Tax Tribunal Success for Alistair Webster QC

Alistair Webster has just completed the successful challenge to the revocation of approvals to operate a bonded warehouse for a major UK based operator.

The company, Q (anonymised) received, without any advanced notice from HMRC, notices that all of its operating permissions were to be withdrawn.  This news was received on 17th December, 2018, with a direction that no new duty free goods could be accepted from the date of revocation.  The potentially disastrous effects of this on a substantial business will be obvious.  Alistair, leading Michael Firth of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers and instructed by Sally Hutchings of Morrisons, quickly secured injunctions, enabling business to continue pending an appeal to the FTT.  The case, both in the High Court and the FTT, involved complex issues of EU and domestic law, including issues relating to the Court’s power to grant an injunction ancillary to FTT proceedings.

Following Alistair’s opening, which prompted the disclosure of further material, HMRC abandoned its case and agreed to pay a substantial contribution towards Q’s costs (despite the parties having opted out of the costs regime!).

Sally Hutchings comments: “The combination of Alistair’s forensic skills and Michael’s expertise on tax issues presented the client with a formidable team. They were easy to work with and very effective.”

Martin Evans QC secures confiscation orders of over £10m for CPS on Operation Hornet

Lynden Scourfield was a director of HBoS’s impaired assets division based in Reading.  This division of the bank provided strategic advice and assistance to corporate customers who were experiencing financial distress. Between 2003 – 2007 he was corrupted by David Mills and Michael Bancroft. They operated Quayside Corporate Services Ltd [QCS], a company that was regularly appointed by Scourfield to act as a turnaround consultant to the bank’s business customers as a condition for further financial support. In fact, QCS was dishonestly used by Mills and Bancroft to extract exhorbitant fees and to operate those businesses simply to appropriate funds loaned (on Scourfield’s approval) by the bank.

Scourfield approved huge loans to the businesses well past the point when it would have been obvious to any honest banker that the debt could and would never be re-paid.  The result of the corrupt arrangement was the Bank incurred losses in the order of £245m in respect of customer lending managed by Scourfield which ultimately had to be written off.

Alison Mills (wife of David) was convicted of money laundering.

The defendants were convicted after a trial in 2017.  Confiscation orders were made by HHJ Beddoe at Southwark Crown Court on 12th and 16th September 2019 as follows:

Benefit obtained Order made

David Mills £57,923,899 £5,649,940

Michael Bancroft £2,331,764.35 £727,390.72

Alison Mills £11,531,768 £4,802,009

In each case, the order was in the amount of the available assets.

Martin Evans QC was instructed in the restraint and confiscation proceedings. 

If you would like to know more, or instruct Martin Evans QC, please contact the Practice Directors.

Transparency International Proceeds of Crime Conference Sri Lanka September 2019

Mark Rainsford QC is speaking several times this week in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the invitation of Transparency International Sri Lanka, the Senior Lawyers Project -UK and Role UK, Advocates for International Development. There will be a number of Proceeds of Crime, Bribery and Corruption seminars at Transparency International Sri Lanka’s week- long Proceeds of Crime Forum for lawyers, law enforcement officers and members of civil society.

Mark Rainsford Q.C. was interviewed on live television today by Faraz Shauketaly, the main anchor on TV1 News, Sri Lanka’s main news channel: see

🔴 WATCH LIVE : News 1st NEWSLINE with Faraz Shauketaly - 10/09/2019 #NewsLineWithFaraz #NewsLine #lka #SriLanka #News1st #FacebookLive #LiveStream

This follows Mark Rainsford QC’s  speaking engagements at Bejing’s CIETAC’s and British China Training Scheme International Arbitration Conference in January 2019, on behalf of the Bar Council.

If you would like to find out more, or instruct Mark please contact the Practice Directors.