Mr George Rowell > Exchange Chambers > Manchester, England > Barrister Profile

Exchange Chambers
M3 3NW

Work Department



George is a commercial barrister specialising in tax disputes, professional negligence and insolvency. He combines heavy-weight advocacy experience with in-depth tax and commercial knowledge.

Professional Negligence:  George is routinely instructed as sole counsel in multi-million pound claims against accountants, tax advisers, IFAs and solicitors. He has a particular interest in claims arising from negligent tax advice and failed property investment schemes.

Tax Disputes: George “cut his teeth” in-house with HMRC before moving to independent practice. He represented HMRC as a member of the Attorney-General’s Panel between 2008-2021 but now concentrates on advising businesses and private clients. His main areas of expertise are employment-related taxes, CGT, IHT, VAT, judicial review, avoidance schemes and penalties.

Insolvency: George is routinely instructed as sole counsel in multi-million pound proceedings against directors and shareholders. He has a particular interest in cases with overlapping tax and insolvency issues, such as misfeasance claims arising from failed tax avoidance schemes.

Examples of recent cases:

– £20m negligence claim against promoter of EBT tax scheme

– £10m bribery and negligence claim against accountants and solicitors in respect of 14 tax schemes

– Defending £5m misfeasance claim against directors who used an EBT tax scheme.

– £4.5m negligence and bribery claim against accountants and tax advisers in respect of four tax avoidance schemes


Co-author of Tax Penalties: A Practitioner’s Guide (Sweet & Maxwell; 1st edn 2017; 2nd edn, 2019; 3rd edn, 2023); consultant editor of Simon’s Taxes.


Magdalen College, Oxford (MA Oxon); City University, London (MA in Law)

Call: 2004

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Professional negligence

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

George Rowell – Exchange Chambers ‘George has great knowledge of professional negligence law, and he can be relied upon to provide detailed and carefully considered advice.

Exchange Chambers has strength in advising on professional negligence claims brought against a wide range of individuals, including medical professionals, solicitors, surveyors, auditors and accountants. James Malam is instructed on behalf of insurers, claimants and defendants in disputes, and has an excellent reputation for his strength in acting for members of niche professions in claims. George Rowell is ‘uniquely placed to advise on tax-related professional negligence claims‘, and has been kept busy advising on claims arising from complex, failed tax avoidance schemes.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Chancery, probate, and tax

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

George Rowell – Exchange ChambersGeorge is one of the most impressive barristers in this area. He operates at a level quite unlike the rest of us, and all barristers have a command of the law and the detail of the case, but none quite like George; he is never anything other than 100% impeccably prepared, and remarkably, he is also highly pragmatic and commercially-minded, which is very rare indeed in combination with such an academic mind.’

Exchange Chambers ‘is a good set for Chancery work’, and its members have substantial expertise in traditional Chancery law, including real property, wills, trusts, and the administration of estates, probate, and mortgages. Andrew Williams has a property-based Chancery practice, and both Scott Redpath and George Rowell are skilled in tax law mandates. Andrew Vinson exclusively acts in Chancery and commercial work, and the set is also home to John Waiting, who has expertise in trust litigation. Graham Sellers joined the team from Atlantic Chambers in June 2023.

Regional Bar > Northern Circuit > Company and insolvency

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

George Rowell – Exchange Chambers ‘George is a really impressive barrister, his knowledge of law is incomparable, and he is never anything other than 100% impeccably prepared. Remarkably, he is also highly pragmatic and commercially-minded, which is very rare indeed in combination with such an academic mind, so he really offers the best of both worlds.’

Exchange Chambers ‘has high-quality juniors’ and ‘is the chambers of choice for insolvency matters.’ Its members have expertise across a wide range of matters, including shareholder and partnership disputes, director disqualification, breaches of fiduciary duties, derivative claims, s994 unfair prejudice petitions, and corporate insolvency. The set is home to Giles Maynard-Connor KC, who represents clients in corporate and personal contentious work, and he has acted on cases in the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar. George Rowell has expertise in insolvency cases with a tax background, including claims against directors arising from failed tax avoidance schemes. Carly Sandbach is experienced in director disqualification proceedings and public interest winding up petitions, as well as breaches of directors’ duties – in Bona Vacantia Ltd v Noblett, she successfully obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the defendant, defeating an attempt to make a director personally liable using s217 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Richard Tetlow regularly acts for office holders, individuals, and companies, and has expertise in director disqualification proceedings. Recent growth for the set includes Graham Sellers arriving from Atlantic Chambers in June 2023.