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Blog

ESMA cracks down on the sale of binary options and CFDs to retail investors

Published on 29 March 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has announced its intention to prohibit the sale of binary options to retail investors and to place restrictions on the sale of contracts for difference (CFDs). This is the first use of ESMA's new intervention powers under MiFID II.

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Blog

FCA reviews approach to enforcement and penalties

Published on 28 March 2018. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

The FCA has announced plans in its recent consultation paper on enforcement to review how it applies penalties which have gone from record highs to record lows over the past 5 years.

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Blog

Hicks: Discover the limits

Published on 28 March 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Associate

In J Hicks v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 22, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), in allowing the taxpayer's appeal, has held that discovery assessments issued by HMRC were invalid as the condition contained in section 29(5), TMA 1970, was not satisfied.

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Blog

Vicarious liability of data controllers: The Morrisons data breach case

Published on 28 March 2018. By Nicola Cain, Partner

Following the conviction of Andrew Skelton, a former Morrisons employee, after he published Morrisons’ employees’ personal details on a file sharing website, a group of over 5,500 employees of Morrisons took action against the supermarket to recover compensation for breach of a statutory duty under the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’), as well as for breach of confidence and misuse of private information.

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Video

Takeaways from Retail Week Summit 2018

26 March 2018

Find out some of our key takeaways from the Retail Week Summit 2018

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Publication

VAT update March 2018

26 March 2018

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s informal VAT grouping consultation; HMRC’s update on its project to digitise the VAT Retail Export Scheme and HMRC’s new guidance for Fast Parcel Operators.

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Blog

Can the WTO assist British trade post-Brexit?

Published on 26 March 2018. By Max Rossiter, Trainee Solicitor

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been in the press recently perhaps more than it would like, with concerns being raised about whether its rules would be sufficient to maintain British trade in the event of a "hard Brexit". But what is the WTO, and how does it deal with disputes?

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Publication

Health and safety update March 2018

26 March 2018

Welcome to the latest edition of our 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

<連載コラム・欧州M&A最前線>2018年3月

Published on 23 March 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

この原稿を書きながら窓の外を眺め、英国にもようやく春が来たのではないかと期待している。今年はずいぶん待たされた。これほど長く厳しい冬に耐えた後には、きっと暑くて長い夏が来ると思いたい。

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Blog

Using data to bring innovative products to the market … and keep them there

Published on 22 March 2018. By Peter Rudd-Clarke, Legal Director

There are now more and more opportunities to collect and use health data to innovate, improve efficiency and improve care. The same data could prove very useful in responding to the threat of litigation too

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Blog

Taylor Wimpey – Upper Tribunal clarifies the application of the 'builder's block' scheme

Published on 20 March 2018. By Michelle Sloane, Senior Associate

In Taylor Wimpey Plc v HMRC [2018] UKUT 55, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has allowed in part the taxpayer's appeal in relation to its claim to recover input VAT incurred on the provision of certain white goods, kitchen appliances and carpets installed in newly built houses.

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Blog

SFC requires ICO to be withdrawn from Hong Kong public

Published on 20 March 2018. By Jonathan Crompton, Partner and Jessica Wong, Associate

On 19 March 2018 the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that it had halted an initial coin offering (ICO) to the Hong Kong public by Black Cell Technology Limited (Black Cell).

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Publication

Enhancing the cross-border distribution of collective investment funds

Published on 16 March 2018. By William L. Jones, Senior Associate

The European Commission has published a draft Regulation and Directive on the cross-border distribution of investment funds. The aim is to establish a genuine internal capital market by addressing fragmentation and removing regulatory barriers (namely Member States’ marketing requirements, regulatory fees and notification and administrative requirements), which can all prevent the cross-border distribution of investment funds in the European Union.

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Blog

The High Court confirms the availability of Bankers Trust orders to trustee Claimants seeking to recover misappropriated assets

Published on 16 March 2018. By Jonathan Cary, Partner

The decision of the High Court in Miles Smith Broking Limited –v– Barclays Bank PLC has confirmed for the first time the availability of the commonly encountered Bankers Trust order to trustee Claimants of stolen/misappropriated property, highlighting the flexibility of the Court's equitable jurisdiction when presented with new situations. The decision also serves as a neat illustration of the Court's willingness to grant Norwich Pharmacal relief to facilitate the recovery of unlawfully dissipated assets and the types of complimentary interim remedies available to Claimants for that purpose.

