Undoubtedly the biggest and best tax set in London.

Legal 500, 2018

  • Chambers Global

    THE SET

    Pump Court Tax remains the foremost private client tax set in England and Wales. Barristers can assist on all types of matters, such as tax planning, trusts and estates, inheritance tax (IHT) and capital gains tax (CGT). Sources say it is “the best in town for tax work” and that “it has more of an emphasis on private client than any other of the sets.” One source comments: “They are our favourite chambers for tax. They really have moved with the times and have a very proactive, friendly and collaborative manner.” Other interviewees say it is “a first-rate chambers. They are a large set and cover everything that I need,” adding: “You know what you’re getting and that is top quality. They are brilliant at dealing with ultra-complex work and always get an efficient response.” One market insider adds: “There is a depth and breadth there that you can’t find anywhere else. So many members of the chambers have been involved in the leading tax cases.”

    Client service: The clerks at Pump Court, led by Nigel Jones, are especially well regarded. One interviewee enthuses: “The clerks are all extremely helpful and easy to deal with. They are very responsive and user-friendly. I can’t think of a single instance when I haven’t been completely happy. They will always try to fit you in and make sure their barristers are delivering on time.”

    SILKS

    William Massey QC
    Best known for his private client work, with his expertise lying in trust and estate tax planning, business and agricultural property relief, heritage property and exemption. Massey’s work on complex trust and inheritance tax issues is especially noted.
    Strengths: “William is definitely frontline for IHT. When I’ve got William’s advice I will always take my time to read it carefully. He’s also very flexible, I can ring him whenever I need to and he’s always got time for the job because he’s innately interested in what he’s doing, and it shows.” “I always use him for complex matters. He is extremely thorough and learned but puts things into easily understandable language.”
    Recent work: Appeared in DC v AC, a Variation of Trusts Act case, where he succeeded in an application to extend the trust period to mitigate CGT and IHT liabilities.

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Prosser often acts on highly complex income tax and employee benefit trust (EBT) cases in the appellate courts. He also has experience on double taxation matters and sits as a deputy High Court judge.
    Strengths: “One of the best, if not the very best tax QC at the English Bar. He provides concise, technical advice in a very commercial, pragmatic manner.” “Outstanding and extraordinarily good on his feet. He is very responsive, razor sharp, and a very bright man.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Blackwell v HMRC, a CGT case concerning the deduction of fees against the gains from selling shares.

    David Ewart QC
    Highlighted for his work on behalf of the Revenue but also represents private clients in complex tax cases. He often advises on inheritance tax planning matters and family limited partnerships, and he has handled film finance scheme cases recently as well.
    Strengths: “He’s very clever and technically impressive.” “Extremely practical, highly intelligent and very talented.”
    Recent work: Represented the taxpayer in an IHT case involving an excluded property trust settled by a non-domicile, who later became UK-domiciled and then left the country again. The key question was whether the property had lost its IHT-exempt status permanently or whether it had regained it after the taxpayer moved away again.

    Julian Ghosh QC
    Qualified to practise in both England and Scotland, with expertise in European taxation issues. Ghosh acts for HMRC and for taxpayers on a range of personal tax matters, and has particular expertise in Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR) from IHT.
    Strengths: “Of all the barristers we’ve worked with, he’s the standout.” “Renowned for being technical and solid in his approach. He is a high-quality performer.”
    Recent work: Acted for the Revenue in the Rangers tax case. The former owners of the club made tax-free loans to staff and players from EBTs. The Supreme Court found that these payments ought to have been treated as taxable earnings for NIC and income tax purposes.

    JUNIORS

    Emma Chamberlain
    A supremely respected junior, with a huge reputation for her private client expertise. Specialises in tax and trust advice, particularly on offshore trust structures, for high net worth individuals.
    Strengths: “Remains the go-to person at the private client tax Bar. She has the ear of the HMRC and, where other barristers merely assert their opinion, she tells you what HMRC’s view really is.” “She is one of the best in the UK. She is very direct and you can really see the wood through the trees. She is very good at working through reams of complex detail and at co-ordinating all third parties, like lawyers and accountants, to work as a cohesive team.”
    Recent work: Represented the taxpayer in James Glyn v HMRC, a complex residence case.

    James Rivett
    Regarded by sources as a personable and impressive advocate who is in high demand. Rivett has particular expertise in the often arcane world of variation of trust, and he is also an expert in heritage property matters for landed estates.
    Strengths: “There doesn’t seem to be any aspect of tax that James Rivett hasn’t mastered. One always feels he is very much on your side in trying to find a solution without taking silly risks, but he doesn’t shirk the difficult message.” “He really knows what he is doing. He can translate sophisticated legal issues to the layman.”
    Recent work: Acted for the Revenue in Shiner & Sheinman v HMRC. At issue was the compatibility with EU personal rights of retrospective application of the closure of a tax loophole.

