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Accidents can happen - Laura Saunsbury in Pull! Magazine

It was great to have an opportunity to meet so many coaches recently at the highly successful CPSA Coaching Conference. I have no doubt that CPSA-qualified coaches and instructors do much not only to develop the talent of the next generation of clay shooters but also to instil the values of safe and responsible gun ownership. Despite popular misconceptions, clay target and other shooting sports rank among the safest of all sports, with a far lower level of accidents than, for example, angling − never mind football, rugby or skiing.

Nonetheless, accidents can and do occasionally happen. With that in mind, CPSA Head Office have asked me to tell you about a new insurance policy they have introduced from January 1 2013 for ground owner members, which gives greater protection not only to the grounds and their staff but to everyone who attends and shoots there.

What you need to know if you own, run or work at a shooting ground

This is a CPSA member benefit which complements, but does not replace, your existing public liability insurance. The new policy is designed to provide legal expenses cover for grounds in connection with legal costs arising from a wide variety of claims made against grounds and their staff.The level of excess payable will depend on the tier of membership subscription your ground has with the CPSA. For further details of the policy, please see the CPSA website.

What you need to know if you are an individual member and believe you may have a claim against a ground or individual, or alternatively that a claim may be brought against you by another individual

Report the incident to the ground and ask them to confirm to you when they have notified their insurers. If there is an accident in which you caused injury to another person or damage to their property, one of your longstanding CPSA member benefits is the member’s liability and personal accident insurance which will indemnify you for any such liability. This covers you for any accident while participating in CPSA-recognised and approved activities, which includes not just clay target shooting but virtually all forms of shooting, not only with shotguns but also rifles and airguns. This insurance also provides you with no fault compensation benefits if you are permanently injured in a shooting accident. Not only are individual members covered by this policy, but so too are all CPSA qualified coaches and instructors, safety officers and referees, regional and county officials, committee members and volunteers. In all cases, if there is an incident which you believe could give rise to a claim being made, whether against a shooting ground or an individual member, it should be reported to staff at the ground and recorded in the ground’s incident book.

The ground should ask all staff who were involved to make a detailed written statement as soon as possible after the event while it is still fresh in their mind. Similarly, if you are an individual member and you believe you have a valid claim or may have a claim brought against you, it is important that you and any witnesses who were present write down your recollection of events as soon as possible. In all cases, the insurers should be notified of any potential claim(s) immediately as delay can result in the insurers reducing the amount they will pay out under the policy. Do not admit liability or make any offer of settlement without first consulting the insurers and any legal advisers appointed by them.

Laura Saunsbury Honorary solicitor

This article is reproduced by the kind persmission of the CPSA. It was originally featured in the April 2013 edition of Pull! Magazine.

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Impact of Unauthorised Speed Limit Signs

There have been some interesting stories in the press over the last few days about the likely impact of an error in the design of some variable speed limit signs.

The story was first reported by the BBC, which predicts that thousands of speeding convictions may be quashed as a result of the mistake.

Road Traffic Signs Not Conforming to the Law

The signs in question were displayed on two sections of the M42, to the west of Coventry. They were slightly taller and narrower than the requirements set out in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions – the document that governs the use of variable speed limit signs.

Signs that do not conform to these requirements are only enforceable if they are approved separately by the Department of Transport – and no approval had been obtained. At least, according to the BBC, no approval had been obtained between 2006, when the signs were installed, and November 2012, when the Crown Prosecution Service raised the issue with Warwickshire Police.

This caused the police to stop using the signs as a means of enforcement and drop pending prosecutions relating to them. However, there is a question mark over the validity of the many thousands of speeding convictions that were imposed previously.

Speaking to the BBC, Warwickshire Police’s Gary Hollis said, "Motorists who have already had their cases dealt with by the courts, conditional offers of fixed penalty or speed awareness courses are advised to take independent advice regarding how this affects their individual cases."

The Department of Transport has now approved the use of the variable speed limit signs, and they have been subject to the usual enforcement action since 1 January 2013.

Contact our Motoring Defence Solicitors

Our motoring defence solicitors based in London are specialists in defending speeding charges and challenging speeding convictions and can help you. Please contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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New EU Money Laundering Rules Proposed

The European Commission recently adopted two proposals to reinforce the EU's existing rules on anti-money laundering and fund transfers. The Commission believes that, as the threats associated with money laundering and terrorist financing are constantly evolving, regular updates of the rules are required.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is defined by HMRC as:

the exchange of “money or assets that were obtained criminally for money or other assets that are 'clean'. The clean money or assets don't have an obvious link with any criminal activity. Money laundering also includes money that's used to fund terrorism, however it's obtained.”

