John Gould, Senior Partner, and Tom Bradford, barrister, in the litigation team, intervened last month (January 2015) on behalf of the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority), BSB (Bar Standards Board), ARB (Architects Registration Board) and Farriers Registration Council in the Supreme Court appeal - Hemming and others v Westminster City Council (UKSC 2013/0146).

The appeal, heard by Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed and Lord Toulson, concerns a judicial review in which Westminster City Council's licensing fees were found to be unlawful. The Respondents argued, successfully, that since the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 came into effect, implementing the Services Directive, Westminster was not entitled to include in the licence fee the cost of enforcing the licensing system against unlicensed operators.

The appeal has a potentially wide-ranging impact on other regulators which use funds raised from authorisation and practising fees to fund enforcement action and prosecutions.

Judgment is expected in April 2015.

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