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Blog

Litigation privilege: whose privilege?

Published on 15 March 2018. By Davina Given, Partner and Christopher Whitehouse, Associate

The claimants, companies in the corporate group of the mining company MMG, applied to inspect certain documents created in foreign proceedings over which the defendants, companies belonging to the mining company Glencore, asserted litigation privilege.

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Blog

Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions Limited – a win for principals on vicarious liability

Published on 14 March 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal has reinforced the idea that liability will only attach to a principal in cases where a tort committed by an agent can be shown to have been completed as an integral part of the business activities of the principal. Furthermore, all elements composing the tort must take place within the course of the agency. The case thickens the lines defining what conduct of an agent could lead to recovery from the principal.

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Blog

Bawa-Garba case exposes shortcomings in management of medical errors

Published on 14 March 2018. By Ella Shanks, Trainee Solicitor

Urgent government review of medical malpractice underway following conviction of Dr Bawa-Garba and the management of medical mistakes.

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Blog

Frederick & Others v Positive Solutions Limited – a win for principals on vicarious liability

Published on 14 March 2018. By David Allinson, Senior Associate and Lucy Joyce, Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal has reinforced the idea that liability will only attach to a principal in cases where a tort committed by an agent can be shown to have been completed as an integral part of the business activities of the principal. Furthermore, all elements composing the tort must take place within the course of the agency. The case thickens the lines defining what conduct of an agent could lead to recovery from the principal.

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Blog

Towers Watson – Tribunal confirms HMRC cannot raise new matters not covered in a closure notice

Published on 13 March 2018. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

In Towers Watson Limited v HMRC [2017] TC06241, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that HMRC cannot raise new matters which were not covered in the closure notice which it had issued to the appellant company.

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Press and Media

Copyright disputes from sports and music rights holders continue to flood High Court

12 March 2018

Five of the Top 10 High Court claimants are football or music rights holders

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Blog

Put your little stone in the great mosaic

Published on 07 March 2018. By Kelly Thomson, Legal Director

IWD is a day designed to galvanize such desire for change into real, sustainable action by people, by business and by government. And on Thursday 8th March many of us will pause for thought. In our reflections, one question will come up time and time again: what can I actually do to improve gender equality?

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Blog

Could Cannabis be the Cure?

Published on 07 March 2018. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

With the upsetting case of Alfie Dingley dominating news headlines, the UK Government is being asked to reconsider its approach to medicinal cannabis. But what would this mean for manufacturers, healthcare professionals, and, most importantly, potential patients?

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Blog

Sharp v Blank and others [2017] EWHC 3390 (Ch)

Published on 07 March 2018. By Elizabeth Wiggin, Associate and Andy McGregor, Partner

The Court considered the Defendants' application for approval of their revised cost budget on the basis that there had been significant developments in the litigation.

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Blog

The perils of using disclosed documents for a collateral purpose

Published on 07 March 2018. By Victoria Rogers, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

In Grosvenor Chemicals Ltd v UPL Europe Ltd disclosed documents were used by the UPL for a collateral purpose in breach of the Civil Procedure Rules.

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Blog

Goldsmith - late filing penalties cancelled by the Tribunal

Published on 05 March 2018. By Robert Waterson, Legal Director

In David Goldsmith v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0005 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has cancelled late filing penalties issued to the taxpayer as the statutory requirements in section 8(1), Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), had not been satisfied and HMRC did not have the power to require the taxpayer to deliver self-assessment returns.

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Blog

Open Banking: a slow revolution?

Published on 05 March 2018. By Katie Fry-Paul, Trainee Solicitor

The European Commission's Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) was implemented on 13 January 2018, with little fanfare. However, the ideas that PSD2 seeks to promote look set to change the face of banking, both for service providers and for customers. Amongst other requirements, PSD2 obliges banks to allow authorised Account Information Service Providers (AISPs) and Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) access to customer account data, where the customer has given both the bank and the AISP or PISP permission for them to do so.

