• Chambers Global

    THE SET

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is highly rated as “one of the best” tax sets in the UK. Members handle a wide array of domestic and international private client tax cases including those concerning inheritance tax planning, residence and domicile matters and trust reorganisations, among other issues. Interviewees report that “they are definitely our favourite chambers. They have an enormous range of talent there. They are the best of the best.” Recent interesting cases handled by the set include Tinkler v HMRC, a noteworthy case concerning the scope of HMRC’s enquiry powers and the correct nature of the test to establish estoppel by convention.

    CLIENT SERVICE
    “Their clerks are really great at making recommendations. They are always really helpful and point us in the right direction.”

    David Ewart QC
    Regarded for his work in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and instructed by both taxpayers and the Revenue. He is sought after for inheritance tax work and other highly complex issues.
    Strengths: “He is great on his feet, really good on the detail and a great advocate for clients.” “David is clear and exceptionally bright. He takes an incisive and sensible approach to his cases.”
    Recent work: Acted in a matter concerning a complex tax scheme case, known as Excalibur.

    David Yates QC
    A strong reputation at the Tax Bar. He is known for his detailed approach and is regularly instructed both by taxpayers and by HMRC.
    Strengths: “He really gets under the skin of a case and figures out what the issues are.” “David ploughs through legislation that most would find unfathomable. He is one of the most intellectually strong barristers around.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Lloyd Webber v HMRC, a case concerning capital loss deductions.

    Elizabeth Wilson QC
    A new silk with a broad and successful private client tax practice. She is noted for her work for HMRC but also frequently represents taxpayers. Wilson has particular experience in APR and BPR cases, offshore trusts, partnerships and non-domiciliary tax planning.
    Strengths: “Thorough and meticulous, she is good at finding solutions to complex matters.” “She has a forensic eye and is really pragmatic.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in Parry & Ors v HMRC, a case concerning the scope of exemptions from Inheritance Tax.

    Emma Chamberlain OBE
    An exceptionally well-known and highly respected tax junior with an impressive reputation for her handling of tax and trust advice. She is a particularly fine choice of counsel for offshore matters and is regularly trusted by high net worth individuals. Such is her standing that she was recently awarded an OBE for ‘services to government tax policy’.
    Strengths: “She has one of the biggest brains at the Bar and is technically amazing.” “She is really extraordinary in how forward-thinking and imaginative she is.”
    Recent work: Acted for the estate in Shelford (Executors of J Herbert deceased) v HMRC, a test case on the home loan scheme, a strategy to save inheritance tax.

    James Rivett QC
    A personable and impressive advocate who is in high demand, He 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: “Absolutely brilliant with clients, he is so detailed and he looks at things from a million different angles.” “His technical ability and fantastic client manner are both impressive.”
    Recent work: Acted on behalf of broadcaster Adrian Chiles in proceedings before the FTT relating to the tax treatment of his roles at the BBC and ITV.

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Often acts in the most highly complex and high-value matters across the full scope of private client tax work. He appears in income tax and employee benefit trust cases in the appellate courts, and also has experience in double taxation matters. Prosser sits as a deputy High Court judge.
    Strengths: “He is a titan of tax who always seems to have the answer to a question at the tip of his fingers. His advice is spot on and he is very, very eminent.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Morrisons Trust v HMRC, a case concerning the structuring of offshore trusts.

    Laura Poots
    Well known for advising high net worth clients on tax matters. She has particular expertise in offshore trust and family partnership structuring and domicile matters.
    Strengths: “She’s really user-friendly, highly responsive and someone who knows her stuff.” “Her work is very thorough, meticulous and detailed.”
    Recent work: Represented HMRC in a dispute involving a profit-extraction scheme designed to take advantage of anti-avoidance legislation.

    Richard Vallat QC
    Practises in all areas of private client tax work, with a particular emphasis on offshore trusts, tax planning and cross-border and domicile issues. He is regularly sought after by high net worth individuals.
    Strengths: “He is technically very, very good.” “A very measured and strong individual.”

