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Clark v In Focus appeal – watch this space

18 April 2013

In Focus has now been granted permission to appeal against the decision of the High Court in Clark v In Focus.

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Size does matter – risk of potential claims against estate agents

Published on 17 April 2013. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

A recent Financial Times article has highlighted a potential risk area for estate agents.

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Blog

Property Rental Business Transfers and Leases – Reclaiming VAT and SDLT

Published on 17 April 2013. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

Last November, following the decision in the case of Robinson Family Limited, HMRC announced that a transfer of a property rental business can qualify as a "transfer of a going concern" (TOGC) – and therefore not attract VAT – even if the transferor retains a reversionary interest in the property.

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Blog

Tax tribunal finds in favour of trustee

Published on 12 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The recent case of The Trustee of the De Britton Settlement v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 106 (TC), illustrates the importance of evidence and proper preparation in tax appeals before the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT').

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Blog

Court of Appeal's opinion on good faith clauses

Published on 11 April 2013.

In our February blog we reported on Compass Group UK and Ireland Ltd (trading as Medirest) v Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust [2012] EWHC 781 (QB) and the implications of the decision on the duty to act in good faith.

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Blog

Court of Appeal gives judgment on the potential liability of solicitors for a non-party costs order

Published on 11 April 2013. By Simy Khanna, Senior Associate

In two joined cases , the Court of Appeal considered the potential liability of solicitors for a non-party costs order, if they fund disbursements.

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Blog

Financier granted permanent anonymity in defamation proceedings

11 April 2013

Proceedings have finally drawn to a close in the case of ZAM v CFW & TFW, which involved a financier who claimed to have been libelled by his sister-in-law (the first defendant) and her husband (the second defendant).

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Blog

NEWS: Scullion appeal to Supreme Court withdrawn – no duty of care owed by mortgage valuer to BTL investors – relief for valuers and their insurers

10 April 2013

The appeal by buy-to-let (BTL) investor Mr Scullion – due for hearing at the Supreme Court today – was withdrawn on confidential terms this morning.

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Blog

Defence to Harassment actions reformulated

Published on 10 April 2013. By Oliver Murphy, Associate

The Supreme Court has handed down a judgment in Hayes v Willoughby1 that redefines the scope of the most commonly used defence to claims of harassment.

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Blog

Can schools take pupils' fingerprints?

Published on 09 April 2013. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Times reported last week that parents at an independent school in north London had protested when fingerprints were allegedly taken from pupils without consent with a view to the fingerprints being used for the automated lunch payment system.

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Blog

Dawn raids: regulatory inspections of your IT equipment and storage media

08 April 2013

The European Commission has recently affirmed its current practices for searching IT equipment and storage media during a 'dawn raid' inspection of business premises where it suspects a breach of EU competition law.

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Blog

The official line – how Judges are being instructed to implement Jackson costs reforms

08 April 2013

A recent speech at the Judicial College by the Master of the Rolls (Lord Dyson) shows precisely how Judges are being instructed to implement two key aspects of the Jackson costs reforms:

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Blog

High Court finds that "History" can be repeated

08 April 2013

A highly anticipated High Court decision was handed down 1 February 2013 dismissing claims for trade mark infringement and passing off brought by A & E Television Networks LLC and its UK subsidiary AETN against Discovery Communications Europe Ltd.

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Blog

Follow landmark valuers 'duty of care' hearing (Scullion) live next week

05 April 2013

In 2011 the Appeal Court decided unanimously that the valuer's duty of care, when reporting to its lender client, should not extend to cover a buy-to-let investor (as distinct from a residential purchaser):

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Blog

UK/EU conflict over the 'right to be forgotten'

Published on 05 April 2013. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Guardian is reporting today that Britain wants to opt out of the 'right to be forgotten', the term applied to article 17 of the Data Protection Regulation which is intended to facilitate the deletion of personal data on request whether or not the data is incomplete or incorrect.

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Blog

LIBOR manipulation claim stumbles

Published on 05 April 2013. By Chris Ross, Partner

In Deutsche Bank AG v Unitech Global Limited 2013 EWHC 471 (Comm) Cooke J refused permission for the defendants to amend their defence and counterclaim to refer to misrepresentations relating to the alleged manipulation of LIBOR by Deutsche Bank, on the basis that the amended claims had no reasonable prospect of success.

