‘Strong commercial lawyers and litigators'
The Legal 500
'Amazing job, Thank you both so much for your help'
Client's praise for securing release of goods

HMRC Disputes and Litigation

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Legal 500 Leading Firm 2016

HMRC Disputes and Litigation

Rogers & Norton have a Specialist Team handling HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) claims, in particular relating to the detention of goods, seizure of goods, VAT assessments and adverse decisions.

We have considerable experience of handling HMRC tax investigations and tax disputes and acts on behalf of both companies and individuals. Our in-depth procedural and regulatory knowledge of the tax system enables us to advise on the strategy and procedures for negotiating settlements with HMRC and the process for conducting tax-related litigation and investigations.

We can also assist with issues arising for importers and exporters on any Coding issues, Duty and Vat issues. Our clients are based locally, throughout the UK and Europe, together with clients in America, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.

The added benefit of using a solicitor is that all communications between the client and solicitor are subject to legal privilege.

Head of the Team, Peter Hastings is recognised as a leader and specialist dealing with disputes, litigation, claims and injunctions against HMRC and the UK Border Force. He has been the lead Partner in many cases and insolvency related matters involving HMRC, ranging from £10,000 to multi-million pound claims.

Peter and his team (within the commercial group) are skilled and experienced in dealing with: 

  • Detentions and Seizure of Goods by the UK Border Force including goods stored in warehouses, detained/seized at Ports and Airports (including Heathrow) and at St Pancras station
  • Restoration Claims
  • Condemnation Proceedings
  • Injunctions (including urgent injunctions)
  • Judicial reviews (including claims for the urgent release of goods and damages for unlawful detentions, and injunctions)
  • VAT Assessments and Appeals
  • Excise Duty Assessments and Appeals
  • Customs Duties and Inland Revenue matters
  • Appealing Duty Drawback Rejected claims
  • Reviewing Assessments and achieving the withdrawal of Assessments
  • Human Rights Issues
  • HMRC Raids and Investigations
  • Movement and Board Guarantees (including Board applications)
  • Disclosure & Legal Privilege issues
  • VAT Returns and Payment issues
  • Carousel Fraud & MITC
  • Irregularities and place of supply
  • Exemptions and zone rating
  • Claims against Inland Revenue for errors
  • Abuse of duties by HMRC
  • Breaches of common law and statutory duties
  • Economic loss claims (including loss of profit)
  • UK/EC Customs duties & VAT issues
  • Money Laundering Issues
  • Misfeasance in Public Office
  • Advising and assisting on the revocation of WOWGRs (now Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Claim) and reinstatement including Due Diligence issues, Appeals, Judicial Review and Injunctions
  • Notices issued under 4 Schedule 11 VAT Act 1994
  • Goods seized including counterfeit goods and pianos
  • HMRC Insolvency Claims


Peter and his team has acted for East Anglian businesses and individuals, UK businesses, French hauliers, Canadian operations, UK suppliers and warehouses.  We also receive instructions from clients based in the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Poland and Lithuania.

Recent cases include:

Recent cases include:

  • Securing urgent instructions to secure the release of goods. Securing two emergency injunctions for the release of detained and seized alcoholic goods at a judicial review hearing (expedited), value £1million.
  • Successfully secured an agreement for HMRC not to pursue notices issued for £4million under Paragraph 4 (2) a of Schedule 11 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. 
  • Appealing Notices issued under Paragraph 4 (2) a of Schedule 11 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. 
  • Acting on a detention of alcohol value in excess of £1million.
  • Condemnation proceedings challenging the legality of seizures of alcoholic and tobacco products and submitting novel issues of law and attempting to reverse legislation dating back to 1979 and which is incompatible with ECHR.
  • Challenging C18 Demands
  • Appeals in the VAT and Duties Tribunal challenging HMRC's decision to refuse restoration of vehicles seized during legitimate "booze cruises".
  • Successfully appealing and securing the withdrawal of an assessment of excise duty and VAT issued in the sum of £5.2 million.
  • Acting for businesses who have been subjected to assessments on the grounds that the goods were not exported but had been "slaughtered".
  • Dealing with other appeals and drawback claims on appeal after HMRC tax investigations - value £200,000.
  • Defending claims made after an HMRC tax investigation against companies for unpaid Corporation Tax.
  • Acting for a Canadian pharmaceutical Company and advising on various issues with HMRC.
  • Acting for directors in defending claims made due to HMRC tax investigations (including misfeasance Claims) and for businesses on VAT and Tax claims and investigations for undeclared cash.
  • Penalty Notices
  • Acting and advising on Judicial Reviews in the High Court in connection with HMRC (including being the Lead Partner and securing Judgment that HMRC had unlawfully detained goods).
  • Securing Court Orders to prevent the presentation of a winding up petition.
  • Successful conclusion of condemnation proceedings.
  • Advising on Bond issues.
  • Successfully applying for Hardship Certificates.
  • Securing removal of allegations of fraud and dishonesty.
  • Release of tractor units and trailers
  • Release of Silver Granules for client based in Dubai
  • Court of Appeal Judgment on Mis-use of Statutory Powers by HMRC
  • Restoration of Piano with Ivory Keys
  • Advising on CITES permits
  • Release of Pharmaceutical Goods
  • Offences under Value Added Tax Act 1994
  • Checkprice (UK) Ltd (In Administration) v HM Revenue & Customs [2010] EWHC 682 (Admin) (31 March 2010), [2010] STC 1153 (judicial review challenge to the actions of HMRC in detaining the Claimant's perishable goods without seizing or releasing them and then destroying them when they passed their 'sell by' dates).
  • Dealing with COP8 and COP9 issues and MTIC investigations.


Peter and his team can also advise on compliance reviews, and compliance with UK, EU and International trade laws and regulations (including competition and Duty/VAT issues)

In addition, the team and members of the commercial insolvency department can advise and act for directors on the following matters :

  • Fraud
  • Claims and allegations of misfeasance
  • Wrongful and fraudulent trading claims
  • Undervalue and preferential claims
  • Personal Guarantees
  • Allegations of deceit and dishonesty
  • Opposing winding up petitions and the appointment of liquidators (including Provisional)
  • Challenging the voting rights of HMRC
  • Liquidation, Administration and Corporate Voluntary Arrangements
  • Bankruptcy and Personal insolvency claims

Peter has appeared in the VAT and Duties Tribunal, and is experienced in the High Court and Court of Appeal (and all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution), and the Companies Court, and has also conducted and advised on many Judicial Reviews.

We will visit you at your premises and work with you to understand and achieve your ultimate objectives. Peter regularly visits London and will willingly travel to clients throughout the UK (in particular East Anglia (in particular Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex), the Midlands (in particular Birmingham) and Southern Coastal counties (in particular Kent and Sussex).

Peter Hastings is praised for his dedication, commitment, knowledge and efficiency"
The Legal 500