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Blog

Game theory and the art of litigation strategy - Article 4

Published on 02 April 2019. By Christopher Whitehouse, Associate and Simon Hart, Partner

Escaping the Hobbesian Trap – the impact of aggression in litigation settlement strategy

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Blog

Gardner Shaw – directions subject to a pending appeal should not have been varied

Published on 01 April 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

In Gardner Shaw UK Ltd and others v HMRC [2018] UKUT 419 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) should not have varied directions which the FTT had previously issued, when they had been the subject of an unsuccessful appeal to the UT and when an appeal to the Court of Appeal was pending.

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Publication

Tax update - April 2019

01 April 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s guidance on self-reporting failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion; (2) HMRC’s consultation on secondary preferential creditor status on insolvency of a business; and (3) a Parliamentary Select Committee’s call for a public register of beneficial ownership in each British Overseas Territory. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) the concept of “staleness” in discovery assessment appeals; (2) a failed DOTAS application brought by HMRC; and (3) the extra-territorial reach of HMRC information notices.

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Blog

The essential ingredients

Published on 29 March 2019. By James Miller, Managing Partner

Vision, purpose, focus. In my experience as a Managing Partner, these are essential ingredients for high performance organisations; essential ingredients for high performance teams; and essential ingredients for high performance individuals.

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Publication

VAT update March 2019

26 March 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) HMRC’s updated guidance on claiming exemption from Making Tax Digital for VAT; (2) the latest edition of HMRC’s impact assessment for the movement of goods if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and (3) HMRC’s policy change on VAT treatment of personal contract purchases.

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Publication

Audit profession – a year of reflection

25 March 2019

In this legal update we look back at some of the key developments for the audit profession in 2018 and consider what the rest of 2019 may hold for the industry.

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Blog

Praesto - input tax recoverable on fees incurred in defending proceedings against its director

22 March 2019

In Praesto Consulting UK Ltd v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 353, the Court of Appeal has held that a company was entitled to recover input tax on legal fees it incurred in defending civil proceedings brought against its director.

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Publication

Health and safety update March 2019

21 March 2019

Welcome to our March 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

What are the circumstances in which acting in breach of EU sanctions will kill a claim?

Published on 21 March 2019. By Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud and Christopher Whitehouse, Associate

An Iranian oil company was defrauded in a failed attempt to circumvent EU sanctions - does its claim survive the Patel v Mirza illegality test?

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Publication

New corporate criminal offence: Failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

19 March 2019

The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017, introduces new strict liability corporate criminal offences of failure to prevent criminal facilitation of tax evasion. The legislation came into force on 30 September 2017.

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Press and Media

HMRC issues another 1400 demands to accountancy and law firms in relation to clients suspected of tax evasion

18 March 2019

HMRC issued another 1,414 requests to accountants, lawyers and other professional services firms last year* demanding information on clients that it wants to investigate for suspected tax evasion, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

Time to abandon 'fairness'?

Published on 18 March 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In recent years the word 'fair' has become a common feature of HMRC's lexicon. It is often connected with claims by HMRC that a taxpayer is not paying his or her "fair share of tax". It is disseminated with predictable regularity across HMRC press releases, guidance notes and spokesperson's quotes.

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Blog

"Agency" is not always enough to engage the law of bribery and secret commissions

Published on 13 March 2019. By Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate and Jonathan Cary, Partner

The Court of Appeal has held that the payment by a seller of a fee to an acquisition agent without the buyer's knowledge does not render the contract for sale void or voidable. The decision turned on whether there was sufficient trust and confidence in the relationship between the buyer and the acquisition agent. Prince Arthur Ikpechukwu Eze v Conway and another [2019] EWCA Civ 88

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Blog

A Right Royal Deadlock: Can "Crown" use unlock patented drug?

Published on 12 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

Can the Government settle the dispute between NHS and Vertex Pharmaceuticals through "Crown" use of the patented drug, Orkambi.

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Blog

Judge makes alarming comments about validity of standstill agreements in Inheritance Act claims

Published on 12 March 2019. By Aimee Talbot, Associate and Rhian Howell, Partner

In a recent judgment, the High Court has cast doubt on the extent to which the court will recognise standstill agreements in applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependents) Act 1975.

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Blog

A licence to kill... a licence

Published on 11 March 2019. By Tim Anderson, Partner and Jason Varney, Senior Associate

In the second of a number of short articles we are producing in relation to businesses in the tech space, we will be discussing a real life example of what not to do when diligencing a tech company and its third party IP licence agreements.

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Blog

Seeking the "right regulation" of digital services: Lords' Communications Committee articulates its vision

Published on 11 March 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner

In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, told the US Senate Judiciary Committee that the question was no longer whether there should be regulation of the internet, but what is the right regulation.

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Blog

When does delay by HMRC render a discovery assessment invalid?

