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Blog

The "purpose" means the "dominant purpose"

Published on 02 August 2016. By Ed Holmes, Senior Associate and Tim Brown, Partner

The Court of Appeal has recently dismissed an appeal in relation to the interpretation of a clause referring to "the purpose" of a transaction.

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Blog

Brexit and the housing crisis – where are we now?

01 August 2016

It is only a couple of months since the Government restated its 'one million homes by 2020' pledge. How does Brexit impact on this

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Blog

Brexit and the housing crisis – where are we now?

01 August 2016

It is only a couple of months since the Government restated its 'one million homes by 2020' pledge. It was always going to be a big ask, with talk of land banking, constructions skills shortages and delays in the planning system being bandied about on a regular basis

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Blog

Making a racket about the tennis pay gap

Published on 29 July 2016. By Charlotte Thompson, Associate

In 2015 Novak Djokovic, men’s world number one, received $21.65m in prize money whereas Serena Williams, women’s world number one, won less than half of that amount

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Blog

Part VII transfers: Court protects policyholder interests by modifying guarantees

Published on 29 July 2016. By Jonathan Charwat, Associate and Matthew Griffith, Partner

High Court uses its powers to ensure third party guarantees continue to apply in the same way following Part VII transfer

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Publication

VAT update, July 2016

28 July 2016

In this month’s edition of our VAT update we will report on (1) the EU Council’s variation to the Principal VAT Directive relating to vouchers, (2) HMRC’s update on VAT Notice 708, and (3) a variation in the law on the applicably of VAT to offshore property held by insurers. We also comment on three recent cases concerning the supply of services by a bank, the applicability of VAT to an incomplete transfer of title, and whether VAT is payable on charitable donations.

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Publication

Follow the money

27 July 2016

How do you get your money back from a potential fraudster who has siphoned the money off into planes, luxury houses abroad and mysterious accounts? The English courts have a broad range of remedies available to help.

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Blog

Tribunal allows taxpayer's appeal as notice of enquiry was invalid

Published on 27 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

First-tier Tribunal (FTT) determined that HMRC had not given a valid notice of intention to enquire into the taxpayer's return because the purported notice of enquiry referred to tax year ended 6 April 2009, rather than 5 April 2009.

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Blog

Drones: don't fly out of bounds (legally)

27 July 2016

Various commercial industries have already woken up to the myriad opportunities offered by drone technologies. Whilst the regulatory regime evolves, it is important that companies don’t fall foul of the law.

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Blog

Planning: the sequential test

26 July 2016

For those involved in retail development, a recent Planning Court case serves as a helpful summary and update on the interpretation of the sequential test set out in para 24 of the NPPF.

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Publication

Winning the battle but losing the war

22 July 2016

We have previously commented on the need for claimants to establish all elements of a claim (duty, breach, causation and loss) if they want to achieve more than a Pyrrhic victory. The case of Mortgage Express v Countrywide Surveyors Limited provides another example of this, but with a slightly different twist.

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Blog

Pensions freedoms where are we now?

Published on 22 July 2016. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

On 14 July 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority published three releases relating to pension freedoms. The releases provide an insight into the FCA's areas of concern following the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015.

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Blog

China’s richest man strikes deal to host new global football tournament

Published on 21 July 2016. By Joshua Charalambous, Associate

Earlier this month, it was reported that the Dalian Wanda Group planned to create a European club tournament to rival the UEFA Champions League.

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Blog

High Court criticises HMRC's conduct finding that it breached taxpayer's legitimate expectation

Published on 20 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

High Court criticises HMRC's conduct finding that it breached taxpayer's legitimate expectation

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Press and Media

Number of FCA dawn raids at its lowest level since the financial crisis

19 July 2016

60% fall in the number of raids in a year Concern that smaller scale financial crimes are slipping through the net

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Publication

Corporate tax update, second quarter 2016

19 July 2016

On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU in an historic referendum result. A period of some political, economic and social uncertainty will undoubtedly follow (and we've already had a turbulent few weeks) but as far as corporate tax is concerned there should be no immediate consequences. It remains to be seen what happens to the planned further reduction in corporation tax to 15% as announced by the then-Chancellor George Osborne. Some initial views on the likely corporate tax consequences of Brexit are set out below. It has also been announced that Royal Assent to this year's Finance Bill is not now expected before the Autumn. In the aftermath of the referendum result, it is perhaps easy to forget that some significant changes to the UK corporate tax regime are planned. Whether all of these changes now proceed, at the pace originally intended, will become clear in due course. In this edition we therefore also highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the second quarter of 2016.

