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Tax: Corporate - Leading Silks

Malcolm Gammie QC - One Essex CourtHe is always exceptionally well-prepared and has always thought through his advice well. He has a very deep knowledge of UK tax matters.
David Goldberg QC - Gray's Inn Tax ChambersExceptionally experienced and sound in all respects.
Kevin Prosser QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersKevin's particular strengths include his strong technical knowledge, explaining his views clearly, both in person and in writing; and considering issues from both a technical and commercial perspective.
Felicity Cullen QC - DevereuxVery, very clever - but more to the point, reliably commercial and clear when delivering the advice. A natural team player that clients love.
Jonathan Fisher QC - Red Lion ChambersHe is perhaps the leading barrister to assist individuals against whom HMRC has made allegations of criminal conduct in the context of tax disputes.
Sam Grodzinski QC - Blackstone ChambersSam is an excellent all round leader. He is very thorough, great with clients and fun to work with. I am not at all surprised that he is instructed in many of the leading cases in the tax field.
Akash Nawbatt QC - DevereuxDetail oriented, calm and persuasive. Akash is great with clients and on providing practical and user-friendly advice on what can be complex tax issues.
Nicola Shaw QC - Gray's Inn Tax ChambersShe has excellent advocacy skills, based on deep knowledge of the tax issues and facts of each case, plus a determination to stand firm in the face of a strong judge and determined opponent. Hardworking and thorough, combined with a willingness to consider alternative strategy and arguments in conference. Definitely has the ear of the court and a most enjoyable silk with whom to work.
Rupert Baldry QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersExtremely knowledgeable and one of the few barristers in the tax Bar well versed in the environmental taxes. Extremely able and pragmatic in his advice.
Jonathan Bremner QCOne Essex CourtJonathan provides carefully thought through advice. He does not pull his punches and he is open to a vigorous discussion. He is aware of the commercial angle to every argument and provides great insight into how the law might practically apply.
Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersJonathan is an excellent advocate - calm, measured and highly persuasive, and very good indeed at responding effectively to questions from the court or tribunal.
Amanda Hardy QC - 5 Stone BuildingsAmanda provides thorough and clear advice in a short time frame. She was approachable and user-friendly, continuing to provide input on further questions.
Timothy Lyons QC - 39 Essex ChambersTimothy Lyons QC is extremely knowledgeable in most areas of tax. His opinion on several of our tax investigations has been invaluable and we have won cases when Timothy has represented our clients. The attention to detail on tax legislation is a great strength and this is shown in the in depth written opinions given.
James Rivett QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersJames is extremely personable and a great VAT technician. He provides well thought through advice and will happily explore angles or counter points to get to a solution. He is a pleasure to work with and popular with clients. James is a tenacious and highly effective advocate in court.
Laurent Sykes QC - Gray's Inn Tax ChambersLaurent is thorough, persistent and very clever (both technically and practically). He thinks outside the box.
Roger Thomas QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersRoger is an expert in his field. First rate. He is very bright, pro-active and innovative in his thinking and a fantastic advocate.
David Yates QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersDavid's greatest strength is his commercially savvy yet calm approach to his advice. He speaks in a perfectly measured cadence that allows for clarity and comprehension by advisers and clients alike. He is very good at hearing the counter argument and explaining why some strategies are not always the best option for the overall picture.