Published on 07 March 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In the recent case of Clive Beagles v HMRC [2018] UKUT 380 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a delay of nearly two and a half years between (i) HMRC discovering that a taxpayer's self-assessment tax return was insufficient and (ii) HMRC issuing an assessment, was too long. As the discovery had become 'stale' by the time of the assessment, the assessment was invalid.

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Blog

Enforceable oral contracts – Supreme Court looks to conduct and context

Published on 07 March 2019. By Eliot Henderson, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

To avoid expensive litigation, contracting parties should ensure that all essential terms are expressly agreed within a legally binding contract. Where some essential terms are missing, but the parties clearly intend to be bound by and act on their agreement, the court will be keen to find an enforceable agreement. Wells v Devan 2019, UKSC 4.

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Blog

BMW Rides to Victory

Published on 06 March 2019. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Partner

BMW, the well-known manufacturer of cars, motorcycles and engines, secured summary judgment in respect of its claim for trade mark infringement and passing off arising out of the registration of a UK company under the BMW name.

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Blog

Roma wasn't built in a day; how Netflix conquered the Oscars

Published on 05 March 2019. By Charlie Gould, Trainee Solicitor

In 2017, at the Cannes Film Festival, the film 'Okja' was debuted. It was produced by Brad Pitt's production company 'Plan B' and starred Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal. It also featured a giant CGI pig, whose capture and treatment raised issues on animal welfare, and whose - spoiler alert – rescue, made the hairs on the back of one's neck stand up.

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Blog

Law Society introduces new Code for Completion by Post

Published on 04 March 2019. By Tom Toulson, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

Conveyancing practitioners need of course to familiarise themselves with the new Code, in advance of its implementation date of 1 May 2019. Following Dreamvar, the new Code underlines the fact that the burden of detecting fraudulent sellers falls squarely on the sellers' solicitors.

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Blog

Curzon – contractor loan scheme notifiable under DOTAS but scheme administrator not a 'promoter'

Published on 04 March 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In HMRC v Curzon Capital Ltd [2019] UKFTT 0063 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a contractor loan scheme was a notifiable arrangement for the purposes of the disclosure of tax avoidance arrangements (DOTAS) regime, but that the scheme administrator was not a promoter. Accordingly, HMRC's application for an order that the arrangements were notifiable was dismissed.

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Publication

Tax update - March 2019

04 March 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) clarification from HMRC on time limits for discovery assessments into tax returns where the loss of tax is due to avoidance; (2) HMRC’s updated guidance for settling disguised remuneration schemes; and (3) confirmation in Spotlight 48 that taxpayers who have taken out disguised remuneration loans do not need to obtain a deed of release or exclusion of the loan from the lender before HMRC will agree a settlement.

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Publication

Product liability update - February 2019

28 February 2019

A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news, from the Product Safety Marking in the event of a “no deal” Brexit to Social media and product advertising.

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Blog

Organ Donation: The New Law

Published on 28 February 2019. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

An "opt-out" system for organ donation is expected to come into effect in England next year after passing the final parliamentary vote this week

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Publication

VAT Update - February 2019

27 February 2019

In this month’s update we report on (1) changes to the VAT IT system rules and processes if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; (2) EU exit legislation; and (3) revisions to HMRC’s Notice of Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Blog

Who was best dressed at the Oscars?

Published on 27 February 2019. By Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor

Always popular, often outrageous, and unfortunately sometimes sexist; the best and worst dressed lists have been must-have articles for publishers around award season since 1940. But does success or failure on these lists have any impact on the brand of the celebrity, or the designer?

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Publication

Spotlight on private wealth - February 2019

27 February 2019

Welcome to our new look Spotlight. Our quarterly update highlights developments in the private client world – with a focus on disputes and how to avoid them.

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Press and Media

RPC seals strategic alliance with US law firm

26 February 2019

Our insurance practice has entered into a strategic alliance with US firm, Hinshaw & Culbertson. Headquartered in Chicago Illinois, Hinshaw & Culbertson has 21 offices across the United States including in New York, Massachusetts, Florida and California and has a strong insurance sector focus.

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Press and Media

Data breaches reported by financial services firms rise 480% in a year to 145

26 February 2019

The number of data breaches reported by UK financial services firms to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) increased 480% in 2018, to 145 up from just 25 in 2017, shows research from RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Blog

Managing more bribery risk post-Brexit

Published on 25 February 2019. By Sam Tate, Partner

We regularly hosts financial crime related round-tables exploring with interested groups including government and enforcement agencies, clients and NGOs, practical solutions and insights to the most complex and topical issues.

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Blog

Medicinal Cannabis – How far have we really come?

Published on 25 February 2019. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

Cannabis, for medicinal purposes, was legalised nearly four months ago in the UK, but how many patients are actually reaping the benefits, and how far have we really come?

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Blog

Jimenez - Court of Appeal confirms extra-territorial reach of information notices

Published on 25 February 2019. By Heather Rimmer, Associate

In R (oao Jimenez) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 51, the Court of Appeal has held that HMRC can issue an information notice to a taxpayer under paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), even if he is non-resident.