    William Massey QC
    An exceptionally well-known and highly respected silk with a commanding reputation at the Tax Bar. He is sought after for the most complex and high-value work, including planning, trusts and estate matters.
    Strengths: “There’s nothing William Massey doesn’t know about private client tax. He is very approachable, collaborative and helpful.” “He provides very clear advice and is such a fount of knowledge in the private client tax world.”
    Recent work: Acted as expert witness, providing a report for the Royal Court of Guernsey on the UK Inheritance Tax treatment of a Guernsey law settlement established by a non-domiciled, non-resident individual.

  • Chambers & Partners
    TAX

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is a market-leading set specialising in all manner of complex tax cases. Chambers boasts a deep and broad bench of members who act for both the Revenue and the taxpayer. Individuals here are frequently involved in cases at all levels of the judiciary, which concern such issues as corporate taxes, film schemes, employment and payroll taxes, diverted profits and transfer pricing, among others. The set has recently been involved in Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd v HMRC, an exceptionally important case concerning the UK-Ireland double tax treaty and how to calculate the profits for an Irish bank with a permanent establishment in the UK. This was a significant ruling on the UK-Ireland double tax treaty with billion-pound implications, which will have implications on all double tax treaties entered into by the UK before 2010.

    Client service:

    “The clerks are excellent, business-like, helpful and candid.” “The clerks turn things around promptly.”

    Barbara Belgrano
    Barbara Belgrano is an accomplished junior experienced in a wide range of complex corporate tax cases. She acts for the taxpayer and HMRC in cases involving tax schemes, double tax treaties and group litigation relating to the taxation of dividends.
    Strengths: “Knowledgeable on incredibly complex matters.” “She has a very analytical approach, and is responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
    Recent work: Acted in the Franked Investment Income group litigation, a test case concerning the taxation of dividends.

    Ben Elliott
    Ben Elliott is a junior with an extensive practice who acts led and unled in cases at all levels of the UK courts system. He has expertise in handling a vast array of cases including those relating to employment and payroll taxes, corporate tax and EU tax law.
    Strengths: “Hard-working, willing to engage with the technical tax issues in a case and someone who provides clear advice.” “He is a fluent litigator.”
    Recent work: Acted in Haworth v HMRC, a judicial review of HMRC’s issuance of follower notices.

    David Ewart QC
    David Ewart QC handles some of HMRC’s most important test cases, and also regularly represents the Revenue in group litigation. He further acts for taxpayers on significant matters in an advisory capacity and in court. Clients include accountants and multinational corporations. Ewart has undertaken an interesting selection of matters including those concerning film finance schemes, double tax treaties and corporate restructurings.
    Strengths: “His ability to grasp complicated structures quickly is impressive.” “He is great on his feet, really good on the details and a great advocate for clients.”
    Recent work: Acted in Fisher & ors v HMRC, a case concerning whether Gibraltar is a separate state to the UK for the purposes of legislation in relation to gaming duty.

    David Milne QC
    David Milne QC is an iconic presence at the Tax Bar who is highly sought after for his expertise on both the contentious and non-contentious sides. He acts for both the taxpayer and the Revenue. His advisory practice includes assisting with high-profile M&A transactions and reorganisations. He regularly handles Supreme Court and ECJ briefs.
    Strengths: “A very smooth technician who is hugely experienced and very nice to work with.” “He is an immensely charming advocate.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd v HMRC, a test case concerning the correct calculation of profits under the UK-Ireland double tax treaty of an Irish bank with a permanent establishment in the UK.

    David Yates QC
    David Yates QC is a highly regarded barrister who acts for the taxpayer and HMRC in a broad range of cases including significant group litigation orders. He advises on matters including cross-border dividends and double taxation agreements, and has niche expertise in advising insurers on tax-related professional negligence matters.
    Strengths: “Impressively pragmatic and commercial in his advice.” “He is very industrious and really gets under the skin of a case.”
    Recent work: Represented ExxonMobil in a case concerning cross-border loss relief and EU law.

    Edward Waldegrave
    Edward Waldegrave is a well-known tax law barrister who acts in a range of complex cases for the taxpayer. He has recently handled cases concerning film scheme taxation and judicial reviews relating to payroll taxes.
    Strengths: A very technical junior who is hard-working, thorough and responsive.” “He is very approachable and great on written submissions.”
    Recent work: Acted in Cobalt Data Center 2 & ors v HMRC, a case concerning the availability of tax relief in respect of expenditure incurred on the acquisition of two data centres in an ‘enterprise zone’.

