Insights: Legal Updates - December 2017

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How to save tax like a duke

Helena Luckhurst |

Using family trusts to save IHT is not just for the super-rich, but it does help to have had some well-advised ancestors… No doubt you’ve read the press reports about the sixth Duke of Westminster who has arranged his financial affairs so that the bulk of his £9bn property portfolio passes to his son, Hugh, […]


Suspension following disciplinary allegations: neutral act or breach of trust and confidence?

Mike Tremeer |

A number of Employment Tribunal and court decisions over recent years have examined the effect of suspending an employee in order to investigate disciplinary allegations.  The result is that suspension, which might once have been considered a neutral act necessary to allow an unimpeded investigation and/or to prevent a recurrence of acts of misconduct, has now […]


New entitlements and potential pitfalls for Contractors in NEC4

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Contractors, especially those to be engaged on public projects, may soon be working under new NEC4 standard form contracts introduced in June 2017. The new contracts, published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), replace the 12 year old NEC3 suite. The changes are intended to support users’ changing requirements, stimulate good project management and […]


Seasonal cinema work

Mike Tremeer |

Many employers, cinemas included, routinely hire additional staff during holiday periods, for which there are various ways to do this – fixed-term contracts, hiring agency workers and using zero-hour contracts, among them. Mike Tremeer outlines some of the pros and cons. Christmas is accused of arriving earlier and earlier each year, and that is no […]


How do I rate thee? Let me count the ways

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Business rates, or non-domestic rates, are charged on most non-domestic properties and are calculated by looking at the property’s “rateable value” i.e. its open market rental value. The use of a property is taken into account when calculating its rateable value.  How is the rateable value calculated, then, when a property has a number of […]


Myths and Mrs at Christmastime

Teresa Cullen |

Whilst we all know that the bearded chap in the red suit really does exist, it is the season when other myths come to the forefront.  Parents can spend endless amounts of time carefully positioning the “elf on a shelf” or Merindor ensuring that there is an endless array of innovative poses for the young […]


Taking responsibility: the FCA’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime

Charles Proctor |

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently consulted on replacing its Approved Persons Regime with the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) for all FCA solo-regulated financial services firms.  The aim of the SM&CR is to improve accountability within financial services firms and to raise standards of conduct.  The SM&CR was originally introduced for banks […]


Capital Gains Tax and offshore trusts: match fit for April 2018?

Helena Luckhurst |

The UK’s Autumn Budget contained a welcome lack of new measures affecting the capital gains taxation of offshore (i.e. non-UK) trusts.  However, there are Capital Gains Tax changes waiting in the wings, already announced, coming into effect on 6 April 2018.  There may be steps that UK resident non-doms and their trustees ought to be […]


Where next for green bonds?

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Green bonds have come a long way since they were first issued in 2007. As we mark their tenth birthday, what developments should we expect over the next few years? Green bonds use environmentally sustainable investments as a means to cut carbon emissions.  The issuer uses the bond proceeds to finance or refinance construction projects […]


Funding the Belt and Road: The challenges of attracting private investment

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After the ambition of the Beijing summit, back in May 2017, comes the reality of financing the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).  How might the risks of building and operating BRI schemes be spread and what will be the role for private investment? Notwithstanding China’s substantial foreign currency reserves which are being made available for […]


Coty scents competition law victory for brand owners

Alex Haffner |

In a much anticipated judgment, the European Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has determined that EU competition law does not prevent luxury brands imposing restrictions on the use by distributors of third party e-commerce platforms. The judgment confirms the opinion expressed by the Advocate General to the court (see https://www.fladgate.com/2017/08/eu-general-court-opinion-delivers-boost-brands-selling-online/) that such […]


One Belt, One Road – addressing legal challenges to harness global opportunity in the rail sector

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The “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative – or the “new Silk Road” as it is often referred to – is China’s grand vision for the creation of co-ordinated trade routes on both land and sea.  Spanning 65 countries, when completed it would give industry freight access to over 60% of the world’s population and […]