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M&S — An Unexpected Result?

 
Sean Finn tax partner at Lovells discusses the outcome of the recently issued Advocate General's Opinion in Marks & Spencer v Halsey
 
On 7 April 2005 Advocate General Maduro issued his Opinion in Marks & Spencer v Halsey Case C-446/03. Rarely has an AG's Opinion provoked so much debate about what it means and its possible implications. In summary the AG concluded that:
 
●     the existing UK group relief system does constitute a restriction on the freedom of establishment under EU law;
 
●     such a restriction is not prohibited under EU law if it is imposed for legitimate reasons compatible with EU law and is justified on public interest grounds — restrictions imposed to ensure 'the cohesion of individual Member States' tax systems' can...

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