William Rose, a Partner at Sharpe Pritchard LLP, has acted for the Local Government Association in defending claims brought by 17 NHS foundation trusts against 45 local authorities.
The NHS foundation trusts claimed that they should be considered to be charities and that the relevant NHS property is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. The 45 local authorities argued that this is not the case.
The NHS foundation trusts claimed that if they succeed in establishing they are charities for the purposes of section 43(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (‘the LGFA 1988’), they will be entitled to a reduction on non-domestic business rates and can recover the rates (without the reduction) they have paid in the past.
The High Court held that an NHS foundation trust is not established for ‘only’ charity purposes (section 67(10) of the LGFA 1988 and section 1(1) of the CA 2011), and therefore cannot be considered to be a charity for the purposes of section 43(6) of the LGFA 1988.
An Appellant’s Notice was served on behalf of 11 of the NHS foundation trusts. 6 of the NHS foundation trusts decided not to appeal, including Derby City Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The appeal is currently awaiting permission from the Court of Appeal.
William Rose is a Recommended Lawyer for Administrative and Public Law in the most recent edition of the prestigious Legal 500 guide to the legal sector.