BusinessCorporate FinanceFilm advisers face court over investor losses

Film advisers face court over investor losses

Film investors are suing their tax advisers for negligence after they failed to receive millions of pounds in rebates promised to them

A number of high profile film tax investors, including EMI group chairman
Eric Nicoli and BNP Paribas global hedge fund relationship manager Talbot Stark,
have sued Baker Tilly International and tax lawyer Adrian Shipwright for
allegedly misadvising them about a movie financing programme.

The High Court action, revealed by Bloomberg last week, said that as little
to no tax relief was available the investors had suffered unexpected losses.

Investments were made through Little Wing Films in 2001 and 2002. The company
has produced 9 Dead Gay Guys, Crust and Tabloid TV.

The lawsuit claims Baker Tilly and Shipwright misrepresented the availability
of tax breaks. Neither Baker Tilly nor Shipwright commented when contacted this
week.

UK film tax incentives are in flux. The original system was cut after fears
of abuse and a ‘cultural test’ introduced to target reliefs. Spending on movie
production in the UK climbed 48% to £840m in 2006 in anticipation of the new
system, as films such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
chose to shoot in the UK.

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