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Blog

Easter thoughts and transfer pricing

Published on 04 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Easter is a good time for reflection and balanced thinking and never have these qualities been so necessary as in the contentious area of tax, particularly where multinationals and the large corporates are concerned.

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Blog

Do we really value our privacy?

Published on 03 April 2013. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

How much do we really care about our personal privacy? Research suggests less than we might like to think.

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Blog

High Court reaffirms no copyright protection for computer program functionality

Published on 30 March 2013. By David Cran, Partner and Ben Mark, Legal Director

In what should be the final instalment in a long-running case, on January 25 2013 a decision was issued in SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd[i] following the referral back to the High Court from the European Court of Justice (ECJ)

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Blog

Excluding liability (and avoiding judicial red ink)

28 March 2013

Exclusion clauses – by which a party excludes or restricts a liability or duty that would otherwise arise – are common 'boilerplate' provisions in commercial agreements.

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Blog

The trigger for liability coverage - actual liability or reasonable settlement?

26 March 2013

On 28 February 2013 judgment was delivered in the case of AstraZeneca Insurance Company Limited v XL Insurance (Bermuda) Limited and ACE Bermuda Insurance Limited [2013] EWHC 349.

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Blog

Supreme Court clarifies what constitutes 'making' a patented product

Published on 25 March 2013. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Louise Morgan, Senior Associate

On 13 March 2013 the Supreme Court issued its weighty decision in the long-running case of Schütz v Werit([2013] UKSC 16).

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Blog

Reliance on misleading information or guidance from HMRC can constitute a 'reasonable excuse'

Published on 22 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In recent years, with the difficulties that many taxpayers have experienced in the current economic climate, the issue of 'time to pay' agreements with HMRC has become of greater concern.

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Blog

Costs overruns in Target Costs contracts

22 March 2013

Who is liable for costs overruns in a Target Cost contract, and to what extent? AMEC Group recently went to the TCC to appeal against an arbitration decision which found the Secretary of State for Defence ("the Authority") would only be liable for actual costs which were reasonably and properly incurred.

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Blog

NPPF – 1 year on: smooth transition or wasted opportunity?

21 March 2013

Given that over 50% of Britain's local councils are still to adopt Local Plans, is the window of opportunity for local residents to take control of development in their local area about to close?

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Blog

First-tier Tribunal considers whether a single supply may be taxed at two VAT rates

Published on 15 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

When a taxpayer makes a supply of goods or services, it is not always clear cut whether there is more than one supply, or a single composite supply for VAT purposes.

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Blog

New Kids on the Block : alternative funders in the real estate lending market

15 March 2013

Over the last couple of years, there has been a surge in real estate lending by non-bank lenders as traditional banks started withdrawing from the market.

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Blog

Robust judicial case management in action

15 March 2013

In a Judgment handed down on 14 March 2013, the Court has sent a powerful message to all parties, and to their solicitors, about the immediate and painful financial consequences of 'manoeuvring' and seeking to frustrate effective judicial case management.

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Blog

What are the potential risks associated with BIM?

Published on 14 March 2013.

This is the second of three blogs about Building Information Models, or BIM. This blog will consider the potential risks associated with BIM, but don't worry we provide some practical advice on how these risks can be tackled in our final BIM blog.

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Blog

LSB request rejected: SRA confirm no review into separate business rule

Published on 14 March 2013. By Katherine Roberts, Senior Associate

The Solicitors Regulation Authority ("SRA") have rejected the Legal Services Board ("LSB") request that they conduct a review of the separate business rule ("SBR"), as it is not in the public interest to do so and the necessary resources are not available.

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Blog

No Fishing!

11 March 2013

A recent High Court decision has reminded Claimants that pre-action disclosure applications cannot be used as fishing expeditions to form or strengthen any unsubstantiated claims.

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Blog

ECJ ruling in Grattan plc v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2012] All ER (D) 246 (Dec)

08 March 2013

The Court of Justice of the European ('ECJ') has recently confirmed the opinion of the Advocate General in Grattan Plc v HMRC.

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Blog

Successful lawsuit against bank in Singapore but appeal due

08 March 2013

In Deutsche Bank AG v Chang [2012] SGHC 248, the Singapore High Court has upheld a retail investor's claim that the bank owed a pre-contractual duty of care to advise him as to (among other things) the preservation of his new wealth, despite contractual disclaimer and estoppel points arising out of a subsequently signed service agreement with the bank.