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Press and Media

Sales at UK’s biggest online retailers jump 23% in a year

05 March 2018

Growth of mobile commerce helping fuel ‘anywhere, anytime’ retailing.

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Blog

Rowe and Vital Nut – Court of Appeal delivers its judgments in APN judicial review challenge

Published on 02 March 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Rowe and Vital Nut, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the claimant taxpayers' appeals in judicial review proceedings challenging the legality of Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) and Partner Payment Notices (PPNs).

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Blog

An aspirin a day…

Published on 02 March 2018. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Discusses research that suggests aspirin can reduce risk of colon cancer in patients with Lynch Syndrome

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Blog

Bank liable for breach of Quincecare duty

Published on 01 March 2018. By Andy McGregor, Partner and Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker), Senior Associate

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that the appellant bank breached the Quincecare duty of care which it owed to its corporate customer by making payments without proper enquiry, in circumstances in which a reasonable banker would have been on notice that the customer's director was perpetrating a fraud.

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Blog

Smashing 'Smash and Grab' – Coulson J delivers significant blow to smash and grab tactic

Published on 01 March 2018. By David Thorne, Partner and Ben Wilkins, Associate

Over recent years a body of case law has developed supporting the principle that in the absence of a valid pay less notice an employer is exposed to a 'smash and grab' adjudications for payment of the sum stated as due in a contractor's interim application even if that application is overstated. On Tuesday this week, in what is likely to be his final judgement before moving to the Court of Appeal, Coulson J delivered welcome clarification on the matter in Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd. Coulson J held that even in the absence of a valid pay less notice it is open to an employer to commence adjudication proceedings for determination of the 'true' value of an interim application potentially blunting the tactical utility of 'smash and grab' adjudications.

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Blog

Enforcement Reporter - SFC sets out its enforcement priorities for 2018

Published on 01 March 2018. By Jonathan Crompton, Partner and Kingsley Krawczyk, Registered Foreign Lawyer

On 26 February 2018 the SFC released the third edition of its new series of the Enforcement Reporter. The communication outlines the SFC's key enforcement priorities for the coming year and highlights significant recent enforcement actions. The Enforcement Reporter follows the general themes of previous editions and is a useful indication to the market of the SFC's key concerns. In particular, tackling corporate fraud remains top of the agenda, with insider dealing, misconduct by intermediaries and sponsors, and money laundering on the SFC's radar.

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Video

Is GDPR a barrier to InsurTech growth?

28 February 2018

Partner Mark Crichard speaks to Instech Club2020 in the run-up to Instech AI 2018.

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Video

Is the insurance market making sufficient progress in innovating?

28 February 2018

Simon Laird speaks to Instech Club 2020 in the run-up to Instech AI 2018

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Publication

Tax update March 2018

27 February 2018

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s recently published guidance on the Serial Tax Avoidance Regime, venture capital schemes and non-domicile reforms.

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Blog

In the Matter of Agrokor DD: Model Laws and PIK toggle loans

Published on 26 February 2018. By Jake Hardy, Legal Director

A recent application made by insolvency practitioner of Agrokor, a major Croatian conglomerate, resulted in recognition in England of a stay of civil proceedings against the group. The purpose of the application was to halt any proceedings in relation to Agrokor's securities and debt obligations containing English law and jurisdiction provisions, pending the restructuring in the Croatian insolvency proceedings of the affairs of the group.

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Blog

欧州M&A最前線 2018年2月

Published on 23 February 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

酷寒の東京と暖かい香港、蒸し暑いシンガポールを出張で回り、大勢のクライアントや関係者を訪ねて帰ってきたところだ。各地とも景況感は良く、フィンテック(金融とITの融合)やインシュアテック、クリーンエナジー技術が投資先として人気を高めている。

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Blog

When will pleading "special circumstances" permit collateral use?

Published on 22 February 2018. By Joe Cresswell, Associate and Geraldine Elliott, Partner

Having taken a strict approach when considering what constituted "collateral use" in Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton UK LLP, the Commercial Court has moved quickly to clarify the test for "special circumstances" in applications for permission to use previously disclosed documents in The Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale SA and others.

