It was not in the interests of justice to admit a taxpayer’s late application for his costs relating to a preliminary issue in an appeal against an assessment for excise duty. Applying the approach laid out in Denton v TH White Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 906, [2014] 1 W.L.R. 3926, the delay of over five months was serious and entirely due to unjustified failings by the taxpayer’s solicitors. While admitting the application would not result in serious prejudice to HMRC, refusing it would not cause injustice to the taxpayer as there was a contingency fee arrangement between him and his solicitors.

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