UBS has won a significant victory in the Upper Tribunal, regarding the issue of restricted securities for employees in a way which enabled the profit on the disposal to be regarded as capital gains, taxable at only 10% (by reason of taper relief) - and rather less tax for those employees who were not domiciled in the UK.

HMRC hit the arrangements head on. They said that the employees were entitled to bonuses before the shares were issued to them, they were not restricted securities, the arrangements were a sham and failing that, Ramsay applied to enable everything to be reconstructed as the simple provision of a fully taxable bonus in the UK.

The facts were desperately complicated and not of wide interest - except for the fact that the taxpayer succeeded on all counts (unlike the joined case of DB Group Services (UK) Ltd which went down on a technical issue over the meaning of control in Section 416 TA 1988). The Tribunal concluded that HMRC's arguments on Ramsay went beyond permissible limits, that the arrangements were real and not a sham and that the shares really were restricted securities. All of those issues were extensively analysed - and are well worth a read as they have an application way beyond the facts of this case.

However, having regard to the importance and sensitivity of the subject matter this case must surely go further.