THE DENTON PRINCIPLES: CAN YOU BLAME A REPRESENTATIVE? SHOULD LITIGANTS IN PERSON BE TREATED MORE LENIENTLY?
The Denton principles were considered by the First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber in Clarke v Revenue and Customs (PROCEDURE : Other)  UKFTT 123 (TC). Here we look at two particular parts of the judgment: (i) the relevance of reliance on an advisor; whether a litigant in person should be treated differently.
“The risk of a poorly performing representative must (in general) fall on the litigant appointing that representative and not on the other party to the appeal.”
The applicant lodged appeals against assessments relating to underpayment of income tax. He acted using an adviser. No correspondence was sent to the applicant directly. That adviser failed to comply with certain orders and the appeals were struck out. An application for reinstatement was not successful. The appellant instructed new advisers who, a year after the last hearing, applied for permission out of time to refuse to reinstate the income tax appeals.
The relevance of reliance on an advisor
The judge considered arguments based around the Denton principles in detail She also considered an argument that the appellant was acting by his adviser and should not be held responsible for those defaults.