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DWF secure indemnity costs against the Danish Tax Authority over dismissed fraud claims

11 May 2021
DWF, the global provider of integrated legal and business services, has successfully secured indemnity costs for their clients following the dismissal of the entirety of SKAT's £1.5bn claim by the Commercial Court in London. 
SKAT, the Danish Tax authority, commenced proceedings in June 2018, seeking the recovery of in excess of £1.5billion, which it alleges represent the proceeds of unlawful and fraudulent withholding tax applications submitted following dividend arbitrage trading between 2012 and 2015. All the Defendants have denied SKAT’s allegations of dishonesty or any other wrongdoing in their entirety.  

Following a four day legal argument in March 2021, in his Judgment handed down on 27 April 2021 Mr Justice Andrew Baker dismissed all of SKAT's claims.  In today's judgment on costs, the Judge noted that "the litigation was brought and aggressively pursued, by a sovereign state with a willingness to expend effectively unlimited resources" and that the litigation was "politically as well as financially motivated." (paragraph 18(ii) of the Judgment).  

The DWF team, led by Partner Richard Twomey and Director Joshua Fineman, ran the defence of the claim on behalf of three of the Defendants, alongside other members of the litigation group and Mindcrest to manage the substantial disclosure aspects of the proceedings.  For the Revenue Rule aspects of the matter, DWF instructed Alison MacDonald QC and Luke Tattersall of Essex Court Chambers and Tom De Vecchi and Sophia Dzwig of 3 Verulam Buildings, alongside Andrew Onslow QC and David Head QC, also of 3 Verulam Buildings.

Commenting on the judgement, Richard Twomey, said, "Our clients have always maintained that their actions were entirely lawful, and I am pleased that the English Courts have dismissed these enormous proceedings and awarded indemnity costs to our clients."  

Joshua Fineman, added, "These proceedings, and the pursuit of them by a Government entity prepared to expend unlimited resources, were clearly out of the ordinary.  I am pleased that this was recognised by Mr Justice Andrew Baker by his decision to order costs on the indemnity basis."

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