Set Aside Applications Defended Successfully
Enfield Council instructed us to deal with three applications seeking to set aside historic liability orders that had been issued against an individual for unpaid Council Tax and National Non-Domestic Rates. They related to two hereditaments, the first being a commercial property and the first floor of the property being a residential flat.
Three separate applications had been issued by the debtor, who had instructed solicitors to represent him in the proceedings. Enfield’s in-house legal team had dealt with the proceedings from issue until after the first case management hearing.
Given the increasing complexity of the litigation, Enfield legal team decided to seek our assistance. We immediately made an application for further directions to be given to trial with the council to be allowed to file and serve both a statement of case (its position in respect of the applications not having previously been set out) and witness evidence in reply to the applicant’s evidence. That application was granted and we prepared a detailed statement of case in response to the three applications, along with supporting witness evidence.
The applications sought to set aside nine liability orders that had been issued between 2 July 2015 and 27 June 2019 on the basis that the applicant was not the liable party to pay the rates falling due. Evidence in the form of a licence agreement and a lease were adduced in support of that contention. The applications had been made in November 2019 but the proceedings were subsequently significantly delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The total value of the liability orders was £16,980.65.
Alex Worthington, head of our defended team and a qualified barrister dealt with both the case management conference and the trial of the matter over two days in March 2022 and May 2022. Judgment was reserved and then handed down on 16 June 2022 with the parties making submissions on costs.
The applications were dismissed in their entirety and the council was awarded its costs in full.
“The team at Greenhalgh Kerr were invaluable in both their support for our legal team, and in taking on what turned into a protracted case. Stephen Crossley provided strong tactical advice throughout and the fact that Alex could represent the council at trial meant a thorough and joined up approach from the outset.”