Members of chambers act for and advise ratepayers of all sizes (from sole traders to multinational corporations), numerous billing authorities, and the Valuation Office Agency. It is common to encounter all parties in a rating dispute represented by Landmark’s barristers: the ATM test litigation case involved eight barristers representing four parties, and all of them were from Landmark.
As well as in the context of rating, Landmark’s members have unrivalled experience and expertise in valuation matters as they arise in numerous other contexts, including purchase / option agreements, overage agreements, leasehold enfranchisement, compulsory purchase, and rent review.
Members of chambers have acted in many of the most significant rating cases in recent years, including:
- Woolway (VO) v Mazars – the leading case on the identification of the hereditament. The Supreme Court’s judgment has had wide raging implications, and (described as the “staircase tax”) has been mentioned in national newspapers, the Budget, and in forthcoming legislation. All Counsel in the case were members of Landmark.
- Newbigin (VO) v Monk – in which the Supreme Court considered the correct approach to the assumption that property is in a reasonable state of repair when valued for rating purposes. Landmark barristers acted for the interveners in the case, whose submissions were expressly accepted by the Court as a correct statement of the law. The Estates Gazette voted Monk as the top property case of 2017.
- Iceland Foods v Berry (VO) – the most recent Supreme Court case in the rating field. The case concerns the scope and application of the rules on the rateability of plant and machinery, and is expected to have far-reaching implications.
- Hughes (VO) v York Museums Trust – raised numerous important issues including the principles governing selection of valuation method, the proper approach to contractor’s basis and receipts and expenditure valuations, and paramountcy of occupation between charities and their trading companies.
- Harding and Clements v Secretary of State for Transport – considered rating principles in the context of a blight notice. The Upper Tribunal’s decision is one of the most important cases on both identifying the hereditament post-Mazars and on the definition of a property’s mode or category of occupation.
- South Kesteven DC v Digital Pipeline Ltd – one of the leading cases on the test for mandatory charitable relief from rates, and in particular on the requirement that property be used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes to be entitled to the relief.