The Practical Lawyer


Insolvency – tax issues

The insolvency of a company can result in many tax complications. Remember that:

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Retention of title – the basics

In a recession, thoughts turn to protecting one’s business against bad debts. The most powerful protection is to take some form of security and, for many businesses, the best and most common form of quasi-security will be a retention of title (ROT) provision in the sale or supply contract. This will simply provide that the goods do not pass to the buyer until they have been paid for. Thus, the seller will be able to reclaim the goods if the full price is not paid. Moreover, since title has not passed, the goods will not be included in any security given by the buyer to anyone else.

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Statutory demand – dispute

A statutory demand is a formal demand for payment of a debt (using a prescribed form). Failure to comply with the demand (or to contest it) within three weeks of service means that the debtor is deemed unable to pay the debt for insolvency purposes (and thus the creditor can present a bankruptcy petition or a winding-up petition).

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Airlines – bankrupty

The recent demise of several airlines has focused attention on the rights of passengers who are left stranded abroad.

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Lost goods – damages?

Suppose a manufacturer or seller leaves goods with a carrier, and the carrier loses them. How are the damages to be quantified?

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US – immigration

All business executives should be aware of the difficulties of getting a US visa if there has been a ‘crime involving moral turpitude’ or ‘a controlled substance violation’. As far as drugs are concerned, this will include simple possession of a controlled substance, and also possession of drugs paraphernalia.

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Consumer Credit – October chaos

October was the commencement date for many of the important provisions of Consumer Credit Act 2006. However, it is fair to say that some aspects of the regulatory process have descended into a complete shambles.

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Limitation of liability – commercial agreements

To what extent will the courts interfere with clauses that exclude or limit liability in commercial agreements?

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Consumers – doorstep selling

New doorstep selling Regs came into force on 1 October. The earlier, 1987, Regs provided a consumer of goods bought as a result of an unsolicited visit to the home or place of work, with a seven-day cooling off period in which to cancel (by giving written notice to the seller).

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Auctions – liability

Any description of a lot (eg in the catalogue or in an oral description during the auction) will be governed by the Sale of Goods Act 1979, which implies a term that goods will correspond with that description. If the goods are not as described, then the buyer may be entitled to reject the goods or claim back the purchase price (or claim damages for the difference in value).

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