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Keyword ads – trade mark

A recent case illustrates the dangers of buying keyword ads on Google in the name of a competitor – especially if that competitor has a trade mark.

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HMRC – reasonable excuse

HMRC cannot impose a ‘penalty’ if the taxpayer took ‘reasonable care’ to avoid an inaccuracy. The general rule is that if the taxpayer takes professional advice then that will be a reasonable excuse.

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Grey goods – criminal

Selling ‘grey goods’ can be a criminal offence (under Trade Marks Act 1994).

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Financial advice – negligence?

In the medical/clinical negligence world the most important decision of recent years was Montgomery [2016], which overruled the long-standing principles established in Bolam [1957]. Under Bolam a medical professional’s actions were judged by asking whether that professional ‘was acting in accordance with a practice of competent respected professional opinion’. In other words, if a reasonably competent practitioner would have taken the same approach, then there would not have been negligence.

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Contract – or counter-offer?

When do negotiations turn into a binding contract? If the other side responds with a counter-offer, does that form the basis of the contract?

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HMRC – offshore accounts

HMRC has offered (another) last chance to come clean about offshore money (it is called a ‘requirement to correct’). The scheme calls for voluntary disclosure by September 2018, but there are severe penalties – 200% of the tax, plus the tax due and interest. In addition, there is currently a proposal for an additional 10% asset-based penalty, plus there will almost certainly be publication on the list of deliberate tax defaulters. Note that there is no undertaking by HMRC that they will not prosecute.

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Companies Act 2006 – no limited liability?

CA 2006 came into force in October 2009 but there is a danger that its provisions have inadvertently resulted in some limited companies becoming unlimited.

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Variation – anti-oral clauses

This year has seen a series of cases in which the courts have held that a ‘no variation’ clause in a contract is not binding. What we see is a clear intent on the part of the courts that contractual agreement should be eroded in favour of ‘party autonomy’ and a greater flexibility:

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Freedom of information – vexatious

There is a general right of access to information held by a public body (FoI 2000). But, this does not apply if a request is ‘vexatious’ (s14). However, the Act does not define ‘vexatious’ although it is made clear that the burden is very high to show that the request is indeed vexatious.

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Airline flights – delay

The Denied Boarding Regs give compensation to passengers whose flights are delayed if the flight departs from an EU airport. But, there has been much argument about the situation concerning missed connections.

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Page 9 of 42

Most-read articles

Civil partnerships – heterosexual couples
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
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
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 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
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
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
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
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
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
 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?
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
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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