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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across the global business community.

COVID-19

Guidance

The guidance on this site is designed to provide answers to key operational and legal questions, and practical advice for your business in the face of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, particularly as Government support measures are gradually withdrawn and the business community adapts to a new working environment.

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Update on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

Last week the Government announced that it will be introducing legislation that enables judges to use procedural shortcuts to dismiss so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (or "SLAPPs") at an early stage. This follows a campaign by UK newspapers to prevent wealthy individuals from issuing SLAPPs with the intention of preventing legitimate public interest journalism.

Force majeure, reasonable endeavours and sanctions: Court of Appeal takes a different view

In MUR Shipping BV v RTI Ltd, the Court of Appeal ruled that a force majeure clause did not apply because the party unable to comply with its obligations had offered suitable alternative performance (as envisaged by the clause, which included a reasonable endeavours obligation).  In doing so, it reversed the decision at first instance, where the court ruled that the shipowners were entitled to insist on being paid in US dollars, not euros, as required by the contract. The case highlights the difficulties in relying on force majeure clauses, even where (as here) the contract is affected by US sanctions.

A second bite at the cherry: Governmental consults again on the design of the Building Safety Levy

We reported last summer on the Government's 2021 consultation about the design and implementation of the Building Safety Levy (the "Levy"). It is intended to contribute to the costs of anticipated building safety expenditure to ensure that neither the taxpayer nor tenants have to pay for the remediation of safety defects in the existing high-rise housing stock. Since that consultation, the scope of the Levy has expanded to apply to all new residential developments that require building control approval (with a few exceptions). The Building Safety Act 2022 has also been enacted, section 58 of which gives the Secretary of State broad powers to raise a Levy on any in-scope building.

Real Estate Tax Checklist - December 2022

There is plenty going on of interest to those in the real estate sector, both domestically (e.g. the recent “mini-Budget” and Autumn Statement announcements) and internationally (e.g. the signing of a new UK/Luxembourg double tax treaty), and with so many tax developments progressing it can be difficult to stay on top of things. Our briefing provides a checklist of the key tax issues to be aware of (including future developments) and sets out the actions you should be undertaking now in preparation.

Water and Sewerage Group Claim in England: the Competition Appeal Tribunal collective proceedings regime continues to be tested

Claimants are finding novel ways to advance collective proceedings, including the increasingly popular collective proceedings regime in the Competition Appeal Tribunal ("CAT").  While this regime was introduced to facilitate competition law claims, claimant law firms are finding creative ways to use it for matters that do not appear, at first blush, to be "competition" related matters at all. 

ICO revises guidance on Transfer Risk Assessments

On 17 November 2022, the ICO revised its guidance on international transfers, created a new section on transfer risk assessments (TRA) and released a new TRA tool.  The new TRA tool can be used to undertake a transfer risk assessment, which is required where there's a restricted transfer of data outside the UK (not covered by UK "adequacy regulations") that relies upon an "appropriate safeguards" mechanism in Article 46 of the UK GDPR, such as standard contractual clauses.  

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