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Hastings Insurance: access to documents filed at the tribunal

Hastings Insurance: access to documents filed at the...

Implications of the recent decision in the leading case of Hastings Insurance Services Ltd and HMRC v KPMG LLP (Third Party).

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Amanda Brown

Legal Services Partner

KPMG in the UK

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On 15 August 2018, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) released its decision in Hastings Insurance Services Ltd and HMRC v KPMG LLP (Third Party) and allowed an application by KPMG for inspection of the parties’ pleadings and skeleton arguments in the underlying appeal. The decision is the first time that the FTT has clearly set out the status and accessibility of documents filed in the course of a tax appeal and it clarifies a murky area of law which had been left unaddressed by the FTT rules. The FTT’s decision that some documents can be inspected after a hearing if a third party can establish a ‘legitimate interest’ has significant ramifications for open justice, taxpayers privacy and practitioners’ drafting, especially given the broad nature of what precisely constitutes a ‘legitimate interest’.

In an article for Tax Journal*, Amanda Brown and Chris Leigh discuss the implications of the recent decision in the Hastings Insurance case.

*First published in Tax Journal on 14 September 2018. Reproduced with permission.

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