Temple Tax Chambers > London, England > Set Profile

Temple Tax Chambers

London Bar > Tax: VAT and excise Tier 2

Temple Tax Chambers has an ‘excellent‘ tax offering, covering the range of indirect tax matters and working for significant clients in both the public and private sector. Tim Brown represented the appellant before the First-Tier Tribunal in Tasca Tankers Ltd v HMRC, successfully convincing the court to reject the HMRC’s application to strike out the case on the basis that it had no chance of success; the respondent subsequently received permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. In Naghshineh v HMRC, Denis Edwards appeared before the Court of Appeal in the first case before senior courts to consider the availability of sideways loss relief for farming losses under Section 68 of the Income Tax Act.

Leading Juniors

Tim Brown – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Tim possesses excellent technical knowledge, especially in the MTIC fraud area of VAT. He is always well prepared and takes a polite but firm approach during the cross-examination of witnesses. ’
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2
Denis Edwards – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Dennis is an excellent Tax and VAT barrister, extremely pragmatic and able to articulate complex matters very clearly. He is extremely impressive in the level of knowledge and commercial expertise he is able to bring to his advice. ’
Ranked: Tier 3



‘Brilliant Chambers, not just providing advice on particular matters but frequent support on training and ad-hoc issues.


‘Very professional and responsive.

‘Claire James is particularly impressive, manages the daily cases very well and always goes the extra mile to respond and assist on matters.

London Bar > Private client: personal tax Tier 3

Temple Tax Chambers is a well-known specialist tax set with barristers offering a wide range of expertise to a variety of clients, including high net worth individuals, property developers, hedge fund managers, and private equity managers. Jonathan Schwarz is a ‘very thorough and able advocate’ who specializes in solving cross-border tax problems and assisted a British citizen in the Australian Addy v Commissioner of Taxation case concerning the "backpacker tax". Michael Sherry and Stephen Arthur are also recommended.

Leading Juniors

Jonathan SchwarzTemple Tax ChambersJonathan is very thorough and provide advice on cross-border personal taxation on VAT and income tax matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3

Work highlights

    London Bar > Tax: corporate Tier 3

    Temple Tax Chambers boasts a broad tax practice which includes barristers with a diverse set of expertise. Alun James is head of chambers, and in addition to a strong advisory practice, acts on litigation at the first and upper tribunal. Jonathan Schwarz focuses on international tax disputes, and is additionally qualified as a barrister in Canada and an advocate in South Africa. Michael Sherry practices in all areas of direct tax, including corporate tax planning, property tax, and tax elements of M&A. Ximena Montes Manzano is another key name, as she has a strong record acting for a diverse range of clients, including high-net-worth individuals, owner-managed businesses and multinational corporates. Michael Avient is also noted, as he brings experience in all areas of tax, owing to more than three decades of working within accountancy firms.

    Leading Juniors

    Alun James – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Great communicator and very skilled. Always helpful. A pleasure to deal with.’
    Ranked: Tier 2
    Ximena Montes Manzano – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Ximena is hugely knowledgeable and her technical skills are first rate. She is also practical and client focused – she doesn’t bombard the lay client with technical analysis and jargon but rather she is direct, straightforward and takes time to explain tricky points clearly.’
    Ranked: Tier 2
    Philip Ridgway – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Strength is his commercial and practical approach. He is also friendly and easy to discuss matters with.’ 
    Ranked: Tier 2
    Jonathan Schwarz – Temple Tax Chambers ‘Both his written work and advocacy are clear and concise and he is persuasive in his arguments. Jonathan’s involvement in any claim is always valuable to achieving results.’
    Ranked: Tier 2
    Michael Sherry – Temple Tax ChambersIntelligent, articulate, technically brilliant.’
    Ranked: Tier 2
    Ranked: Tier 3
    Michael AvientTemple Tax Chambers ‘Michael has a good knowledge and in-depth nuanced understanding of how to deal with HMRC and accessibility and dependability.’
    Ranked: Tier 3



    ‘An excellent set – everyone is at the top of their game.’

    ‘A strong set who have a market leading practice in defending against HMRC assessment and penalty challenges.’

    ‘Their training programmes are first class.’


    ‘Clerks are friendly, approachable and efficient.’

    ‘Efficient and easy to deal with.’

    ‘Very professional and pleasant to deal with.’


    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: Skatteforvaltningen v Solo Capital Partners LLP; HMRC v Atholl House; HMRC v Murphy; Naghshineh v HMRC.

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

    Upper Tribunal: Taska Tankers Ltd v HMRC; Conservatory Roofing UK Ltd v HMRC; Wyatt Paul v HMRC; Cummings-Bruce v HMRC; MJ Harrison v HMRC.

    First-tier Tribunal (tax): Avonside Roofing Ltd v HMRC; Portview Fitout Ltd v HMRC; Albatel Ltd v HMRC; Jaspar Conran and JC Vision v HMRC; Whispering Smith Ltd v HMRC; Impact Contracting Solutions Ltd v HMRC; Kevin Pitt 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 Lucy Campbell
    Clerk Cindy Green
    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