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Publication

Brexit – trade and customs arrangements

08 June 2018

In this Brexit Bulletin, we discuss trade and customs arrangements; what has been achieved in the last 6 months and the next steps moving forward.

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Blog

ESMA formally adopts new measures to restrict the sale of binary options and CFDs

Published on 08 June 2018. By Lucy Kerr, Senior Associate and Charlotte Thompson, Associate

On 1 June 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) formally adopted new measures to prohibit the sale of binary options and to place restrictions on the provision of contracts for difference (CFDs) to retail investors. The measures will apply to binary options from 2 July 2018 and CFDs from 1 August 2018.

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Blog

EFAMA publishes revised Stewardship Code

Published on 08 June 2018. By Anthony Shatz, Partner and Katie Fry-Paul, Trainee Solicitor

On 31 May 2018, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) published its Stewardship Code, setting out best practice principles for asset managers (the Code).

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Blog

Dundas: out of time capital allowance claims become valid due to HMRC opening enquiries

Published on 06 June 2018. By Robert Waterson, Legal Director

In Dundas Heritable Limited v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0244 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a taxpayer was entitled to make, what would otherwise have been out of time capital allowance claims, as a result of HMRC opening enquiries.

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Publication

Tax update

Published on 06 June 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In this month’s update we report on Guidance from HMRC on identifying who is an “enabler” of tax avoidance; a consultation on “off-payroll” working by contractors; and HMRC’s update to its International Exchange of Information Manual to reflect amendments to the list of reportable jurisdictions for Common Reporting Standards.

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Blog

Investec: payments to acquire partnership interests were trading in nature

Published on 06 June 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

In HMRC v Investec Asset Finance Plc and Another [2018] UKUT 0069 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that payments made to acquire partnership interests are deductible in calculating the profits of the partners’ solo trades of dealing in those partnership interests.

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Press and Media

Where high culture meets Big Data

06 June 2018

High culture will meet Big Data head on at an upcoming fine art “treasure hunt” hosted by City-headquartered law firm, RPC

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Publication

Product liability update

31 May 2018

A round-up of some of the recent stories making the news, from the EU Product Liability Directive to a case involving hip replacement litigation

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Blog

Pension watchdogs formalise information sharing

Published on 31 May 2018. By Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

The Pensions Ombudsman and The Pensions Regulator have signed an information-sharing agreement in light of the recent rise in pension scams. The agreement will see the organisations share information about complaints and concerns with the aim of protecting scheme members.

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Blog

SIPPs – the work and pensions committee asks some pointed questions of the FCA

Published on 31 May 2018. By Rachael Healey, Legal Director

The Work and Pensions Committee has sent a letter to the FCA following its review of defined benefit pension transfers raising 5 pointed questions in relation to SIPPs.

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Blog

Oral variations can leave you between a Rock and a hard place

Published on 31 May 2018. By Dan Preston, Partner

Variations to contracts, whether the scope of the works or services to be performed or the terms under which those works/services are provided, are common place in the construction industry. Often these variations are agreed on site, in a hurry and with little regard to any formalities that might be contained within the parties' contract. The recent case of Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd provides an important reminder that the contract shouldn’t be ignored.

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Blog

When can the Secretary of State intervene in a merger or acquisition?

Published on 30 May 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

This post sets out the circumstances in which the Secretary of State has been able to intervene in a merger or acquisition to date and looks at the ongoing consultation to protect national interests.

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Publication

VAT update

30 May 2018

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s cooperation agreement, intended to tackle online VAT fraud; HMRC’s recently published Guidance on online marketplace seller checks; and the government’s pilot for Making Tax Digital for VAT.

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Blog

Guarding professional secrets: A guide to English legal privilege for international lawyers

30 May 2018

Most jurisdictions have some form of protection for preserving the confidentiality of communications involving lawyers, whether known as (legal professional) privilege, professional secrecy or something else. How far that protection extends, and how easily it may be broken, varies enormously. In England, the protection, once gained, remains strong, but recent cases have tended to restrict the extent of it, particularly by comparison to other common law jurisdictions (privilege/professional secrecy rules in civil law jurisdictions tend to be narrower than common law jurisdictions in any event). The issue becomes most acute in a pre-litigation (or investigative) phase.

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Blog

Ireland Voted Yes – What next?

Published on 30 May 2018. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Considers yes vote in Irish abortion referendum

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Blog

Scope of duty narrows for accountants

Published on 30 May 2018. By Robert Morris, Partner and Matthew Watson, Associate

Accountants not liable for transaction losses despite negligent accounting treatment

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Blog

Part VII insurance business transfers – FCA's finalised guidance

Published on 30 May 2018. By Neil Brown, Partner and Louisa Innes-Wilkin, Associate

The FCA published finalised guidance on its approach to reviewing insurance business transfer schemes under Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

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Blog

Supreme Court curtails negotiating damages

Published on 29 May 2018. By Tim Brown, Partner and Emma West, Associate

The Supreme Court decision in Morris-Garner v One Step Support Ltd(1) is now the leading case on Wrotham Park(2) or – as the court preferred to call them – negotiating damages.

