Operating since 2000, Greenhalgh Kerr are Solicitors specialising in dispute resolution and are particularly known for their work in relation to debt recovery within the Local Government arena. Acting on behalf of Braintree Council, Greenhalgh Kerr were instructed to pursue an unpaid liability order against a company operating from premises in their area.
Following an initial demand for payment of the liability order, the company sought to dispute its liability on the basis that, amongst other things, they were entitled to small business rates relief (SBRR). An application was made to the magistrates’ court to set aside the liability order on the basis that it had been wrongly calculated by the Council.
The Council refuted the claim made for SBRR on the basis they believed the company was trading in more than one location, meaning the ratepayer would be exempt from being able to claim relief. To support this belief the Council asked Greenhalgh Kerr to identify if the ratepayer had rateable occupation in other areas beyond their own Authority.
Greenhalgh Kerr turned to Destin Solutions for help following the much-publicised launch of their latest product HUB. HUB is a portal which pools together business rates information from across 99% of all English Councils and is effectively a register containing the data of over 2 million business ratepayers.
Using the HUB solution Greenhalgh Kerr were able to generate a report which was prepared and exhibited indicating that small business rates relief was not available as the company was in fact occupying properties in neighbouring authorities. Upon disclosure of the HUB report the company promptly withdrew its application to set aside the liability order and made arrangements to pay the debt.
Using this simple and quick solution, Greenhalgh Kerr were able to ensure that their client avoided lengthy, resource intensive and costly court proceedings and were quite quickly able to resolve the dispute based on consolidated data held about that business ratepayers’ trading locations.
Richard Kerr, Partner at Greenhalgh Kerr went onto comment “HUB enabled us to quickly and easily identify what other business interests and trading locations the ratepayer had. It would have required a significant amount of time and resource to get this data through other means and the costs involved may well have outweighed the benefits of pursuing the query on the liability order. Going forward we feel the HUB solution can be used to address queries and disputes of this nature as a matter of course, quite quickly you can identify whether ratepayers have a justifiable case for querying their rate payments and asking for relief.”