LAW REPORT - Case summaries

The following notes of cases were prepared by reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Building contract

Callaghan & anr (t/a TW Construction) v Hewgate Construction Ltd; CA (Staughton, Beldam, Peter Gibson LJJ); 11 Apr 1995.

Clause 7(1) of the National Federation of Building Trades Employers form of subcontract for non-nominated subcontractors, 1978 edition, did not impose a duty on a building contractor to safeguard the sub-contractor's plant by ensuring the site was secure.

Robert J Evans (Davies Lavery, Maidstone) for the appellant; Mark Bishop (Michael Friend & Co, Walton on Thames) for the respondent.

VAT

Customs & Excise Commrs v Arbib; QBD (Latham J); 16 Mar 1995.

Construction costs of a building put up to house a swimming pool connected to a grade II listed farmhouse by a covered walkway was zero-rated under the Value Added Tax Act 1994, Sch 8, grp 7, item 1 because it was an "extension of a listed building".

Peter Mantle (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; Kevin Prosser (Lovell White Durrant) for the taxpayer.

Customs & Excise Commrs v Granton Marketing Ltd & anr; QBD (Tucker J); 30 Mar 1995.

A company whose business was issuing cards described as "discount vouchers" entitling the holder to a "free" main course or a bottle of wine when ordering a restaurant meal was liable for VAT. The cards were not to be disregarded by virtue of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, Sch 6, grp 5, whether the vouchers were sold to intermediaries for onward sale or to the end customer who would himself obtain the discount. The vouchers, which entitled the holder to a discount only when purchasing a meal, were not comparable to, for example, book tokens which represented a prepayment for goods or services.

Michael Kent (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; David Milne QC (Travers Smith Braithwaite) for the taxpayer.

Customs & Excise Commrs v Leightons Ltd & anr; QBD (McCullough J); 13 Mar 1995.

For VAT purposes, the dispensing and fitting of spectacles was a supply of services separate from the supply of the spectacles themselves. Such services supplied by a person registered or enrolled as an ophthalmic or dispensing optician were exempt supplies within the VAT Act 1994, Sch 9, grp 7, item 1.

Kenneth Parker QC (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; David Ewart (Stevens & Bolton, Guildford) for the Leightons; Michael Sherry (Titmuss Sainer Dechart) for Eye-Tech.

Customs & Excise Commrs v Wellington Private Hospital Ltd & ors; QBD (Jowitt J); 26 Apr 1995.

Medicines provided for in- patients by private hospitals from their stock of drugs and the supply of services such as accommodation, nursing etc together constituted an exempt supply of services for VAT purposes under EC Council Directive 77/388 (OJ 1977 L145/1), art 13(A)(1), as well as under UK legislation. The hospitals could not therefore recover input tax on a separate supply of zero- rated goods in respect of the drugs under the VAT Act 1994, Sch 8, grp 12, items 1 or 2. The same applied to prostheses fixed by surgical procedures, such as replacement hips, which were part of the medical or surgical care supplied by the hospital.

Kenneth Parker QC (Customs & Excise) for the Crown; David Milne QC, Rupert Baldry (Dibb Lupton Broomhead, and Stephenson Harwood) for the Wellington and for St Martins Hospital; Roderick Cordara QC, Perdita Cargill-Thompson (Paul Newton, Bupa legal dept) for Bupa.

Licensing

Buchanan v Gresswell & anr; QBD (Keene J); 26 Apr 1995.

It was not possible for licensing justices, on an application to revoke a justices' on-licence held by two persons, pursuant to s 20A of the Licensing Act 1964, with regard to one holder, having found he was no longer a fit and proper person, but to allow the other to continue holding the licence. But justices could exercise discretion not to revoke if the holder they found to be unfit had played a very minor role in running the premises.

Karl H Scholz (J H Jessup, Surrey County Council) for the appellant.

Tax

Wain v Cameron (Insp of Taxes); ChD (Harman J); 27 Apr 1995.

An author sold his manuscripts and working papers created over a period of years for a lump sum, retaining all copyrights. The lump sum was paid in three instalments. Each instalment was taxable under Sch D, case II as income of the author's profession in the year of assessment during which it was received.

David Ewart (Stephens Innocent) for the taxpayer; Timothy Brennan (Inland Revenue) for the Crown.

Debt

Preston Borough Council v Riley & anr; CA (Russell, Hobhouse LJJ, Sir Roger Parker); 23 Mar 1995.

Liability for unpaid community charge under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 was a "debt" for the purpose of Pt VI of the County Courts Act 1984, which contained provisions covering the making of administration orders in the county court. It was, therefore, part of the debtor's "whole indebtedness" for the purpose of s 112(1)(b) and a "debt" for the purpose of s 114 of the1984 Act.

Anthony Rumbelow QC, Winston Hunter (Sutcliffe Reed, Preston) for the appellant; Bill Braithwaite QC, Mark Mulrooney (Council Solicitor) for Preston.

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