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In Mr D v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 850 (22 December 2016) the FTT found that the facts that the appellant was a public figure and that some of the expenses at issue related to a libel action did not justify a private hearing.

The appellant was a self-employed media entertainer and performer who had a public profile and was referred to as a celebrity. The substantive issue concerned the deductibility of legal expenses incurred in relation to a defamation claim against the appellant’s ex-wife and of expenses incurred in fitting a security gate to his domicile.

This was an application for a hearing in private under the Tribunal Rules 2009 r 32. The FTT first noted that ‘the open justice principle is not a mere procedural rule. It is a fundamental common law principle’ (Lord Dyson in Al Rawli at [11]); and that a hearing in private...

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