    Elizabeth Wilson
    Practises in all areas of tax law. She has particular experience in APR and BPR cases, offshore trusts, partnerships and non-domiciliary tax planning.
    Strengths: “Very precise and clear in her advice.” “Highly technically competent, and has done some big cases for the Revenue.”
    Recent work: Appeared for the Revenue in Re Staveley Deceased, an Upper Tribunal IHT case.

    Richard Vallat
    A highly regarded tax barrister, who specialises in advising on offshore trusts, domiciled issues and tax planning for ultra high net worth individuals.
    Strengths: “Highly competent and good at explaining complex matters in layman’s language.” “A formidable opponent. Charming outside court and very much fights his corner in court.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a conjoined income tax appeal before the Supreme Court, concerning the tax treatment of two complex employee share bonus schemes.

    Laura Poots
    Particular expertise in offshore trust and family partnership structuring and domicile matters.
    Strengths: “She is always happy to discuss problems, responds very promptly and her advice is sound.” “Her written advice is clear and precise and a joy to read.”

    Ian Richards
    A highly regarded tax barrister, who specialises in advising on offshore trusts, domiciled issues and tax planning for ultra high net worth individuals.
    Strengths: “He’s very knowledgeable and careful, and drafts beautifully.”

  • Chambers & Partners

    Tax

    Pump Court Chambers is a prominent presence at the London Tax Bar. It has a strong bench of practitioners, which has recently been consolidated by the addition of new recruits. Members act in high-profile disputes on behalf of HMRC and a range of other interested parties, including investment banks and multinational corporations. Areas of strength range from income tax and double taxation to accelerated payment notices, tax exemptions, tax schemes and land taxes. The barristers here are known for their considerable international expertise and excel in disputes regarding disparities between UK and EU legislation.

    Client service

    “The clerks are accessible and user-friendly.” “A very responsive chambers.” Nigel Jones, the senior clerk, is reported to run “a very tight ship.”

    Strengths

    David Milne QC
    An iconic presence at the Tax Bar who is highly sought after for his expertise on both the contentious and the non-contentious side. He acts for both the taxpayer and the Revenue. His advisory practice includes assisting with high-profile M&A transactions. He regularly handles Supreme Court and ECJ briefs.
    “He provides great confidence to clients and has an impressive track record.” “A great mind and an excellent advocate. He has the ability to make the complex simple.”
    Recent work: Acted successfully on behalf of HMRC in a dispute with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation concerning the UK/Ireland double tax treaty.

    Strengths

    Kevin Prosser QC
    A pre-eminent silk who acts for the Revenue and taxpayers on a range of tax issues, including challenges to major schemes. He has appeared at all levels of court and also maintains a highly respected advisory practice covering such areas as Islamic finance and transfer pricing.
    “An excellent communicator, both in writing and orally.” “Always on top of the issues and to the point.”

    Strengths

    David Ewart QC
    Handles some of HMRC’s most important test cases, and also regularly represents the Revenue in group litigations. He further acts for taxpayers on significant matters in an advisory capacity and in court. Clients include accountants and multinational corporations. He has experience of an interesting selection of matters including film finance schemes, IHT planning and family partnerships.
    “Incisive, efficient and user-friendly.” “His advice is clear, unequivocal and extremely helpful.”
    Recent work: Acted successfully for the taxpayer in Barclays Wealth & Dreelan Trust v HMRC, a High Court IHT case.

    Strengths

    Julian Ghosh QC
    Regularly appears before the highest courts in England and Wales, and Scotland, acting for taxpayers and the Revenue. He is particularly well regarded for his work involving loan relationships and EU law. He also advises on the taxation of IP.
    “Incredibly clear and helpful to clients.” “His powers of analysis are formidable and he inspires confidence in clients.”
    Recent work: Acted in Advocate General for Scotland v Murray Group and others, a PAYE case concerning payments by Murray Group into an EBT.

    Strengths

    James Rivett
    Highly regarded tax junior with a broad-based corporate tax practice. He acts with a leader on many significant instructions and also leads his own cases, often appearing against silks. He represents both the Revenue and the taxpayer.
    “Very quick-witted.” “Very good with clients.”
    Recent work: Acted in Ingenious Film Partners v HMRC, a high-profile film finance scheme case.

    Strengths

    Michael Thomas
    Taxpayer-side practitioner with a broad-based advisory and contentious tax practice, spanning business tax, indirect taxes and private client matters. He is particularly well versed in property tax matters, including stamp duty, development matters and agricultural and business property relief from inheritance tax.
    “His analysis is very thorough. He is clear and concise. He is good with clients and puts them at their ease.” “Excellent on property taxation. He gives straightforward, well-considered advice and is very responsive.”
    Recent work: Acted in Raftopoulou v HMRC, a tax reclaim dispute.