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Blog

GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 – how do they impact publishers?

Published on 25 May 2018. By Nicola Cain, Partner and Rupert Cowper-Coles , Senior Associate

The need for publishers to ensure that their processing of personal data complies with the law is more important than ever.

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Blog

Crypto and Blockchain

Published on 25 May 2018. By James Kaufmann, Legal Director

In February, the House of Commons Treasury Committee announced an inquiry in to digital currencies. The inquiry covers the role of digital currencies in the UK and the potential impact of distributed ledger technology (blockchain) on financial institutions and financial infrastructure.

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Blog

Patel: Enquiry and closure notices held to be invalid

Published on 25 May 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Associate

In Patel & Anor v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0185 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT'), in finding in favour of the taxpayers at a preliminary hearing, has held that HMRC had not opened valid enquiries into the taxpayers' self-assessment returns, as the returns had not been made pursuant to a notice issued by HMRC under section 8(1) Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA').

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Blog

Section 14A, don't delay!

Published on 24 May 2018. By Aimee Talbot, Associate

The Court of Appeal has upheld a judge's decision to deal summarily with a dispute as to the claimant's date of knowledge under s14a Limitation Act 1980. The judgment also contains a handy summary of the key law in the area.

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Press and Media

Retail sector insolvencies show no sign of slowing with 7% increase in a year

24 May 2018

The retail sector continues to suffer from a high cost base whilst the shift in sales from the high street to the internet continues to pick up pace.

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Blog

A Royal comparison: who did it best?

Published on 24 May 2018. By Mafruhdha Miah, Trainee Solicitor

Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have returned to London to begin their new lives as a Royal couple, we take a look back at how their wedding compared to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

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Blog

Customs and excise quarterly update

Published on 23 May 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In this update we report on the government’s consultation on Gaming Duty Accounting Periods; the Licensing of Tobacco Manufacturing Machinery; and the European Commission’s consultation on amendments to guarantees. We also comment on three recent cases involving customs classification; excise duty drawback; and excise duty liability on persons with no actual or constructive knowledge of unpaid duty.

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Publication

Wealth and trusts quarterly digest

Published on 23 May 2018. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Welcome to our latest Wealth and Trusts digest. Our quarterly digest is specifically tailored for you and aims to provide up to date commentary, analysis and guidance 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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Press and Media

RPC hires highly-ranked commercial contracts Partner to growing IP, Tech and Media Group

22 May 2018

RPC has hired leading commercial contracts lawyer Paul Joukador into its growing IP, Technology and Media Group in London.

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Blog

Unlawful distribution of shareholding: application of Limitation Act clarified

Published on 22 May 2018. By Chris Ross, Partner

In Burden Holdings UK Limited v Fielding the Supreme Court considered the application of Section 21(1)(b) of the Limitation Act 1980 with respect to claims against the directors of a company for an unlawful distribution of the shareholding.

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Blog

Landmark decision in Metal-on-Metal Hip product liability litigation

Published on 21 May 2018. By Genevieve Isherwood, Associate

Considers the decision in the DePuy Pinnacle Metal-on-Metal hip litigation and what impact this will have on manufacturers and their insurers.

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Blog

Tooth – discovery assessment invalid as no inaccuracy in return

Published on 21 May 2018. By Nicole Kostic, Senior Associate

In HMRC v Tooth [2018] UKUT 38, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has concluded that a discovery assessment issued by HMRC was invalid as the taxpayer's self-assessment did not contain an inaccuracy and in any event there was no deliberate intent by the taxpayer to bring about an insufficiency of tax.

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Blog

The ‘Meghan effect’: its impact on retailers

Published on 18 May 2018. By Emily Rome, Associate

The right people endorsing a brand can have a significant impact on its popularity. For example, brands that have been associated with Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have seen a huge surge in their profile.

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Blog

A spa day, on doctor's orders…

Published on 18 May 2018. By Emma Kislingbury, Associate

We are increasingly focussed on living more sustainably with what we eat and the products that we use. Applying a similar mind-set to medicine, might we see a resurgence of traditional natural therapeutic treatments like spa treatments?

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Blog

連載コラム・欧州M&A最前線 2018年4月

Published on 18 May 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

今朝のロンドンは美しく晴れ渡っているが、私は剣道英代表チームとの2日間にわたる稽古のせいで体中が筋肉痛だ。それはともかく、今回のテーマは暗号通貨(クリプトカレンシー)。中でも、暗号通貨発行による資金調達に適用される規制について取り上げてみたい。

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Blog

The "I dos" and don'ts of Royal marketing and merchandise

Published on 17 May 2018. By Anna Greco, Associate

While most Royal subjects prepare the bunting and the sandwiches, many businesses will be looking for ways to capitalise on the hype and goodwill generated around the occasion. But how can brands ensure that they don't crash the wedding?