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Press and Media

Recalls of unsafe food jump 40% in a year as concerns rise over allergy deaths

25 February 2019

Recalls of unsafe food products in the UK have jumped by 40% from 145 to 203 in the last year as concerns rise over poorly-labelled foods causing allergy-related deaths, says RPC, the City-headquartered law firm.

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Publication

Customs and excise quarterly update: February 2019

22 February 2019

In this update we report on the effect of a no deal Brexit in relation to (1) customs processes and procedures; (2) binding tariff information; and (3) changes to tax procedures. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) obtaining an injunction when HMRC revoke Authorised Warehousekeeper status; (2) the application of retrospective inward processing authorisation periods; and (3) the seizure of vehicles.

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Blog

High Court on the Pulse with RCDs

Published on 22 February 2019. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

In the fight between two wearable sports-tech giants, PulseOn v Garmin, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the High Court correctly applied the test for infringement of Registered Community Designs and that Garmin's sports watch did not infringe PulseOn's design.

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Blog

Love (or hate) Data?

Published on 21 February 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner and Charles Buckworth, Partner and Jonathan Greenway, Associate

Personal Data and Special Category Personal Data – what has changed? "The course of true love never did run smooth" - Shakespeare, W., A Midsummer Night's Dream The definition of personal data is obviously fundamental to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). When considering data protection, your first question should always be – 'is this data personal data?'

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Blog

FCA issues Final Report in the Wholesale Insurance Broker Market Study

Published on 20 February 2019. By Matthew Griffith, Partner and Jonathan Charwat, Associate

Today, the FCA released its Final Report in its Wholesale Insurance Broker Market Study. The study, which was launched in 2017, considered competition, transparency and conflicts concerns arising from changes in the market, including an increased use of broker facilities.

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Blog

From rehabilitative robotics to automated imaging: educating the workforce for the digital future

Published on 19 February 2019. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

An independent review into the future impact of digital technology identifies a pressing need for specialist training within the healthcare workforce.

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Blog

Is a good arguable case good enough? The Court of Appeal considers the test for establishing jurisdiction

Published on 19 February 2019. By Emma West, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

The test for deciding whether a claimant has a good arguable case is relative following the Court of Appeal's decision in Kaefar v AMS Drilling and others.

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Blog

Smoke and mirrors? Big Tobacco slip(stream)s back into Formula One sponsorship deals

Published on 18 February 2019. By Stuart Harris, Associate

RPC reports on Philip Morris and British American Tobacco securing major partnerships with Ferrari and McLaren, prompting investigations into their compliance with domestic and international advertising laws.

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Blog

When does an Oscar speech become defamatory?

Published on 18 February 2019. By Harry Collins, Trainee Solicitor

In recent years, it has become the norm for presenters and winners alike at the Oscars to use their stage time to make political statements. However, politics at the Oscars has not always been so accepted. We take a look here at the shifting attitude of the Academy towards politically-charged speeches, and whether they may cross the legal line into defamation.

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Blog

Hegarty – HMRC information notices invalid

Published on 15 February 2019. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In Hegarty v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0774 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that HMRC issued invalid information notices under paragraph 1, Schedule 36, Finance Act 2008 (FA 2008), as it did not provide any evidence to support its suspicion that the taxpayers had paid insufficient tax.

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Blog

Part Three: Five practical implications of side letters and most favoured nations clauses for fund investors and managers

Published on 15 February 2019.

In this third and final part of our series on side letters and most favoured nation (MFN) clauses in private equity funds, we examine five practical implications for investors and managers.

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Blog

Latin America insights - Ecuador

14 February 2019

Ecuadorian (re)insurance claims have formed a part of RPC’s Latin American practice for some years.

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Blog

Happy Valentine's Day from RPC: Love (or hate) data?

Published on 14 February 2019. By Nicola Cain, Partner and Charles Buckworth, Partner

So it is that time of year again. Love is in the air - roses, prosecco (if you're lucky, champagne), chocolates (in boxes covered in sickly hearts as though a heart surgeon has gone serial killer – yes, we're big fans of Luther).

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Blog

Supreme Court Refuses to allow a Claim against Lawyers for Loss of a Dishonest Claim

Published on 13 February 2019. By Joe Bryant, Partner and Nick Bird, Partner and Will Sefton, Partner

On 13 February 2019 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in its first decision on loss of chance principles for 14 years (in Perry v Raleys Solicitors [2019] UKSC 5).

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Publication

Corporate tax update Fourth quarter 2018

12 February 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of our Corporate Tax Update, written by members of RPC’s tax team and published quarterly. In this final 2018 edition we highlight some of the key tax developments of interest to UK corporates from the fourth quarter of 2018.

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Blog

Time waits for know-ledge: but what does that mean for limitation?

Published on 12 February 2019. By Davina Given, Partner and Laura Evans, Associate

Keep limitation under review, Section 14A does not extend the limitation period until each and every breach is identified and a claimant cannot postpone the date of 'knowledge' under Section 14A of the Limitation Act by choosing which breach of duty it relies on.

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