Friday Law Report: Procedure to Determine Questions of Privilege
Kate O'Hanlon, The Independent (London, England)
12 November 1999
Regina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte Tamosius & Partners (a firm)
Queen's Bench Division, Divisional Court (Lord Justice Tuckey and Mr Justice Moses) 5 November 1999
THE PROCEDURE, instigated by HM Customs & Excise, by which counsel nominated by the Attorney General was instructed to determine issues of professional privilege during the execution of a search warrant, was also authorised under section 20C(3)(a) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 in relation to the execution of a search warrant by officers of the Board of Inland Revenue.
The Divisional Court dismissed an application for judicial review of the decision to issue search warrants authorising officers of the Inland Revenue to search the applicant's premises.
Mr Tamosius was a United States attorney practising in international legal practice in London under the name Tamosius & Partners. In August 1999 one of the firm's clients was committed for trial on two counts of cheating the Inland Revenue by diverting commission offshore.
The Revenue claimed to have reasonable grounds for suspecting that Mr Tamosius was involved in the arrangements for that diversion. They obtained search warrants under section 20C of the Taxes Management Act 1970, which authorised them to enter and search the firm's offices and, by virtue of section 20C(3), to seize and remove "any things whatsoever found there which [they had] reasonable cause to believe may be required as evidence . . ."
The Revenue executed those warrants, and various documents were seized and were examined at the firm's premises by counsel nominated by the Attorney General and instructed by the Revenue to act as independent counsel in relation to a search operation.
The firm applied for judicial review, and the following issues arose: whether the warrants were valid; and whether the process by which the material had been sifted and seized was lawful. The firm contended that the warrants failed properly to specify the nature and dates of the relevant offences under investigation; that …
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Publication information: Article title: Friday Law Report: Procedure to Determine Questions of Privilege. Contributors: Kate O'Hanlon - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 12, 1999. Page number: 7. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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