Neil Sheldon (led by a QC) acted for the Commissioners in their appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of HMRC v Eastenders [2014] UKSC 34.

The case concerned the power of the Commissioners to detain goods pending investigation into whether duty had been properly paid. The respondent company, a large cash and carry based in the Midlands, complained about the detention of a large quantity of alcohol. It successfully argued in the Court of Appeal that the power to detain only arose if the goods were liable to forfeiture by reason of unpaid duty, as a matter of fact. The decision was overturned by the Supreme Court which held that an implied power of detention pending investigation had existed for centuries, and had not been removed by the subsequent legislation.