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Blog

New Sanctions Guidance For Accountants and Actuaries' Investigations

08 March 2013

The Financial Reporting Council ("FRC") has published its first Sanctions Guidance for individuals and member firms under investigation.

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Blog

The rush for ATE – and the risk of claims arising

Published on 06 March 2013. By Victoria Paxton, Associate

After-the-event insurance premiums have been a plague to surveyors, who have borne the brunt of claims arising from the property crash.

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Blog

Tribunal finds for the taxpayer and concludes that a trade was being carried on

Published on 27 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Albermale 4 LLP v HMRC,1 the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') was called upon to consider the difficult question of the meaning of 'trade' for the purpose of section 262 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 ('ITTOIA 2005').

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Blog

Good Faith Clauses

Published on 26 February 2013. By Alex Badel, Senior Associate

There is no general doctrine of good faith in English law and it is not therefore implied into contracts.

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Blog

Late expectations – taxpayers succeed in their application to appeal out of time

20 February 2013

The 30 day time limit, contained in section 31A Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA 1970'), for giving notice of appeal against an amendment of a self-assessment contained in a closure notice is well known to tax practitioners

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Blog

Rights to Light Reform: Law Commission Consultation

20 February 2013

On 18 February 2013 the Law Commission announced that it was beginning a consultation process regarding possible changes to the law governing "rights to light".

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Blog

Flood risk insurability – are you exposed?

20 February 2013

On 1 July 2013, barring unexpected developments, flood risk insurance for residential property will move to the open market leaving an estimated 200,000 properties exposed to the possibility of severe capital value reductions.

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Blog

Final curtain call

Published on 19 February 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

On 14 February 2013 the Court of Appeal in Miller v Sutton [2013] EWCA Civ brought to an end a long running campaign by Mr Miller against his former solicitor in relation to his failed business selling Jimi Hendrix CDs.

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Blog

JCT Insurance Options: what's the right fit for fit-out?

18 February 2013

Where a tenant is fitting out premises within a multi-occupied building, the JCT's standard insurance options are not always appropriate and, left unaddressed, place unintended and severe risks on the tenant.

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Blog

Substantively procedural: Delineating boundaries in cross-border litigation

14 February 2013

In a recent decision, the High Court has ruled that the manner in which expert evidence should be given is to be determined by reference to the procedural law of the forum and not the applicable, substantive law governing the dispute.1

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Blog

Take care of your letterhead ...

Published on 14 February 2013. By Sally Lord, Associate

In UCB Home Loans Corporation Ltd v Soni & Co the Court of Appeal has found that a partner in a solicitor's firm was not liable under the S14 Partnership Act 1980 for fraudulent representations made by another partner to a mortgage lender.

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Blog

Lenders' contributory negligence - a blunted blade?

11 February 2013

Notwithstanding the growing impact of limitation defences, many UK lenders' portfolios remain exposed.

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Blog

Clarification of solicitors' breach of trust claims in a re-mortgage situation

Published on 11 February 2013. By Jonathan Wyles, Legal Director

The Court of Appeal on 8 February 2013 in AIB Group (UK) plc v Mark Redler & Co [2013] EWCA Civ 45 has provided further clarification of the necessary ingredients to establish breach of trust by solicitors in a lender's claim.

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Blog

The Prudential decision – implications for taxpayers

Published on 08 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Supreme Court has refused to extend legal advice privilege ('LAP') to legal advice given by professionals who are not lawyers.

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Blog

Going viral: Supreme Court on YouTube

06 February 2013

It has now been two weeks since the launch of the UK Supreme Court's YouTube channel.[1]

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Blog

Security Trustee – fiduciary or mortgagee?

Published on 06 February 2013. By Adam Forster, Senior Associate

The High Court has recently given judgment in a case* relating to the duties owed by a security trustee to mezzanine lenders, in circumstances where the security trustee is enforcing security on behalf of senior lenders.

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Blog

Engineer held liable for losses caused by the fall in property values

Published on 06 February 2013. By Alexandra Anderson, Partner

An engineer may be liable to his client for losses caused by a fall in property values. So held the Court of Appeal in the case of John Grimes Partnership Ltd v Gubbins.

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