A series of regulations are in force in the UK to deal with money laundering here, and these implement the Third EU Money Laundering Directive.

EU Proposals

The European Commission has been reviewing the Directive, and has now put forward a package of measures to reinforce the current regime. These include:

  • A Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing;
  • A Regulation on information accompanying transfers of funds to secure "due traceability" of these transfers.

Risk-based approach

According to the Commission, the measures will provide for a more targeted and focused risk-based approach.

In particular, the new Directive:

  • improves clarity and consistency of the rules across the Member States by:
    • providing a clear mechanism for identification of beneficial owners;
    • improving clarity and transparency of the rules on customer due diligence; and
    • and by expanding the provisions dealing with politically exposed persons.
  • extends its scope to address new threats and vulnerabilities by ensuring, for instance, a coverage of the gambling sector (the former directive covered only casinos) and by including an explicit reference to tax crimes.
  • promotes high standards for anti-money laundering by going beyond the Financial Action Task Force requirements. It does this by bringing within its scope all persons dealing in goods or providing services for cash payment of €7,500 or more.
  • strengthens the cooperation between the different national Financial Intelligence Units whose tasks are to receive, analyse and disseminate to competent authorities reports about suspicions of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Reinforce sanctioning powers

According to the Commission, the two proposals should reinforce the sanctioning powers of the competent authorities by introducing such things as a set of minimum principle-based rules to strengthen administrative sanctions and a requirement for them to coordinate actions when dealing with cross-border cases.

"Dirty money has no place in our economy, whether it comes from drug deals, the illegal guns trade or trafficking in human beings,” said Home affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. “We must make sure that organised crime cannot launder its funds through the banking system or the gambling sector.”

Money Laundering Lawyers London

For specialist legal advice regarding the new EU money laundering laws or for criminal defence against money laundering charges or investigations, please contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

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Freeholders - consult fully or pay the price!

The majority judgement by the Supreme Court in Daejan investments v Benson appears to have modified the previously strict interpretation of S20 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended). Previously, if a freeholder failed to follow proper procedures to consult leaseholders re major works or renovations then the freeholder was at risk of footing the bill.

This is a huge issue for freeholders and leaseholders alike, particularly in London which has many large ageing mansion flats requiring extensive work programmes. It also affects many "right to buy " purchasers who, having bought former local authority properties can find themselves facing massive renovation programmes to which they must contribute.

The Supreme Court has held that S20 should only apply if the leaseholder has suffered actual relevant prejudice, ie the onus will be upon the leaseholder to prove that had they been properly consulted they could have found a cheaper builder or that they are out of pocket as a result of the failure to consult.

This decision will assist the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) to clarify the position when considering an application for dispensation for statutory consultation under s20 and indeed it can be argued that this decision has widened the LVT discretion to grant dispensation in these cases.

If a freeholder is in serious breach of S20, as long as they offer to reduce the overall bill so that it accurately compensates the leaseholder for any prejudice and pay their reasonable costs all is not lost.

However, its wise for freeholders/landlords to consult their leaseholders (tenants) in full or prepare to pay the price.

If you have any similar concerns, either as a freeholder or leaseholder: contact Richard McConnell, Janak Bakrania or our property litigation specialist Jasbir Kaur.

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Former tax association president jailed for tax fraud

In yet another example of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tightening the screw on tax fraud, a former president of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and a fellow company director were jailed this week for the offence.

According to HMRC, they were both sentenced to eight and half years for a £5 million pension scheme scam.

Andrew Meeson and associate Peter Bradley were both found guilty of the conspiracy, which centred on two pension schemes administered by their company, Tudor Capital Management Limited.

HMRC Tax Repayment Investigation

HMRC investigators found that between June 2007 and March 2010 they received income tax repayments amounting to £5 million. The two claimed that this was the refund due on £20 million of contributions that pension scheme members had made. The investigators found these contributions did not exist.

“This was blatant theft from the UK economy by people who exploited their positions of trust and authority,” said Simon De Kayne, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC. “This prosecution reinforces our effectiveness in the crackdown to uncover and bring before the courts those involved in tax evasion and fraud.”

Confiscation proceedings to reclaim the crime profits are now underway.

Contact our tax fraud defence solicitors

For specialist legal advice for tax fraud investigations, please contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032.

This blog is intended as a news item only. No connection between Lewis Nedas Law and parties to the case is implied.


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