A Notable Victory Before the Supreme Court

News /

The corporate and litigation departments are celebrating a notable victory for our client SAE Education Limited before the Supreme Court.

The case has been ongoing since 2011 and centred around the scope of the VAT exemptions applicable under the UK’s VAT Act 1994 to the course fees of students attending higher education colleges in the UK (course fees for university students are exempt from VAT).  

The case involved an in-depth analysis of the EU’s VAT Directive in determining the scope of the UK’s exemptions. Having won before the First Tier Tribunal and lost before the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, five out of five Supreme Court judges sided with our client in deciding that it had demonstrated a sufficient degree of integration with the University of Middlesex to qualify for the exemption on the same basis as the more traditional colleges of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.  It therefore no longer has to levy or subsume VAT on the course fees of its students - a very significant economic upside.  Rebecca Ferguson, Robin Shaw and Ben Atkin advised SAE on the case. 

Click here to view the judgement details.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson Head of Capital Markets

Benjamin Atkin

Benjamin Atkin Senior Associate, Solicitor Advocate