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Business Rates Avoidance Schemes: Dismissal of Public-Interest Winding-Up Petitions in Secretary of State v PAG Asset Preservation Ltd [2019] EWHC 2890 (Ch)

HHJ Stephen Davies has handed down his judgment in The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v PAG Asset Preservation Ltd [2019] EWHC 2890 (Ch).

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy presented petitions under s.124A of the Insolvency Act 1986 (to wind up two companies, PAG Asset Preservation Limited (“PAGAPL”) and MB Vacant Property Solutions Limited (“MBV”) (collectively “the Companies”), on public interest grounds. The Companies operated schemes for the avoidance or mitigation of national non-domestic rates (colloquially known as ‘business rates’). It was alleged by the Secretary of State that the schemes in question misused or abused or subverted the insolvency legislation, so that the Companies ought to be wound up.

HHJ Stephen Davies dismissed the petitions and refused to wind up the Companies.

Nicholas Trompeter (led by David Chivers Q.C.) appeared for the Companies. He was instructed by Jonathon Crook of Gorvins Solicitors.

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