Tax: VAT - Leading Silks

Sam Grodzinski QC - Blackstone ChambersSam is an excellent all round leader. He is very thorough, great with clients and fun to work with. I am not at all surprised that he is instructed in many of the leading cases in the tax field.
Melanie Hall QC - Monckton ChambersA true leader in her field. She has an impressive presence, a meticulous approach, is highly technical and is very pragmatic to work with.
Andrew Hitchmough QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersAndrew's strengths lie in technical excellence and communicating exceptionally well with clients, cutting through the complexity of the tax code to identify the pertinent points. Andrew's identification of the points of tension in legal analysis means that the run up to litigation is focussed and prepared. Andrew has a down to earth and friendly manner. Andrew's strategic approach to disputes is second to none, offering clients incisive and proactive advice.
Nicola Shaw QC - Gray's Inn Tax ChambersShe has excellent advocacy skills, based on deep knowledge of the tax issues and facts of each case, plus a determination to stand firm in the face of a strong judge and determined opponent. Hardworking and thorough, combined with a willingness to consider alternative strategy and arguments in conference. Definitely has the ear of the court and a most enjoyable silk with whom to work.
Kieron Beal QC - Blackstone ChambersKieron has a very high success rate on cases on which he has been instructed. He is tenacious and applies his very detailed knowledge of cases extremely well. He is well versed in disciplines akin to the indirect taxes and applies that in his cases. It is difficult to point to any weak point in how Kieron prepares, interacts or litigates his cases. He is extremely responsive and always available. He is also a fantastic advocate.
Felicity Cullen QC - DevereuxVery, very clever - but more to the point, reliably commercial and clear when delivering the advice. A natural team player that clients love.
Kevin Prosser QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersKevin's particular strengths include his strong technical knowledge, explaining his views clearly, both in person and in writing; and considering issues from both a technical and commercial perspective.
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersDavid has strong advocacy skills and the ability to come up with solutions rather than just identify problems. He delivers clear advice to solicitors and lay clients.
Rupert Baldry QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersExtremely knowledgeable and one of the few barristers in the tax Bar well versed in the environmental taxes. Extremely able and pragmatic in his advice.
Francis Fitzpatrick QC - 11 New SquareFrancis has the ability to explain complex tax regimes in a clear and attractive manner. Pleasant and professional opponent but without giving ground. Always does the best for his client. Very knowledgeable about corporation tax issues.
Roger Thomas QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersRoger is an expert in his field. First rate. He is very bright, pro-active and innovative in his thinking and a fantastic advocate.
Timothy Lyons QC - 39 Essex ChambersTimothy Lyons QC is extremely knowledgeable in most areas of tax. His opinion on several of our tax investigations has been invaluable and we have won cases when Timothy has represented our clients. The attention to detail on tax legislation is a great strength and this is shown in the in depth written opinions given.
George Peretz QC - Monckton ChambersGeorge is very strong on international legal frameworks, particularly the EU and how it applies/applied to UK VAT. He also brings in the non-tax related relevant points to add material to a case.
Sarabjit Singh QC - 1 Crown Office RowSarabjit has strong technical knowledge of indirect tax. His written work is very clear and concise and it always hits all of the appropriate factual and technical points.
Valentina Sloane QC - Monckton ChambersValentina has a great eye for detail and is collaborative. She is an excellent communicator, thorough and has detailed technical knowledge.
David Yates QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersDavid's greatest strength is his commercially savvy yet calm approach to his advice. He speaks in a perfectly measured cadence that allows for clarity and comprehension by advisers and clients alike. He is very good at hearing the counter argument and explaining why some strategies are not always the best option for the overall picture.

Tax: Corporate - 2021 Silks

Elizabeth Wilson QC - Pump Court Tax ChambersShe has recently become a QC, and will no doubt become a very popular choice as counsel. Elizabeth excellent to work with.

Tax: VAT - 2020 Silks

Eleni Mitrophanous QC - Matrix ChambersEleni has excellent advocacy skills, both written and spoken. She structures and presents her arguments clearly and persuasively and makes great use of her best points.

