Oliver Powell appears in Court of Appeal on behalf of taxpayer
Oliver Powell, led by Michael-Patchett-Joyce, was instructed by Madhu Chempakasari of Imran Khan & Partners to appear in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) on behalf of Behzad Fuels (UK) Ltd (‘Behzad’), the Respondent.
The appeal had its genesis in a decision by the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’) not to restore commercial vehicles seized from Behzad in 2013 (‘the Restoration Decision’), and HMRC’s further decision to revoke the approval of Behzad as a Registered Dealer in Controlled Oil (‘RDCO’) (‘the Revocation Decision’).
The Appeal was concerned with two grounds of appeal:
- HMRC’s first ground, which applied only to the Revocation Decision, was that the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (‘UT’) erred in law in directing that HMRC’s fresh review of that decision should be conducted on the basis of Notice 192 as it stood at the time of the Revocation Decision (i.e. the February 2013 version), rather than the extant version.
- HMRC’s second ground, related to both the Revocation Decision and the Restoration Decision. Again, it concerned the basis upon which the further reviews directed by the UT should be carried out. Again, HMRC submitted that the UT erred in law in holding that it must consider, when making a decision on restoration or revocation of approval, that Behzad was not involved in laundering of oil, in circumstances where there had been no finding, on the balance of probabilities, that it was so involved.
The Court of Appeal (Hamblen, Henderson and Greeen LJJ) allowed the appeal in part. It held that HMRC must still review the two original First-tier Tribunal (Tax) (‘FTT’) decisions on the basis directed by the UT, save with the omission of the directions given at  and  of the UT decision.
A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available here.
A copy of the UTT’s earlier decision is available here.
Oliver has been retained by Behzad since 2014, appearing for the company in the FTT on two occasions, the UT, and most recently in the Court of Appeal.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Oliver worked at the Solicitor’s Office of H.M. Revenue & Customs in VAT & Excise Litigation. Over the last 13 years, Oliver has acted for taxpayers in relation to VAT & Excise matters before the FTT. He has advised on and appeared in appeals before the FTT in cases involving the seizure of goods for alleged non-payment of Excise Duty, breaches of prohibitions and regulations on importation and associated non-restoration appeals. He also has extensive experience in condemnation proceedings involving the liability of goods to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, and is routinely instructed by companies to contest such matters.
Barristers: Oliver Powell