    Elizabeth Wilson QC
    Elizabeth Wilson QC is a well-regarded silk who acts for both the taxpayer and the Revenue. Her corporate tax caseload spans a range of matters, from employment tax to capital gains tax. She is experienced in handling cases that touch on EU law.
    Strengths: “Her written work is very lucid and well expressed.” “She is very clear and does an excellent job presenting her cases.”
    Recent work: Acted in Oxford Instruments v HMRC, a case concerning whether the issue of a promissory note from a UK subsidiary to a US parent had an ‘unallowable purpose’.

    Giles Goodfellow QC
    Giles Goodfellow QC is an expert on income tax and employee benefits matters, who regularly provides advice on corporate reorganisations, tax-related professional negligence and tax schemes. He acts for both the Revenue and taxpayers, and is noted for his knowledge of the Managed Service Company legislation.
    Strengths: “He is really well regarded for the most complex matters.” “A streetfighter who is excellent on contentious tax issues.
    Recent work: Acted in Haworth v HMRC, a judicial review of HMRC’s issuance of follower notices in connection with a ’round the world’ tax avoidance scheme.

    James Henderson
    James Henderson is 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. Henderson has sound knowledge of transfer pricing and the Diverted Profits Tax rules.
    Strengths: “He is very approachable, user-friendly and someone who gets very into the details.” “He is user-friendly and always open to discussing his views.” Recent work: Acted in Beagles v HMRC, appearing for the Revenue in a case concerning whether a discovery assessment can be invalid based on ‘staleness’.

    James Rivett QC
    James Rivett QC has a broad-based corporate tax practice and regularly appears in major cases relating to matters such as tax schemes, double tax treaties and manufactured overseas dividends. He represents both the Revenue and the taxpayer.
    Strengths: “He is a brilliant advocate who has a fantastic client manner and encyclopedic knowledge of tax law.” “He has pizzazz as an advocate and a lot of personal charm.”
    Recent work: Acted in Investec Asset Finance v HMRC, a case concerning the deductibility of expenditure incurred by finance dealers.

    Jeremy Woolf
    Jeremy Woolf is a senior junior with extensive experience in a range of complex corporate tax litigation and advisory mandates. He is particularly strong on income tax, corporate restructuring and employee benefit trusts issues. Woolf is also knowledgeable about judicial reviews and tax-related human rights matters.
    Strengths: “Very helpful and approachable, and gets to the point quickly.” “100% thorough and totally dedicated.”

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Kevin Prosser QC is 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 the Diverted Profits Tax and transfer pricing.
    Strengths: “Kevin is an incredibly smart technician and an effective advocate who engages well with the courts.” “He is not only a very clever advocate but also quick to respond and very amusing.”
    Recent work: Acted in Inmarsat plc v HMRC in the Upper Tribunal. This was a case concerning the calculation of capital allowances on the cost of launching satellites into space.

    Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas is a 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, and is an expert on corporate tax and tax treaties. Thomas is notable for the fact that during his first 13 years at the Bar he did not lose a case for either a taxpayer or any party to a civil claim where he had conduct at first instance.
    Strengths: “His advice is both highly technical and pragmatic.” “He has phenomenal subject matter knowledge.”
    Recent work: Acted in Christian Candy v HMRC, a case involving reclamation of SDLT.

    Richard Vallat QC
    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.
    Strengths: “Very knowledgeable and able to take difficult concepts and make them easy to understand.” “He is a methodical thinker and a clear and persuasive advocate.”
    Recent work: Acted in Ingenious Film Partners v HMRC, a major case concerning film finance schemes.

    Rupert Baldry QC
    Rupert Baldry QC, although best known for HMRC work, 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, double taxation treaties and the taxation of foreign dividends.
    Strengths: “Very analytical in his approach and a very good technical lawyer.” “He is very friendly, which makes him pleasant to work with.”
    Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal for HMRC in the British Coal Staff Pension Trustees group litigation challenging the UK’s Corporate Manufactured Overseas Dividend scheme.

    Thomas Chacko
    Thomas Chacko has developed an impressive and broad-ranging corporate tax practice. He has a growing reputation in employment tax matters and has experience of cases involving partnership structures.
    Strengths: “Very cerebral and has good analytical skills.” “He gets up to speed, and is both responsive and practical in his approach.”
    Recent work: Acted in Odev Asset Management v HMRC, a case testing the partnership taxation regime as it applies to hedge fund deferred remuneration.

