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Interflora v Marks and Spencer

Published on 31 May 2013. By Paul Joseph, Partner

Following years of legal wrangling between Interflora and Marks and Spencer (M&S) in respect of keyword advertising, on 21 May 2013, the High Court handed down a substantial 99 page judgment, ultimately, in favour of Interflora as trademark owner.

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CPR3.9 Refusal of relief from sanction - solicitors negligence claim now pending

Published on 31 May 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

In Venulum Property Investments Ltd v Space Architecture Ltd & Ors, an application was made for permission to extend time for service of the Particulars of Claim as a result of the Claimant's solicitors misreading the relevant rule and failing to serve the Particulars within time.

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Blog

Inadequate deliberation or a case of mistake?

30 May 2013

The so-called rule in Hastings-Bass1, which permits trustees to assert and rely on the errors of themselves or their advisors to undo actions which have unexpected tax consequences...

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Blog

Interest Rate Hedging Products Mis-selling Update

Published on 30 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

(The following article by Simon Greenley/James Wickes was first published in Insurance Day (www.insuranceday.com) on 30 May 2013).

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Blog

Copyright: Supreme Court Considers "Browsing Defence"

28 May 2013

The Supreme Court has handed down its long awaited decision in the Meltwater case which addresses important questions about the application of copyright law to internet browsing.

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Blog

Blog editor promoted to Partnership

24 May 2013

I am pleased to announce that Robbie Constance has been promoted to Partner, adding further depth and breadth to our Regulatory Group.

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Blog

Keeping one's (written) word

24 May 2013

The Court of Appeal has recently applied some judicial brakes on the movement towards contextual, business common sensical, interpretations of commercial agreements.

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Regulator's pursuit of market misconduct in Hong Kong – Top court delivers written judgment

Published on 23 May 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

As noted in my blog of 30 April, the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong ("the CFA") abruptly dismissed the appeal in Tiger Asia Management LLC & Ors v Securities and Futures Commission ("the SFC"), FACV Nos. 10, 11, 12 and 13 of 2012.

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Blog

Outsourcing Health & Safety – a step too far?

22 May 2013

Michael Scott & Danielle Lodge question the wisdom of outsourcing health and safety responsibilities

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Blog

Tax tribunal criticises HMRC's guidance in Catherine Rawcliffe v HMRC

22 May 2013

This case1 is of interest not so much for the underlying legal issue which was determined but rather for the unusually strong criticism from the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') of HMRC's published guidance on approved company securities option plans.

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Blog

No basis for murderer's anonymity and an alert from the bench

Published on 22 May 2013. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Four media groups[1] have successfully challenged an anonymity order and related reporting restrictions made in the course of judicial review proceedings brought by the notorious murderer, David McGreavy.

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Blog

Adjudicator's Fees

20 May 2013

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an Adjudicator is not entitled to any of his fees in circumstances where his decision is unenforceable.

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Blog

No breach of privacy in publication of information that child's father is a prominent politician

Published on 20 May 2013. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judgment that disclosures in the Daily Mail about a child's paternity did not infringe the child's rights of privacy.

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Blog

Goldman Sachs – the plot thickens!

Published on 15 May 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Readers of our blog will be familiar with the controversy surrounding the now retired Dave Hartnett, former Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC (see postings of 19 December 2011 and 21 December 2011).

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Blog

Unravelling Transactions – The Party's Over

Published on 13 May 2013. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's decision in Futter v Futter and Pitt v Holt as to the scope of the rule In re Hastings-Bass, but has overturned the Court of Appeal's decision on the application of mistake in Pitt.

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Blog

China Arbitration Update - a local (international) difficulty

10 May 2013

The on-going dispute between, on the one hand, CIETAC and, on the other, SHIAC (the new Shanghai International Arbitration Center1) and SCIA (the new Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration), unfortunately, shows no sign of abating for now.

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Blog

FCA launches thematic probe into 'transition management' in asset management sector

Published on 09 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

It has been reported in the FT overnight that the FCA is swooping on the London offices of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers in a new probe aimed at a widespread (and lucrative) business known as "transition management".

