Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP

Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations Tier 1

Dispute resolution boutique Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP specialises in tax litigation, commercial litigation and international arbitration. The team, which is 'totally solution-focused' and is 'second to none', primarily represents multinational companies in complex and cross-border tax disputes. It notably distinguishes itself in relation to corporate tax group litigation orders. Graham Aaronson QC co-heads the practice with fellow founding partner Michael Anderson, with the latter practitioner having extensive tax litigation experience at all levels of the UK’s tax tribunals. Simon Whitehead, who has an exclusive contentious tax disputes practice, focuses on direct and corporate tax. European tax law expert Paul Farmer, Emma Chamberlain and Shofiq Miah  are also noted. Key changes to the team included the arrival of Iain MacWhannell from Memery Crystal LLP in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Graham Aaronson QC; Michael Anderson

Other key lawyers:


They simply know what they are doing and have good coverage within the team and you always have access to the partners. The billing is timely, clear and transparent.’

Simon Whitehead and Michael Anderson; They will always find a solution to any legal obstacle that comes up. They ensure that every possible angle is covered, to ensure that they try and stay one step ahead of the authorities where they can.’

JHA’s professional knowledge in the the arena of dispute resolution/tax litigation and investigations is second to none. A particular strength is their ability to distil complex legal technicalities into relevant and understandable principles Importantly they apply that knowledge with an outcome-focused pragmatism . . all members of the team are totally solution-focused.’

Shofiq totally embodies all the principles of the firm and can also be relied on to ‘cover all the bases’ thoroughly and reliably. In addition, Shofiq consistently delivers a highly responsive level of ‘customer service’ in all his dealings.’

One of the best in tax litigation as a result of many years of successful results. In my opinion, no other firm comes close!

Key clients

British American Tobacco

Marks & Spencer


Intercontinental Hotels Group


Akzo Nobel



JJ Management LLP

NMC Logistics Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting as lead solicitors in the FII GLO, advising 25 UK headquartered multinationals challenge the UK’s dividend taxation scheme and the imposition of advance corporation tax (‘ACT’) upon UK groups with their sources of profit abroad.
  • Advising Fidelity on a reference to the European Court (C-480/16 Fidelity Funds) from the Danish court and ongoing litigation in the Danish courts where JHA continue to act as co-counsel advising on issues of EU law.
  • Commenced an action by a group of 16 multinational companies led by BAT, challenging the lawfulness of a “supertax” legislation.

The firm: Our Clients’ needs are at the heart of JHA’s business; our unique structure was born out of a belief that an effective case strategy could be delivered more efficiently if lawyers, barristers, and forensic accountants worked side by side from the outset.

We combine the qualities of a traditional law firm with that of a chambers. Solicitors and barristers, with their distinctive training and experience, work closely as an integrated team to discuss and devise strategy together from the first to meet our clients’ aims, whether via litigation, arbitration, mediation or settlement.

This simple precept has enabled us to attract and retain numerous clients, many of whom have come to rely on us as a trusted partner to manage and settle their complex disputes.

All clients have full and easy access to the whole legal team from the initial meeting onwards. We provide timely advice and the efficient delivery of a well-considered and effective case strategy. We build close relationships with our clients, based on mutual trust and a deep understanding of their commercial and legal objectives. We are highly sensitive to our clients’ need for privacy and never seek to promote our own business based on their success.

JHA is ranked in band 1 in the Legal 500 UK for Tax Litigation and Investigations and is recognised as the only top tier firm for Contentious Tax by Chambers UK. These accomplishments have been achieved every year since the firm was founded in 2013.

Types of work undertaken:

Arbitration: Our arbitration specialists have represented large corporations, state entities and private individuals in both commercial and investment arbitration, subject to various governing laws, under all of the major institutional rules (including the ICC, LCIA and ICSID Rules) and in a number of different seats.

We can lead a case from inception, or provide support at any stage – in the strategic pre-arbitration phase, during proceedings or after proceedings at the challenge and/or enforcement stage. And our unique mix of solicitors and barristers ensures a seamless team throughout, including delivering the advocacy at hearings.

Examples of recent matters in which we have been involved include:

  • Investor-state disputes relating to sovereign debt restructuring
  • Post-mergers and acquisitions disputes
  • Shareholder and joint ventures disputes
  • Investment and commercial disputes in the extractive and construction sectors
  • The worldwide enforcement of an arbitral award by a Tribunal constituted under ICC rules
  • Analysis of investor-state claims against sovereign states 

Commercial litigation: At JHA, we have an established team of commercial litigation lawyers and QCs, which collaborate to deliver an effective case strategy, built around the clients’ commercial objectives. Our extensive experience and expertise are complimented by an agile approach. We are often able to complete a conflict check in less than one hour, meaning we can start work at short notice for clients with time-sensitive needs.

Our existing clients have instructed us on their largest and most complex cases, often involving novel issues of law, jurisdiction and procedure. In all cases, we focus on protecting our clients’ interests, whether through litigation, mediation or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

As well as acting as a primary legal adviser, we are often engaged by clients at a later stage. In this instance, we are able to review developments in live cases and offer a fresh strategic and legal perspective, or explore different routes to achieving settlement.

As part of our offering, we take time to consider the most appropriate use of various litigation technologies for the particular case, both for e-disclosure or in the presentation of cases at trial.

