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The latest articles and events from Mills & Reeve LLP.

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Coronavirus: corporation tax refund for anticipated losses

This measure is relevant if your company paid corporation tax before lockdown, but now expects to carry back coronavirus related losses to reduce the tax that should have been due.

Kevin Lowe

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:58:04 GMT+00:00

VAT: exercising and notifying the option to tax land and buildings during coronavirus lockdown

HMRC have extended the time limit to notify them of an option to tax commercial land and buildings from 30 to 90 days where the decision to opt was made between 15 February and 31 October 2020.

Kevin Lowe

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:45:54 GMT+00:00

SDLT 3% surcharge: deadline for refund on selling your first home extended

HMRC and the Government have clarified how coronavirus affects the requirement to sell your previous home within 3 years of buying a replacement for it in order to claim a refund of the SDLT 3% surcharge on the replacement.

Kevin Lowe

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 14:34:46 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus series: building a thriving supply chain

Jayne Hussey discusses the future of supply chains in the first of a series of articles with particular focus around the coronavirus impact and potential opportunities.

Jayne Hussey

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:10:14 GMT+00:00

Advisers advise but directors decide

A company’s articles of association will typically state that the directors are responsible for the management of the company, and may exercise all the powers of the company for that purpose. It follows then, that directors have the power to commence, defend and compromise claims in the name of a company, but that they can also be held responsible for how they exercise those powers.

Ben Reeves

Fri, 10 Jul 2020 09:34:15 GMT+00:00

The rise of modular construction – the key legal issues

Modular construction was on the rise before coronavirus. The pandemic has made it an even more attractive option. Its potential is wide ranging, from housing developments, to hospitals, schools, and laboratories. It could also be easily adapted for hotels and student accommodation.

Alison Garrett

Wed, 8 Jul 2020 15:25:32 GMT+00:00

Mills & Reeve snap, solve and sweat for Virtual Charity Challenge 2020

Following the national lockdown and new social distancing rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Charity Challenge has been completed virtually to raise money for SafeLives.

Justin Ripman

Tue, 7 Jul 2020 15:29:15 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: Government confirms that furloughed employees will not lose EMI tax advantages

The Government has now announced it will legislate to ensure that employees with EMI options who are furloughed, working reduced hours, or taking unpaid leave as a result of coronavirus will not lose their EMI tax advantages.

Carrie Ferris

Fri, 3 Jul 2020 10:35:56 GMT+00:00

When is an expert not an expert?

The recent case of De Sena v Notaro is a useful reminder to litigators of the pitfalls that can befall not only experts themselves, but the litigators instructing them.

Lisa Taylor

Fri, 3 Jul 2020 08:01:40 GMT+00:00

Court refuses to grant injunction restraining presentation of winding up petitions on grounds of coronavirus

On May 2020, the Court considered two applications for injunctions to restrain presentation of a winding up petition. The petitions were based on unpaid rates and costs awards. The applicants claimed that the debts were genuinely disputed and that the companies were suffering financial difficulties as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Helen Fyles

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 14:53:59 GMT+00:00

Bankruptcy petitions: class considerations and collateral purpose

Mr Justice Snowden heard two petitions for a bankruptcy order to be made in respect of Glenn Maud. The first petition was presented by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in 2014, and the second was presented by Edgeworth Capital (Luxembourg) SARL (Edgeworth) in 2015. After the petitions were presented, substantial litigation followed, which delayed their being heard.

Catherine Noble

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 14:37:33 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: Court extend the remit in respect of the automatic 90-day stay on possession proceedings but raise questions relating to jurisdiction in the process

In response to the coronavirus pandemic the Government introduced emergency legislation which included CPR PD 51Z, the effect of which is to impose automatic 90-day stay on possession proceedings brought under CPR Part 55. The automatic stay came into force on 27 March 2020.

Jack Gale

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 14:26:29 GMT+00:00

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 came into force on 26 June 2020. As well as bringing in temporary measures deigned to cushion businesses from the impact of the pandemic it introduces a new standalone moratorium, a completely new restructuring tool known as a restructuring plan and restrictions on supplier termination rights.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 13:50:20 GMT+00:00

Administrators appointed in breach of section 362A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”) renders the appointment a nullity

This is a notable case as it includes a review of over 30 previous cases on defective administration appointments.

Jamie Wheatley

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 13:36:48 GMT+00:00

Court declines to order repayment of a preference

Within the two years prior to his bankruptcy, the bankrupt (“F”) had paid £47,000 to his stepdaughter (“W”) for forensic accounting services. The Joint Trustees in bankruptcy had established a preference claim and sought repayment with interest and costs. However, relief may be declined in exceptional circumstances if justice requires (the burden being on the respondent).

