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Blog

Snow Factor – Tribunal applies Halifax principle to redefine supplies of winter sports training

Published on 19 February 2020. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

In Snow Factor Ltd and Snow Factor Training Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0664 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that certain VAT arrangements were abusive within the scope of the Halifax principle, and redefined supplies of winter sports training by a non-profit making company as a supply by its profit making parent and therefore as falling outside the education exemption in Item 1, Group 6, Schedule 9, Value Added Tax Act 1994 (VATA).

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Publication

The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments

18 February 2020

The Supreme Court of Singapore Collaborates with the Supreme Court of the Union of Myanmar on the Enforcement of Money Judgments – the signing of the Memorandum of Guidance as to Enforcement of Money Judgments (the “MOG”) marks a significant milestone in bilateral relations between the Singapore and Myanmar judiciaries.

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Press and Media

Andy McGregor, Partner and Head of Civil Fraud at RPC, has been named in the Client Choice Awards 2020 as the winner in UK Litigation.

18 February 2020

Andy has received high praise from long-standing clients, with one describing him as "an elegant litigator and leader". Others praised his "great experience, judgment and strategic acumen" and his "uncanny knack of working out exactly the best way to advance his client's case".

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Podcast

A look at MGAs

18 February 2020

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests. This episode we look at MGAs with the help of Tim Jones, Director at MPR Underwriting.

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Press and Media

Online harms: legislation will put UK businesses under pressure and threatens major reverse in liberalisation of censorship laws

17 February 2020

Broad and far-reaching plans to tackle so-called 'online harms', announced today by the Government, will introduce fresh red tape and put added pressure on many UK businesses, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Publication

SRA v Ryan Beckwith and the regulation of the private lives of solicitors

Published on 17 February 2020. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

In October 2019, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) upheld professional misconduct allegations against Mr Ryan Beckwith, an ex-magic circle partner. The Tribunal’s reasons were published on 30 January 2020.

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Blog

Legal advice privilege not lost by repeating the client's instructions

Published on 17 February 2020. By Will Sefton, Partner and Tom Toulson, Associate

In Raiffeisen Bank International AG v Asia Coal Energy Ventures Ltd (1) Ashurst LLP (2) [2020] EWCA Civ 11, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that legal advice privilege over a client's instructions to their lawyers is not lost, merely because the client authorises their lawyers to repeat the substance of those instructions to another party.

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Blog

Lenders face more allegations about their actions on restructuring

Published on 14 February 2020. By Parham Kouchikali, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate

Representatives of a lender on a board will not automatically impose directors' duties on the lender, but they may apply where a director's specific instructions have led directly to a breach of fiduciary duty. The High Court recently explored this issue in an appeal in the case of Standish v Royal Bank of Scotland plc.

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Publication

Regulatory update - February 2020

13 February 2020

Welcome to the February 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

FRC - The Final Curtain Call

Published on 13 February 2020. By Rachael Healey, Partner

The FRC has released its draft budget plan and budget for 2020/21.

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Press and Media

Coronavirus

13 February 2020

Businesses and their insurers will be monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak with increasing concern. As the Chinese government switches to crisis mode and the UK government warns that the country is unlikely to escape a "rapidly developing" global outbreak, what are the risks for industry and their insurers?

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Blog

Charnley - Tribunal puts HMRC out to pasture in allowing business and agricultural relief

Published on 12 February 2020. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In W Charnley and M Hodgkinson as executors of the estate of Thomas Gill (deceased) v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0650 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) confirmed that inheritance tax agricultural property relief (APR) and business property relief (BPR) was available in relation to Mr Gill's estate.

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Blog

Nederlands Uitgeversverbond v Tom Kabinet Internet – a CJEU guide on how to play it by the book

Published on 11 February 2020. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Esme O'Hagen, Associate

Tom Kabinet (the Defendant) is a Dutch company which sells used e-books online (the Books). The Books are purchased by the Defendant, either from individuals or official distributors, and are then re-sold for a lower price to customers who are registered on the Defendant's website as members of a "reading club".

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Publication

The march of the machines?

Published on 10 February 2020. By Leigh Williams, Partner and William Jones, Senior Associate

You may have seen the piece by the BBC a couple of weeks ago about Artificial Intelligence entering into a “winter”, following its “summer” of the last decade). In short, there appears to be a growing consensus that AI has been over-hyped particularly by those selling it.

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Blog

UK formally leaves EU - practical matters you ought to be thinking about now

07 February 2020

The UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. This is not the end, or the beginning of the end, it is the end of the beginning. The much more important future relationship needs to be determined. There is a hiatus until 31 December 2020 when nothing changes with regard to free trade and movement of people between the UK and the EU.

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Publication

General liability newsletter - January 2020

06 February 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of our general liability newsletter, rounding up the key cases from January 2020. This month we look at recent cases involving; claims for court fees, late applications to vacate trial, part 36 settlements & litigation privilege.