    Zizhen Yang
    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 tax schemes, business reorganisations, loan relationships and derivative contracts. She acts for both HMRC and the taxpayer.
    Strengths: “Totally engaged and gives very good advice on complex tax planning.” “She is very bright, meticulous in her approach and excellent when it comes to analysis of the case.”
    Recent work: Acted in First Sales v HMRC and other appeals relating to tax avoidance schemes.

    TAX: INDIRECT TAX

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is a specialist tax set known for its deep bench and extensive coverage of the indirect tax sector. It has a wealth of members able to advise a range of high-profile clients and government agencies on highly complex matters relating to VAT, landfill tax, customs and excise duties, stamp taxes, input and exit charges, and judicial reviews relating to EU VAT law. Members frequently appear in both domestic and European courts in high-stakes and precedent-setting cases. Important cases undertaken this year include London Clubs Management v HMRC, an important gaming duty case heard by the Supreme Court, and BlackRock Investment Management v HMRC, one of the last UK VAT cases to be heard by CJEU.

    Client service:

    “The clerks are approachable, flexible and understanding.” “The clerking team is very accessible, helpful and responsive.”

    Andrew Hitchmough QC
    Andrew Hitchmough QC is 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. Hitchmough also has knowledge of the laws surrounding other indirect taxes such as gaming duty, and is noted for excelling in cases that involve banking and accounting law.
    Strengths: “Andrew is very well informed and always provides specific advice.” “He is very commercial and thorough in his analysis of the case, which yields successful results.”
    Recent work: Acted in Lloyds Banking Group v HMRC, a case concerning the VAT treatment of management charges paid to third-party outsourcers.

    Barbara Belgrano
    Barbara Belgrano is an increasingly prominent junior who regularly acts in a wide range of cases regarding indirect tax matters. She appears in cases right from the First-tier Tribunal all the way up to the ECJ. Belgrano has recently appeared on a range of gaming duty, VAT and SDLT cases.
    Strengths: “Bright, diligent and good on the evidence.” “She is technically excellent and a fantastic speaker who displays great attention to detail.”
    Recent work: Acted in London Clubs Management v HMRC, a case concerning whether gaming duty is liable on customer introductory offers.

    David Milne QC
    David Milne is 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 he has represented clients before both the ECJ and the Supreme Court. He has impressive knowledge of the EU’s VAT regulations.
    Strengths: “Has a very measured advocacy style and is extremely knowledgeable in the area.” “He is calm under pressure and fantastic at putting clients at ease.”
    Recent work: Acted for Gray & Farrar International in a VAT case concerning the supply of services.

    David Yates QC
    David Yates QC acts for both the taxpayer and HMRC on a broad range of indirect tax mandates including those relating to stamp duty and landfill tax. He is further adept at handling matters involving VAT and customs and excise duties.
    Strengths: “David Yates is impressively clever, very hard-working and extremely good on the detail.” “He is very commercial and a very strong advocate.”
    Recent work: Acted in Asiana v HMRC, an excise duty case considering whether cooking products containing alcohol no longer attract import excise duty.

    James Henderson
    James Henderson offers impressive indirect tax expertise within his overall broad tax practice. Although experienced in all areas of indirect tax, he is particularly well versed in complex VAT matters. Henderson has experience of acting for clients at all levels domestically, including the Supreme Court, and has also appeared before the CJEU.
    Strengths: “He is very good and calm under pressure in court.”

    James Rivett QC
    James Rivett QC has a growing indirect tax practice with a particular expertise in VAT, and often appears before the Upper Tribunal. He acts for the taxpayer in leading cases and is often called upon to advise on extremely complex matters.
    Strengths: “He is especially user-friendly and is mindful of internal client management issues.”
    Recent work: Acted in Taylor Wimpey v HMRC, a case in the Upper Tribunal challenging the compatibility of the UK VAT regime with EU directives.

    Jeremy White
    Jeremy White is a specialist 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.
    Strengths: “Jeremy has mastered the ability to articulate multi-layered issues to clients clearly, and provides concise and robust advice.” “He has specialist knowledge and experience which means he is highly sought after.”
    Recent work: Acted in HMRC v Invamed Group, a case concerning the VAT liability of mobility scooters.

