Mercury Tax Group prepares damages claim

HMRC headquarters

Solicitors acting for
Mercury Tax Group are in
the process of preparing a damages claim against
HM Revenue &
following a court hearing that ruled the taxman had unlawfully
obtained warrants to raid the firm’s offices and the home of its chief

Maurice Martin, partner at Irwin Mitchell, confirmed the law firm had been
appointed as legal representatives to act on behalf of Mercury Tax Group
throughout the court proceedings. Martin declined to comment on whether Mercury
Tax Group’s claim was on the basis of reputational damage. It is unknown how
much Mercury will claim.

It is understood a case management conference took place on 13 May, with the
court giving directions as to how the case should proceed, including a timetable
for future actions needed.

Under the directive of Mr Justice Underhill, Mercury has until 10 June to
file its points of claim and HMRC is due to serve its points of defense by 8

At the time of the raids in 2007, Andy Wells, of Mercury, said: ‘We don’t
think there was ever just cause for seeking a warrant and the judge agrees with
us in those circumstances.’

HMRC investigated Mercury over what was know as the gilt strips tax scheme.
It was unable to comment before Accountancy Age went to press.

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