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ITV Services case: lost cause or worthwhile catalyst for change?

Dave Morrison considers whether the outcomes of the ITV Services Case [2013] EWCA Civ 867 have been worth the wait.

Recently I was discussing, with a friend, a footballer being sent off over the weekend and suggested that a bit of consistency would be welcome as I had witnessed a similar tackle a few yards in front of me a week earlier where the player didn't even receive a yellow card. Of course, referees only have a split second to make a judgement. On the other hand, judges in a court of law have ages to deliberate and the luxury of replays, three of them in this case.

The ITV Services case reached the Court of Appeal and one or two “Premiership” lawyers have, no doubt, been handsomely paid along the way but is the “gravy train” now over? Probably. Could this have been resolved much earlier? Could the judgments have been more consistent? Was the cost of this case worth it because it seems to be forcing a rethink by HMRC?