Tax: Corporate - Leading Juniors

Imran Afzal - Field Court Tax ChambersAbsolutely first-rate: extremely clever with a detailed legal knowledge. Produces top quality work every time he is involved in a matter. Will undoubtedly become a QC in the very near future.
John Brinsmead-Stockham - 11 New SquareJohn is very clear, has excellent attention to detail and sound judgement. His drafting is clear and well-structured, as well as having a very collaborative approach.
Barrie Akin - DevereuxApproachable and effective, he provides clear advice.
Thomas Chacko - Pump Court Tax ChambersExcellent sophisticated analysis of difficult niche tax issues. Clear and commercial.
James Henderson - Pump Court Tax ChambersJames has a very good sense of humour and is fun to work with whilst not losing focus of the overall task at hand.
Alun James - Temple Tax ChambersAlun is very easy to work with and is flexible and pragmatic in his approach. He has a thorough technical approach and is good with lay clients if they are involved in meetings.
Marika Lemos - DevereuxExtremely thorough, Marika misses nothing out while keeping sight of the purpose of the litigation. Also a very good team player, with other barristers as well as with clients.
Ximena Montes Manzano - Temple Tax ChambersShe is able to unpack complicated and fact heavy disputes and get to the heart of the matter quickly. Her approach has the right balance of empathy and grit that makes client feel taken care of.
Philip Ridgway - Temple Tax ChambersPhilip can always be relied on to give robust, practical advice. Has a real understanding of the tax and legal issues in the context of the client's business. Particularly good on corporate restructurings and insolvency matters.
Jonathan Schwarz - Temple Tax ChambersJonathan is incredibly knowledgeable on international taxation. I find that he knows the area inside out and is quick to provide an opinion.
Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho - 39 Essex ChambersKelly provides clear and concise advice and is very easy to work with.

Tax: VAT - Leading Juniors

John Brinsmead-Stockham - 11 New SquareJohn is very clear, has excellent attention to detail and sound judgement. His drafting is clear and well-structured, as well as having a very collaborative approach.
Raymond Hill - Monckton ChambersRaymond is greatly respected and highly experienced in tax cases, having been involved in many of the key precedents. Whilst a formidable opponent, it is always a pleasure to be working opposite him, as he is incredibly fair, knows his papers, has an excellent court manner and raises technically brilliant arguments. As a result he is an assiduous advocate and a challenging opponent to face.
Marika Lemos - DevereuxExtremely thorough, Marika misses nothing out while keeping sight of the purpose of the litigation. Also a very good team player, with other barristers as well as with clients.
Barrie Akin - DevereuxApproachable and effective, he provides clear advice.
Barbara Belgrano - Pump Court Tax ChambersExtremely bright and incredibly capable. I have always been impressed by her passion for the law. Her calm and assured manner instils confidence in both professional and lay client.
Lyndsey Frawley - Temple Tax ChambersLyndsey is a tenacious advocate who thoroughly argues for a client's corner and is unflappable in court.
James Henderson - Pump Court Tax ChambersJames has a very good sense of humour and is fun to work with whilst not losing focus of the overall task at hand.
Georgia Hicks - DevereuxGeorgia showcases a phenomenal commitment to those instructing her and their mutual clients. She is a real pleasure to work with and produces powerful, coherent arguments in conference and in Tribunal.
Peter Mantle - Monckton ChambersPeter can be relied upon to give a fully balanced appraisal of the position, avoiding either hedging all his views or being excessively optimistic. As he is instructed by both HMRC and tax payers, he can see the position from both sides and is a good guide to HMRC's probable attitudes and thought processes. His opinions are detailed and logical.
Michael Ripley - 11 New SquareMichael is exceptional at breaking down complex tax matters for non-specialists. His customer care is also outstanding, he took questions at short notice and was proactive about ensuring we fully understood each step.
Jeremy White - Pump Court Tax ChambersJeremy is probably the pre-eminent practising barrister in customs and excise duty in the UK. The breadth of his knowledge of the law - both UK and EU - is probably not equalled by any other practitioner. He is a fearless advocate and will not shy away from difficult submissions or exchanges.
David Bedenham - 11KBWSolicitors go back to David time and time again. He is a brilliant advocate, very good with lay clients, responsive and has a great attention to the detail of cases. He is friendly, approachable and always helpful.
Thomas Chacko - Pump Court Tax ChambersExcellent sophisticated analysis of difficult niche tax issues. Clear and commercial.
Sadiya Choudhury - Pump Court Tax ChambersSadiya is my first port of call for tax and customs matters. She not only knows the technical rules inside and out, but is also able to get to the heart of the matter quickly in order to provide the lay client with practical, commercial advice.
Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersAndrew is very approachable, positive, engaged and flexible to deal with. In hearings his advocacy style is measured and non-confrontational which achieves more in the long run than a combative approach.
Isabel McArdle - 1 Crown Office RowIsabel has excellent cross-examination skills and very strong written advocacy. She is also very personable and down to earth, which judges and clients like.
Brendan McGurk - Monckton ChambersBrendan is a pleasure to work with and his technical indirect tax knowledge is very strong. Brendan's work is always thoroughly researched and his written pleadings are always punchy and persuasive. As an advocate, Brendan is very polished. He is particularly impressive and accomplished on his feet.
Laura Poots - Pump Court Tax ChambersLaura is very diligent and hard-working and acts as a great gatekeeper for the silk she is being led by. Laura is also very approachable and gets under the skin of a matter.
Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho - 39 Essex ChambersKelly provides clear and concise advice and is very easy to work with.