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Head of chambers Kevin Prosser QC advises 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 VAT, input tax and zero rating, among other areas. Prosser often conducts appellate advocacy in the highest UK and EU courts, and is noted for the highly effective advice he dispenses to corporations.
    Strengths: “Tenacious, extremely concise and a punchy advocate.” “He is friendly, straightforward and a barrister who gives frank and realistic advice.”
    Recent work: Acted on Wakefield College v HMRC, a case concerning whether the construction costs of a new building are zero-rated for VAT purposes.

    Laura Poots
    Laura Poots is a junior with wide experience of advising the taxpayer and the Revenue in indirect tax cases. She is particularly noted for her expertise in VAT, and has handled a number of cases involving the exemption for special investment funds.
    Strengths: “She is very responsive, extremely good with clients, and invariably on top of the facts and legal issues.” “She is very pragmatic and prompt when responding.”

    Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas has a broad tax practice that takes in business tax, VAT and private client work. Specialising in representing the taxpayer, he is noted for his particular expertise in property tax.
    Strengths: “Very pleasant and very thoughtful, he is a real expert in land transactions.”
    Recent work: Acted in Christian Candy v HMRC, a case involving the reclamation of SDLT.

    Richard Vallat QC
    Richard Vallat QC regularly advises and acts for companies in a number of significant indirect tax matters. He is deeply experienced in complex VAT and stamp duty cases. He is particularly strong in assisting charities and trusts with their tax issues.
    Strengths: “A talented revenue litigator who really knows his stuff.”

    Rupert Baldry QC
    Rupert Baldry QC has a broad range of expertise in indirect tax matters, including those relating to VAT, stamp duty, customs and excise duties, and the aggregates levy. He undertakes advisory and litigation work both for the Revenue and for the taxpayer.
    Strengths: “He has a good grasp of the more detailed and complex issues in a case.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in British Aggregates Association v HMRC. The case concerned the issue of entitlement to Industrial Processes Relief in connection with the basic charge of aggregates.

    Sadiya Choudhury
    Sadiya Choudhury has a broad practice representing clients in complex indirect tax cases, often concerning VAT, customs and excise duties among others. She both acts for corporate clients and appears on behalf of the Revenue.
    Strengths: “Incredibly hard-working and thorough, and great at communicating with clients.” “She knows the technical rules inside and out and is able to swiftly cut through those to get to the heart of the matter.”

    Zizhen Yang
    Zizhen Yang is a junior with experience across indirect tax, who has particular strength in VAT and landfill tax cases. She frequently represents the taxpayer in a variety of high-profile cases.
    Strengths: “Her knowledge and judgement are excellent, and her drafting skills are strong.” “She is very helpful throughout and is very keen to accommodate those that instruct her.”
    Recent work: Acted in Devon Waste Management and others v HMRC, a dispute concerning the landfill tax liability of ‘fluff’ placed against the sides of landfill cells.

    TAX: PRIVATE CLIENT

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is highly rated as “one of the best” tax sets in the UK. Members handle a wide array of domestic and international private client tax cases including those concerning inheritance tax planning, residence and domicile matters and trust reorganisations, among other issues. Interviewees report that “they are definitely our favourite chambers. They have an enormous range of talent there. They are the best of the best.” Recent interesting cases handled by the set include Tinkler v HMRC, a noteworthy case concerning the scope of HMRC’s enquiry powers and the correct nature of the test to establish estoppel by convention.

    Client service:

    “Their clerks are really great at making recommendations. They are always really helpful and point us in the right direction.”

    David Ewart QC
    David Ewart QC is regarded for his work in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and instructed by both taxpayers and the Revenue. He is sought after for inheritance tax work and other highly complex issues.
    Strengths: “He is great on his feet, really good on the detail and a great advocate for clients.” “David is clear and exceptionally bright. He takes an incisive and sensible approach to his cases.”
    Recent work: Acted in a matter concerning a complex tax scheme case, known as Excalibur.

    David Yates QC
    David Yates QC has a strong reputation at the Tax Bar. He is known for his detailed approach and is regularly instructed both by taxpayers and by HMRC.
    Strengths: “He really gets under the skin of a case and figures out what the issues are.”  “David ploughs through legislation that most would find unfathomable. He is one of the most intellectually strong barristers around.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Lloyd Webber v HMRC, a case concerning capital loss deductions.

