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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Corporate and commercial > Customs and Excise > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Baker McKenzie’s customs group draws on the resources of the firm’s trade and tax departments, and has ‘outstanding knowledge of customs rules and regulations; and not just those in the UK and EU'. Jointly headed by Ross Denton and the ‘clear and approachable’ of counsel Jennifer Revis, the team has extensive experience in HMRC investigations, but has also built relationships with global regulators through ‘access to contacts in various parts of the world’. Since the Brexit referendum, the emphasis has been on taking proactive steps toward meeting the challenges that may arise from the implementation of the Union Customs Code (UCC), the future of Britain’s trade outside the EU and more broadly the state of global trade relations during a Trump presidency. To this end, the customs department has advised a range of well-known retailers, food and beverage companies, engineering clients and aerospace companies, and has picked up several new household-name digital media clients in 2016-2017. Tax department head Mark Delaney and associate Jessica Mutton are also recommended.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s specialist customs and excise practice group is driven by a number of sector specialisms including retail and manufacturing, but the team is particularly experienced in the excise duty issues affecting the beer brewing industry. The customs group is headed by Jason Collins and Stuart Walsh, two experienced tax litigators who have represented household-name brewery clients in excise and alcohol duty disputes with HMRC and also advise on issues such as supply chain arrangements and regulatory compliance. Ian Hyde as well as senior associates Ian Robotham and Jake Landman are also recommended.

Customs and excise law is among the real specialisms of The Khan Partnership LLP, which boasts expertise in customs licensing, tariff classification, anti-dumping, valuation and duty disputes. The group is headed by Hassan Khan, who has extensive experience in the customs and excise landscape, having previously served as head of the international division of HM Customs and Excise Solicitors Office. On the non-contentious side, the team provides compliance advice to clients such as LG Corporation, Dunlop Tyre and various Nissan entities worldwide. Additionally, the firm’s contentious offering covers HMRC investigations and litigation. As an example, Khan was instructed by Unifruit Group in a tax fraud case against HMRC. Other notable clients include London City Bond, London Fields Brewery and Condor Ferries.

The customs and excise practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP comprises practitioners from the tax and trade and competition teams, and provides advice on regulatory compliance, import and export controls and trade sanctions. Preparatory advice concerning the future of UK trade relationships after Brexit has been a pressing issue, and the department has advised a number of well-known clients on this. Clients include food and beverage distributors, tech companies as well as auto and aerospace manufacturers. Tax practice head Giles Salmond, James Lindop, a principal associate in the EU, competition and trade department, and associate Monika Zejden-Erdmann are also recommended.

According to one source, RPCmust now be considered a strong player’ in the area of customs and excise and ‘there are not many firms in London that could handle the customs and anti-dumping duty cases this firm handles’. An experienced tax litigator and accredited mediator, Adam Craggs heads the department, which was significantly strengthened by the arrival of ‘prominent and commercially aware’ senior associate Michelle Sloane, who joined from The Khan Partnership LLP. Sloane is assisting Bonded Warehousekeepers Association with all HMRC queries, excise duty and supply chain issues. The department also advises on alcohol duty and anti-dumping issues for a number of spirit bottling companies, distilleries and online retailers. Robert Waterson is also recommended.

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