Monthly Archives: September 2020

Government delivers further blow to landlords in further restricting winding-up petitions

The government has confirmed that restrictions on commercial landlords on presenting a winding-up petition against tenants that have not paid rent are to be extended to the end of 2020. The announcement follows confirmation last week that it has extended …

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Competing LIBOR Transition Proposals Create More Problems

As the Dec. 31, 2021, end date for Libor approaches, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it will not be possible for market participants to amend all legacy contracts to add Libor fallback provisions or replace or ameliorate problematic fallback …

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Working From Home (again)

According to the Office of National Statistics, on 13 September, the number of people travelling into the workplace was more than triple those working from home (62% and 20% respectively). Before August the number of people travelling to work and …

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Collyer Bristow ranked as Top Law Firm by EPrivate Client

We are delighted to announce that Collyer Bristow has been ranked as a leading law firm in EPrivate Client’s 2020 listing, published today. This annual publication contains a detailed ranking of the best private client legal teams working in the …

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HMRC estate administration investigations

An article in the mainstream press has noted that HM Revenue & Customs has taken an additional £274m in inheritance tax (IHT) from its investigations into 5,638 estate administrations in the 2019/20 year. This is the highest in over 4 years and equates to an additional £48,500 of IHT for each estate which has been investigated.Experts have said that this is “due to the complexities of the IHT system” but probate professionals and commentators have instead pointed towards the recent uptake in probate applications submitted by personal rather than professional applicants. It appears that the Probate Registry’s new application procedures, which are now available online, have made it increasingly accessible for lay executors to attempt to file IHT returns and apply for probate themselves, rather than instruct an experienced professional, such as a solicitor, to undertake this work for them.This dramatic rise in investigations undertaken by HM Revenue & Customs and the substantial additional IHT claimed highlights the importance of instructing experienced professionals to undertake this work now, more than ever. Presenting information in the right way to HMRC limits the risk of enquiries and investigations, while it is clear that filing IHT accounts without professional assistance can be a false economy.Collyer Bristow LLP has again maintained its position as a top UK private client law firm in the eprivateclient rankings. Please contact us if you require assistance.

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Commercial Court provides guidance on ISDA swap claim for negative declaratory relief

On 11 September 2020, Mrs Justice Cockerill handed down an important judgment ([2020] EWHC 2436 (Comm)) providing guidance on the Courts’ approach to a claim for declaratory relief (including negative declarations) in relation to an interest rate swap subject to …

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Visa’s Acquisition of Plaid – Who Benefits Most?

The UK Competition and Markets Authority recently cleared the global card network Visa’s acquisition of Plaid, a US-based fintech, whose primary business is to act as an ‘aggregator’ in the payments sector. The deal, first announced in January of this …

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Battle of the b(r)ands: Lady A vs Lady A

The BBC has reported that the Seattle-based blues musician, Anita ‘Lady A’ White, has filed legal proceedings against the band Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum. Although the article’s headline misleadingly claims that the issue is one of copyright infringement, it actually relates to a trade mark dispute, adding to the music industry’s long history of battles of the brands.Lady Antebellum changed its name to Lady A in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests, its former name carrying associations with the pre-Civil War US South. When the band was contacted by the Seattle-based Lady A, the parties entered into negotiations that quickly broke down. The band then filed an action seeking a judgment that its name was not infringing. White has now filed a counterclaim stating that her long-term use of the ‘Lady A’ name means that she is entitled to continue to use it, and that the band’s adoption of the same moniker has diluted her brand’s value and caused lost sales due to confusion.Lady Antellebum’s decision to rechristen itself is not surprising in an age where civil rights movements are resonating more widely and profoundly than ever. It follows other industries’ consideration of several long-established brands. In June, for instance, Mars announced that it planned to overhaul its ‘Uncle Ben’s’ brand, which dates to 1946 and was named after an African American Texan rice farmer.However, the band’s apparent failure to come to an arrangement with Anita White highlights the importance of conducting clearance searches as far as possible before taking a step as critical as a brand change. Pre-filing searches, when conducted properly, can flag potential issues that otherwise might have been overlooked, saving headaches in the long run. The pre-emptive suit against Anita White has also resulted in unfavourable publicity for the band, and, if the case proceeds to trial, it may have to incur substantial legal fees.A more pragmatic solution for any musician facing a similar dilemma is to approach another artist using the same or similar name and ask whether they are open either to changing their brand or co-existing with yours. If neither option works out, there are plenty of examples of bands that have consequently chosen alternative names due to the unavailability of their initial preference, from Snow Patrol (‘Polar Bears’ had already been taken) to Blink 182 (the number was added after the band received a challenge from a homonymous Irish band). Once you have decided on a name that is available, it is wise to protect it as soon as possible as a trade mark. This will enhance your rights in respect of your brand, but also act as a deterrent to any other competing artists who might be interested in using the same or a very similar name.

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New LCIA Arbitration Rules: In force on 1 October 2020

(1) Case Management Powers Enabling Expedition The 2014 version of the LCIA Arbitration Rules made clear that the tribunal has “the widest discretion to discharge [its] general duties” and that “the Arbitral Tribunal may, subject to the LCIA Rules, make …

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Insurance test case rules some insurers should have paid out for losses caused by Coronavirus lockdown

Small businesses have been thrown a lifeline as a result of today’s insurance test case judgment, which ruled that some insurers should have paid out for losses caused by lockdown, since disease clauses in business interruption policies meant they were …

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