Temple Tax Chambers > London, England > Set Profile

Temple Tax Chambers

London Bar > Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax

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.

Tax: corporate - Leading Juniors

Ranked: Tier 2
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.
Ranked: Tier 2
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.
Ranked: Tier 2
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.
Ranked: Tier 2
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.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2

Tax: VAT - Leading juniors

Ranked: Tier 2
Lyndsey Frawley - Temple Tax ChambersLyndsey is a tenacious advocate who thoroughly argues for a client's corner and is unflappable in court.
Ranked: Tier 2



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.’


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.

London Bar > Private client: personal tax Tier 3

Temple Tax Chambers excels at international work and specialises in advising on offshore trusts, residence and other domicile matters in addition to estate planning. Members are praised for their ability to provide ‘very pragmatic solutions.’ In Fowler v HMRC, A 2020 Supreme Court case, Jonathan Schwarz acted for a South African resident who was working in the UK North Sea as a diver, at issue was the interaction of UK tax law's bespoke treatment of divers and tax treaties. Schwarz also assisted in an Australian tax case concerning the non-discrimination article in the UK-Australia tax treaty, as applied to a British citizen subjected to the "backpacker tax", which means those on working holidays do not benefit from the Australian tax-free allowance.

Leading Juniors

Jonathan Schwarz - Temple Tax ChambersJonathan is a leading expert in international tax matters (he literally wrote the book) and has an encyclopedic knowledge of tax treaties.
Ranked: Tier 2
Michael Sherry - Temple Tax ChambersMichael has excellent knowledge, and is flexible and responsive. Solicitors have absolute confidence in the advice he provides.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Arthur - Temple Tax ChambersHe has an ability to help resolve complex problems and guidance on the most pragmatic solutions combined with an excellent knowledge of trust law and UK taxation implications for trustees and beneficiaries.
Ranked: Tier 3



‘Clerking is excellent – Claire James and Lucy Campbell are responsive and provide an excellent service.’

Excellent service – responsiveness, helpfulness. Particularly Claire James.’

Excellent communicators and very helpful.’

‘The service from the clerks’ room has always been prompt and efficient.’


Temple Tax is a leading specialist tax set, with members of Chambers between them covering all forms of taxation, both UK and international, corporate and private, direct and indirect. Chambers has a significant tax advisory and planning expertise, especially in the corporate sector, but also does a large amount of tax litigation.

The set: Temple Tax has been in existence at its current Temple Gardens address in London since 1934. Members have always specialised in tax, making it one of the longest established tax sets at the Bar. Now Temple Tax is one of the leaders at the Revenue Bar set apart by its accessible and client-orientated approach. Chambers’ ethos is to seek to combine the highest standards of expertise and technical excellence, with a commercial approach and genuine accessibility. With the assistance of Temple Tax’s team of excellent clerks, members work closely with professional clients to provide a dynamic service that fits their commercial requirements.

As well as being full time practitioners, members of Chambers also lecture widely, publish regularly (see below) and are active in many professional organisations.

Types of work undertaken: Corporate/business tax: advisory and planning issues for large corporates and groups including transaction and IPO work, MBOs and corporate rescues, and for owner-managed businesses/SMEs including reconstruction and transactions in securities issues, employment-related securities issues and planning work with LLPs and partnerships, including structuring for hedge fund managers/venture capitalists.

Income Tax & Capital Gains Tax: Discovery assessments, IR35, NICs.

SDLT: planning and transactional work undertaken as well as SDLT/stamp duty advice in relation to reorganisations.

Personal tax and private client: expertise ranges from IHT planning and onshore and offshore trust issues, to offshore income tax/CGT/IHT issues including transfers of assets abroad, advising non-domiciled individuals, business property relief, entrepreneurs’ relief and judicial review against APNs.

International tax: international advice includes permanent establishment issues, double tax relief, the effect of EU law on UK legislation, international employments, supply chain structuring, internationally mobile executives.

VAT etc: expertise in VAT and customs and excise duties matters, VAT expertise covers land and buildings, charities, partial exemption, financial services, grouping, fraud/investigations, single/multiple supplies and three-year capping. Customs and excise duties matters include classification, licensing, preferences, quotas, reliefs, warehousing, duty suspended movements and seizures. Professional negligence expertise includes measure of loss in tax-related negligence claims and technical advice in general, and pensions, PAYE and NIC.

Chambers has a real tax litigation presence at all levels and has featured in many recent significant cases.

