On 21 October 2010, the High Court granted a group litigation order (“GLO”) to provide for the case management of claims for restitution and/or damages against the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) in circumstances where it is alleged that:
contravened Article 10 and/or Article 11 of Council Directive 69/335/EEC (as amended by Council Directive 85/303/EEC), and/or one or more Articles of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, Council Directive 88/361/EEC, or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The terms of the GLO provide for the determination of the following further issues: (i) whether claims for restitution commenced by claimants in the High Court are excluded (in whole or in part) by any applicable statutory regime; (ii) whether claims for restitution and/or damages where the relevant SDRT or stamp duty was paid more than 6 years before the claims were issued are entirely and legitimately time-barred; and (iii) if the charge to SDRT or stamp duty under sections 67, 70, 93 or 96 of the Finance Act 1986 is found to be contrary to EU law, whether a claimant has a right to claim (by way of restitution) an award of compound interest in respect of the time value of any monies paid to HMRC by way of SDRT and/or stamp duty, and/or whether a claimant is entitled to claim damages.
The GLO is called the Stamp Taxes Group Litigation and applies to all claims falling within its scope irrespective of when those claims were issued. The Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice is responsible for the management of any claims to which the GLO applies and PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP of 1 Embankment Place, London, WC2N 6DX have been appointed as the Lead Solicitors (contact: Mr Mark Whitehouse, telephone number: 020 7804 1455).
Potential claimants or other interested parties who wish to find out more about the terms of the GLO or who have any queries should contact the Lead Solicitors or Mrs Vicky Bell, Chancery Lawyer, at the High Court of Justice (Room TM 5.06, High Court of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL, telephone number: 020 7947 6080).