Monthly Archives: April 2020

FCA extends deadline for ceasing to issue new loans based on LIBOR – what does this mean for lenders and borrowers?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the FCA has decided to extend its deadline for ceasing to issue new loans based on LIBOR until the end of Q1 2021. Banking & financial disputes Partner, Janine Alexander, comments on the …

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Coronavirus: The relaxing of competition law in the new normal

As governments worldwide steer their respective countries and citizens through an unprecedented time in modern day history, measures are being swiftly implemented by competition regulators to lessen the financial impact of COVID-19 on consumers. Competition laws are in place to …

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Overview of English Inheritance Tax law – Part 1 (Turkish language)

An overview of English Inheritance Tax law from Tulin Kiranoglu-Hamit (Turkish language) Collyer Bristow’un Vergi Departmani uluslararasi vergi planlamasi konularinda uzmanlasmis ekibi ile Turk muvekkilerine destek vermeye devam etmektedir.  Tulin Kiranoglu-Hamit onculugunde  Collyer Bristow hukuk firmamiz Turk muvekkilerine vergi hukuku ve …

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Grievances and Disciplinary Meetings during Lockdown – Proceed or Postpone?

Employers have had to respond to the unique challenges faced by the Covid-19 pandemic, adjusting to the current lockdown by making most employees work remotely from home. This poses potential challenges in running disciplinary, performance and grievance procedures with the …

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How is the Aviation industry managing with COVID-19?

Markets around the world are in treacherous and uncharted waters (US oil benchmark goes negative?!) and the aviation sector looks to be in just about as bad a shape as any. The word ‘unprecedented’ may be in danger of becoming …

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Is it time to go back to work on construction sites?

The good news for this Friday morning is that developers such as Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry are all looking to reopen their sites, with the encouragement of housing ministers and that those sites may reopen from as early as Monday.A word of warning however. Despite these contractors going back to work, there are likely to be difficulties. These will lie not only with the need for strict health and safety protocols and continued social distancing but there may also be difficulties with the supply of materials, transporting of workers and delays caused by existing social distancing requirements; build programmes will already have been delayed by at least 3-4 weeks by the cessation of work and are likely to be delayed further in light of these issues. It is therefore time to revisit your contractual obligations relating to your programme of works. If there are long-stop dates or damages payable if target dates are not met, then now is a good time to seek to vary your contractual commitments to give yourself more flexibility on the programming. If you need help or strategic advice on amendments to the build programme or force majeure provisions under development agreements, building contracts or subcontracts, or in the case of funding arrangements with your bank deferring maturity dates under the loan agreements, then please do contact us and we would be delighted to help.

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Liquidation of hacked exchange Cryptopia leads to cryptoasset property ruling in New Zealand

2020 has been a landmark year for cryptoasset decisions. On 8 April 2020 New Zealand had its first major decision in this area. Justice David Gendall at the High Court in Christchurch considered that cryptoassets were property in the context of a liquidation. In doing so he held that users of the exchange are entitled to the assets they hold in Cryptopia accounts, deciding they should be classed as “property” as they were held in separate trust accounts.The matter involved Cryptopia, a crypto exchange formed in 2014 which went into liquidation in 2019 after a serious hack and loss of 30 million dollars of cryptocurrency. Issues arose in the liquidation over who owns the remaining cryptocurrency and what should happen to it.The company had over 800,000 users with positive balances that needed to be reimbursed, as well as 37 creditors and 90 shareholders who wanted their share of the remaining assets.The applicants (the liquidators) applied to the Court for directions under s 284(1)(a) of the Companies Act 1993 for categorisation and distribution of assets in the liquidation.The questions which were asked of the Court were (1) what are the assets in liquidation? (2) and what should be the method of distribution? It was held that: cryptoassets are property; the exchange was a trustee for the account holders of the currency on its exchange platform; and a separate trust exists for each type of cryptocurrency. The Court also gave directions that rules from the NZ Trustee Act in regards unidentifiable account holders would be applicable in regards anonymous account holders.Justice Gendall said that he reached “the conclusion that the cryptocurrencies […] situated in Cryptopia’s exchange are a species of intangible personal property and [are] clearly an identifiable thing of value. Without question they are capable of being the subject matter of a trust.”Similar to the findings of the UK Jurisdictional Task Force in the Legal Statement of November last year, the Courts of New Zealand are treating cryptoassets as property in the context of insolvency. Justice Gendall also echoed the Task Force’s view that cryptocurrency is not mere information, as he dismissed that argument.The decision aligns with the decisions in the UK, France and Australia this year, and Singapore last year, which all held cryptoassets to be property.

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Coronavirus: Furlough Leave – Updated Government Guidance

The HMRC online portal is now open for applications from businesses to claim 80% of the wages of furloughed employees up to £2,500 per month per employee. More than 140,000 businesses applied using the portal for over 1.3 million employees …

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Coronavirus: Housing market needs a stamp duty holiday but swift action is needed

Today (24/4/20) we echo the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) call for a stamp duty holiday to kick-start a stalled housing market, but warn that swift action is needed to prevent further inaction. Janet Armstrong-Fox, Partner and Head of …

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Can someone record you without your permission?

Recording without consent In recent reports of litigation concerning the Barclay family, it emerged that parties to litigation between family members had covertly recorded Sir Frederick Barclay at the Ritz hotel over a period of several months, without his consent. …

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