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  • Case: UKSC 2019/0089. R v Copeland (AP) (Appellant)

    Issues:For the purposes of section 4(1) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, can personal experimentation or own private education, absent some ulterior lawful purpose, be regarded as a "lawful object"?Facts:Mr Copeland was charged with two counts of having in his possession an explosive substance in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that he had not made it for a lawful purpose, contrary to s.4(1) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0152. Zipvit Ltd (Appellant) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Respondent)

    Issues:Where a customer pays a supplier for what both parties mistakenly believe is a VAT-exempt supply, but turns out to be standard rated, can the customer claim a deduction of input tax from HMRC for the VAT element of the original payment? Facts:Zipvit used postal services provided by Royal Mail. All parties believed that the services were exempt from VAT but the European Court of Justice subsequently decided they are not. Zipvit therefore claims a deduction for input tax in respect of the payments it made for these services, which it says as a matter of law included an element of VAT. Royal Mail has never paid the VAT to HMRC. Many cases stand behind Zipvit’s case, selected as a lead case, and the total amount of tax at stake is in excess of £1 billion.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0203. Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (Appellant) v London Clubs Management Ltd (Respondent)

    Issues:The correct approach as to determining the value of non-negotiable chips for the purpose of calculating gaming duty.Facts:This case concerns non-negotiable chips and promotional vouchers ("Non-Negs") which are worth their face value when played in a casino game. The issue in the appeal is whether a player who places a bet in one of London Club Management Ltd’s casinos using Non-Negs, has staked "value, in money or money’s worth" with the casino, within the meaning of section 11(10)(a) of the Finance Act 1997. This issue is relevant to London Club Management Ltd’s liability to gaming duty in respect of Non-Negs that are lost to (or otherwise retained by) London Club Management Ltd as banker.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0225. Cardtronics UK Ltd and others (Respondents) v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) (Appellants)

    Issues:Who is the rateable occupier of the site of a cash machine whose operator is a different company from the occupier of the premises in which it is located?Facts:Cash machines in supermarkets are often operated by a separate bank rather than by the supermarket. The Valuation Officers have listed the sites as separate hereditaments in the rateable occupation of the banks.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0226. Fowler (Respondent) v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Appellant)

    Issues:Whether Article 7 (on business profits) of the UK-South Africa Double Taxation Treaty ("DTC") or Article 14 DTC (on income from employment) applies for the purpose of allocating taxing rights in respect of remuneration for services provided by a diver in the UK under a contract of employment.Facts:Mr Fowler is a qualified diver and a resident of South Africa. In the tax years 2011/2012 and 2012/2013, he undertook diving engagements in the waters of the UK continental shelf. The DTC, to which the UK and South Africa are parties, came into force on 17 December 2002. The dispute concerns whether the UK or South Africa is entitled to levy tax on Mr Fowler’s income derived from his diving activities during those two tax years. It is common ground between the parties that, if Mr Fowler was self-employed, the answer to the question is South Africa. However, it is in dispute whether he was in fact self-employed. The First-tier Tribunal ("FTT") directed the trial of a preliminary issue concerning the application of the DTC and the UK’s domestic tax legislation. That issue was addressed on the factual assumption that Mr Fowler was an employee during those years. Judge Brannan in the FTT answered that question in Mr Fowler’s favour, but Marcus Smith J, in the Upper Tribunal, reversed that decision. The Court of Appeal, by a majority, allowed the appeal by Mr Fowler. The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs now appeal to the Supreme Court.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0234. T W Logistics Ltd (Appellant) v Essex County Council & another (Respondents)

    Issues:How does the legislation prohibiting various activities on town or village greens interact with the registration regime, given the rule that the public’s activities on the land before registration may co-exist with those of the landowner, and must do after registration.Facts:The Council has registered part of the Port of Mistley, owned by TWL, as a Town or Village Green. By the Commons Act 2006, land is registrable as a town or village green if it is land on which significant number of the inhabitants of any locality… have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years… . TWL challenges the registration, arguing that its effect would be to criminalise many of its activities in operating the Port.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0062. Peninsula Securities Ltd (Respondent) v Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd (Appellant) (Northern Ireland)

    Issues:Whether the doctrine of restraint of trade applies to a restrictive covenant in a lease granted by the respondent’s predecessor in title to the appellant.Facts:Mr Shortall, the freehold owner of land in Londonderry, wished to develop a shopping centre on the land. On 2 February 1981 he granted a 999-year lease of part of the land to the appellant. The lease contained a restrictive covenant that any development on the remaining land would not contain a large unit for the purpose of trading in textiles, provisions or groceries. In 1983 Mr Shortall transferred the freehold and his interest in the lease to the respondent. In 2010 the respondent issued proceedings for, amongst other matters, a declaration that the restrictive covenant was unenforceable as an unreasonable restraint of trade. This issue was determined in the High Court as a preliminary issue.

  • Case: UKSC 2019/0001. Dill (Appellant) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and another (Respondents)

    Issues:On an application for listed building consent, should the Planning Inspector consider whether the items listed were ‘buildings’; and(ii) what is the correct approach to determining whether the items are ‘buildings’?Facts:In 1973 the appellant’s father purchased Idlicote House, which had been designated a Grade II listed building in 1966. He brought with him from his previous residences a pair of eighteenth-century lead urns resting on limestone piers and put them in the gardens. On 30 June 1986 the urns and piers were individually listed. The appellant came into ownership of Idlicote House in 1993 but was unaware of the listing. He sold the items at public auction in 2009. In 2015 the second respondent (‘the Council’) told the appellant that listed building consent had been required for the removal of the items. The Council refused his application for consent and issued a listed building enforcement notice requiring the return of the items. The appellant appealed against both decisions, contending that there had been no breach of listed building control because the items were not buildings, that the items should be de-listed, or consent given. The Inspector dismissed his appeals.

  • Case: UKSC 2019/0046. BTI 2014 LLC (Appellant) v Sequana SA and others (Respondents)

    Issues: Whether an otherwise lawful dividend may nevertheless in principle be a "transaction defrauding creditors" under section 423 Insolvency Act 1986. Whether the trigger for the directors’ duty to consider creditors is merely a real risk of, as opposed to a probability of or close proximity to, insolvency. Facts:Sequana’s subsidiary was liable to indemnify BAT for costs arising from the clean-up of a polluted river. The directors of the subsidiary resolved that it should pay a substantial dividend to Sequana, without – BAT says – leaving enough money in the subsidiary to pay for the clean-up costs.

  • Case: UKSC 2018/0131. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (Respondent) v Kymab Ltd (Appellant)

    Issues:Kymab Ltd ("Kymab") alleges that the relevant patents are invalid for insufficiency because they did not enable the ordinary skilled person to work the claimed invention across the breadth of the claims.Facts:The patents are concerned with biotechnology, and in particular the production of human antibodies using transgenic mice. By the priority date, the potential uses of antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins) for treating human disease had been well recognised, and a number of different antibodies had been developed and approved for such use. The patents describe a technique for making such antibodies. Regeneron appealed the decision of Henry Carr J that European Patent (UK) No 1 360 287 and its divisional European Patent (UK) No 2 264 163 ("the 287 patent" and "the 163 patent" respectively) are invalid. Kymab cross-appealed against the judge's finding that its various strains of transgenic mice would infringe claims 5 and 6 of the 287 patent and claim 1 of the 163 patent if those patents had not been invalid. Regeneron’s appeal was allowed by the Court of Appeal. Kymab’s cross-appeal was dismissed.

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