Jacob Walker

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 13:24:07 GMT+00:00

You cannot appoint an administrator as a qualifying floating charge holder if you do not have security

Executors of a deceased individual appointed administrators pursuant to security that they claimed was assigned to the individual. The company and a second charge holder challenged the appointment of the administrator and sought to have him removed. The security was granted in 1998 to a lender. The borrower was struck off in 1999 and the security was assigned to a BVII incorporated entity in 2007.

Neil Smyth

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 13:12:02 GMT+00:00

Future Fund popularity continues to rise

The statistics speak for themselves as to the popularity of the Future Fund so far - £320.6 million worth of convertible loans has been approved for 322 companies. In response, the UK Government has announced an extension of the scheme to include companies that participate in accelerator programmes based outside of the UK.

Katharine Robinson

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 09:31:35 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: How to navigate the crisis in France

A comprehensive framework from our French Affiliate Firm, FIDAL, to assist you with the specific challenges facing your business in France.

Tom Pickthorn

Wed, 1 Jul 2020 13:50:14 GMT+00:00

COVID-19 Secure - What are the immediate common interest implications for landlords and tenants when re-opening restaurants, pubs and bars?

The government has set out a timetable for the reopening of currently closed restaurants, pubs and bars from 4 July. Whilst a lot of the focus will be on businesses as employers the food and beverage sector also has to take into account customers, possibly more than any other sector.

Dominic Hordern

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:48:31 GMT+00:00

Patents: the injunction spotlight shifts its focus

An interim injunction for a patent owner in the pharmaceutical sector would normally be granted to preserve the situation until the trial takes place. Here we look at an unusual case when it was not, and consider why.

Alasdair Poore

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 14:27:56 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: frequently asked questions

Significant changes to the Scheme to make it more flexible take effect on 1 July. From 1 August, employers will have to start contributing to furloughed employees’ wages costs. The Scheme closes on 31 October.

David Mills

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 10:08:18 GMT+00:00

Regeneron v Kymab – a general principle or a series of products?

The UK Supreme Court’s ruling in the Regeneron v Kymab dispute marks an important moment in UK patent litigation. It is not often that patent cases get this far. The UK’s top court has once again grasped the slippery concept of insufficiency, coming down, this time, against the patentee (the patent owner).

James Fry

Fri, 26 Jun 2020 16:14:24 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus Act 2020: restrictions on terminating residential tenancies

The Coronavirus Act 2020 was enacted on 25 March 2020. It contains emergency legislation designed to help society cope with the coronavirus outbreak. It includes restrictions on the ability for landlords to terminate both residential and commercial tenancies.

Christopher Bartley

Fri, 26 Jun 2020 12:36:38 GMT+00:00

Changes to the UK insolvency regime – what do suppliers need to know?

Sweeping changes to the UK’s insolvency legislation have just reached the statute book. Updates to the system had been in the planning stage before the coronavirus pandemic hit and the economic pressure caused by the crisis has added urgency to the process. The legislation sets out temporary measures to address the current crisis. However, important permanent changes introduce reforms that aim to give companies in financial difficulty greater breathing space to explore options for rescue. The changes will impact suppliers of goods and services to distressed companies, making some termination and other contractual provisions that suppliers thought they could rely on ineffective. In this briefing, we will focus on the impact of these changes on contractual relationships.

Katy Carson

Fri, 26 Jun 2020 08:46:53 GMT+00:00

Litigation round-up June 2020

A round-up of some recent litigation cases.

Miranda Whiteley

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:47:41 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: FCA – the business interruption insurance test case

On 9 June 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) served a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim on eight insurers in relation to 17 policy wordings (the “Test Case”). Their reason? To seek clarity for the wider business community about whether and when certain types of insurance policy should cover losses sustained by businesses for interruption caused by coronavirus. We analyse why the FCA is taking these steps and the implications for businesses.

Ben Hardiman

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:43:32 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: a golden opportunity for fraudsters?

While businesses have their hands full with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, fraudsters are taking advantage of the distraction to commit cybercrime.

Eric France

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:32:34 GMT+00:00

The inside job – fidelity fraud on the rise in coronavirus pandemic

As coronavirus takes it hold on the economy, businesses should be alive not only to the fraud risks from outside opportunists, but also to those within. Fidelity fraud flourishes when times are tough.