Tax: Corporate - Rising Stars

Sarah Black - 11 New SquareSarah is collaborative, insightful, diligent and thorough. She is professional and able to capture and expound legal positions in a holistic and succinct written style.
Laura Inglis - Gray's Inn Tax ChambersHard working and intelligent - a very good junior.

Tax: VAT - Rising Stars

Natasha Barnes - 1 Crown Office RowExtremely hard working and a strategic thinker. Excellent client manner. Efficient. Responsive. A pleasure to work with. A highly talented all rounder.
Max Schofield3PBMax is clearly compassionate and puts a great deal of effort, time and consideration into his response. He is also approachable and whilst he uses technical jargon where appropriate, such as in his detailed notes, he then follows up with a meeting to discuss the advice note and explains everything so that the clients can understand who clearly do not have his level of VAT knowledge. VAT in particular is a very complex area of tax law and Max is well versed and clearly exceptionally knowledgeable.

Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax in London Bar

11 New Square

11 New Square is a well-established set that specialises exclusively in tax law. Its members are involved in all levels of litigation, both for and against the government, as well as providing advisory services in all areas of corporate, VAT and indirect tax. Corporate and VAT specialist Jonathan Peacock QC has been active in a number of capital allowance cases including SSE Generation Limited v HMRC, which chartered accountant Michael Ripley was also involved in. Hui Ling McCarthy QC represented HMRC in a high profile case, Payne, Garbett and Coca Cola v HMRC, which explored the difference between a car and a van for the purposes of employment income tax.

Testimonials

Set

Highly regarded. Excellent at what they do.

11 New Square is one of the strongest tax sets in the market. Counsel are available and willing to be flexible to make themselves available at short notice; can cover the full spectrum of taxes, excellent QCs.’

The set offers great strength in depth, very talented people who have experience of every type of tax problem. Some great individuals and very strong team players.’

Clerking

Excellent. Tom Rook as Senior Clerk and Joe Critchelly were those I dealt with. They were were responsive and ensured if one was not available there was appropriate cover.

The clerks were proactive, incredibly easy to work with, and extremely responsive.’

Tom Rook – very responsive, a pleasure to deal with, willing to engage in fee discussions in a progressive way.’

We have dealt with the clerks at 11 New Square, and have always found them to be professional and helpful.’

‘I have found the clerks, both Tom Rook and Joe Critchell, friendly and efficient. Turn around times for pieces of work are realistically set and adhered to.’

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers advises on a broad range of tax with a strong focus on VAT and indirect tax. Nigel Pleming QC has extensive experience representing HMRC in cases involving VAT issues, particularly in the cases where it alleges tax avoidance, while Timothy Lyons QC has a strong international taxation practice and has 'encyclopaedic knowledge' of EU state aid and taxation. Senior junior Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho is a tax disputes specialist with expertise handling customs matters and VAT disputes.

Testimonials

Clerking

Timothy Lyons QC’s clerking team are first class – always quick to respond and incredibly helpful.’

Ben Sundborg, Anthony King and Alistair Davidson are all very helpful.

Very good; in particular Niki Merison who is an absolute star and obviously a Senior Clerk in the making.

The clerks at 39 Essex Chambers have always been very polite, quick to respond and very efficient. We have always agreed deadlines in advance and these have always been met. Jamie Tucker has been particularly helpful and quick to reply to any of our queries.

They are excellent. Alastair Davidson in particular.

