‘No Trifling Matter’ – Article by Aidan Briggs in New Law Journal
Aidan Briggs’ article on the recent decision of the High Court in R (Makro Properties Ltd) v Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council  EWHC 2250 and its implications for commercial property owners has been published by the New Law Journal, vol. 162.
Practitioners seeking imaginative ways to minimise their clients’ business rates liability in a tough market should look no further than this decision of the Administrative Court. Wholesale giant Makro used just 0.2% of their premises for six weeks to reap a saving of £117,000. HHJ Jarman QC’s decision is one which flies in the face of the intentions of the 2008 rating law reforms. It makes some surprising factual findings and dramatically alters the test to be applied—the requirement for actual occupation is now a nominal, rather than a substantial, test—but on any analysis it is sound both in logical and jurisprudential terms.
Aidan Briggs practices commercial and property law and is regularly instructed by local authorities in matters of Council Tax and Business Rates.