Business Rates

Business rates affect every occupier of commercial property. We are one of the few legal firms who can help you reduce your liability. 

Business rates are everywhere at the moment, from the front pages to the Supreme Court. Businesses are failing and business rates are shouldering the blame. A deeply unpopular tax which generates over £30bn in revenue, the complex and ever-evolving methodologies and procedures make it a minefield for most. We operate, usually in conjunction with leading surveyors, to identify ways to mitigate your liability, whether that be through portfolio reviews or individual rating appeals. We apply the substantial case law on this issue to benefit your business and reduce your rates.    

Our lawyers

Our national team has wide-ranging experience and expertise in resolving business rates disputes and providing practical guidance on mitigation schemes, reliefs and exemptions.

Our experience

From both a PR and financial perspective, it is imperative that an organisation carefully considers whether to make business rates appeals and employ mitigation strategies. The Courts have been inundated recently with rating cases so existing norms are changing. We keep on top of case law and new regulations to provide you with ways around the potential minefields.

Members of our team have:

  • successfully led a reported judicial review action in the High Court which upheld the lawfulness of a rates mitigation scheme based on storage. The case has had multi-million pound ramifications for ratepayers and local authorities;
  • settled long-standing claims for investor clients who were involved unwittingly in the PAG mitigation scheme, whereby a tenant would be placed into occupation of a property and then placed into insolvency;
  • worked with developer clients to defend actions by local authorities for the recovery of rates when properties have been in the midst of renovation or reconstruction;
  • settled the rating appeal for the single largest retail property in Europe, where £8m per annum was at stake and detailed arguments were put forward in relation to uniqueness, location, size, age and configuration.   

Our clients

Business rates are a cross-sector issue and we act principally for occupiers with substantial portfolios or large single properties which attract high rates:

  • Major UK utility companies
  • Telecoms operators
  • Education institutions
  • Retailers
  • Heavy industry
  • Healthcare providers  

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