Summary: A solicitor who had recommended an employee benefit trust as a tax avoidance scheme was not negligent notwithstanding his client’s subsequent assessment to tax. His interpretation of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 s.28(4) was probably correct, and was one that was shared by other experienced tax specialists. Although the solicitor had failed to warn the client about the possibility of HMRC challenging the scheme, and the risk of it not being upheld in ensuing litigation, the client had expressed his understanding of the inherent risks in tax planning schemes.
Stephen Hackett (instructed by Griffin Law Ltd) for the Second Defendant
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