Tax Disputes: JHA’s contentious tax practice brings together barristers, solicitors, chartered tax advisors, and accountants. Together, we deliver a cohesive, considered and effective approach to advising and representing clients through all stages of a dispute.

Our practice is ranked in Band One of Legal 500 and is the only group to be ranked in Band One in the Chambers UK guide. We have achieved this top tier recognition every year since the firm’s inception.

We act on a wide range of domestic and international tax disputes, advising multinational corporations on various corporation tax disputes with HMRC. This includes acting in all but one of the Group Litigation Orders (GLOs) challenging various elements of the UK’s tax legislation as being contrary to EU law.

Transfer pricing disputes is a further area of expertise; we are experienced at dealing with HMRC enquiries and investigations and have been active in the highest profile and value transfer pricing disputes of recent years, including those involving Diverted Profits tax. This is an area we have been advising on since its introduction and we are proficient at reaching settlements with HMRC, including in obtaining significant penalty reductions.

Our team also represents entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses on sensitive or difficult tax disputes as well as high net worth individuals facing enquiries and criminal investigations. We work to resolve tax disputes through proactive cooperation and engagement with HMRC, resulting in a constructive working relationship, which enables us to deliver a high proportion of positive outcomes for clients.

Investigation: JHA’s investigation team provides unrivalled strategic advice and maintain long-standing working relationships with the SFO, FCA and other foreign regulators, to achieve the best possible client outcomes.

Our practice includes experienced white-collar crime and regulatory defence lawyers, investigative lawyers, former regulators, and forensic accountants, all of whom have worked in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. All team members have strong and established working relationships, meaning our investigators have immediate access to some of the world’s leading trial lawyers.

Our team is at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technology to legal investigation and strict privilege and confidentiality is maintained over all our work papers and practices.

Our approach enables us to provide both rapid and in-depth investigative services relating to regulatory enquiries, suspected or actual fraud, attempted blackmail, divorce negotiations and crisis management. We also perform background checks on current or potential employees, directors, and trading partners on behalf of clients, as part of their corporate due diligence. Our aim is always to give clear and timely advice that equips our clients to act in a considered and strategic manner.

Joe (0)20 7851 8888
Graham Aaronson (0)20 7851 8888
Graham Aaronson photo Graham AaronsonGraham Aaronson QC is a founding partner of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP and…
Francisco Alvarez  photo Francisco Alvarez Francisco is a Tax Associate specialising in international, transfer pricing and EU…
Michael Anderson  photo Michael Anderson Michael has been a partner at JHA since its inception. He has…
Steve Bousher photo Steve BousherSenior Associate dealing with a wide range of tax disputes including: representing…
Joseph Irwin  photo Joseph Irwin Joseph qualified as an associate at JHA in December 2017. His practice…
Jill Kaur  photo Jill Kaur Jill is a Chartered Tax Adviser with 25 years’ experience in the…
Iain MacWhannell  photo Iain MacWhannell Iain was called to the Bar in 2006 and his practice focuses…
Daniel Margolin photo Daniel MargolinDaniel joined JHA as a Partner in 2015 from a leading set…
Ray McCann  photo Ray McCann Ray is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and was…
Helen McGhee photo Helen McGheeHelen has been with Joseph Hage Aaronson as a Senior Associate and…
Shofiq Miah  photo Shofiq Miah Shofiq is an Associate. He advises clients on complex tax disputes and…
Tom O'Reilly photo Tom O'ReillyAssociate, Contentious Tax & Personal Taxation   Tom advises high net worth…
Simon Whitehead photo Simon WhiteheadSimon Whitehead has more than 30 years of litigation experience with over…

At Joseph Hage Aaronson our commitment to diversity and inclusion, responsible businesses, and having a positive impact on our community is entrenched in our culture. This is reflected in our firm values of commitment, inclusiveness, creativity, and integrity.

We believe a diverse and inclusive community encourages a stimulating, rewarding and inventive working environment. For these reasons, we are committed to creating a welcoming workplace in which all our people can thrive, regardless of their characteristics, beliefs, and preferences. We monitor diversity statistics to ensure that our practices are fair and non-discriminatory. This means we are best positioned to continue to provide our clients with a first-class service.

Our pro bono work, sponsorships, and charitable giving enable us to help and support individuals and organisations with limited access to resources and opportunities. It also means our people can share their experience and expertise in support of causes which can have a positive and lasting impact on our community.

The two main charities we support are Access2Justice and the children’s charity Variety. Access2Justice provides legal services support to those who need it the most, particularly the ill, injured and economically disadvantaged. Variety helps to change the lives of children throughout the UK who are sick, disabled or underprivileged, through providing specialist coaching, equipment or experiences, and by supporting hospitals and youth centres.

We also encourage many of our employees to actively support their own charitable initiatives and we make financial contributions to their chosen causes.

JHA is a passionate supporter of the arts and is involved in many initiatives that support artists and nurture new talent in the art world. Education is also a key focus and we sponsor educational programmes and training.

The firm supports staff in providing pro bono support or undertaking voluntary work. All solicitors and barristers at JHA are given an allowance of 40 hours from their working year to participate in either voluntary or pro bono work. Employees in support functions can devote 20 hours of working time to voluntary work each year.