Blackstone Chambers

Blackstone Chambers is a 'well-run set' with 'impressive individuals' that include the likes of Sam Grodzinski QC and Kieron Beal QC , who often appear in cases at the interface of tax and more mainstream public law. Grodzinski is 'very thorough' and is regularly instructed both for and against HMRC; he is acting for Uber in the high profile HMRC v Uber case, in addition to the related claim for judicial review concerning Uber's VAT liability. Beal is a 'fantastic advocate' and is acting against HMRC in St George’s University v HMRC, a case concerning VAT in relation to educational services.

Testimonials

Set

Blackstone is a well run set.’

Devereux

Devereux is a ‘strong set‘ with a ‘great deal of expertise‘ in direct and indirect tax. Timothy Brennan QC has extensive experience handling disputes involving income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax. Akash Nawbatt QC represents both HMRC and taxpayers, and recently acted for HMRC in Charman v HMRC, a multi-million pound residence appeal that considered whether the grant of a share option amounted to a ‘right to acquire securities’. Aparna Nathan QC is also has a high-profile tax litigation practice that covers the full range of tax law, from PAYE underpayments and capital allowances, through to tax avoidance schemes.

Testimonials

Set

As a quality tax set Devereux appears to be growing and growing in stature with more and more good quality juniors.’

Devereux is a good set with a great deal of expertise in both direct and indirect tax. It also offers excellent training on a variety of tax topics such as international tax law, Brexit-related topics and updates on recent case law.’

Very strong tax chambers: high quality counsel who pull together but maintain their individuality.’

Super strong breadth of tax expertise.’

Clerking

They are efficient and well organised.’

Great clerks, responsive and helpful.’

Quick and responsive.’

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers has a well-established presence in the VAT litigation space and features expertise in cases involving environmental taxation, customs duty and other aspects of indirect tax. David Scorey QC has 'strong advocacy' skills and acted for RBS in RBS v HMRC, a case that involved allegations of an £88m VAT fraud arising from the sale and purchase of carbon credits in 2009. Roderick Cordara QC has a strong UK and Australian indirect tax practice; he was recently acting for Target Group against HMRC in a case that concerned issues of VAT exemptions. Edward Brown QC is also noted and was involved in Virgin Media v HMRC, a high-profile VAT dispute in the telecoms space.

Field Court Tax Chambers

Field Court Tax Chambers displays a high level of tax expertise, and its members represent a broad range of clients, from multinational enterprises and corporates to tax authorities. Head of chambers Patrick Soares advises on the structuring of UK and international land transactions, while set co-founder Patrick Way QC has a broad advisory and advocacy practice and has been involved in cases concerning digital services tax, residence and domicile issues for individuals, taxation of image rights; he recently advised on double taxation issues in Andrew Davies & Others v HMRC. Imran Afzal is also noted and acted against HMRC in Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd (in special liquidation) and Irish Nationwide Building Society v HMRC, a case that involved exploring the scope of tax treaties and the taxation of overseas banks.

GRAY'S INN TAX CHAMBERS

Gray's Inn Tax Chambers is a 'strong and experienced' set with expertise across direct tax, indirect tax, and private client work. The set advises on a broad range of litigation and advisory work in relation to UK tax, as well as doing a lot of international work, including in Hong Kong. 'Formidable advocate' Nicola Shaw QC advises across all areas of contentious tax, including judicial review. Laurent Sykes QC showcases a strong advisory practice and covers employment tax, corporation tax and business tax (capital gains and income tax). Nikhil Mehta is also noted and has extensive experience as a UK tax barrister and Indian tax advocate. On the junior end, Laura Inglis is a key individual to note and is acting for AXA in AXA S.A. v Genworth Financial International Holdings, Inc, a payment protection insurance misselling claim, with quantum affected by French tax.

Testimonials

Set

This set is my first port of call. All of them without exception at all levels are fantastic.’

Clerking

Outstanding service. Chris Broom is brilliant, sensible, commercial and approachable. Ben Stern is equally superb. They are available and accommodating to whatever clients require. Brilliant set. The best.’

Very experienced, responsive and friendly clerks, always good to deal with. Chris Broom is clearly a very able leader, i.e. senior clerk.’

Great clerking. Chris Broom is a fantastic senior clerk. Ben Stern and Jamie Hall are also excellent.’

