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Skywell UK Ltd v HMRC

In Skywell UK Ltd v HMRC (TC02288 – 9 October) a company (S) claimed a repayment of input tax. HMRC rejected the claim on the grounds that it appeared that the transactions were connected with MTIC fraud. S appealed and subsequently applied for the appeal to be assigned to another company (R). The First-tier Tribunal rejected the application. Judge McKenna held that applying the principles laid down by Moore-Bick LJ in Simpson v Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust CA [2012] 1 All ER 1423 the purported assignment was ‘void on the grounds that it is champertous and unenforceable for reasons of public policy’.

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Why it matters: For the leading authorities on the principle of ‘champerty’ see the judgment of Lord Mustill in Giles v Thompson HL [1993] 3 All ER 321 and the judgment of Lord Hoffmann in...

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