PRACTICE –

PRACTICE -

Payout after Revenue raid fails to satisfy Kingston Smith.

Kingston Smith has secured #28,000 in compensation from the Inland Revenue over the department’s bungled raid of the firm’s offices last July.

The payment, which excludes lost chargeable time, leaves Kingstons almost #14,000 out of pocket, even though the firm was an innocent party in the affair.

Revenue officers barged into the Group A firm’s City and Croydon offices on 11 July 1996 hunting for incriminating evidence against Lou Kollakis, the Greek shipping magnate.

Kingstons pursued costs after the Revenue’s deputy chairman Steve Matheson was forced to apologise in the High Court for the raid which degenerated into a ‘fishing expedition’ for information on other clients. An investigations team from the Special Compliance Office ignored an injunction, gained by Kingstons’ senior partner, Michael Snyder, which had ordered it to stop its Section 20c search.

Instead, staff ended up being searched on the stairs.

Snyder has waged a determined campaign to recover his firm’s costs since the Revenue raid. He said: ‘It’s outrageous that a government body should be found to be wrong, yet we can’t get all our money back.

‘We’ve been treated like criminals. Those responsible in the Revenue should have been seriously disciplined and removed from such positions of unfettered power.’ The Revenue refused to comment.

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