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Women wanted: FRC and ABI want greater diversity on boards

17 October 2011

Just 14 per cent of directors – executive and non-executive – of Britain’s 100 biggest companies are women.

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There is no escape - collecting cross border tax

17 October 2011

On 16 March 2010 the EU introduced Council Directive 2010/24/EU which deals with the mutual assistance across EU member states for the recovery of tax claims.

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Blog

All aboard the causation bandwagon...

14 October 2011

Like the proverbial buses that eventually arrive in pairs, at a time when there has been much controversy about the issue of causation

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UK self-assesses anti-bribery controls as part of UN review

13 October 2011

The UK has now published a self-assessment of its anti-bribery controls as part of a UN review intended to evaluate the UK's compliance with its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption.

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Blog

Fighting the cause for causation...

Published on 07 October 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

In response to my press release about a proposal to do away with the law of causation from the financial services sector (on which Robbie Constance commented in more detail)

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Blog

SRA Handbook - a slim volume of new rules for solicitors?

Published on 07 October 2011. By Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

In 1974 the Law Society published a slim volume entitled "A guide to the professional conduct of solicitors."

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Blog

Personal liability for directors – No escape from the taxman

Published on 07 October 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

One of the criticisms that is often made of the UK's complex insolvency legislation is that it is too easy for the directors of a company to put it into liquidation or administration, 'dump' the company's debts and then effectively start the same business again under the guise of a new company.

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Blog

Which will happen first - the end of the FSA or the introduction of Solvency II?

06 October 2011

The FSA's revised implementation assumption that Solvency II will not come into force for firms until 1 January 2014 is a belated acceptance of delay in the negotiation of the Omnibus Directive and the European legislation which had been known in Brussels for months.

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Blog

The missing link: FSA wants strict liability by disapplying the law of causation

04 October 2011

The FSA has now floated the idea of enshrining in statute what we have long known to be its (and FOS') objection to the law of causation.

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Blog

The Taxman vs. the Treasury Select Committee: round 2

Published on 03 October 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Following his first outing before the House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee in March, and the publication of the Committee's report in July (see my previous post), Dave Hartnett, the Permanent Secretary for Tax, returned on 12 September to answer further questions from MPs.

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Blog

New Injunction Guidance

Published on 29 September 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

We have previously reported on the controversy surrounding the number and effect of privacy injunctions

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Blog

Rio's "role model" image unravels - landslide media victory in privacy case

Published on 29 September 2011.

Serial tweeter Rio Ferdinand has lost his privacy battle against the Sunday Mirror. His privacy row related to a "kiss and tell" story published in the Sunday Mirror last year.

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Blog

When is a penalty unfair?

Published on 23 September 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

A recent tribunal case, Hok Limited v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (TC 1286) has found that HMRC did not act fairly and in good conscience where it had deliberately delayed sending out a penalty for the late filing of an employer's end of year returns until four months after the deadline had expired.

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Blog

A word of 'advice'

22 September 2011

'Advice' is a loaded word. Different interpretations have very significant and distinct regulatory implications:

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Blog

OFT to investigate 'super-complaint' into high costs of currency and using cards overseas

21 September 2011

The OFT this morning confirmed that it has received a 'super complaint' from Consumer Focus, a dedicated consumer body, about the high costs to the consumer of using credit and debit cards overseas and obtaining foreign currency.

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Blog

Time (bar) is of the essence...

19 September 2011

Last Thursday marked the third anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers which may have drawn a line in the sands of time for complaints about the mis-selling of investments before September 2005.

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Blog

HMRC opens its books to mortgage lenders

Published on 16 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Having been first announced in the March 2010 Budget and following a pilot, the mortgage verification scheme, a joint venture between HMRC, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association, was finally launched at the start of the month.

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Blog

CMC trade association should be welcomed, not derided

15 September 2011

A number of CMCs combined last week to launch the Association of Professional Claims Managers (APCM) to "increase the professionalism and levels of service provided by regulated claims management companies".

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Blog

FOS announces plans to publish Ombudsman decisions (in full)

13 September 2011

On Friday, the FOS released a consultation paper on its proposal to publish Ombudsman decisions.

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Blog

SFO turns to tax returns to uncover bribery

12 September 2011

It was reported last week that the SFO will call for companies' tax returns in a bid to uncover (particularly overseas) bribery payments.

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Blog

SFO to request tax records

Published on 12 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The SFO warned last week that companies suspected of paying bribes to win work overseas may be forced to hand over their tax records, in the hope that these may yield evidence of such bribes.

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Blog

First Bribery Act prosecution - an opportunity missed

09 September 2011

The news of the first prosecution under the new Bribery Act will leave commentators and headline writers alike disappointed.

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Blog

Start your engines – OFT launches private motor insurance call for evidence

08 September 2011

The OFT has this morning issued a 'call for evidence' on the UK private motor insurance industry.

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Blog

FOS complaints: you win some; you lose some (or only a few; or almost all)

06 September 2011

Today's latest round of FOS complaints data tells the expected tale of woe about PPI complaints but also shows a remarkable disparity between firms' success rates.

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Blog

Mortgage Verification Scheme to combat mortgage fraud

06 September 2011

HMRC, the CML and the BSA have just launched the Mortgage Verification Scheme aimed at combating mortgage application fraud.

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Blog

Is the tide turning? HMRC lose discovery assessment appeal

Published on 02 September 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Concern has been building for some time amongst taxpayers and their advisers about HMRC's apparently unfettered use of discovery assessments.

