HOW A COURT ASSESSES WITNESS EVIDENCE: A SHORT PRIMER
We have already looked at the decision of the upper tribunal in Conegate Ltd v Revenue & Customs (CAPITAL GAINS TAX – purchase of shares)  UKFTT 82 (TC) in relation to issues of privilege and without prejudice discussions. The same judgment also contains a succinct summary of how a tribunal (or court) will go about the task of making findings of fact when witness evidence has to be considered.
“Contemporaneity, consistency, probability and motive are key criteria and more important than demeanour which can be distorted through the prism of prejudice: how witnesses present themselves in a cramped witness box surrounded for the first time with multiple files can be distorted … Lengthy witness statements prepared by the parties’ lawyers long after the events also distort the accurate picture even though they are meant to assist the court.”
THE TRIBUNAL’S APPROACH TO THE EVIDENCE
After considering issues of privilege the tribunal went on to consider its own approach to the evidence.