    Strengths

    Jeremy Woolf
    Senior junior with extensive experience in a range of complex corporate tax litigation and advisory mandates. He is particularly strong on income tax and employee benefit trusts issues. He is also knowledgeable about judicial reviews and tax-related human rights matters.
    “Very thorough.” “Technically strong and very user-friendly.”

    Strengths

    David Yates
    Often appears unled against silks in cases for the Revenue, and also has a solid taxpayer-side practice. He advises on a broad range of matters including cross-border dividends and double taxation agreements. He has niche expertise in advising insurers on tax-related professional negligence matters.
    “Very good at cutting straight to the point.” “Very clever and a good advocate.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in two related cases, one involving BNP Paribas and the other involving Société Générale, which concerned tax schemes based upon dividend strips.

    Strengths

    Rupert Baldry QC
    Although best known for HMRC work, he also has an impressive taxpayer practice and has handled a number of group litigations. Many of his cases involve transfers between international arms of multinational businesses, and deal with issues such as loans to foreign subsidiaries and the taxation of foreign dividends.
    “Very user-friendly, approachable and popular with clients.” “A very thoughtful barrister.”
    Recent work: Acted in BT Pension Trustees v HMRC, a case concerning the treatment of tax-exempt UK pension funds.

    Strengths

    Giles Goodfellow QC
    An expert on income tax and employee benefits matters. He regularly provides advice on corporate reorganisations, tax-related professional negligence and tonnage tax. He acts for both the Revenue and taxpayers. He is noted for his knowledge of tax arrangements following divorce.
    “He’s involved in a lot of big cases and is a good man to chew tricky points of law over with.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in two separate but similar cases, one involving BNP Paribas and the other involving Société Générale, which both concerned tax schemes based upon dividend strips.

    Strengths

    James Henderson
    Junior counsel on some of the most significant corporate tax cases of recent years. He also has a thriving advisory practice, and receives regular instructions in cases regarding business reorganisations. He has sound knowledge of transfer pricing rules and capital allowances.
    “Hard-working, thorough and measured. He offers great insight.” “Very responsive, very intelligent and client-friendly.”
    Recent work: Acted for the appellant in Glencore Energy v HMRC, a case concerning the validity of a diverted profits tax charging notice and, more broadly, the relationship between High Court judicial review and the FTT tax appeal system.

    Strengths

    Thomas Chacko
    Has developed an impressive and broad-ranging corporate tax practice. He has a growing reputation in employment tax matters. He also has experience of cases involving partnership structures.
    “Incredibly bright and really fast to grasp detail.”

    Strengths

    Roger Thomas QC
    Has extensive experience of handling challenging corporate tax matters before the highest courts. His particular area of expertise is stamp duty, and he is regularly instructed on the most complex SDLT and SDRT cases. He acts for a diverse set of clients including accountants, City firms, museums and political parties.
    “An outstanding advocate. Exceptionally intelligent and courteous.” “Bright and thorough.” “He is user-friendly and gives clear, definitive advice.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Project Blue v HMRC, an SDLT case concerning the acquisition of the Chelsea Barracks site.

    Strengths

    Andrew Thornhill QC
    Best known for his particular expertise in employee benefit trusts and disguised remuneration matters. He also advises on corporate reorganisations and the use of offshore structures to hold UK property assets. He has additional knowledge relating to family businesses.
    “His technical knowledge and breadth of experience is matched only by his commercial awareness.” “Very user-friendly. He’s got a very in-depth knowledge of his subject and is very creative.”
    Recent work: Acted in Clavis Liberty Fund 1 v HMRC, a dispute concerning the ‘liberty’ tax scheme.

    Strengths

    Elizabeth Wilson
    Well-regarded junior who acts for both the taxpayer and the Revenue. Her corporate tax caseload spans a range of matters, from employment tax to SDLT. He is experienced in handling cases that touch on EU law.
    “Very client-friendly.”
    Recent work: Acted successfully for HMRC in a dispute with Amalgamated Metal Corporation concerning whether a payment of damages was taxable as interest.

    Strengths

    Zizhen Yang
    Appears with leading silks in major litigation and also handles her own cases unled. She has wide-ranging corporate tax expertise and has appeared in matters regarding double taxation relief, business reorganisations, loan relationships and derivative contracts. She acts for both HMRC and the taxpayer.
    “An excellent junior who is very articulate and good at drafting.” “She has always impressed me with her work ethic and ability to cut through to the heart of an issue.”
    Recent work: Acted in Brain Disorders v HMRC, a tax scheme case concerning the investment of money in treatments for scientific research into psychological disorders.

