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Press and Media

E-retailer takeovers rise as high street decline increases pressure to grow online sales

28 October 2019

The number of M&A deals for UK e-retailers has risen to 12 in the past year*, up from eight last year, says City-headquartered law firm RPC.

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Blog

World freezing orders: recent dissipations and reasonable delays

Published on 24 October 2019. By Simon Hart, Partner and Christina Moran, Associate

Delay is not fatal to the continuation of a world freezing order and an applicant need not adduce evidence of recent dissipations (1) PJSC National Bank Trust v Boris Mints [2019] EWHC 2061 (2) Holyoake v Candy [2017] EWCA Civ 92

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Blog

Sporting compromise – tips for settling sports disputes

Published on 24 October 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Joshua Charalambous, Associate

Some practical tips for sports clubs when settling disputes – with a focus on those issues that regularly arise in a sporting context.

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Blog

Potter – Tribunal considers the meaning of "trading company" in the context of entrepreneurs' relief

Published on 23 October 2019. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

In Jacqueline Potter and Neil Potter v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0554 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has confirmed that the owners of a company were entitled to entrepreneurs relief (ER) as the activities of the company amounted to trading.

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Publication

Challenging extensions of time to serve writs on defendants in Hong Kong

22 October 2019

In another recent high profile judgment, the High Court of Hong Kong has (in effect) sent out an important warning to plaintiffs who apply to the court for an extension of time in which to serve their writ on a defendant. On making such applications, plaintiffs must be very careful to discharge their continuing and important duty to be full and frank with the court – in particular, in the evidence filed in support of such applications, plaintiffs must specifically and clearly confirm the position regarding the limitation periods for different claims in the writ and whether any claim is time barred.

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Blog

Taking it personally – retailers using hyper-personalisation to target consumers in the digital age

Published on 22 October 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Amber Oldershaw, Trainee Solicitor

In a modern day society widely dubbed as 'The Digital Age', corporations must compete like never before to capture a fluid market seeking instant gratification.

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Press and Media

‘Craft’ spirits boom continues, driving new trade mark registrations to a record high

Published on 21 October 2019. By Daniel Kulcsar, PR & Communications Manager

The expansion of the UK craft spirits industry shows no sign of abating, with the industry filing a record number of trade mark registrations in the last year, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm. The number of new trade marks registered for spirits jumped 12% in the past year, with 2,482 filed in 2018, up from 2,210 in the previous 12 months.

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Publication

Privilege Absolute: documents remain privileged forever, unless privilege is waived

Published on 21 October 2019. By Nick Bird, Partner and Laura Stocks, Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal has taken a robust stance against an attempt to retrospectively redraw the boundaries of legal professional privilege in the recent decision of Addlesee and others v Dentons Europe LLP1.

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Blog

Rents, Returns and Turnover in the Age of Online Retail

Published on 18 October 2019. By Ben Taverner, Associate

News has surfaced recently that H&M has approached some of its landlords with a view to agreeing bespoke turnover rent arrangements for new leases and for lease renewals. The arrangements take the form of "total occupational deals" as they propose offering landlords a single sum as a proportion of turnover for each store to cover service charge, rent and business rates.

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Blog

No Deal Brexit – implications for data and privacy law compliance

Published on 17 October 2019. By Jon Bartley, Partner and Richard Breavington, Partner

The Brexit rollercoaster ride continues. At the time of writing, the UK and EU have just announced the agreement of a new withdrawal deal but there are serious doubts about whether it will be backed by Parliament. Despite the requirements of the Benn Act, the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal continues to be a concern.

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Blog

Actuarial monitoring scheme announced

Published on 16 October 2019. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and George Smith, Senior Associate

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has launched a new monitoring scheme, designed to improve the effectiveness of actuarial regulation, as well as make wide-spread improvements across the profession. The Actuarial Monitoring Scheme was created following a consultation by the IFoA.

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Blog

Leeds Cricket Football & Athletic Co Ltd – business with attached goodwill disposed of

Published on 16 October 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In The Leeds Cricket Football & Athletic Company Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0568 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the freehold in a cricket ground involved the disposal of a business with attached goodwill and was not simply a disposal of land with attached income streams.

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Snapshot

ASA rejects complaint that HFSS ad was directly aimed at school children - Cadbury

15 October 2019

When will an ad which markets HFSS products be considered to be directly aimed at pre-school or primary school children?

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Blog

Avatar Alert! ASA uses child avatars to tackle irresponsible ads targeted at children

Published on 15 October 2019. By Oliver Bray, Partner and Victoria Noto, Associate

The ASA is proactively using avatars (which mimic child-like behaviour) to identify when age-restricted ads (gambling, alcohol, HFSS etc) are being irresponsibly targeted at children. The introduction of this new technology has already had an impact on ad monitoring and enforcement.

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Blog

Equine law - not just horsing around

Published on 14 October 2019. By Flavia Croce Michon Pecori, Trainee

Equine law as a practice area has become increasingly prominent, with a growing number of legal issues requiring firms to skill-up; but is there a clear definition of what 'equine law' is?