Supreme Court: Fowler v HMRC; Hancock v HMRC.

Court of Appeal:  Milton Keynes NHS Hospital Trust v HMRC; Beadle v HMRC.

High Court: Claimants In the Royal Mail Group Litigation v Royal Mail Group Ltd

Upper Tribunal: Revenue and Customs v Atholl House Productions Limited; Keith Murphy v HMRC; Northern Light Solutions Ltd v HMRC; Revenue and Customs v Inverclyde Property Renovation LLP & Anor; Marlow Rowing Club v Revenue and Customs.

First-tier Tribunal (tax)Avonside Roofing Ltd v HMRC; Portview Fitout Ltd v HMRC; Albatel Ltd v HMRC; Taska Tankers Ltd v HMRC; Edwards Cumming Bruce v HMRC; Keith Murphy v HMRC; Timothy Norton Motor Services & Tim Norton v HMRC; Conservatory Roofing Systems Ltd v HMRC; Padfield & Ors v HMRC; HMRC v Premiere Picture Ltd; Peter Marano v HMRC; Albany Fish Bar Ltd v HMRC; Southend Football Club v HMRC.

Publications: Alun James and Michael Collins co-author: Bramwell on Taxation of Companies and Company Reconstructions; Michael Sherry: Whiteman and Sherry on Income Tax and Whiteman and Sherry on Capital Gains Tax; Jonathan Schwarz: Schwarz on Tax Treaties, Annotated UK Double Tax Treaties (5th ed), Booth and Schwarz: Residence, Domicile and UK Taxation (20th ed), and Transfer Pricing and Business Restructurings: Streamlining all the way. Philip Ridgway is co-author of Bloomsbury Professional’s Tax Indemnities and Warranties.  David Pett: Disguised Remuneration and the Loan Charge and is also co-author ‘Employee Share Schemes’; Keith Gordon & Ximena Montes Manzano co-author Tiley & Colinson UK Tax Guide 2019; Ximena Montes Manzano: Main Residence Relief (3rd ed); Keith Gordon: Tax Appeals, Law and Practice at the FTT (4th Ed)  


Senior Clerk Claire James
Deputy Senior Clerk Lucy Campbell
First Junior Clerk Cindy Green
Junior Clerk Kaylin O'Rourke
Head of Chambers JAMES, Alun (1986)
Members of Chambers SHERRY, Michael (1978)
Members of Chambers SCHWARZ, Johnathan (1998)
Members of Chambers BROWN, Tim (2001)
Members of Chambers COLLINS, Michael (2003)
Members of Chambers RIDGWAY, Philip (1986)
Members of Chambers REDPATH, Scott (1996)
Members of Chambers ARTHUR, Stephen (2002)
Members of Chambers QUINLAN, Michael (1984)
Members of Chambers FRAWLEY, Lyndsey (1995)
Members of Chambers GORDON, Keith (2003)
Members of Chambers MONTES MANZANO, Ximena (2004)
Members of Chambers AVIENT, Michael (2018)
Member of Chambers EDWARDS, Denis (2002)
Stephen Arthur photo Stephen ArthurUK taxation and offshore trusts; HMRC negotiations of historic liabilities; SDLT and…
Michael Avient photo Michael Avient
Timothy Brown photo Timothy BrownSpecialises in advice and litigation in all VAT and customs and excise…
Michael Collins photo Michael Collins
Denis Edwards photo Denis Edwards
Lyndsey Frawley photo Lyndsey FrawleyDispute resolution Lyndsey is a specialist tax litigator with a predominantly contentious…
Keith Gordon photo Keith GordonDealing with a wide range of tax-related issues, particularly in contentious matters.…
Alun James photo Alun JamesAlun aims to help businesses achieve their commercial objectives in the most…
Ximena Montes Manzano photo Ximena Montes ManzanoXimena accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers expertise from Solicitors, Accountants,…
David Pett photo David PettDavid has extensive experience of both direct and indirect taxes and of…
Michael Quinlan photo Michael QuinlanMichael’s specialist area of practice is stamp duties and similar transaction taxes.…
Scott Redpath photo Scott RedpathRevenue He specialises in all areas of revenue law, including: · Corporate…
Philip Ridgway photo Philip RidgwayAll forms of corporate and personal tax, including company reconstructions and demergers,…
Jonathan Schwarz photo Jonathan SchwarzInternational tax disputes as counsel and as an expert and advice on…
Michael Sherry photo Michael Sherry