    Strengths

    Jonathan Bremner QC
    Boasts an impressive track record of acting in heavyweight litigation. He is often instructed in major employee benefit trust cases and group litigations. He also advises in relation to reconstruction, transfer pricing and other matters.
    “Superb both in terms of technical analysis and as an advocate.” “He is thorough and quick, and he works well in a team.”
    Recent work: Instructed in British American Tobacco Industries v HMRC, a case relating to restitution interest and incompatibilities between UK and EU law.

    Strengths

    Richard Vallat QC
    Frequently acts for HMRC on challenges to avoidance schemes and is an expert on corporate tax and capital allowances issues. He takes instructions on the taxpayer side in cases concerning corporate tax schemes, employee benefit trusts and tax-related professional negligence. He also acts in contractual disputes.
    “Intelligent, user-friendly and very thorough.” “Very courteous, very prepared and methodical.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a case against Ardmore Construction concerning the question of where, in a certain transaction, the interest arises for corporate tax purposes.

     

    Tax: Indirect

    A large, well-resourced tax set, which has a wealth of expertise in indirect tax matters. Its highly esteemed practitioners provide pertinent advice in relation to such matters as corporate reorganisation and the structuring of transactions. They also offer strong representation in contentious proceedings before such bodies as the FTT, the UTT, the Court of Appeal and the CJEU. Members receive instructions from HMRC as well as clients on the taxpayer side including banks, insurers and multinational corporations. They are well acquainted with the various indirect taxes including VAT, customs duty, excise duty, landfill tax and the aggregates levy.

    Client service

    “The clerks are friendly, approachable and efficient at keeping diary dates and facilitating conference calls.” Senior clerk Nigel Jones earns praise for his commerciality and his ability to “make really intelligent suggestions about who to instruct.”

    Strengths

    David Milne QC
    An excellent advocate whose indirect tax practice includes both complex advisory work and high-value litigation. He is frequently trusted with the most high-profile and substantial cases, and has represented clients before both the ECJ and the Supreme Court. He has impressive knowledge of the EU’s VAT regulations.
    “A trusted pair of hands.” “The doyen of the tax world.”
    Recent work: Acted in PayPoint Collections and others v HMRC, an FTT appeal relating to VAT on financial services.

    Strengths

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Head of chambers, he continues to advise high-profile individuals and companies on complex direct and indirect tax issues stemming from corporate transactions. He is praised for his breadth of knowledge across the area. He often conducts appellate advocacy in the highest UK and EU courts. He also dispenses valuable advice to corporations.
    “Very clever.” “He is forensic in his knowledge of tax law but also creative. He finds the answers to the conundrums presented to him.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Mercedes-Benz Financial Services v HMRC, a dispute concerning whether the hire purchase of cars counts as a supply of goods or services for the purposes of VAT.

    Strengths

    Andrew Hitchmough QC
    An indirect tax specialist who attracts attention for his vast expertise in the area. He has represented the taxpayer and HMRC in some of the most high-profile VAT cases of recent years. He also has knowledge of the laws surrounding other indirect taxes such as gaming duty. He excels in cases that implicate banking and accounting law.
    “Extremely impressive and utterly unflappable. Calm but incredibly incisive analysis and succinct submissions. His preparation for cases is exemplary and he is a real team player. He has a reputation in the market as a leading silk for VAT litigation.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in University of Cambridge v HMRC, a case concerning VAT on endowment fees.

    Strengths

    Rupert Baldry QC
    Has a broad range of expertise in indirect tax, including VAT, customs and excise duties and aggregates levy. He undertakes advisory and litigation work for the Revenue and the taxpayer.
    “Excellent. He is clear, insightful and really knows his stuff.” “Very bright, very good with clients and very approachable.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a dispute with Amalgamated Metals concerning whether interest on refunded VAT is itself taxable, or whether this is contrary to EU law.

    Strengths

    Michael Thomas
    Upholds a broad tax practice, including business tax, VAT and private client work. Specialising in representing the taxpayer, he is noted for his particular expertise in property tax.
    “Very good to work with. He is very intelligent and commercially aware.”
    Recent work: Appeared for Languard New Homes in two appeals concerning whether a zero rating could be applied to the residential conversion of a partly non-residential building.

    Strengths

    Roger Thomas QC
    Experienced practitioner who is highly praised for assisting charities with their indirect tax needs. He is very well versed in matters involving stamp duty land tax. He is experienced in representing clients in both the Supreme Court and CJEU. He often acts in cases in the arts sector involving galleries, museums, theatres and charities.
    “Very clever.”
    Recent work: Acted in HMRC v Metropolitan International Schools, a case regarding the ability of a taxpayer to rely on previous HMRC rulings and statements as guides to future policy.

