Devereux counsel at the forefront of developing law on IR35

Devereux counsel will today appear on both sides of the argument in the Court of Appeal’s hearing of the appeal in Kickabout Productions Limited v HMRCGeorgia Hicks and Harry Sheehan represent the taxpayer (led by Jonathan Peacock QC), with Akash Nawbatt QC leading Christopher Stone and Marianne Tutin for HMRC.

This will be the first opportunity that the Court of Appeal has had to consider a statutory appeal concerning the IR35 legislation, which concerns the liability to tax and NICs of individuals who provide their personal service to a client through an intermediary, typically a personal service company. The Court of Appeal will be asked to decide issues relating to the interpretation of mutual obligations under work-related contracts, the proper evaluation of control, and various other considerations that may be a relevant part of the exercise for determining employment status.

It is now almost one year since the reforms of IR35 in the private sector placed the burden of determining the legislation’s application to a specific engagement onto medium and large clients. The Court’s judgments in Kickabout and the separate appeal in HMRC v Atholl House (which is being heard the following week by the same panel and in which Christopher Stone is instructed by HMRC, led by Adam Tolley QC) will be relevant not only to the application of IR35, but to status disputes in direct contract engagements, in both the employment and tax tribunals.

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