    Edward Waldegrave
    Edward Waldegrave has a busy litigation and advisory practice representing taxpayers and HMRC before the Tax Tribunals and other courts.
    Strengths: “Really clever, practical and hard-working.” “He is hard-working, thorough and responsive.”
    Recent work: Acted in Ingenious Film Partners v HMRC, the largest and most high-profile film finance tax scheme case.

    Elizabeth Wilson QC
    Elizabeth Wilson QC is a new silk with a broad and successful private client tax practice. She is noted for her work for HMRC but also frequently represents taxpayers. Wilson has particular experience in APR and BPR cases, offshore trusts, partnerships and non-domiciliary tax planning.
    Strengths: “Thorough and meticulous, she is good at finding solutions to complex matters.” “She has a forensic eye and is really pragmatic.”
    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in Parry & Ors v HMRC, a case concerning the scope of exemptions from Inheritance Tax.

    Emma Chamberlain OBE
    An exceptionally well-known and highly respected tax junior with an impressive reputation for her handling of tax and trust advice. She is a particularly fine choice of counsel for offshore matters and is regularly trusted by high net worth individuals. Such is her standing that she was recently awarded an OBE for ‘services to government tax policy’.
    Strengths: “She has one of the biggest brains at the Bar and is technically amazing.” “She is really extraordinary in how forward-thinking and imaginative she is.”
    Recent work: Acted for the estate in Shelford (Executors of J Herbert deceased) v HMRC, a test case on the home loan scheme, a strategy to save inheritance tax.

    James Rivett QC
    James Rivett QC is a personable and impressive advocate who is in high demand, He 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: “Absolutely brilliant with clients, he is so detailed and he looks at things from a million different angles.” “His technical ability and fantastic client manner are both impressive.”
    Recent work: Acted on behalf of broadcaster Adrian Chiles in proceedings before the FTT relating to the tax treatment of his roles at the BBC and ITV.

    Kevin Prosser QC
    Kevin Prosser QC often acts in the most highly complex and high-value matters across the full scope of private client tax work. He appears in income tax and employee benefit trust cases in the appellate courts, and also has experience in double taxation matters. Prosser sits as a deputy High Court judge.
    Strengths: “He is a titan of tax who always seems to have the answer to a question at the tip of his fingers. His advice is spot on and he is very, very eminent.”
    Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Morrisons Trust v HMRC, a case concerning the structuring of offshore trusts.

    Laura Poots
    Laura Poots is well known for advising high net worth clients on tax matters. She has particular expertise in offshore trust and family partnership structuring and domicile matters.
    Strengths: “She’s really user-friendly, highly responsive and someone who knows her stuff.” “Her work is very thorough, meticulous and detailed.”
    Recent work: Represented HMRC in a dispute involving a profit-extraction scheme designed to take advantage of anti-avoidance legislation.

    Oliver Conolly
    Oliver Conolly is well known for advising clients on all areas of tax, including contentious and non-contentious matters.
    Strengths: “Hard-working, technically brilliant and very careful in his analysis.” “He is knowledgeable, great on the detail and very good at finding solutions. A go-to for tricky tax issues.”
    Recent work: Instructed in Bashey v Bashey, a case concerning transfers made into a trust on the basis of mistaken tax advice.

    Richard Vallat QC
    Richard Vallat QC practises in all areas of private client tax work, with a particular emphasis on offshore trusts, tax planning and cross-border and domicile issues. He is regularly sought after by high net worth individuals.
    Strengths: “He is technically very, very good.” “A very measured and strong individual.”

    William Massey QC
    William Massey QC is an exceptionally well-known and highly respected silk with a commanding reputation at the Tax Bar. He is sought after for the most complex and high-value work, including planning, trusts and estate matters.
    Strengths: “There’s nothing William Massey doesn’t know about private client tax. He is very approachable, collaborative and helpful.” “He provides very clear advice and is such a fount of knowledge in the private client tax world.”
    Recent work: Acted as expert witness, providing a report for the Royal Court of Guernsey on the UK Inheritance Tax treatment of a Guernsey law settlement established by a non-domiciled, non-resident individual.