    Strengths

    Jeremy White
    An expert in customs duties and excise cases who is particularly experienced in the classification of goods. He has vast knowledge of trade barriers, appearing regularly in the ECJ in cases involving numerous international customs authorities. He regularly acts for well-known multinational clients.
    “Knowledgeable, approachable and commercial. He gets to the nub of the issue and provides intellectually rigorous but commercially relevant advice.” “His diligence and attention to detail are outstanding.”
    Recent work: Acted for B&M Retail in a case against HMRC concerning the burden of proof in connection with excise duty on spirits.

    Strengths

    David Yates
    He acts for both the taxpayer and HMRC on a broad range of indirect tax mandates including VAT and customs duties. He is particularly adept at handling matters involving VAT-related negligence.
    “Very sharp and very practical.”
    Recent work: Instructed in Bank of Scotland v HMRC, a case concerning the VAT treatment of management charges paid to third-party outsourcers.

    Strengths

    Julian Ghosh QC
    Maintains a broad practice encompassing all areas of tax, including indirect tax matters, in which he represents the taxpayer and the Revenue. He has particular expertise in EU tax matters and their crossover with UK tax legislation. He has acted in a number of VAT reclaim cases.
    “Technically unsurpassed. He has a formidable intellect and never equivocates. Clients appreciate his well-considered views and he has an incredibly succinct but formidable presence in oral advocacy.”
    Recent work: Acted in Paul Newey t/a Ocean Finance v HMRC, a VAT case concerning exempt supplies and the alleged abuse of rights.

    Strengths

    James Henderson
    Offers an impressive indirect tax expertise within an overall tax practice. He is experienced in all areas of indirect tax, and is particularly well versed in complex VAT matters. He has experience acting for clients at all levels of domestic court, including the Supreme Court as well as appearing before the CJEU.
    “Hard-working, thorough and measured. He offers great insight.” “Very responsive, very intelligent and client-friendly.”

    Strengths

    James Rivett
    Has a growing indirect tax practice with a particular expertise in VAT, often appearing before the Upper Tribunal. He frequently acts as sole counsel or as a leader in tough cases.
    “Hugely clever and a brilliant advocate.” “Very bright and very engaging.”
    Recent work: Represented ING Direct in a dispute with HMRC concerning the tax treatment of the supply of banking services.

    Strengths

    Jonathan Bremner QC
    Enjoys a rapidly growing practice in the area of indirect tax with extensive experience representing taxpayers and the Revenue. He is often entrusted with complex VAT and customs cases, appearing before the FTT, the Upper Tribunal, the Supreme Court and the CJEU.
    “His technical ability is very strong, his client-handling skills are excellent and he is commercially focused.”
    Recent work: Acted in LIFE Services v HMRC, a dispute concerning the welfare exemption for VAT.

     

    Tax: Private Client

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is widely regarded as the pre-eminent set for private client tax work at the London Bar. “It is second to none,” confirms an observer, while another market commentator says: “They continue to be the clear standout set for tax advice; you can rely on Pump Court to have specialists who are capable of dealing with every area of tax.” “As a chambers it is light years ahead of anyone else in terms of tax and has been way ahead for a long time,” comments a legal practitioner. Barristers at the set handle a wide range of contentious and advisory matters, which include offshore and onshore trusts, residence and domicile issues, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

    Client service

    The set is lauded for its “very fine clerking team;” interviewees describe the team as “very friendly,” “efficient” and “always very prompt.” Senior clerk Nigel Jones is praised for “keeping a very orderly ship” and both Bruno Antoniotti and Rob Adams are noted by sources for the high level of service they provide.

    Strengths

    Emma Chamberlain
    A supremely respected junior, with a huge reputation for her private client expertise. Specialises in tax and trust advice, particularly on offshore trust structures, for high net worth individuals.
    “Her particular expertise and skill is in the Inheritance Tax field and in non-domicile tax, which she is excellent at.” “She has a real insight into how the Revenue think and so she brings a really interesting and helpful take on things. She is not an aggressive advocate, but instead she is collaborative, which is winning for the judges because they will listen.”
    Recent work: Continued to represent the taxpayer in James Glyn v HMRC, a complex residence case.

    Strengths

    William Massey QC
    Best known for his private client work, with his expertise lying in trust and estate tax planning, business and agricultural property relief, heritage property and exemption. Massey’s work on complex trust and inheritance tax issues is especially noted.
    “He is the great star of the private client Tax Bar. He has this reputation where people think if he thinks something, then it must be right.” “He has a good reputation for landed and heritage matters. He is just brilliant at relating to families and he can get to the nub of the matter really quickly; he is excellent and has been a great resource.” “He has real gravitas, he’s very strong on Inheritance Tax, he’s very thoughtful and has a very rounded view.”

