Rectification or Rescission?

The UT decision in Lobler v HMRC seems to deal interchangeably with the tests for rescission (per Pitt v Holt) and rectification of voluntary transactions (per Allnutt v Wilding et al). The suggestion is that an application for rectification also needs to satisfy the “sufficient gravity” threshold outlined in Ogilvie v Littleboy and restated by Lord Walker in Pitt v Holt.

While I can see that - rectification being a discretionary remedy - the Court may wish to consider the seriousness of the mistake requiring correction, I had not previously thought of this as part of the test. Nor do I read Lord Walker’s comments as applying to rectification - quite the opposite, in fact.

The relief awarded in Lobler - i.e. rectification of the questionnaire - also seems inconsistent with the authorities.

Do members think that the UT may have erred in this respect, or can Proudman J’s comments (e.g. at para 68 of the judgment) be explained?