    FAMILY/MATRIMONIAL: TRUSTS/TAX EXPERTS

    James Rivett QC has a broad-based corporate tax practice and regularly appears in major cases relating to matters such as tax schemes, double tax treaties and manufactured overseas dividends. He represents both the Revenue and the taxpayer.
    Strengths: “He is a brilliant advocate who has a fantastic client manner and encyclopedic knowledge of tax law.” “He has pizzazz as an advocate and a lot of personal charm.”
    Recent work: Acted in Investec Asset Finance v HMRC, a case concerning the deductibility of expenditure incurred by finance dealers.

    PROFFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

    David Yates QC has a niche specialism in tax and finance-focused professional negligence claims, which is greatly enhanced by his former career as a financial analyst. He has advised on a wide range of financial claims relating to film finance schemes and offshore trusts, as well as faulty tax, accounting and legal advice. He is often sought out by defendant insurers.
    Strengths: “His knowledge of tax is absolutely outstanding. He is an exceptionally clever person and an extremely good barrister.” “His written work is excellent, and he’s a source of comfort to the client because he’s extremely clever but explains things simply. An outstanding barrister.”
    Recent work: Acted for Coutts in defending claims forming part of the Ingenious film finance litigation.

     

  • Chambers & Partners HNW

    Pump Court Tax is widely regarded as “the pre-eminent tax set in the UK.” One lawyer says that “they are definitely the go-to set for technical tax advice,” adding: “They have some seriously able people.” Another source comments: “They are a very strong team and leaders in the field for tax.”

    David Ewart QC acts for both HMRC and high net worth clients on tax matters including IHT planning. One fellow barrister notes: “He is a very experienced litigator, I would go to him for court work; in court, he is formidable.” Another industry source describes him as “a very able barrister,” continuing: “He is very thorough and he will put points in a low-key way, so they creep up on you. The effectiveness of his advocacy is very understated.”

    David Yates QC One instructing solicitor comments: “He is a great guy. He is someone who is very thorough – he knows the case inside out and back to front and he is never caught out by unexpected surprises. He is a very good advocate.” Another source comments: “It’s nice to be in court against someone like David. He is very clear and concise.”
     
    Elizabeth Wilson is often instructed by HMRC, and also has expertise on Inheritance Tax matters. One source notes that “she has a lot of knowledge about Inheritance Tax,” adding: “She writes really well and is quite articulate.” An instructing solicitor enthuses: “I am a great fan of hers. She doesn’t sugar-coat things; she tells you how it is.” Another source says: “She is incredibly sharp and very practical.”
     
    Emma Chamberlain has a fantastic reputation in the market as a senior junior, with one fellow barrister enthusing: “Emma is a real star. She is probably the best junior in the world – she is the best junior for private client work.” The source continues: “She is enormously knowledgeable. Emma is a genius; she knows more than anyone does about trusts and tax.”
     
    James Rivett QC has a strong private client tax advisory and litigation practice, and also acts for the Revenue. “He has a wonderful manner about him,” says one industry source, while another source describes him as “very articulate” and “very bright.” Several interviewees comment on his advocacy style, with one interviewee observing: “James is excellent. He is very personable and a clear advocate.”
     
    Kevin Prosser QC is highly rated at the Bar. One fellow barrister remarks: “He is obviously truly excellent, one of the best lawyers around. There are not many that are better than him.” An instructing solicitor notes that “Kevin is brilliant; he is extremely clever and gives extremely robust tax advice,” continuing: “You feel very safe with him, he knows exactly what to do, he knows the law and is incredibly robust. You’re never left with any doubts when you instruct him.” Another source states: “He is astoundingly good, extraordinarily quick on the uptake and he always hits the spot.”

    Laura Poots is often instructed by HMRC. She is described as “absolutely brilliant” by a fellow barrister, who continues: “She is incredibly clear, good at setting expectations and good at outlining the next steps. I think she is very good technically, but she is also very good at spotting those things that lots of people wouldn’t think of.” Another source reports: “She is very efficient and effective; she is great to be against and a sensible opponent.”