    Strengths

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Prosser often acts on highly complex income tax and employee benefit trust (EBT) cases in the appellate courts. He also has experience on double taxation matters and sits as a deputy High Court judge.
    “He is fabulous. He is forensic in his knowledge of the tax law but also creative. He finds the answers to the conundrum presented to him.” “I think he’s brilliant. He absorbs a huge amount of information and he can solve problems. He’s tremendously bright and always fits the bill – he’s been consistently excellent.”
    Recent work: Represented the taxpayer in the Court of Appeal in Blackwell v HMRC, a CGT case concerning the deduction of fees against gains made from selling shares.

    Strengths

    James Rivett
    Regarded by sources as a personable and impressive advocate who is in high demand. Rivett has particular expertise in the often arcane world of variation of trust, and he is also an expert in heritage property matters for landed estates.
    “We love working with him – he is superb in person and verbally. If you want someone quick and to the point he is amazing; he has a very, very fast brain.”
    Recent work: Continued to act for the taxpayer in the complex and long-running Ingenious Film Partners v HMRC case.

    Strengths

    Elizabeth Wilson
    Practises in all areas of tax law. She has particular experience in APR and BPR cases, offshore trusts, partnerships and non-domiciliary tax planning.
    “She explained very tricky tax principles to the client in a way that they could really understand. She turned the papers around very quickly and her advice was spot-on.”
    Recent work: Continued to represent HMRC in re Staveley Deceased, a complex IHT matter.

    Strengths

    David Ewart QC
    Highlighted for his work on behalf of the Revenue but also represents private clients in complex tax cases. He often advises on inheritance tax planning matters and family limited partnerships, and he has handled film finance scheme cases recently as well.
    “He’s a compelling advocate. He’s always in court, I do wonder how he has the time to prepare so well – whatever his secret is, it works.”
    Recent work: Successfully represented the taxpayer before the Court of Appeal in Barclays Wealth & Dreelan Trust v HMRC.

    Strengths

    Julian Ghosh QC
    Qualified to practise in both England and Scotland, with expertise in European taxation issues. Ghosh acts for HMRC and for taxpayers on a range of personal tax matters, and has particular expertise in Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR) from IHT.
    “He’s very clever, very hard-working and very knowledgeable. I’m sure he’s very capable at anything he turns his hand to. He’s a very able person to have on your team.”
    Recent work: Represented the the taxpayer in a case concerning the client’s personal tax assessment and the Revenue’s insistence that 20 years of tax be assessed rather than the more usual six.

    Strengths

    Laura Poots
    Particular expertise in offshore trust and family partnership structuring and domicile matters.
    “She’s very pragmatic and practical, lovely to deal with, very approachable and she takes the complexities out so you can really discuss things with her.”

    Strengths

    Richard Vallat QC
    A highly regarded tax barrister, who specialises in advising on offshore trusts, domiciled issues and tax planning for ultra high net worth individuals.
    “He is very strong, very thorough, intelligent and user-friendly.”
    Recent work: Continued to act for the taxpayer in the highly notable Ingenious Film Partners v HMRC litigation.

  • Chambers & Partners HNW

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is widely regarded as the pre-eminent set for private client tax work at the London Bar. “It is second to none,” confirms an observer, while another market commentator says: “They continue to be the clear stand-out set for tax advice, you can rely on Pump Court to have specialists who are capable of dealing with every area of tax.” “As a chambers it is light years ahead of anyone else in terms of tax and has been way ahead for a long time,” comments a legal practitioner. Barristers at the set handle a wide range of litigious and advisory matters, which include offshore and onshore trusts, residence and domicile issues, Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

    The set is lauded for its “very fine clerking team;” interviewees describe the team as “very friendly,” “efficient” and “always very prompt.” Senior clerk Nigel Jones is praised for “keeping a very orderly ship” and both Bruno Antoniotti and Rob Adams are noted by sources for the high level of service they provide.

    Emma Chamberlain “is a fantastic private client tax junior,” enthuses an interviewee. “I think she really is a superstar,” agrees a market insider. “Her particular expertise and skill is in the Inheritance Tax field and in non-domicile tax, which she is excellent at,” comments an observer, adding: “She is also ferociously intelligent.” “She has a real insight into how the Revenue think and so she brings a really interesting and helpful take on things,” says a barrister, adding: “She is not an aggressive advocate, but instead she is collaborative, which is winning for the judges because they will listen.” Another legal professional reports that “Emma’s ability to not just know the technical law, but to also know what HMRC is thinking from the inside is without equal.”

    William Massey QC “is the great star of the private client Tax Bar,” says a market insider, adding: “He has this reputation where people think if he thinks something, then it must be right.” “He has a good reputation for landed and heritage matters. He is just brilliant at relating to families and he can get to the nub of the matter really quickly; he is excellent and has been a great resource,” reports one interviewee. Another comments: “He has real gravitas, he’s very strong on Inheritance Tax, he’s very thoughtful and has a very rounded view.” Massey is also praised for his “technical abilities, charming manner, and his ability to explain complex points clearly.”

