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The latest legal articles and publications from Mills & Reeve.

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One of two directors lacks standing to appoint administrator

A director applied under Schedule B1 IA 1986 for the appointment of an administrator. The other director opposed the application on the basis that one director alone had no standing to do so.

Jacob Walker

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 15:37:26 GMT+00:00

Court orders dismissal of a bankruptcy petition

Sunset Limited and Morville Limited presented a bankruptcy petition in respect of Mr Al-Hindi based on the failure to comply with a statutory demand presented in March 2022 seeking payment of £248,720 in respect of unpaid rent for four properties.

Preena Lal

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 15:22:56 GMT+00:00

Use Section 426 co-operation

This case concerned an Irish company which had entered examinership there (the Irish equivalent of administration) and its examiner had formulated a scheme of arrangement wherein unsecured creditor claims would be crammed down in exchange for a dividend of five pence in the pound.

Morgan Bowen

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 15:12:55 GMT+00:00

Part 36 and Insolvency Act Applications

The administrators in Greensill UK (G-UK) made an application for a determination as to whether or not it or Greensill AG (G-AG) was the beneficial owner of funds resulting from various foreign exchange transactions (the main application). The proceedings between the office holders were hostile.

Catherine Noble

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 14:51:21 GMT+00:00

Causation and compensation order applications

The director in this case was the sole director of Pure Zanzibar Limited, a travel agency. He was disqualified for seven years after the court concluded he had caused or allowed the company to operate in breach of the Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing) Regulations.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 14:44:26 GMT+00:00

Largest preference award overturned

Last year, in respect of the Comet collapse, the judge at trial found that the appellant had been put in a better position than other creditors on Comet’s administration as part of a complicated purchase and restructure of the Comet group.

Neil Smyth

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 14:39:18 GMT+00:00

Mills & Reeve advises on sale of Antser Group

Leading national law firm Mills & Reeve has advised the majority shareholders of Antser Group on the sale of Antser to a new company backed by YFM Equity Partners (YFM).

Ryan Hawley

Wed, 29 Nov 2023 13:00:12 GMT+00:00

Why the ‘bona vacantia’ provisions might encourage a person to put a Will in place

There are many different reasons why people may not put a Will in place. Too busy, too squeamish, thinking their situation is straightforward enough not to need the expense, they don’t have ‘enough’ to matter, or they don’t have any immediate family to benefit so they’re not clear what they want to happen after their deaths. 

Anna Moore

Tue, 28 Nov 2023 13:22:32 GMT+00:00

Litigation cases round-up - November 2023

We've brought together a round-up of some recent litigation cases.

Miranda Whiteley

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 12:34:13 GMT+00:00

Staying ahead of the curve: Understanding the proposals for Pre-Action Protocols

At the end of the summer the Civil Justice Council published their recommendations for reforming current pre-action protocol regime. The CJC endorses radical changes including making compliance with PAPs mandatory in most cases. We reflect on what these changes will mean for parties when they are introduced.

Priya Ranch

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 12:13:07 GMT+00:00

Witness evidence in arbitration: the impact of Practice Direction 57AC

Practice Direction 57AC was introduced into the Business and Property Courts in 2021. It sets out detailed requirements for trial witness statements.

Dani King

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 11:53:25 GMT+00:00

A practical guide to applications for relief from sanctions

Anyone involved in litigation may on occasion need relief from the court under CPR 3.9, for example where they have failed to meet a deadline for a statement of case, witness statement or court budget. We review the case law and offer tips to both sides on how to emerge unscathed from a relief from sanctions application.

Miranda Whiteley

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 11:39:38 GMT+00:00

Ricing to the occasion: The Advocate General supports the EU General Court decision that Brexit does not leave “Basmati” bereft

Acting in one of the last appeals to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in which UK representatives will appear, Mills & Reeve, instructed through Indian boutique IP firm, K&S Partners, have received a favourable Advocate General’s opinion prior to the CJEU’s decision. 

Richard Plaistowe

Fri, 24 Nov 2023 15:43:44 GMT+00:00

HMRC changes guidance on the tax treatment for charging company owned electric vehicles

In September, HMRC updated its guidance concerning the tax position where an employer reimburses an employee for the cost of home charging a company-owned electric vehicle (“EV”), even where that EV is available for private use.

John Kahn

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 14:20:21 GMT+00:00

Autumn Statement 2023: Inheritance Tax update

Jeremy Hunt has delivered his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons and, as we see some predictions in respect of tax come true, Inheritance Tax survives for now.

Caroline Clay

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 09:49:09 GMT+00:00

White Fraiser Report: a PFI reset

On 20 July 2023 Barry White and Andrew Fraiser submitted their Report to the Infrastructure and Projects Authority summarising their review of “behaviours, relationships and disputes across the PFI sector”. The Report contains recommendations for a “PFI reset”. It is relevant to every one of the UK’s 700+ PFI projects, other long term PPP contractual relationships and NHS estates maintenance teams.

Nick Helm

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 13:34:27 GMT+00:00

Preparing for PFI Expiry and Handback

There are c.700 live PFI projects in the UK, the bulk of which are due to expire in the coming 15 years. Expiry and the associated handback of facilities and assets to the public sector is a major event that requires careful consideration by all parties involved. If handled poorly, there are substantial risks. In this Guidance note we briefly summarise the recommendations of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s practical guidance.

Jill Mason

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 13:14:20 GMT+00:00

Failure to prevent fraud offence and changes to the identification principle

This new corporate criminal offence of failing to prevent fraud, punishable by unlimited fine, will come into force next year

Rachel McDonnell

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 09:17:22 GMT+00:00

RSA v Tughans – Are professional indemnity insurers liable for a loss of solicitors’ fees?

In Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd v Tughans (A Firm) [2023] EWCA Civ 999, the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld a High Court decision that, yes, the insurer was liable to indemnify solicitors (Tughans) in respect of fees paid to Tughans following an alleged misrepresentation by a partner of the firm.

Andrew Spence

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 09:16:10 GMT+00:00

Safeguarding vulnerable clients: Guidance on best practice in England and Wales

A recent case heard by the Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal has highlighted the complexities around how solicitors interact with vulnerable clients, particularly in matters involving conflicts of interest, mental capacity, and undue influence. This case offers an opportunity for some cross-border analysis between England and Wales and consideration of what best practice looks like in such a situation.

Rebecca Minto

Mon, 20 Nov 2023 16:43:53 GMT+00:00

Probate delays – is there light at the end of the tunnel?

At present, probate delays are frustrating, with paper applications taking anywhere from 5-8 months, and online applications taking 3-5 months. However, the Law Society recently released a report on the digitisation of the courts process, so is there light at the end of the tunnel? In this article, probate specialist Orlando Beckett gives us his thoughts.

Orlando Beckett

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 17:33:46 GMT+00:00

High net worth and sophisticated investor certifications are changing on 31 January 2024 - are you ready?

Anyone carrying out equity fundraising from individuals should be aware that the financial promotions self-certification forms will change in January. The new certificates require higher thresholds for individuals to self-certify as high net worth individuals and sophisticated investors. 

Emily Cox

Mon, 13 Nov 2023 15:20:14 GMT+00:00

Farming for our future: the role of landowners in fighting the climate crisis

There are many incentives for managing land sustainably, which can have direct and ancillary benefits on a local to a global scale.

Lauren Parker

Thu, 9 Nov 2023 16:50:50 GMT+00:00

Planning, preparation and positivity: reputation management for life sciences businesses

Our latest life sciences webinar looked at reputation management for life sciences organisations.

Isabel Teare

Wed, 8 Nov 2023 10:30:04 GMT+00:00

Court refuses adjournment request made for personal purposes

The applicants were the joint administrators of London South West SW Limited (the company). The company was incorporated for the development and sale of residential property involving the creation of 26 flats (the property). The company was the lessor of 25 of the flats. The individual flat owners all had sub-leases granted by the company.

Preena Lal

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 18:52:38 GMT+00:00

Strike out / summary judgment application fails

Liquidators brought claims against a former director alleging breach of duty, and against an associate of the director alleging dishonest assistance. The defendants applied for strike out and/or reverse summary judgment.

Jacob Walker

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 18:42:51 GMT+00:00

Director misfeasance

This case concerned a claim under section 212 of the Insolvency Act 1986 brought by a customer against the directors arising out of the collapse of FXS and GFX.

Morgan Bowen

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 18:35:32 GMT+00:00

Compromising the pari passu principle

SHPL, a company selling pre-arranged funeral plans, entered administration on 23 March 2022. Although the funds from plan holders were placed into a trust, the administrators found that there was a significant shortfall between the available assets in the trust and the amounts required to pay the plan holders' respective funerals. Around 460,000 plan holders have been impacted by SHPL’s administration.

Catherine Noble

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 18:27:17 GMT+00:00

Unsuccessful challenge to a QFCH appointment

The company, whose sole director and shareholder was the applicant, entered into a facility agreement with Synergy In Trade. Under the terms of that facility, the lender advanced funds and provided letters of credit to suppliers to enable the company to purchase items for sale to Aldi.

Lino Di Lorenzo

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 18:11:28 GMT+00:00

Trustees in bankruptcy’s discretion upheld

This case is the latest in a long line involving the Brakes, their bankruptcy and eviction from a property. The Court of Appeal estimated that the matter had generated 42 decisions at the time of this judgment and a Supreme Court decision has subsequently been handed down.

Neil Smyth

Tue, 31 Oct 2023 17:59:36 GMT+00:00

Rethinking inheritance tax: potential options for reform

It's widely recognised that reform of the present inheritance tax (IHT) system is long overdue. With a general election on the horizon, IHT is likely to be a topic of discussion and debate. While it's unlikely to be abolished entirely, there are various changes that could be made to the existing IHT framework. This article sets out potential options for reform.

Justin Humphries

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 12:29:29 GMT+00:00

Going green - the CMA publishes final guidance on how competition laws apply to environmental sustainability agreements

On 12th October 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published in final form their Guidance on the application of the Chapter I prohibition in the Competition Act 1998 to environmental sustainability agreements’ (‘the Guidance’), otherwise known as the ‘Green Agreements Guidance’. This follows a period of extensive consultation on draft guidelines that were published earlier this year.

Kate Newman

Fri, 20 Oct 2023 13:02:38 GMT+00:00

Impact of digital market regulation on UK tech start-ups

This briefing outlines the key regulatory developments that tech start-ups should be aware of, whether they may at some point seek to be acquired by Big Tech as part of an exit plan or wish to resist being the subject of a “killer acquisition” (ie, where an incumbent acquires a nascent, innovative business to eliminate it as a potential competitor).

Sara Warner

Thu, 19 Oct 2023 13:15:22 GMT+00:00

Holiday pay: recent developments

Successive Supreme Court rulings have clarified most remaining issues about workers’ holiday pay entitlement. However, more change could be on the way.

Charles Pigott

Thu, 19 Oct 2023 12:59:02 GMT+00:00