Tom Filby

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:29:32 GMT+00:00

Beware hasty coronavirus variations to contracts!

During the coronavirus pandemic, commercial clients have understandably been focused on contingency planning in order to keep their business afloat. Consequently, they may have had to agree with customers' and/or suppliers' temporary trading arrangements in order to allow their business to continue trading or to provide temporary respite. But it's important both parties pause to consider the contractual impact of any variations before agreeing.

Steve Allen

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 11:24:26 GMT+00:00

Who will drive office demand in post Covid-19 world?

Now that lockdown measures are beginning to ease and the prospect of meeting up with friends and family in a restaurant or having a drink in a pub is closer, businesses are planning for what a return to the workplace will look like.

Alexandra Murphy

Wed, 24 Jun 2020 09:27:56 GMT+00:00

Dispute resolution in a post coronavirus and Brexit world – should the life sciences sector be considering arbitration more than ever?

First and foremost, the current coronavirus pandemic is a social and human tragedy. It has truly changed the way we conduct business and how we live our lives. For a significant number it has already caused unimaginable hardship and grief.

Mark Davison

Tue, 23 Jun 2020 10:56:03 GMT+00:00

June Quarter Day: meet the new code. Same as the old code?

The Government has now published its proposed Code of Practice for commercial property relationships, codifying actions that many landlords and tenants were taking already as a result of lockdown and its impact on the March quarter day. Of more immediate importance, the Government has also confirmed its intention to extend the current protections provided to commercial tenants.

Dominic Hordern

Mon, 22 Jun 2020 10:23:26 GMT+00:00

How can universities prepare to be COVID-secure for September?

As university summer terms draw to a close amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, all eyes turn to what life on campus will look like at the start of the new academic year and how universities can prepare to be COVID-secure.

Laura Ludlow

Mon, 22 Jun 2020 08:59:01 GMT+00:00

Is there property in a witness? The English courts find that experts owe a fiduciary duty of loyalty to clients

Expert consultancy firms will need to take a more cautious approach to conflicts as a result of the decision of A Company v X, Y, Z in the English courts.

Mark Davison

Fri, 19 Jun 2020 09:07:33 GMT+00:00

Patents: a spotlight on injunctions

Pharmaceutical patents, applications to “clear the way” and interim injunctions make a volatile mix. The last three weeks have seen three decisions showing how these complex issues play out. A patentee cannot assume that it will be awarded an interim injunction to preserve the current market structure up to the trial.

Alasdair Poore

Thu, 18 Jun 2020 09:09:59 GMT+00:00

Buying a care home – don’t skip due diligence

Duncan Astill and Amanda Narkiewicz outline some of the regulatory pitfalls of conveyancing in the care home sector.

Duncan Astill

Wed, 17 Jun 2020 15:34:31 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus and malpractice: standards of care – standards of record keeping

In many of our articles on risk, indemnity and malpractice, the importance of record keeping has been a consistent message. Now as never before, amidst the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, record keeping by healthcare professionals will be crucial. Why? Read on.

Stephen King

Wed, 17 Jun 2020 14:47:32 GMT+00:00

Coronavirus: Procurement Policy Note (PPN) – further guidance on supplier relief

The Cabinet office has published a further PPN on supplier relief during the coronavirus pandemic. It builds on the provisions contained in PPN 02/20* and sets out guidance for authorities developing transition plans to move away from the contractual relief provisions agreed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shailee Howard

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 14:16:54 GMT+00:00

Workplace testing for coronavirus - data protection considerations can’t be factored in overnight

With the lockdown being relaxed and employees starting to return to work, there will be concerns both for employers and employees, about the risk of coronavirus contagion within the workplace. This is particularly the case, as the Test and Trace system launched by the Government is suffering from some initial issues in relation to its efficacy; whilst the NHSX contact tracing app is still to be launched.

Jagvinder Singh Kang

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 12:05:09 GMT+00:00

Cycle on: is Brompton on a roll in the CJEU?

Many manufacturers of products with iconic shapes find that there are competitors willing to take them on, and copy the iconic shape in their own products. No doubt seeking to capitalise on consumers recognising the shape, and buying the competitor’s product instead.

Alasdair Poore

Fri, 12 Jun 2020 11:13:36 GMT+00:00

Life sciences case law update

Our recent life sciences online seminar addressed issues arising for life sciences organisations around data privacy and consent, and trends in co-development projects. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more, or see a recording of the seminar. We also shared a review of recent case law affecting the life sciences sector:

James Fry

Fri, 12 Jun 2020 09:33:57 GMT+00:00