Graham Aaronson KC > Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP

Work Department

Partner; Tax Disputes


Graham Aaronson QC is a founding partner of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP and chairs the firm’s tax disputes team.

During his time as a member of Pump Court Tax Chambers he established a reputation as one of the leading tax advisers and advocates of his generation. He has advised or represented most of the major corporations conducting business in the UK, appearing in many landmark cases such as BMBF v Mawson. He initiated the EU law challenges to the UK corporation tax regime in the ground-breaking Hoechst case, and since then he has been the lead counsel in most of the EU law based group litigation actions dealing with corporation tax.

Since founding JHA, he has focused on helping clients resolve their tax disputes with HMRC or other tax authorities. Where necessary this will include careful preparation and conduct of litigation, but wherever possible his preference is to seek to persuade the tax authorities to accept the client’s position, or to agree a negotiated settlement that achieves the best possible outcome for the client.

He specialises in commercial/corporate taxation, with particular sub-specialities in transfer pricing, oil and gas taxation, structured finance, State Aid and EU Law. He also has particular experience and expertise in dealing with football-related tax disputes, representing several very high profile players and agents.


2016: Asked by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to examine the allegations of tax avoidance made against him and his family, arising out of the “Panama Papers” revelations. The Prime Minister quoted from his analysis in his personal statement to the House of Commons on 11th April 2016.

2012-13: Appointed by HMRC as chairman of the Interim Advisory Panel for the GAAR, responsible for and co-writing the legally binding Guidelines for the operation of the GAAR.

2010-11: Appointed by the Coalition Government as Leader of the ‘GAAR’ (General Anti-Avoidance Rule) study. His report, recommending and drafting a proposed General Anti-Abuse Rule, was accepted by the Government, and a GAAR based on his report and draft legislation was enacted in FA 2013.

2001-05: Part-time Special Commissioner (equivalent today to a judge of the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal).

1995-98: Chairman of the Revenue Bar Association.

1994-97: Appointed first chairman of the Tax Law Review Committee (set up by the IFS, and under the presidency of the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Howe). Initiated its study of the UK’s tax legislation, and co-wrote its report recommending a complete re-write of the direct tax statutes (which was accepted by the Government and enacted over the following years).

1987-90: Appointed principal tax policy advisor to the Director of State Revenues, Treasury, Israel.


Appointed Queen’s Counsel, 1982

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation


Cambridge University – MA (Trinity Hall, Law Scholar)

Lawyer Rankings

London > Dispute resolution > Tax litigation and investigations

(Leading individuals)

Graham Aaronson KCJoseph Hage Aaronson LLP

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 KC 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.