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Blog

Price fixing online – a new competition authority warning

Published on 18 July 2016. By Alyson Lloyd, Senior Associate and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") has released an open letter to suppliers and retailers warning against online practices which constitute price fixing.

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Blog

Failure to comply with direction leads to strike out of taxpayers' appeals

Published on 15 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Grindley & Others v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0834 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has directed that the taxpayers' appeals be struck out for failure to comply with a direction issued by the FTT.

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Blog

High Court allows claim against foreign subsidiary and English parent company to be heard in the UK

Published on 13 July 2016. By Chris Ross, Partner and Simon Hart, Partner

The High Court has rejected applications by an English parent company and its Zambian subsidiary that claims brought against them in London should be dismissed in favour of proceedings taking place in Zambia.

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Blog

"Mis-selling" claim fails on appeal in Hong Kong

Published on 12 July 2016. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

Hong Kong Court of Appeal confirms challenges in bringing mis-selling claims against banks and financial intermediaries.

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Press and Media

Growth of App economy sees Telecoms trade marks up by a third

Published on 11 July 2016. By Jeremy Drew, Partner

Traditional telecoms companies innovate to remain competitive.

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Blog

Tribunal finds HMRC was not entitled to issue a discovery assessment

Published on 08 July 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Anderson v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 335 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer's appeal and held that HMRC was not entitled to issue a discovery assessment pursuant to section 29(1) TMA, as the taxpayer had not been careless.

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Blog

Time Charters corrected on underperformance

07 July 2016

High Court narrows shipowners' defences to an underperformance claim

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Publication

Tiuta International Ltd (in liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors

06 July 2016

The Court of Appeal recently overturned a first instance decision in an application for summary judgment in the matter of Tiuta International Ltd (in liquidation) v De Villiers Surveyors Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 661

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Publication

Tax update, July 2016

06 July 2016

In this month's edition of our Tax Update we will report on HMRC's (1) revised corporate interest deductibility rules consultation, (2) new company taxation manual, and (3) off-payroll working and IR35 consultation. We also comment on three recent cases concerning 'trading', the applicability of income tax on employment termination payments, and SDLT planning.

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Blog

ISPs' appeal is "blocked" 

Published on 06 July 2016. By Ben Mark, Legal Director and David Cran, Partner

In a judgment handed down today, the Court of Appeal, led by Lord Justice Kitchin, has overwhelmingly rejected the appeal by the five largest ISPs and upheld the High Court decision to grant Richemont a blocking order requiring those ISPs in the UK to prevent access to various third party websites from advertising and selling goods which infringe Richemont's trade mark rights.

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Blog

Pension freedom advice complaints: Delays and insistent clients cause of concern for the FOS

Published on 01 July 2016. By Matthew Watson, Associate

Following reassuring news about low pension-related complaint numbers, the Financial Ombudsman's latest newsletter has revealed further details of the types of complaints they have received since the sweeping changes to the pension freedom rules in April of last year.

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Blog

Pre-judgment interest rate – prime plus 1%

Published on 30 June 2016. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

In May 2016 the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong handed down three consistent decisions confirming that (among other things) prime rate plus 1% should continue to be used as the starting point for awarding pre-judgment interest on damages awarded by the courts in civil disputes.

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Blog

Tribunal dismisses taxpayer's appeal as trade not conducted on a commercial basis

Published on 30 June 2016. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Gray v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0379 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a taxpayer conducting promotional activities for his musician wife was not entitled to set losses from those activities against profits from his legal business.

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Publication

VAT update, June 2016

29 June 2016

The result of last week's referendum on the UK's membership of the EU is likely to lead to a prolonged period of uncertainty in many areas of taxation

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Blog

6 top priorities for GCs following the Brexit vote

29 June 2016

6 clear priorities for in house legal leaders emerged from the dialogue that I had with Bruce Macmillan, the former in-house lawyer who heads our Centre for Legal Leadership:

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Blog

Pension Deed rectified by Summary Judgment without a hearing

Published on 29 June 2016. By Alan Williams, Senior Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

The High Court has recently granted summary judgment for rectification of a trust deed without a hearing. The judge did this "in such plain circumstances" where the evidence demonstrated that there was "no real prospect of a realistic challenge" to the position that the final version of the deed should have been executed, not an earlier draft.

