Insights: April 2016

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Mind the ‘gender pay’ gap

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Mandatory gender pay reporting has been on the agenda for employment lawyers for some time. Originally foreshadowed in the Equality Act 2010, finally draft regulations are now entering the consultation phase and UK employers are gearing up for their introduction later this year. In general employers are bound to be concerned. 2015 statistical information released […]


Empty rates – no longer charitable?

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The relief from business rates available to charities has long made the letting of otherwise unused premises to them an attractive proposition for both landlords and charities alike.  Where the landlord would otherwise be liable to pay empty rates on premises that are producing no income for them, they can instead let them to a […]


Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market

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A House of Lords Select Committee issued a report entitled Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market (see Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market) in response to an EU Commission consultation in relation to the use of market power by the largest online platforms. The report recommends an investigation by the Competition and Markets […]


Another CITES case

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Further to my last post about importing ivory ‘Challenging customs’, a recent judgment on a similar case caught my eye. In Juliet Forster-Copperi v Director of Border Revenue [2016] UKFTT 0157 (TC), UK Border Force had seized a whalebone sculpture at Felixstowe Docks in September 2014, and that was challenged by an appeal to the First Tier […]


SDLT on commercial and mixed property transactions

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Significant changes to the SDLT treatment of non-residential property (commercial and mixed property) were announced in the Budget on 16 March 2016. Freehold transactions, lease premiums and assigned leases On or after 17 March 2016, the SDLT rate for non-residential freehold transactions, lease premiums and assigned leases will be based on the portion of the […]


Pursuing fraud claims – the correct approach

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A party claiming fraud in proceedings brought under English law must adopt an exacting standard when setting out their allegations. Claims of fraud need to be unambiguous and specific, and the relevant causes of action and relief claimed clearly identified. The party alleging fraud must also be prepared to back up their claims in evidence, […]


To keep or not to keep Wills with Nil Rate Band trusts?

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Chances are, if you’re British, married and have a professionally drawn Will which predates 2008, you may have a discretionary trust of the Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band (NRB) in it. It is often called something like the ‘Legacy Fund’ and, while the exact words may differ, the Will usually provides for a gift of […]


The dangers of not accepting a Part 36 offer

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The timing and content of a Part 36 offer will often form a crucial step in settlement discussions. A Part 36 offer will, even if not accepted, protect to some extent the offeror’s position on costs.  It will also force the recipient of the offer to focus their mind on settlement. The recent decision of […]


Fladgate advises Overseas Trust and Pension Group on acquisition

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Fladgate LLP advised Overseas Trust and Pension Group on the acquisition of the international pensions and administrative services arm of Carey Group.  Carey Pensions and Benefits was sold as part of a strategic review by the group, and will become part of the Overseas Trust and Pension Group (OTAP) with effect from 3 May this […]


Higher rate SDLT for second homes and additional residential properties – an explanation of the Autumn Statement 2015

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Are you buying a residential property?  On the day you complete the purchase, will you or your spouse own another residential property anywhere else in the world which is not being replaced with this purchase?  If the answers to these questions are yes then you need to start paying attention. In the 2015 Autumn Statement […]


Is it time for an international JCT contract?

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English language standard form contracts are an appropriate choice for use on international construction projects. This was the conclusion of The Hon. Sir Vivian Ramsey at the 2015 JCT Povey Lecture which considered the international applicability of the cultural and legal concepts of using such contracts abroad. The principal theme of the lecture was that […]


Interpreting the Electronic Communications Code

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April last year witnessed a very rare event in the world of the Electronic Communications Code (Code): a court decision on the interpretation of a part of the Code.  Thekla Fellas, our head of real estate litigation, acted on behalf of Chris Nicholson (Operations) Limited seeking the removal of Arqiva’s telecommunications apparatus from its residential […]