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Blog

Dreamvar and identity fraud in conveyancing transactions

Published on 17 May 2018. By Paul Castellani, Partner and Graham Reid, Legal Director, Professional Regulation

The issue at stake in the combined appeals of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya and P&P Property Ltd v Owen Catlin LLP was a fairly fundamental one, namely: “Who ought to bear the risk of loss when a fraudster pretends to sell a property?”

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Blog

TPR announces new approach for pension regulations

Published on 17 May 2018. By Ashley Daniells, Associate

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced new plans for the regulation of pensions, which will see a "clearer, quicker and tougher" approach. The plans are aimed at increasing standards in the pension sector following criticisms levied at TRP after the collapse of businesses such as Carillion and BHS.

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Blog

Claimant gets its fingers 'pricked' in IPEC passing off claim

Published on 16 May 2018. By Rebecca Rose, Associate and Ciara Cullen, Partner

What's the difference between a tattoo and a cactus? This isn't the start of a bad joke, but a serious question that was considered in front of Her Honour Judge Clarke in a recent passing off case in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. It turns out that – unsurprisingly – the differences between a tattoo and a cactus are so great that the Claimant's claim for passing off failed.

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Blog

Raise a glass to Harry and Meghan

Published on 16 May 2018. By Matthew Plampton, Trainee Solicitor

Pub licensing hours across England and Wales will be extended on the weekend of the Royal wedding. This will undoubtedly provide a much needed boost to the British beer and pub sector. However, what has caused the traditional British pub's decline and how can the sector be turned around?

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Blog

Cybercrime and its impact on D&O insurance

Published on 15 May 2018. By Ashley Daniells, Associate and Drew Naylor, Senior Associate

Cybercrime has risen in recent years, perhaps more than anybody ever expected. For a long time, the focus was on defending businesses against such crimes. Now, with more people aware of cybercrime and the risks, insurers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact such crime may have on D&O policies.

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Blog

Regulation of cryptocurrency pre-ICO funding under English Law

Published on 15 May 2018. By James Kaufmann, Legal Director

Launching a cryptocurrency typically involves an initial fundraising process followed by a public sale process, by way of initial coin offering or token sale ("ICO").

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Blog

A royal impact on the economy?

15 May 2018

This week will see another Royal wedding when Prince Harry marries American actress Meghan Markle. These celebrations arguably raise the international opinion of the UK, lift the national mood and lead to an influx of tourists. But how do events such as a Royal wedding actually impact the economy?

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Blog

MDCM Ltd - Tribunal confirms that IR35 does not apply in employment status case

Published on 14 May 2018. By Alexis Armitage, Associate

In MDCM Ltd v HMRC [2018] TC 6400, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has allowed the taxpayer's appeal, concluding that its contractual arrangements were such that its principal employee was not an employee of the ultimate contracting company, for the purposes of IR35.

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Blog

Japanese banks joining Softbank's $100bn Vision Fund

Published on 10 May 2018. By Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

MUFG, Mizuho, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation will be among the final investors in SoftBank's Vision Fund

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Blog

Arbitration awards and fraud revisited

10 May 2018

The English Court of Appeal has rejected a further attempt by the buyers of goods to set aside enforcement of a CIETAC arbitration award on grounds of fraud.

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Blog

FSCS – reviewing the funding of the fund of last resort

Published on 09 May 2018. By Sarah Dowding, Senior Associate

In its third consultation paper on this topic, the FCA has recently confirmed that: - FSCS claims in respect of investment advice will benefit from an increased compensation cap, from £50,000 to £85,000; - product providers will have to start making contributions to FSCS funding for insurance and investment advice claims; and - it proposes new rules to prevent personal investment firms' insurers excluding cover for claims where the firm or a third party becomes insolvent.

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Press and Media

15% rise in number of M&A deals in the retail sector last year

09 May 2018

The number of UK retail sector M&A deals* has jumped 15% in the last year to 37 up from 32 in 2016/17 (year end March 31).

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Blog

Life After Death…

Published on 04 May 2018. By Natalie Drew, Senior Associate

How was a baby born four years after the death of his parents? And what does this mean for IVF providers in the UK?

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Blog

Professional negligence adjudication – it's all part of the Protocol

Published on 04 May 2018. By Cristina Faro, Associate and Will Sefton, Partner

On 1 May 2018, an amendment to the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol saw a further attempt to encourage parties to use the professional negligence adjudication scheme first devised as a pilot scheme in February 2015.

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Publication

Cryptocurrency pre-ICO funding – a regulatory overview

04 May 2018

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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