brexit will prolong uncertainty for many UK insurers.

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Publication

Is it now inevitable corporates will face new “failure to prevent economic crime” offences?

11 April 2019

Back in September 2014, the then Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC MP announced that the Government was considering proposals to create a new corporate offence of failing to prevent economic crime. A change of corporate culture was sighted as being necessary to fully address the scale of fraud reported by the Global Economic Crime Survey.

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Blog

Royal College of Surgeons call for Robust Reporting in the Private Healthcare Sector

Published on 10 April 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

The Royal College of Surgeons (the “RCS”) has today called for independent healthcare providers to “improve standards in the independent sector and prevent the circumstances that enabled Paterson to continue practising from happening again.”

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Snapshot

Snapshots - Spring 2019

10 April 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

Fixing Fast Fashion: Parliament aims to put the brakes on retailers

Published on 10 April 2019. By Lucy Houghton, Trainee Solicitor and Jeremy Drew, Partner

'Fast fashion' has been providing inexpensive, up to date styles to the mass market for decades, keeping the consumer both on trend, and in the black. However, as society becomes increasingly aware of the environmental and social impact of the retail sector, Parliament has thrown a spotlight upon the sustainability of 'fast fashion' and the modern retailing practices which underpin it.

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Blog

Vaginal mesh: the evidence

Published on 10 April 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

NICE guidelines inform debate over the evidence for the risks and benefits of mesh products

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