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Court of Appeal praises “fortitude and skill” of Thom Dyke

April 2014

Thom Dyke appeared for the appellant in R. v Lewis [2014] 1 Cr. App. R. 25, CA ([2013] EWCA Crim 2596) (CLW/14/15/6). This case provides valuable guidance to the lower courts as to the validity of an indictment once it is ostensibly stripped of an either way offence, after arraignment.

The Court of Appeal noted that “Mr Dyke has argued that dry issue of law on paper and orally with fortitude and skill”. The full transcript can be read online here.

Successful appeal for Martin Henley

April 2014

Hakki v SSDWP & Blair

Martin Henley has successfully appealed the decision of the Upper Tribunal in the Court of Appeal. Had the original decision of the Upper Tribunal stood then potentially millions of regular gamblers might have been liable to pay class 2 NI contributions.

This key judgment reaffirms the authority of Graham v Green which sets out that gambling cannot be a trade adventure profession or vocation. This authority of the High Court had stood for 90 years and had never been challenged in the Court of Appeal.

The Upper Tribunal had found that, in the context of Social Security, gambling could be a trade profession or vocation thus meaning that Mr Hakki whose only source of income had been from playing poker would be assessable for child maintenance under the Child Support Act.

The Court of Appeal declined to overturn Graham v Green and found that Mr Hakki’s poker playing was not a seeking after emoluments and was therefore not a trade profession or vocation. They further found that contrary to the finding of the Upper Tribunal the income tax regime and the social security regimes were aligned such that the definition of self employment in the social security context could not have a wider meaning than the income tax definition.