    The “seriously awesome” Kevin Prosser QC wins praise from all corners of the market for his tax expertise. “He is fabulous,” enthuses an interviewee, explaining that “he is forensic in his knowledge of the tax law but also creative. He finds the answers to the conundrum presented to him.” “I think he’s brilliant. He absorbs a huge amount of information and he can solve problems. He’s tremendously bright and always fits the bill – he’s been consistently excellent,” reports one source. Another comments: “He’s very much the leading light; I rate him very, very highly indeed, he’s an absolute star.” “He’s probably the best tax advocate there is,” says a fellow barrister.

    James Rivett is considered a “star at junior level” for his tax practice. He assists clients with advisory and contentious tax matters, including tax issues arising from divorces. An interviewee comments: “We love working with him – he is superb in person and verbally. If you want someone quick and to the point he is amazing; he has a very, very fast brain.” Rivett is also praised as “very bright and very engaging,” and “incredibly cerebral.”

    Elizabeth Wilson has a comprehensive litigation and advisory tax practice, which includes assisting with offshore trust planning and planning for non-domiciles. “She explained very tricky tax principles to the client in a way that they could really understand. She turned the papers around very quickly and her advice was spot-on,” reports one interviewee. Another agrees: “She is excellent on life insurance matters – she can understand it fully and make it easy to understand for the client. Her soft skills are excellent and she is very friendly and personable.”

    David Ewart QC is noted for his specialism in representing HMRC in tax cases. He also advises high net worth individuals on Inheritance Tax planning and trusts. “He is absolutely top class,” enthuses one interviewee. Another reports that “he’s a compelling advocate. He’s always in court, I do wonder how he has the time to prepare so well – whatever his secret is, it works.”

    Julian Ghosh QC is well respected for his tax expertise and frequently acts for both the taxpayer and HMRC. “He’s very clever, very hard-working and very knowledgeable,” comments a fellow barrister, adding: “I’m sure he’s very capable at anything he turns his hand to. He’s a very able person to have on your team.”

    Laura Poots is an experienced tax practitioner, assisting clients with tax planning matters as well as acting in litigation. “Her technical skills are first class, she’s very responsive, she tends to get the right answer and she’s commercial,” reports a source. “She’s very pragmatic and practical, lovely to deal with, very approachable and she takes the complexities out so you can really discuss things with her. She’s absolutely excellent, she’s my go-to person,” enthuses an interviewee.

    Richard Vallat QC is regularly instructed on offshore trusts and income tax matters. Vallat also has expertise in domiciliary issues and regularly represents HMRC in challenging tax planning schemes. “I have always found him to be extremely good on advisory matters,” reports one commentator. Another interviewee says: “He is very strong, very thorough, intelligent and user friendly.”

  • Legal 500

    The strongest tax chambers by a country mile,’ Pump Court Tax Chambers is ‘the first port of call on tax advice’ and ‘rightly regarded as the pre-eminent set for tax litigation’. It has ‘a wealth of experience across all fields of tax’ and is ‘full of excellent silks’. At the junior end, the set’s ‘very talented’ barristers ‘truly impress with their intelligence, maturity, interest in their subject and ability to express themselves clearly’. All the clerks are ‘excellent’, particularly senior clerk Nigel Jones, who is ‘amenable, constructive and courteous’. Jones manages ‘a very slick’ team ‘with effortless ease and is exceptionally good at helping clients to choose counsel’. Team leaders John Poyser, Bruno Antoniotti and deputy team leader Rob Adams are ‘all impressive when dealing with clients’.

     

    Private client: personal tax

    Private client: personal tax – Leading sets – ranked: tier 1

    ‘The strongest tax chambers by a country mile’, Pump Court Tax Chambers is a ‘very well regarded set with a range of very talented tax barristers’. It handles a wide range of work from offshore and onshore trust reorganisations to domicile issues and the full range of exemptions. Recent highlights included Kevin Prosser QC leading David Yates for HMRC in Brain Disorders Research LP v HMRC, which involved a scheme to enhance capital allowances and interest relief.

