Triangular chairs with a gleam of sun rays shining through.

Judicial Review

There are a number of remedies available to a dissatisfied taxpayer, the most obvious being the statutory appeal system. One of the most important others is judicial review.

Judicial review is the main way the courts supervise bodies exercising public functions – such as HMRC – to ensure they have acted lawfully and fairly.

We have extensive experience resolving tax disputes by way of public law challenge by means of judicial review. This increasingly important area requires both specialist tax and specialist litigation skills. Judicial review is a powerful tool against the excesses of state power; with our assistance, many of our clients have enjoyed considerable success in challenging HMRC where it has acted unlawfully.

Judicial review challenges may be brought on the following grounds:

  • the public body does not have the power to make a particular decision, or it has used a power which it does have for an improper purpose;
  • the decision is irrational or unreasonable;
  • the procedure followed by the public body is unfair;
  • the decision taken is in breach of the Human Rights Act;
  • the decision taken is in breach of a legitimate expectation;
  • the public body failed to comply with one of its legal duties.

Taxpayers should always consider whether HMRC has complied with its public law duties. Where it has not, we formulate an effective strategy to ensure your position is protected and the prospects of a successful resolution of your dispute with HMRC increased.

HMRC's decisions can often affect a large number of taxpayers. We regularly bring group litigation actions on behalf of such taxpayers to challenge HMRC's conducts. Group litigation is likely to result in significant economies of scale. 


Relevant work

  • Premier Foods R (Premier Foods (Holdings) Ltd) v HMRC [2015] EWHC 1483 (Admin)
  • R (on the application of Dickinson & Ors) v HMRC [2017] EWHC 1943 (Admin)
  • R (on the application of VVB Engineering Services Ltd & Ors) v HMRC [2017] EWHC 506 (Admin)
  • R (on the application of Dr Simon Emblin & Ors) v HMRC [2018] EWHC 626 (Admin)