Tom Rainsbury successful in judicial review proceedings concerning suspected £500 million Cum-Ex fraud

On 17 April 2024, the Divisional Court (Whipple LJ and Hilliard J) handed down judgment refusing claims for judicial review brought by MCML Ltd (previously known as ED&F Man Capital Markets Ltd) and the former head of its equity trading desk.

The claimants challenged the legality of search warrants which had been obtained and executed by HMRC following requests for mutual legal assistance (MLA) from Denmark and Germany. The warrants against ED&F Man were executed at the company’s head office in London. The MLA requests were made in connection with investigations into suspected Cum-Ex fraud totalling £500 million.

The claims advanced eight grounds of challenge, and included complaints that HMRC had failed to disclose accurate information about the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal proceedings in Skatteforvaltningen v Solo Capital Partners LLP & Others and parallel FCA investigations into the claimants.

Following a 3-day judicial review hearing, the Divisional Court refused the claims on all eight grounds, highlighting the scale and nature of the suspected fraud and the existence of very grave suspicions about the past conduct of the claimants.

Tom Rainsbury acted for HMRC with Nicholas Chapman (Temple Garden Chambers) and Joanna Buckley (Matrix Chambers).

The judgment is available here.

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