    Private client: personal tax – Leading silks

    Kevin Prosser QC – ‘Comes up with brilliant answers in an unbelievably short period of time.’ Ranked: tier 1

    William Massey QC – ‘Has a great ability to communicate complicated issues clearly and succinctly.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Ewart QC – ‘His technical expertise is second to none.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Giles Goodfellow QC – ‘Provides very clear advice in a logical way.’ Ranked: tier 2

    John Tallon QC – ‘Very experienced on inheritance tax issues.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Julian Ghosh QC – ‘He is exceptionally bright.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Rupert Baldry QC – ‘His interpretation of the finer detail of legislation is second to none.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Private client: personal tax – 2018 silks

    Jonathan Bremner QC – ‘He is unafraid to give firm advice.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Richard Vallat QC – ‘He is clear, concise and practical.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Private client: personal tax – Leading juniors

    Emma Chamberlain – ‘She is extremely bright, practical and hardworking.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Yates – ‘He is clear, calm and very thorough.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Elizabeth Wilson – ‘A talented junior barrister who is great with clients.’ Ranked: tier 2

    James Rivett – ‘He is frighteningly intelligent and extremely well liked by opponents and judges alike.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Ian Richards – ‘He is very knowledgeable.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Jeremy Woolf – ‘Highly rated for SDLT.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Jan Matthews – ‘Highly recommended.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Laura Poots – ‘Highly approachable and technically good.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Michael Thomas – Ranked: tier 3

    Thomas Chacko – ‘Thomas is a very quick thinker.’ Ranked: tier 3

     

    Professional negligence

    Professional negligence – leading juniors

    David Yates – ‘Has an ability to get a firm grasp on the detail at all times.’ Ranked: tier 5

     

    Tax: corporate and VAT

    Tax: corporate – Leading sets – ranked: tier 1

    Tax: VAT – Leading sets – ranked: tier 1

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is regarded as ‘the pre-eminent set for tax advice and litigation’; its members possessing ‘a wealth of experience across the field of tax’. On the corporate tax side, a number of senior members were involved in Prudential v HMRC and the MODS Group Litigation. In terms of VAT, David Milne QC successfully represented the taxpayer in Investment Trust Companies Ltd v HMRC. Jonathan Bremner QC and Richard Vallat QC took silk in 2018.

    Tax: VAT – Leading silks

    Andrew Hitchmough QC – ‘He has a very deliberate and clear style.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Milne QC – ‘Thorough, hardworking and a good team player.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Ewart QC – ‘He possesses an incredibly analytical mind.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Kevin Prosser QC – ‘Sufficiently experienced to have seen all of HMRC’s tactics in previous cases.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Julian Ghosh QC – ‘Matters under consideration benefit from his fresh perspective.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Rupert Baldry QC – ‘Excellent on his feet in the tax tribunal.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Roger Thomas QC – ‘An expert in drafting legal arguments.’ Ranked: tier 4

    Tax: corporate – Leading silks

    David Milne QC – ‘Excellent rapport with judges.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Julian Ghosh QC – ‘One of the sharpest minds at the Tax Bar.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Kevin Prosser QC – ‘He is very concise and does not talk for the sake of talking.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Ewart QC – ‘Very intelligent and suited to litigation.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Giles Goodfellow QC – ‘He is constructive in his approach.’ Ranked: tier 3

    John Tallon QC – ‘Provides sensible and uncomplicated advice.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Roger Thomas QC – ‘He is both an expert in drafting legal arguments and a first-class advocate.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Rupert Baldry QC – ‘He is extremely bright and user friendly.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Tax: VAT – 2018 silks

    Jonathan Bremner QC – ‘He is extremely clever, has a deep knowledge and understanding of tax.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Richard Vallat QC – ‘Specialises in all areas of revenue law.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Tax: corporate – 2018 silks

    Jonathan Bremner QC – ‘Unruffled when arguing multi-billion pound points.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Richard Vallat QC – ‘He thinks around problems and suggests superb alternatives.’ Ranked: tier 1

    Tax: VAT – Leading juniors

    James Henderson – ‘Indirect tax expert.’ Ranked: tier 2

    David Yates – ‘Benefits from his experience in financial institutions.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Jeremy White – ‘He has the exceptional ability to swiftly identify the complexities of a case.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Jeremy Woolf – ‘He is admired for his knowledge of international tax issues.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Michael Thomas – ‘He is excellent for real estate tax.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Oliver Conolly – ‘He is very thorough and thoughtful.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Sadiya Choudhury – ‘She is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to the relevant tax rules.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Thomas Chacko – ‘Often at the cutting-edge of indirect tax issues.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Zizhen Yang – ‘He has a deep knowledge and understanding of tax.’ Ranked: tier 3

    Tax: corporate – Leading juniors

    Jeremy Woolf – ‘He is an absolute delight to work with.’ Ranked: tier 1

    David Yates – ‘He has an exceptional degree of technical ability.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Elizabeth Wilson – ‘Her style of advocacy is robust but sensitive to the case environment.’ Ranked: tier 2

    James Henderson – ‘Often handles major corporate tax cases.’ Ranked: tier 2

    James Rivett – ‘He has an incisive perspective, a good eye for detail.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Michael Thomas – ‘One of the leading barristers on real estate taxes.’ Ranked: tier 2

    Thomas Chacko – ‘Exceptionally strong on technical matters.’ Ranked: tier 2

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