Monckton Chambers

Monckton Chambers has an 'excellent pool of barristers' with extensive experience in indirect tax. Melanie Hall QC has a strong presence in tax law and has expertise advising clients in the financial services and higher education space. Valentina Sloane QC focuses on EU law, tax and procurement. A recent case of note for Sloane is HMRC v The Rank Group, a test case on fiscal neutrality that involved a refund claim for £67m of VAT overpayments. Peter Mantle is also noted and has a strong VAT and indirect tax litigation and advisory practice; he represented the Royal Opera House against HMRC on its input tax recovery claim, where it was identified that there was a sufficient link between production costs and catering supplies.

Testimonials

Set

The chambers are my first port of call for support. They have an excellent pool of barristers covering a wider range disciplines.’

Clerking

I usually deal with John Keegan who is responsive, offers sensible suggestions and works with you on budgets.’

Pump Court Tax Chambers

Pump Court Tax Chambers is a ‘leading specialist tax set‘ with a strong presence in the VAT and indirect tax space. The set handles VAT reclaim cases, landfill tax, gaming duty, as well as exploring the operation and scope of exemptions. VAT specialist Andrew Hitchmough QC and Barbara Belgrano  represented the successful taxpayer in London Clubs Management v HMRC, in which the Supreme Court dismissed the revenue’s appeal that free bet vouchers should be taken in to account for gaming duty.  Roger Thomas QC is a key individual in the VAT and SDLT space and has extensive experience litigating before the Supreme Court and CJEU. Zizhen Yang is also noted and acted as sole counsel for G4S in its appeal against a statutory interest assessment by HMRC.

Testimonials

Set

The single strongest tax set.’

The number one tax set

Strong juniors and well-respected seniors in all areas of revenue law.’

The chambers are rightly regarded as experts in this field, and their webinar programme has been most useful during the last year.’

They have all the virtues and assets you would expect of a market leading set.’

Clerking

The clerking service is exceptional – they always go above and beyond, and are often able to provide assistance at very short notice.’

I have been impressed with the clerking service at Pump Court Tax Chambers, in particular Rob Adams. I have found the clerks to be both friendly and approachable, facilitating conference calls with ease, a necessity in these challenging times.’

John Poyser very easy to deal with and responsive.

I have found the clerking service to be very efficient. My main point of contact is Bruno Antoniotti and he has always provided an excellent service.’

Very good. I have always found the clerks to be very helpful.’

Temple Tax Chambers

Temple Tax Chambers is an 'impressive' set with 'great strength in depth'. The set has a broad tax practice that covers direct and indirect tax, with particular expertise handling corporate and employment-related tax issues. Head of chambers Alun James has a strong tax advisory practice that covers corporate reorganisations, share buy-backs and debt restructuring. Michael Sherry advises on all areas of direct tax. Jonathan Schwarz is another key individual to note and has an impressive international tax disputes practice; he is representing the taxpayer in Martin Fowler v HMRC, a case concerning treaty interpretation. Keith Gordon is also noted and has been involved in Revenue and Customs v Atholl House Productions Limited, a case that explores whether a radio presenter is an employee under a hypothetical direct contract.

Testimonials

Set

Temple Tax are a stellar chambers. They cover a wide variety of tax expertise. They keep their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and developments in tax practice. They communicate regularly with their clients.’

We are very pleased with our relationship with the set generally in terms of culture, technical strength, accessibility, pragmatic approach.’

We value the Chambers for its mix of academic analytical expertise tempered with a practical and common sense approach to transactions. In particular the ability to entertain new ideas at the cutting edge of litigation and to appraise these objectively, often presenting modified or better solutions is a huge asset. We have always been able to manage diaries and appreciate their ability to engage with us at short notice when required.’

Clerking

Excellent – the Clerking team really helped with the preparation for the Hearings and dealt with all queries quickly, efficiently and with a high degree of professionalism.

We deal mainly with Cindy Green who is excellent. Again, very responsive and proactive.’

Claire James is a pleasure to work with.

I have found Kaylin O’Rourke helpful throughout my instructions and quick to revert when needed.’

The Clerks offer an excellent support role to their Counsel. Arranging conferences and video meetings etc.’