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Blog

PPI: The storm before the hurricane?

Published on 31 August 2011. By James Wickes, Partner

Yesterday the FSA announced the levels of redress paid by firms during the first six months of 2011 to consumers who have complained about mis-selling of PPI.

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Blog

One ombudsman, two ombudsmen, three ombudsmen, more?

31 August 2011

In a world where the various ombudsmen are replacing the Courts for the resolution of consumer claims, what happens when two or more respondent firms are covered by the jurisdiction of different ombudsman schemes?

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Blog

Too easy? The UK's recent deal with the Swiss banks

Published on 26 August 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Swiss banking sector contributes 6.7% of the country's gross domestic product, almost 10% of tax revenues and provides the country with 142,000 skilled jobs.

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Blog

Morrison fined by the FSA

25 August 2011

At first sight, headlines about a hefty fine meted out by the FSA on a former director of a supermarket chain may have led people to presume that Sir Ken Morrison had incurred the wrath of the Food Standards Agency rather than the Financial Service Authority.

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Blog

The CASS alarm bells continue to ring

17 August 2011

The FSA's latest pronouncements about CASS make it all the more likely that insurance intermediaries will press for 'risk transfer' in their terms of business agreements with insurers to avoid CASS altogether.

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Blog

Double immunity - the PRA and FCA will remain untouchable

16 August 2011

On reading reports recently about criticism of the FSA's handling of an unauthorised investment scheme which left 800 investors £11.5 million out of pocket

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Blog

"Unacceptable" HMRC under fire from Treasury Select Committee

Published on 16 August 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

The House of Commons' Treasury Select Committee (the "Committee") recently released its report entitled "Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs" (the "Report").

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Blog

Those who live in glass houses... UK's anti-bribery controls to be subject to UN peer review

11 August 2011

Timing is everything. Just as the Bribery Act 2010 beds in, it has been announced that the UK will be subject to peer review under the UN Convention against Corruption.

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Blog

Unravelling trust transactions – the party’s still on in Jersey

Published on 11 August 2011. By Simon Laird, Global Head of Insurance

I previously reported on the English Court of Appeal’s decision in the combined appeals of Futter v Futter and Pitt v Holt which clarified (or so we thought) the approach to setting aside transactions for mistake under English law.

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Blog

Going backwards? Retrospective legislation can bite!

Published on 10 August 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

Retrospective legislation is a particularly hot topic at the moment.

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Blog

Guardian beefs up its privacy code

Published on 09 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Guardian News & Media, owner of the Guardian and Observer, has revised its internal editorial guidelines and beefed up the sections that protect privacy.

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Blog

Above board, or backroom deals?

04 August 2011

The National Audit Office ('NAO') has recently recommended (see HM Revenue & Customs 2010-11 Accounts) that HMRC should ensure that a clear separation should exist between the negotiation and approval of large tax settlements in order to maintain public confidence in the appropriateness of all such settlements.

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Blog

FOS believes respondent firms should be seen but not heard

03 August 2011

Tucked at the end of Ombudsman News edition 95 in a little Q&A section about recent queries to its technical advice desk is a bold statement about the FOS' reluctance to hold oral hearings.

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Blog

Automatic numberplate recognition: is it legal?

Published on 02 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

A report in the Guardian last week reminds readers of the strong likelihood that local police forces have tracked their movements with the use of automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR).

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Blog

Reporting the family courts - new guide published

Published on 01 August 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

A valuable guide has just been published which sets out the law governing access to, and reporting of, the family courts.

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Blog

COP that! HMRC propose a new contractual disclosure facility

Published on 28 July 2011. By Daniel Hemming, Senior Associate

On 20 July 2011, HMRC published a discussion document entitled: Civil Investigation of Fraud – Contractual Disclosure Facility.

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Blog

CMCs - why not cut out the middle man?

25 July 2011

A joint note from the MoJ, FSA, FOS and FSCS issued last week sets out the role that CMCs play in financial services complaints and highlighted the potential drawbacks of engaging a third party in the complaints procedure.

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Blog

A "tenuous claim to privacy": Hutcheson v News Group

Published on 23 July 2011. By Keith Mathieson, Partner

Can you expect to keep a second family private? That was the ambitious hope of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson.

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Blog

RDR: To delay or not to delay, that is the question

21 July 2011

The Treasury Select Committee recommended in its recent report that the implementation of RDR be delayed for one year (until January 2014).

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Blog

HMRC 'refresh' their litigation and settlement strategy

Published on 21 July 2011. By Adam Craggs, Partner

As tax practitioners will be aware, HMRC's Litigation and Settlement Strategy ('LSS') is the framework within which HMRC seeks to resolve tax disputes through civil procedures.

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Blog

EIS and VCT promotions: suitability not guaranteed

19 July 2011

The FSA's explicit warning about Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trust (VCT) financial promotions will do little to help financial advisers defend complaints about such investments if FOS makes a habit of disregarding their 'preferential tax status'.

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Blog

Reporting the Courts: a view on postponement orders

Published on 19 July 2011.

The principle of open justice has been ardently promoted in our society for many years, as was confirmed by Lord Hewart in R v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy who said that “it is not merely of some importance but it is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”.

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Blog

News Corp/BSkyB – a blow to an independent competition regime

14 July 2011

In my letter to the editor in today's Financial Times, I reported on the dangers of mixing politics with regulation.

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Blog

Insurance intermediaries must take care with CASS

13 July 2011

The FSA's avowed intention to zero in on insurance intermediaries' client money systems and controls should set alarm bells ringing.

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