Valentines Homes and Construction Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs: CA 31 Mar 2010

The claimant had applied for judicial review of a decision by the defendant to seek to recover a debt from them. The issue had however been settled in the County Court. Costs were ordered against them, and they now appealed. In a small company the chief manager and owner suffered a severe head injury, and his wife had failed to make PAYE payments. They said that HMRC had failed to respond to the details supplied and had pursued a sum which they ought to have known was incorrect.
Held: The appeal succeeded, and the HMRC was ordered to pay the claimants costs, though in a reducded amount.
The court considered that the defendant’s equitable liability policy, if it ever applied, applied in this case: ‘I do not consider that it was an abuse of the process of the court or unreasonable for the appellants to resort to a public law claim in the prevailing circumstances. Despite the good sense and relevance of the equitable liability practice, HMRC had initiated, and despite all reasonable efforts by the appellants to settle for the sum actually due, persisted in their statutory claim for the amount deemed to be due. HMRC failed to respond to the appellants’ proposals for over four months, notwithstanding reminders. They were then supplied with detailed and, it appears, scrupulous, calculations of the sum actually due but persisted in a claim for the sum deemed to be due under Regulation 78.’

Pill, Moore-Bick LJJ, Sir David Keene
[2010] EWCA Civ 345
England and Wales
CitedRegina v Huntingdon District Council, Ex parte Cowan QBD 1984
The plaintiff sought judicial review of a refusal of a local authority to grant a liquor licence and a music and dancing licence. Review was sought despite a right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.
Held: If other means of redress are . .
CitedWandsworth London Borough Council v Winder HL 1985
Rent demands were made by a local authority landlord on one of its tenants. The local authority, using its powers under the Act, resolved to increase rents generally. The tenant refused to pay the increased element of the rent. He argued that the . .
CitedMercury Communications Ltd v Director General of Telecommunications and Another HL 10-Feb-1995
The Secretary of State’s decision on the grant of a Telecommunications licence was challengeable by Summons and not by Judicial Review. A dispute between Mercury and BT as to charges as set by the Director General is a private not a public dispute. . .
MentionedKay and Another v London Borough of Lambeth and others; Leeds City Council v Price and others and others HL 8-Mar-2006
In each case the local authority sought to recover possession of its own land. In the Lambeth case, they asserted this right as against an overstaying former tenant, and in the Leeds case as against gypsies. In each case the occupiers said that the . .
CitedBoddington v British Transport Police HL 2-Apr-1998
The defendant had been convicted, under regulations made under the Act, of smoking in a railway carriage. He sought to challenge the validity of the regulations themselves. He wanted to argue that the power to ban smoking on carriages did not . .
CitedPyx Granite Co Ltd v Minister of Housing and Local Government CA 1958
Pyx Granite had the right to quarry in two areas of the Malvern Hills. The company required permission to break fresh surface on one of the sites.
Held: Conditions attached to the planning permission relating to such matters as the times when . .
CitedAl Fayed v Advocate General for Scotland (Representing the Inland Revenue Commissioners) SCS 29-Jun-2004
The petitioners reclaimed against an interlocutor refusing their petition for judicial review of the refusal of the Commissioners to abide by an agreement reached with them.
Held: The Revenue were permitted, in exercise of a managerial . .
CitedPyx Granite Ltd v Ministry of Housing and Local Government HL 1959
There is a strong presumption that Parliament will not legislate to prevent individuals affected by legal measures promulgated by executive public bodies having a fair opportunity to challenge these measures and to vindicate their rights in court . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Costs, Taxes Management

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.406624