Promoting and enhancing best practice and technical expertise

Rating: Law and Practice 2022

Applying Case Law to Practice

Best rating practice cannot be achieved without understanding case law. This event is far more than a case law review. Leading lawyers and rating advisors, along with senior VOA contributors will review key cases in the context of current practice. Guided by our Chair, Upper Tribunal Judge Elizabeth Cooke, they will review important and topical cases and explore the nuances of what is best and effective practice in the light of these decisions.

Start Date Venue Price  
2 March 2022 2 Virtual Seminars (2 March & 10 March 2022)    

Note: All prices are to be paid in GBP and are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate

Event duration: 2 Virtual Sessions (Total of 4 Hours CPD).
Registration from: 09.50. Event starts at: 09.55. Event finishes at: 12.00.

Rating: Law and Practice 2022, will be taking place on the following dates:

  • Session 1: Wednesday 2 March 2022
  • Session 2: Thursday 10 March 2022

Download and print your full course brochure here

Rating: Law and Practice is now an established and successful annual feature in the rating diary. It goes to the core of what rating is about: the impact of case law in rating work is profound and dictates how you practise. It is always valuable to hear about the cases, but the real value is in understanding the impact and significance of those cases on the way we work. This event provides commentary from the lawyers, from the VOA and private practice on key areas of rating practice and on the major cases impacting on it.  

The formula is a simple one. We take a landmark case or an area of practice that is topical and/or contentious. The cases are summarised, but then we have a debate to extract the nuances out of the subject.

This event is so much more than a case law review. It addresses the issues that will determine the rights and wrongs of assessments and valuations. Our presenters will pinpoint the questions that drive rateability (or not) and valuation. 

This event has identified 5 core areas of rating practice. They will then explore the extent and limits of how they impact on rating practice and the audience will be encouraged to join the unfolding debates.  




Welcome & Introduction from the Event Chair - Judge Elizabeth Cooke


The courts have dealt with a line of cases in respect of rates mitigation schemes over recent years. The latest decisions include an important judgment from the Supreme Court on the question of purposive interpretation, and examples of both effective and ineffective mitigation schemes.. 

Lead: Roger Cohen PanelVictoria Boateng and George Mackenzie

Hurstwood Properties Ltd & others (Respondents) v Rossendale Borough Council & another (Appellants) [2021] UKSC 16

  • Rates mitigation SPV schemes 
  • Purposive interpretation of statutory provisions

Isle Investments Ltd v Leeds CC [2021] EWHC 345

  • Sham leases

The Queen (oao SoS Health and Public Health England) v Harlow DC [2021] EWHC 909 (Admin)

  • Intermittent occupation to mitigate empty rate liabilities

Queen Street Properties Ltd and Another v Cardiff City Council [2022] EWHC 39 (Admin)

  • Identity of rateable occupier 
  • Sham leases

Rating (Corona Virus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill

What is the significance of the Act, and can there be any room for MCC appeals now? How can businesses access the fund that has been put in place in lieu of MCC appeals?   

Lead: Hui Ling McCarthy QC PanelHelen Zammit-WillsonMichael PearcePhil Black and Josh Myerson

  • Relevant and non relevant determinations
  • Specific exclusions in respect of mode or category of occupation
  • Accessing the £1.5b relief fund
  • Treatment of existing checks and challenges


Welcome & Introduction from the Event Chair - Judge Elizabeth Cooke


The concept of rateable occupation is key to the system – it defines what is, or is not, part of the hereditament, and it also defines what it is that is to be valued; the mode or category of occupation. Despite more than 400 years of history, the courts continue to have to grapple with these questions.

Lead: Jenny Wigley PanelBlake PenfoldEdward GardnerColin Brook and James Feltham

Ricketts (VO) v Cyxtera Technology UK Limited (formerly Savvis UK Ltd) [2021] UKUT 0265 (LC)

  • When does space in a new property form part of the hereditament

Nuffield Health v LB Merton [2021] EWCA Civ 826

  • Charitable rates relief – when is a property used “for charitable purposes”? 

LB Southwark v Ludgate House Ltd & Ricketts (VO) [2020] EWCA Civ 1637

  • Was Ludgate House a single hereditament for rating purposes?
  • Were certain rooms in the building, occupied by property guardians, in separate rateable occupation


Process and procedure is another area where the courts and tribunals have seen a lot of activity in recent years. Getting procedure right is key to achieving a successful outcome in the substantive issue. 

Lead: Luke Wilcox PanelPhil SpencerBlake PenfoldJane Canney and Mandy Franklin

Avison Young and David Jackson (VO) & Moore (VO) and Great Bear Distribution [2021] EWCA Civ 969

  • Powers of the VTE and UTLC
  • Temporary alterations to rating lists and “reinstatement” of values

Ricketts (VO) v Cyxtera Technology UK Limited (formerly Savvis UK Ltd) [2021] UKUT 0265 (LC)

  • Application of rule 38(7), Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals) (Procedure) Regulations 2009

JJ Wilson (Ipswich) Limited v Valuation Office Agency [2021] UKUT 0044 (LC)

  • Striking out
  • Validity of proposal
  • Dealing with written submissions

Hermes Property Unit Trust v Roberts (VO) and Trafford BC [2021] UKUT 0308 (LC)

  • Validity of Completion Notices
  • “Strict compliance” or “substantial compliance”


Some more interesting cases concerning the 2017 rating lists that have recently been dealt with at tribunals in relation to valuation issues – what are the outcomes?

Lead: Josh Myerson PanelDavid AlfordJane CanneyTim Johnson and George Mackenzie

Saintta Global Lawyers (UK) Ltd v Ricketts (Valuation Officer) [2021] UKUT 242 (LC)

  • Rental evidence
  • Valuation of offices in China Town and meaning of “locality”

Flight Centre UK Ltd v Ricketts (VO) [2021] UKUT 0265 (LC)

  • Rental valuation where no tone of the list is established
  • Treatment of comparable evidence

BT plc v Ricketts (VO) VTE 536024208266/538N10)

  • Reliance on rent of the appeal property
  • Relevance of evidence from properties in a different mode or category of occupation

Debenhams Retail Ltd v Valuation Office Agency 681534939907/285NV17/2

  • Treatment of rental evidence in department store market
  • Rent of appeal property and other rents