BLP successfully wins right to intervene at UK Supreme Court on landmark business rates case

February 12, 2016

The Rating Surveyors Association (RSA) and the British Property Federation (BFP) have today been granted permission to intervene in a pending appeal to the UK Supreme Court; the Monk v Newbigin business rates case. International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) represents both the RSA and the BPF.

Following a ruling in February 2015, valuation officers are keeping boarded up, vacant properties about to undergo redevelopment in the rating list until the new development work begins. This means that business rates continue to be payable, when formerly they were not. Given the sometimes unavoidable delays until developers are able to commence work on redevelopments, the impact will likely result in fewer schemes taking place, less upgrading of the built environment and less urban regeneration as the increased costs will impact on the viability of such projects.

The UK Supreme Court has given permission for the RSA and the BPF to provide a written submission and for their counsel to make a 30 minute oral submission at the hearing on 14 July 2016. Counsel instructed by BLP are Dan Kolinsky QC and Luke Wilcox at Landmark Chambers.

Roger Cohen, a Real Estates Disputes partner at BLP, commented: “We are working in conjunction with organisations representing leading developers . This is a hugely important case them and the public. The intervention ensures that all the arguments that ought to be made are presented to assist the court.”

Andrew Hetherton, a Past President of the RSA and current Committee Member leading on this issue added: “The Valuation Office has issued new guidance following the unfortunate Court of Appeal decision in February. The members of the RSA in private practice wish to see a rational approach to the rating of premises due for refurbishment.”

Simon Taylor, Chair of the BPF’s commercial committee and head of asset management at Derwent London, said: “If this decision is not corrected, the built environment and the public will be affected. Some urban regeneration and upgrading schemes will no longer be viable.”