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Chattel as security – bill of sale

A bill of sale is a useful way of taking security against high-value moveable items (eg luxury cars, artworks). A bill of sale is a non-possessory form of security (ie the lender does not take possession of the asset), which has the advantage of being registerable under the Bills of Sale Acts 1878 and 1882. But, a form prescribed by the Acts must be followed, and the bill must be registered within strict time periods (with any variations and amendments also being registered). In addition, the bill of sale must be re-registered every five years. Failure to comply with the strict rules results in the security becoming invalid.

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Insolvency rules – concerns

One would hardly expect a new set of insolvency rules to be regarded as controversial. However, there are two aspects of the new IR to have caused consternation among practitioners: 

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Airline flights – delay

The Denied Boarding Regs give compensation to passengers who arrive late if the flight departs from an EU airport. 

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Tax – ‘reasonable excuse’

Two contrasting cases on whether a taxpayer had ‘reasonable excuse’ for not paying tax due:

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Dawn raids – preparation

These are some tips from DLA Piper for companies subject to a dawn raid:

Ask the company’s corporate lawyers to attend immediately. In the meantime, ask that the officials wait until the lawyers arrive, and assure them that you are going to be co-operative. Officials will usually wait for a reasonable amount of time before they begin their search (but if they do start the search, then do not interfere).

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IP – threats

Threatening proceedings for IP infringements can backfire. As far as patents, trade marks and designs are concerned, action can be taken against a threat-maker by a person aggrieved by the threat (who may not necessarily be the person directly threatened with proceedings). Not only does this expose the IP right-holder to the risk of damages, it also turns the potential claimant into a defendant – with the resulting reversal of burden of proof (requiring the IP-holder to prove the validity of the rights which it originally asserted).

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Trade marks – lack of use

All registered trade marks must be put to genuine commercial use within a defined period from the registration date (usually three or five years). If this has not happened, and there is no good reason to explain the lack of use, the registration becomes vulnerable to non-use cancellation by a third party. Such cancellation can be total or partial, depending on the extent of use.

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Unfair prejudice – no dividend?

’Unfair prejudice’ claims by minority shareholders are notoriously difficult to win. But, a recent case illustrates that the courts are prepared to intervene if necessary.

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Articles – wrongly filed

What happens if the wrong version of a company’s articles is filed at Companies House?

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Insolvency Rules – changes

Insolvency Rules 2016 came into force on 6 April 2017. They apply to all liquidations, CVAs, bankruptcies, debt relief orders, and individual insolvency arrangements – whenever commenced. In large part, it is a consolidation exercise but there are some changes to note:

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Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
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The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations 2019 are in force as of 2 December 2019 and permit heterosexual couples to enter into civil partnerships. Read more...
VAT reverse charge – postponed
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 A useful article analyses the potential implications of the reverse charge on VAT, which was due to be introduced for specified construction services in October 2019 but which has now been... Read more...
Electronic communications – practitioners beware
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article by Hardwicke Chambers reminds practitioners of the risks of a hasty or ill thought out email or social media post. The writer cites a situation where an email from a solicitor to... Read more...
Jurisdictional challenges – the basics
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An article considers a recent SC case in which litigants have been criticised for the way in which jurisdictional challenges are being conducted. The case concerned a group of some 1,800 Zambian... Read more...
LiPs – tips for dealing
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Litigants in person (LiPs) are on the increase due in part to legal aid cuts and an increase in the small claims limit. Maintaining the balance of treating LiPs fairly, while also acting in the best... Read more...
‘Elevation’ – front and rear of building
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 A 99-year lease contained a covenant prohibiting T from making any alterations to the elevation or external decoration of the property. Read more...
L changing locks – an act of surrender?
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There are various ways in which a leasehold estate in land may come to an end. One of these is surrender by operation of law. Sometimes the surrender of a lease does not take place by deed but is... Read more...
Beneficial ownership – reminder of key points
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Practitioners who advise co-owners on the acquisition of property will find a recent article reviewing the case law on beneficial ownership very useful. The key points are: Read more...
Sanctions – vexatious litigant
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
In long-running divorce and financial remedy proceedings, R was found to be an ‘exceptionally vexatious litigant’ throughout. Mostyn J made a general civil restraint order and a protection from... Read more...
Disciplinary process – external bodies
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 A useful article considers two recent cases on the issues that can arise for employers carrying out a disciplinary procedure when an external body becomes involved eg a regulatory body, police, a... Read more...

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