Appeals

The articles in this section outline the findings of appeal hearings.

The Disciplinary Tribunal, following its hearings on 26 July, 1 and 2 September 2011, determined that Mr Stephen Davidson of London W14, a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), had committed ten breaches of the Professional Rules and Practice Guidelines of the ATT (PRPG, 2006 edition). These breaches arose from complaints made by two separate clients.

In respect of each client, the Tribunal found that Mr Davidson had failed to ensure that the client was aware of the basis on which fees would be charged, contrary to paragraph 8.1.1 of the PRPG; failed to ensure that those charges were fair in relation to the services performed and the benefit of those services to the client, contrary to paragraph 8.1.2 of the PRPG; improperly exercised a lien on the client’s documents, contrary to paragraphs 8.17.3 and 13.0 of the PRPG; failed to take due care in his conduct towards his client, contrary to paragraph 2.1.1 of the PRPG; and failed to provide information requested by the TDB or to respond without unreasonable delay to correspondence from the TDB, contrary to paragraph 2.13A of the PRPG. Mr Davidson admitted two of the ten charges.

The Disciplinary Tribunal considered that the matters found proven were sufficiently serious as to warrant Mr Davidson’s suspension from membership of the ATT for a period of five years. The Tribunal also awarded costs against Mr Davidson in the sum of £13,000.

Mr Davidson sought to appeal against the findings of the Disciplinary Tribunal in respect of seven of the charges; against the sanction; and against the order for costs. The grounds of appeal were considered by a Disciplinary Assessor, who allowed the appeal to go forward but solely in respect of the sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Tribunal. The Appeal Tribunal sat on 13 March to hear Mr Davidson’s appeal against the sanction. The Tribunal accepted that, under the Taxation Disciplinary Scheme 2008, the maximum term for a sentence of suspension was two years. The Appeal Tribunal therefore decided to substitute a term of eighteen months’ suspension, and confirmed the order for costs of £13,000.

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