Andrew Bird KC appears for HMRC in its successful opposition to an appeal to the Divisional Court by Newcastle United Football Club

Judgment was handed down this morning by Lord Justice Singh and Mr Justice Garnham in NUFC v HMRC [2023] EWHC 3021 Admin. The appeal concerned whether, following closure without charge of a criminal investigation, HMRC has the right to retain and use copied or imaged material from that investigation for the purpose of civil tax assessments and appeals.

The first important point of principle in the judgment is that the obligations in s.22 of PACE 1984 to return seized material do not require the deletion or destruction of digital images and copies of that material made by the investigator.  Secondly, that HMRC are entitled under s.17 CRCA 2005 to retain and use that copy material (as well as their own work product) for the purposes of the enforcement and collection of tax by assessment and civil proceedings. 

Andrew Bird (then a junior) also acted for HMRC in successfully resisting NUFC’s challenge to the initial search warrants in the investigation: R(NUFC) v Leeds Ct Ct & HMRC [2017] 4 WLR 187.

Andrew Bird KC is a specialist in white-collar crime, civil and criminal asset forfeiture, and civil and public law proceedings which overlap with the criminal process. Since taking Silk in 2021, he has appeared for the defence in cases of murder, bribery & fraud, in addition to continuing his Private Prosecution practice.

Andrew is ranked in Chambers and Partners in the fields of POCA and Asset Forfeiture (Band 1 Silk), Financial Crime and Private Prosecutions - Financial Crime. He is ranked in The Legal 500 in the field of POCA and Asset Forfeiture. He is also recognised in Who's Who Legal at the UK Bar in the fields of Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud, and Criminal Fraud.