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Blog

Corporate governance for large private companies

Published on 14 October 2019. By Nneka Ezekude, Paralegal

For financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019, large private companies will need to adhere to the requirements contained in a new corporate governance code published by the Financial Reporting Council. The introduction of the new code followed multiple scandals which revealed poor corporate practices and neglect of stakeholders' interests. As a result, the code seeks to rebuild confidence and trust in these large private companies.

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Press and Media

RPC commits to Mindful Business Charter

11 October 2019

We are proud to report that last night RPC signed the Mindful Business Charter, an initiative developed to mitigate unnecessary stress in the workplace. The Charter is a commitment by the firm to seek to change avoidable working practices which can have a negative effect on mental health and wellbeing. It aims to build trust and effective communication between colleagues, clients and contacts.

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Blog

Tortious claims against third party may trigger anti-suit injunction

Published on 10 October 2019. By Chris Ross, Partner and Kirtan Prasad, Associate

A party's attempt to circumvent a jurisdiction clause by bringing tortious claims against a third party has been thwarted by the High Court. In granting an anti-suit injunction, the court explored the substance of the claims and found them to be "vexatious and oppressive", designed simply to evade the exclusive jurisdiction clause.

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Publication

Regulatory update - October 2019

Published on 10 October 2019. By Gavin Reese, Partner

Welcome to the October edition of our monthly Regulatory update, which aims to pull together key developments from across the various UK regulators – and help you to navigate the regulatory maze.

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Blog

JJ Management: No need to stand on formalities

Published on 09 October 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

It would appear from the decision of the High Court in R (oao JJ Management LLP and Ors) v HMRC [2019] EWHC 2006 (Admin), that HMRC can conduct informal enquiries outside of section 9A, Taxes Management 1970 (TMA).

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Press and Media

UK allergy-related food recalls jump 20% in a year to 5-year high

07 October 2019

Food recalls relating to allergens have jumped 20% in the past year, as concerns rise over the dangers of poorly labelled foods, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm. 122 food products were withdrawn from the market in 2018/19, compared to 102 in 2017/18.

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Publication

Tax update October 2019

Published on 03 October 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

In this month’s update we report on (1) the independent review of the disguised remuneration loan charge; (2) HMRC’s guidance on preparing for the off-payroll working changes which come into effect from April 2020; and (3) HMRC’s updated guidance on the tax registration of non-resident companies. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) an application for final and partial closure notices; (2) the validity of an enquiry; and (3) pre-entry loss rules.

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Press and Media

Medical device alerts hit four-year high

Published on 02 October 2019. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

The number of alerts issued by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has hit a four-year high of 35 in the past year*, up from 32 last year and more than double the 17 alerts issued three years ago, says City-headquartered law firm RPC.

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Blog

Rialas – Transfer of assets abroad provisions did not apply

Published on 02 October 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Rialas v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 520, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has found that the transfer of assets abroad (TOAA) provisions, originally contained in section 739 et seq, Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (ICTA) did not apply.

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Publication

Health and safety update September 2019

Published on 01 October 2019. By Nick McMahon, Head of Health and Safety and Gavin Reese, Partner and Mamata Dutta, Legal Director and Chloe Scott, Trainee Solicitor

Welcome to our September 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

Subjective expectation versus objective intention; when will a term be implied into a contract?

Published on 30 September 2019. By Alan Williams, Partner and Harriet Evans, Associate

The High Court has implied a term into a contract for the sale of Peruvian Government Global Depository Notes (GDNs) by Lehman Brothers International (Europe), in order to make the contract workable.

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Publication

Corporate tax update September 2019

Published on 30 September 2019. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate and Adam Craggs, Partner and Robert Waterson, Partner

This month’s update reports on the key developments from August 2019. Although this was a relatively quiet month in the corporate tax world, this update includes summaries of an important Upper Tribunal decision on the correct tax treatment of “trail commissions” and a First-tier Tribunal decision on the recovery of pre-incorporation input VAT.

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Blog

Draft Finance Bill 2019/20: HMRC’s new insolvency powers

Published on 27 September 2019. By Robert Waterson, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

Piercing the corporate veil? Robert Waterson and Constantine Christofi review the draft provisions that will empower HMRC to issue joint liability notices. (This article was originally posted on Tax Journal)

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Publication

VAT update September 2019

Published on 26 September 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the reduced rate for energy-saving materials; (2) the VAT rule changes for higher education; and (3) new regulations amending the rules on when VAT adjustments may be made following a change to the price of goods and services. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the refusal of a claim for the repayment of under-recovered input VAT; (2) the repayment of input VAT charged on the acquisition of single farm payment entitlement units; and (3) a notice of security issued with no explanation for the demand.

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Blog

Quentin Skinner – shares sold by trust eligible for entrepreneurs' relief

Published on 25 September 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In The Quentin Skinner 2008 Settlement L and others v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 516 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that for a trust to qualify for entrepreneurs' relief (ER) on a disposal of shares, it was not necessary for the trust's beneficiary to have had an interest in possession in the shares for the period prescribed in section 169J(4), Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 (TCGA).

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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

Visa? Credit card? No - buy now pay later please!

Published on 20 September 2019. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Joseph Akwaboa, Trainee Solicitor

As online customers make their way to checkout, a growing number of retail brands are offering them the "Buy Now and Pay Later (BNPL)" option along with the classic, Visa and Credit Card and PayPal payment options.

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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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