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Ashfords' In-house Legal Bulletin- June 2018

IR35 - where are we now?

The IR35 legislation has been brought into the spotlight again recently due to the media attention surrounding Christa Ackroyd's case.     

The basic mischief behind the rules is to prevent the avoidance of income tax and NICs by the insertion of an intermediary 'personal service company' between an employer and employee. Where the relationship between the individual and underlying client (ignoring the intermediary company) is one of employment then (in the private sector) the intermediary company must account for PAYE and NICs on the money received from the client.   

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Private Prosecutions for businesses 

There has been much publicity recently regarding disclosure failings in CPS prosecutions and the impact budget cuts have had on the Police and CPS.  Questions are being raised about the effectiveness of the usual way of bringing criminal matters to court.

An alternate method is the private prosecution. Under Section 6 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, any corporation or individual is entitled bring a criminal case of their own.

An important reason to consider this power is that significant cuts in Police and CPS staffing levels, requiring them to do more for less, has eroded their ability to bring cases properly and successfully. 

Figures are closely guarded but in 2012, 400 cases were so mismanaged by the CPS that £1,200,000 was paid in costs. A particular issue is that the Police frequently classify fraud against a business as a "victimless" crime, or a "civil" matter - and refuse to investigate.

Unfortunately, the situation is likely to get worse, and it is fair to question whether businesses should rely solely on public prosecutors where they become victims of crime.

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Brexit: The impact on Environmental Law in the Planning Process.

The decision to leave the EU will inevitably have far reaching legal consequences which still remain uncertain at this time, but what effect will Brexit have on Environmental Impact Assessment regulation? 

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a means of drawing together an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects arising from a proposed development. Developers and local planning authorities are regularly engaged in information gathering exercises which enable local authorities to understand the environmental effects of a development before deciding whether or not a particular development should go ahead. With Brexit upon us, should developers and local authorities be looking to the horizon? Are fears that Brexit will have a negative impact on the environment justified?

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