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Blog

"Transition management" – possible notifications from FCA investigations

Published on 09 May 2013. By James Wickes, Partner

It has been reported in the FT overnight that the FCA is swooping on the London offices of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers in a new probe aimed at a widespread (and reportedly lucrative) type of business known in the industry as "transition management".

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Blog

Termination payments: don't forget the breakdown

Published on 08 May 2013. By Dan Wyatt, Senior Associate

In an encouraging win for taxpayers, the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') in Johnson v HMRC[1] allowed an appeal relating to a termination payment under a compromise agreement.

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Blog

Causation Basics: The breach must cause the loss

Published on 07 May 2013. By Sally Lord, Senior Associate

In the recent case of Clack v Wrigley Solicitors LLP, the Courts have reaffirmed the principles set down in SAAMCO and Nykredit; liability for loss is limited to the loss attributable to the misconduct.

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Blog

Even Consumers Can Forfeit Their Rights For Breach of Policy Conditions

Published on 03 May 2013. By Ben Gold, Legal Director

The judgment of Teare J in Parker v National Farmers Mutual [2012] EWHC 2156 (Comm) is worthy of note on a number of fronts, but particularly with regard to the judge's application of ICOBS 8.1, under which an insurer cannot unreasonably reject a consumer policyholder's claim.

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Blog

Tribunal allows VAT appeal and accepts that letter was sent to HMRC

Published on 01 May 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Exeter Estates Ltd v HMRC[1] against a decision of HMRC that it had opted to tax all the land and buildings on one of its sites.

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Blog

Prosecuting "insider dealing" in Hong Kong

Published on 30 April 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

Hong Kong's top court expected to confirm there is a "third way"

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Blog

Cut off the head but beware that the sub-licence may not die

Published on 29 April 2013. By Paul Joseph, Partner and Henry Priestley, Senior Associate

In the recent High Court decision VLM Holdings Limited v Ravensworth Digital Services Limited [1] Mann J has ruled that a sub-licence is capable of surviving termination of its head licence in certain (albeit, fact-specific) circumstances.

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Blog

Tribunal rejects purposive interpretation and allows taxpayer's appeal

26 April 2013

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has held in Fidex Ltd v HMRC,1 that a loan relationship debit should not be disallowed under paragraph 13, Schedule 9, Finance Act 1996 ('Paragraph 13'),2 even though one of the main purposes of entering into the arrangement was tax avoidance.

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Blog

An ATE policy can be sufficient security

Published on 26 April 2013. By Rebecca Birkby, Senior Associate

In Geophysical Service Centre Company Ltd v Dowell Schlumberger (Middle East) Inc, the claimant was successful in defending a security for costs application on the basis that, ...

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Blog

Professional indemnity insurers urged to robustly defend growing number of cases

Published on 26 April 2013. By Robert Morris, Partner

There has been a spate of professional negligence claims lodged against the promoters of tax avoidance schemes following a clampdown on these schemes by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), as we have recently noted in the Financial Times.

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Blog

SDLT mitigation arrangement fails before the Tax Tribunal

Published on 22 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has dismissed the taxpayer's appeal in Edward Allchin v HMRC.[1]

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Blog

US Auditor Scandal Intensifies Calls for Tougher Regulation

22 April 2013

The recent revelation that a partner in KPMG leaked insider information in exchange for cash and gifts may intensify calls for a shake-up in the regulation of auditors, especially in the US.

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Blog

Rise of accountancy profession in China

Published on 22 April 2013. By David Smyth, Senior Consultant

The accountancy profession is on the rise in China.

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Blog

Individual investors who "speculate" having a tough time in court

19 April 2013

In my "blog" of 8 March 2013, I refer to a couple of cases in which individual claimants have successfully sued a bank, basically in negligence for failing preserve their wealth; for example, Deutsche Bank AG v Chang [2012] SGHC 248 (subject to appeal) and Rubenstein v HSBC Bank Plc [2012] EWCA Civ 1184 (an appeal court judgment).

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Blog

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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Blog

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

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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High Court reaffirms no copyright protection for computer program functionality

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

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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