Throughout my career, I have sought to make the law and practice in my area (taxation and trusts) as accessible and understandable as possible. I believe that this benefits practitioners and the general public, and is indeed in the best interests of HMRC.

Since HMRC do not altogether share this view, this has led me to run two Freedom of Information cases against HMRC, details of which are on this page.

HMRC Skeleton Arguments: R v HMRC ex p. Kessler
In this case, decided July 2011, I applied to see the skeleton argument which HMRC put to the Court of Appeal in the case of R oao Gaines-Cooper v HMRC (a case on the meaning of residence for tax purposes). Click here for further details. Downloads for this case:

James Kessler’s statement and detailed argument

The Court of Appeal’s decision

HMRC skeleton argument in Gaines-Cooper Court of Appeal

HMRC supplemental argument Gaines-Cooper Court of Appeal

Access to HMRC advice on EU law: Kessler v HMRC
In this case I applied to see a copy of advice which HMRC had received on an issue of EU law. Click here for further details. Downloads for this case:

The Decision of the Information Tribunal Kessler v HMRC

Appellant’s main submissions

On the secret submission issues: Appellant’s submissions on confidentiality

The subsequent decision of the Information Commissioner