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Blog

High Court does not accommodate "Easy" trade mark and passing off claims W3 Ltd v easyGroup Ltd and another [2018] EWHC 7(Ch) 12 January 2018

Published on 22 February 2018. By Jeremy Drew, Partner and Georgia Davis, Legal Director

In a judgment highlighting the inherent risks of litigation, the High Court has dismissed a claim for actionable threats of trade mark infringement against easyGroup Ltd in respect of the use of W3 Ltd's use of "EasyRoommate", as well as dismissing easyGroup's counterclaim claiming passing off and infringement of various trade marks containing the prefix "easy".

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Publication

Wealth and trusts quarterly digest

22 February 2018

Welcome to our latest wealth and trusts digest. Our quarterly digest provides up to date commentary and analysis on key sector developments. It is written by our wealth and trusts teams to assist you and your clients in responding to market trends and legal developments. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss any issues you may have and always welcome feedback on the content of our publications.

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Blog

Changes on the horizon - FCA consults on non-workplace pensions

Published on 22 February 2018. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

The FCA has issued a discussion paper targeted at the non-workplace pension market. The paper marks the start of the FCA's work looking at whether there is harm in the non-workplace pension market and to better understand the potential presence, nature, extent and cause of any harm.

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Blog

Bad news for litigants in person?

Published on 21 February 2018. By Tom Toulson, Associate

When a litigant in person fails to correctly serve a claim form they can expect the courts to take a firm approach, following the Supreme Court's decision in Barton v Wright Hassall

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Blog

Fixed Recoverable Costs: When lawyers come 'cap' in hand

Published on 21 February 2018. By Ella Shanks, Trainee Solicitor

Working group developing a cap on recoverable costs for lawyers in clinical negligence claims

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Publication

VAT update - February 2018

21 February 2018

In this month’s update we report on the EU Commission’s proposals to reduce VAT compliance costs for small businesses, guidance published by HMRC following the Supreme Court’s decision in InvestmentTrust Companies and the latest consultation to implement “making tax digital” for VAT.

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Blog

The Gig Economy: a Pressure Cooker of Problems

Published on 20 February 2018. By Umut Bektas, Trainee Solicitor

What do companies such as Deliveroo, Uber and Handy all have in common? They have all become hugely successful in the era of the gig economy. But what is the gig economy and what problems does the market face in today's society?

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Blog

Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited v Bester Generacion UK Limited: Judicial guidance on the applicability of the HGCRA to a dispute under a power generation contract

Published on 19 February 2018. By Sarah Shafiq, Associate and Dan Preston, Partner

Equitix ESI CHP (Wrexham) Limited (Equitix), a special purpose vehicle, entered into a design and build contract with Bester Generacion UK Limited (Bester) for the construction of the Wrexham Biomass Fired Energy Generating Plant (the Project).

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Blog

Sky judge kicks bad faith questions to the ECJ

Published on 19 February 2018. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Sophie Tuson, Associate

In a significant decision in Sky v Skykick [2018] EWHC 155, Mr Justice Arnold has referred a number of questions to the CJEU on bad faith and the clarity and precision of trade mark specifications. The CJEU's response may have significant implications for trade mark owners – particularly those holding very broad registrations.

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Blog

A game changer for concussion injuries? New study investigating CTE creates a potential headache for defendants and their insurers

Published on 16 February 2018. By James Davies, Senior Associate

A new study shows that repeated hits to the head, not concussions, cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the neurodegenerative disease experienced by American football players, boxers and other athletes.

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Blog

Stadion - CJEU confirms circumstances where different elements of a supply can be taxed at different rates

Published on 16 February 2018. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In Stadion Amsterdam CV v Staatssecretaris van Financiën C-463/16, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has confirmed that, in the absence of specific statutory language to the contrary, a single supply, which includes two individually priced elements, is taxable at the rate of the principle supply.

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Blog

Bilta: litigation privilege attaches to documents created during internal investigation into VAT claim

Published on 16 February 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Bilta (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) and ors v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and another [2017] EWHC 2525 (Ch), the High Court has held that documents prepared by the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (RBS) in the course of an investigation into allegations made by HMRC were protected by litigation privilege.

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