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Publication

Tax update - February 2020

06 February 2020

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s Venture Capital Schemes Manual; (2) the review into the off-payroll working rules; and (3) a briefing paper regarding retrospective taxation put before the House of Commons. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the meaning of “structure” for the purposes of capital allowances; (2) an HMRC challenge to carry-back loss relief claims; and (3) principal private residence relief.

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Blog

Online resale price maintenance practices attract highest fines yet from the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

The CMA announced on 22 January 2020 that it has fined Fender, the guitar manufacturer, £4.5 million for illegal resale price maintenance practices ("RPM").

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Blog

Another successful round for the CMA

Published on 05 February 2020. By Lambros Kilaniotis, Partner and Melanie Musgrave, Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal confirms that an absolute online sales ban imposed by a supplier on its authorised retailers is illegal.

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Blog

Devon Waste Management – Waste firms win appeal in landfill 'fluff' case

Published on 05 February 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Devon Waste Management Ltd and Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 1 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the disposal of certain waste materials did not attract a charge to landfill tax.

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Blog

Patch Test: Is your GP watching Love Island?

Published on 04 February 2020. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

The reality TV phenomenon Love Island returned to viewer's screens on 20 January 2020, opening to an audience of 4.8 million. One contestant's open display of contraceptive choice has caught the attention of viewers and, hopefully, some GPs.

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Video

Can a super regulator save the High Street?

04 February 2020

Henry Priestley introduces 'The Future of Retail' - a joint publication with Raconteur and The Times, published on 17 December 2019, where Partner Jeremy Drew discusses the need for a super regulator to help rescue the High Street.

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Blog

Between a rock and a card place - the changing nature of professional introductions

Published on 04 February 2020. By Matt Davies, Trainee Solicitor

To what extent is the humble business card being affected by changes in how professional introductions are made? With details of our professional lives now often available online, there are fewer opportunities to introduce ourselves through our business cards

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Podcast

The Future at Lloyd's Blueprint One

04 February 2020

Welcome to Insurance Covered! The podcast that looks at the inner workings of the insurance industry with the help of expert guests! For our maiden episode we look at 'The Future at Lloyd's Blueprint One' with a particular focus on the plans to revolutionize the claims process.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy #1 - Solar power

Published on 03 February 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

Solar power is produced by the absorbing of the sun's rays by solar panels. The photovoltaic (pv) cells contained within the panels convert sunlight into electricity, which (after conversion into an alternating current) can then be exported to the grid or used to power the sites on which the panels are situated. This all sounds simple enough, but solar pv arrays can present some challenges from a design and construct perspective.

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Blog

Building on renewable energy

Published on 03 February 2020. By Adrian Hurlock, Associate

2019 was potentially a significant year for the renewable energy industry. Record temperatures and environmental catastrophes highlighted the need to reduce carbon emissions and make greater use of sources of renewable energy, and political parties championing green policies saw – for the most part – their share of the vote increase both domestically and internationally.

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Press and Media

RPC advises on purchase of Unika Group

03 February 2020

RPC has advised US-based IPS Corporation on its purchase of Unika Group, a leading UK manufacturer of kitchen and flooring products and sealants.

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Press and Media

Disputes over trade marks hit record high of 3,600 – up 21% last year

Published on 03 February 2020. By Daniel Kulcsar, PR & Communications Manager

The number of challenges to trade mark applications hit a record high of 3,611 last year*, a rise of 21% from the 2,983 filed in the previous year, says City-headquartered law firm, RPC.

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Blog

Bitcoin is 'property' and can therefore be subject of proprietary injunction

Published on 03 February 2020. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Senior Associate

Following recent case law on the matter, the High Court has found that bitcoin can be 'property' and can therefore be the subject of a proprietary injunction.(1) In reaching its conclusion, the court adopted the detailed analysis of the issue set out in the UK Jurisdictional Task Force's November 2019 Legal Statement on Crypto-Assets and Smart Contracts, thereby providing a far more detailed judicial basis for the finding than found in previous cases. The bitcoins at the heart of this case were part of a ransom payment paid to a hacker who installed malware on a company's IT systems.

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Publication

RPC represents party in key case for establishing the governing law of arbitration agreements.

31 January 2020

In the recent case of Kabab-Ji S.A.L v Kout Food Group, RPC and Ricky Diwan QC (Essex Court) represented Kout Food Group before the Court of Appeal. In an important judgment, the Court established that on the proper construction of the relevant contract there was an express choice of English law governing the arbitration agreement despite that agreement providing for any arbitration to be seated in Paris.

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Blog

Vegans: a new protected group?

Published on 31 January 2020. By Joanna Holford, Senior Associate and Kelly Thomson, Legal Director

Retailers would be forgiven for thinking that 2020's Veganuary coincided with a new law protecting all those who participate. Much of the press coverage of a recent employment tribunal case appeared to suggest just that. The true picture is a little more nuanced. Munch on that kale while we fill you in...

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Blog

High Court grants proprietary injunction over Bitcoin cyber ransom payment to a third party

Published on 31 January 2020. By Bethan Griffiths, Associate

Instances of Ransomware are becoming increasingly common. We regularly deal with these types of cases and are seeing an escalation in both the sophistication of the attacks and the ransom demands being made.