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Blog

Brexit - a legal analysis: Competition

Published on 28 June 2016. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner

The implications for competition law and practice will very much depend on what form of Brexit the UK will end up negotiating. At one end of the spectrum the UK could join the European Free Trade Association and the European Economic Area, an avenue that is likely to generate the fewest changes. If the UK were to seek a total exit, falling back on World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) rules to continue trading with the EU, the potential changes would be more wide-ranging as outlined below.

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Blog

Brexit - a legal analysis: IP rights

Published on 28 June 2016. By Paul Joseph, Partner

IP rights in the UK are all influenced and moulded to a greater or lesser degree by European law.

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Blog

High Court encourages use of FOS to resolve disputes

24 June 2016

The Commercial Court has encouraged the use of the FOS to resolve disputes, by granting a stay to enable claimants to benefit from what it described as a more economical and informal process.

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Video

Hong Kong - China's window of the business world 

23 June 2016

David Smyth - Senior Partner, Asia - considers Hong Kong's role in a global market.

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Blog

Brexit and "Topsyturvydom": Wish-casting and dog-whistles portrayed as "fact" and vice versa

22 June 2016

While I have been absorbing the "debate" about Brexit over the past few weeks, the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan have increasingly been coming to mind. Those gentlemen were legendary for creating comic "Topsy Turvy" situations where absurd scenarios were taken to even more absurd, but apparently logical, conclusions to great comic effect. More recently the term "topsy turvy" has also come to mean "Upside down" and/or "a state of total chaos".

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Blog

PRA gold plates EU audit committee requirements for significant insurers

Published on 21 June 2016. By Andrew Price, Senior Associate

Is your audit committee PRA compliant? New PRA rules out this month require designated "significant" insurers to fill their audit committees solely with independent non-executive directors.

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Blog

How would a Brexit affect the NHS?

Published on 21 June 2016. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

The potential effect of a Brexit on the NHS has become a key political battleground with wildly divergent statistics being quoted and outlandish claims being made by both campaigns. Should the UK vote to leave the EU on 23 June there are a number of potential impacts on the NHS, outlined below.

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Blog

How would a Brexit affect employment in the UK?

20 June 2016

Whilst the papers tell us to panic and the politicians speak of a potential apocalypse, the general view is that there will likely be very little immediate change to employment law should we vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016.

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Blog

How would a Brexit affect Intellectual Property laws in the UK?

Published on 17 June 2016. By Amelia Cave, Associate

The future of IP law in the UK might not be at the top of your list of considerations when thinking about which way to vote on the 23 June. However, this area of law is heavily harmonised across the EU meaning that a vote to leave could have serious ramifications for businesses relying on IP rights.

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Press and Media

Sharp rise in solicitor-on-solicitor misconduct complaints to regulator as litigation tactics get tougher

17 June 2016

There has been a jump in the number of misconduct complaints against solicitors of more than one-third over five years, where the person making the complaint is another professional, says RPC, the City-headquartered professional services firm.

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Blog

Caveat Emptor: Buyer's inadequate notice precludes £3.5m warranty claim

Published on 16 June 2016. By Matthew Evans, Senior Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

In Teoco v Aircom (unreported), the High Court has held that a buyer gave inadequate notice of certain breach of warranty claims, thereby preventing it from pursuing those claims (worth c. £3.5m).

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Blog

How would a Brexit affect the banking and finance sector in the UK?

16 June 2016

Financial services represent around £26bn or 57.5% of the City of London's total income and accounts for 7.5% of the total national income of Great Britain; 18% of cross-border lending is arranged in the UK and over 250 foreign banks are in London. A Brexit could threaten the City of London's well established reputation as detailed below.

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Blog

The new 'notification injunction'

Published on 15 June 2016. By Jonathan Wood, Head of International Arbitration

In Holyoake v Candy the High Court considered the court's power to grant a "notification injunction" requiring the Defendants to give written notice before disposing or dealing with their assets. The decision is of interest to applicants seeking an alternative to a freezing injunction where there is concern that a respondent may deal with their assets so as to frustrate the enforcement of any future judgment.

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Blog

Anti-suit injunctions

15 June 2016

In Sea Powerful II, the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong recently dismissed a plaintiff ship owner's appeal against a judge's refusal to grant an anti-suit injunction to restrain the holder of a bill of lading from continuing with court proceedings in mainland China in breach of a Hong Kong arbitration clause

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Blog

How would a Brexit affect the property market in the UK?

Published on 15 June 2016.

Industry participants have forecast a slowdown in residential and commercial property markets in the lead up to polling day on 23 June.

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Blog

Taxpayer victory in Project Blue SDLT sub-sale case

Published on 14 June 2016. By Robert Waterson, Legal Director

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