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Blog

Breaking news - dominant purpose test extends to legal advice privilege

Published on 31 January 2020. By Davina Given, Partner and Joe Cresswell, Associate and Preetkiran Dhoot, Trainee

The Court of Appeal has held that legal advice privilege will apply to communications only if seeking or giving legal advice is their dominant purpose.

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Press and Media

RPC advises Kudan on investment in tech company Artisense

31 January 2020

RPC has advised Kudan Inc. on its highly complicated multi-jurisdictional investment and eventual acquisition of Artisense Corporation, a leading tech company specialising in artificial intelligence, founded in 2016 and headquartered in California with its main business based in Germany. Kudan now holds a 12% shareholding, to be followed in several stages by the purchase of the remaining shares.

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Blog

Witness evidence reform - evolution not revolution?

Published on 31 January 2020. By Simon Hart, Partner and Emma West, Associate

The Witness Evidence Working Group's recommendations for witness evidence reform focus on the more consistent enforcement of existing rules with some limited new measures.

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Blog

First UK Court decision applying Cofemel

Published on 30 January 2020. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Alessandro Cerri, Associate

The IPEC has issued its first ruling following the CJEU's decision in Cofemel, finding that "complete conformity" with EU law would exclude any requirement of aesthetic appeal.

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Publication

VAT update - January 2020

30 January 2020

In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the rules relating to distance selling; (2) changes to VAT for intra-EU chain transactions and zero rated goods; and (3) HMRC’s guidance on proposed changes to the VAT treatment of call-off stock arrangements. We also comment on three recent cases which consider (1) whether VAT zero rating is available for electronic editions of newspapers; (2) the scope and meaning of “services of consultants”, for the purposes of Article 59(c), Principal VAT Directive; and (3) the deductibility of input tax on fees incurred in implementing a tax scheme.

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Blog

Cyber_Bytes - Issue 6 2020

Published on 29 January 2020. 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 first month of 2020.

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Blog

CJEU hands down decision in Sky v SkyKick case

Published on 29 January 2020. By Ben Mark, Partner and Samuel Coppard, Associate

This morning, the CJEU handed down its judgment for the much anticipated Sky v SkyKick case – certainly one of the most important trade mark referrals from the High Court over the past few years.

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Blog

Loot Boxes: what's in the box?

Published on 29 January 2020. By Jonathan Greenway, Associate and Josh Tonks, Paralegal

On 12 September 2019 the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) released its report into what it calls "immersive and addictive technologies".

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Blog

Lloyd-Webber – capital gains losses allowed over properties which were never completed

Published on 29 January 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Lloyd-Webber and another v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 717 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a payment made under a contract for the acquisition of land was for the acquisition of contractual rights, rather than for the land, giving rise to an allowable loss on termination of the contract.

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Blog

Bossing the rules: lowering the standard?

Published on 27 January 2020. By Michelle Dean, Senior Associate and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

Solicitors everywhere will be concerned at the recent move of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, alongside the recent SRA Standards and Regulations reforms, to alter the standard of proof to be applied in disciplinary proceedings. This article looks at the background to the Tribunal's recent decision, the reasons for the change, and the concerns around it.

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Blog

Full and frank disclosure means more than just putting relevant matters in evidence – a new year warning in UKIP v Braine & Others

Published on 24 January 2020. By Geraldine Elliott, Partner and Christina Moran, Associate

New year, new reminder of the obligation to make full and frank disclosure in without notice applications, this time in the context of a falling out within the UKIP party. The obligation can only be satisfied by drawing the court's attention to legal or factual matters which could undermine the applicant's own application; it is not enough to simply put relevant matters in evidence before the court (UKIP v Braine & Others). Injunction, confidential, publication and non-disclosure.

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Blog

Disciplinary investigations against architects #2 - Complaints to the ARB

Published on 23 January 2020. By Sarah O'Callaghan, Associate and Emma Wherry, Associate

Further to our previous article which provided an overview of the Architect Registration Board's disciplinary process, we explain the first stage of a disciplinary investigation against an Architect, the complaint stage.

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Press and Media

Banking litigation in 2020 – what to look out for

23 January 2020

The growing use of class actions and the replacement of LIBOR are expected to be key issues to look out for in banking litigation in 2020, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

SSE Generation – UT considers the meaning of structure for the purposes of capital allowances

Published on 22 January 2020. By Rebekka Sandwell, Associate

In HMRC v SSE Generation Ltd [2019] UKUT 332 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) dismissed HMRC's appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that the taxpayer was eligible for capital allowances in relation to certain expenditure it incurred in connection with the construction of the Glendoe Hydro Electric Power Scheme.

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Snapshot

ASA issues guidance on how to deliver a compliant marketing subscription box

21 January 2020

How careful do you need to be when offering a free trial? What does a free trial “subscription trap” look like? And how do you avoid setting one?

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Snapshot

ASA ruling on Dyson

21 January 2020

How careful do you need to be when making factually correct claims in a context which might change their meaning?

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