    Richard Vallat QC is well regarded in the market for his tax practice. One source comments: “He has a wide-ranging knowledge of private client tax issues.” A fellow barrister notes that “he gave pragmatic and sensible advice; he did a very good job,” adding: “I have nothing but praise for him.” Another interviewee says: “I think he is good, thorough and fair. He is a pleasure to be against and very amenable. I would recommend him.”

    William Massey QC is described by one source as “someone everyone looks up to – a real doyen of the private client world.” The source continues: “He is an incredibly safe pair of hands, very reassuring; and in his core area, which is landed estates work, he is the most knowledgeable person around.” Several interviewees praise Massey for his expertise on Inheritance Tax matters, especially regarding landed estates. One interviewee states: “There is literally no one at the Bar or a law firm with his knowledge of taxation of landed estates.” Another interviewee comments: “His strengths are his expertise on IHT, which is second to none, his ability to make complex issues understandable, his approachability and sense of humour.”

  • Legal 500

    PRIVATE CLIENT: PERSONAL TAX TIER 1

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is the ‘pre-eminent tax set with excellent barristers at all levels.’ It continues to thrive as is evidenced by Elizabeth Wilson QC taking silk in 2021 and its ongoing involvement in various key cases. Highlights included William Massey QC acting (jointly with Emma Pearce) as an expert witness by providing a report for the Royal Court of Guernsey on the UK inheritance tax treatment of a Guernsey law settlement that had been established by a non-domiciled, non-resident individual in 2002. In R (Locke) v HMRC, David Ewart QC was recently instructed by the taxpayer in a judicial review about whether, and under what circumstances, follower notices and Accelerated Payment Notices should be issued.

    Rising stars

    Emma Pearce ‘Emma is not only highly intelligent, she is also very good at setting out her advice clearly whether orally or in writing, is very accessible to the lay client and delightful to deal with. ’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Leading Silks

    David Ewart QC  – ‘Very quick to get at the issue.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    William Massey QC‘William has a huge amount of knowledge of the taxation of landed estates accumulated over very many years. He is lawyer and client friendly. His experience underpins his reassuring manner and presence, both in the conference room and in court. He is always a pleasure to work with and is collaborative in his approach. ’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Kevin Prosser QC‘One of the country’s leading tax QCs. A superb advocate and (rather unusually in tax) excellent at cross-examining witnesses.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Rupert Baldry QC‘User and client-friendly, with the ability to give incisive and clear advice as to the strengths and weaknesses of a position. Experienced in terms of HMRC practice and helpful in terms of practical as well as technical advice.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Giles Goodfellow QC‘Thinks creatively to find solutions.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    James Rivett QC‘James is fantastic with clients. He is very clever but wears it lightly. Always inspires confidence. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    John Tallon QC‘Is excellent at solving problems.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Richard Vallat QC‘Provides very clear and practical guidance. He has a thorough knowledge of the law and its implications.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    2021 Silks

    Elizabeth Wilson QC‘Provides clear advice.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Leading Juniors

    Emma Chamberlain –  ‘Emma is very good at interpreting tax legislation and coming up with creative ideas. ’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Thomas Chacko ‘A good, strategic thinker. Thomas is very bright and on top of the arguments. He thinks quickly on his feet and deals well with curveballs thrown by the judge. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Jeremy WoolfVery easy to work with; available to respond quickly to queries.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Oliver Conolly ‘Oliver provides clear robust advice. He is very well conversed with the relevant legislation, case law and the SDLT manual which enables him to provide a substantive response back to HMRC in a timely manner. Whilst dealing with a complex area of law, Oliver delivers his advice in a clear, straightforward manner. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Laura Poots –  ‘Laura is very approachable and commercially focused. She is technically excellent and is happy to work through specific questions on legislation or cases thoroughly but clearly, often “translating” the complex technical wording to apply it to client situations. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Michael Thomas – ‘We really rate him. Explains things very clearly.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    TAX: CORPORATE AND VAT/INDIRECT TAX

    Pump Court Tax Chambers is a ‘leading specialist tax set’ with a strong presence in the VAT and indirect tax space. The set handles VAT reclaim cases, landfill tax, gaming duty, as well as exploring the operation and scope of exemptions. VAT specialist Andrew Hitchmough QC and Barbara Belgrano represented the successful taxpayer in London Clubs Management v HMRC, in which the Supreme Court dismissed the revenue’s appeal that free bet vouchers should be taken in to account for gaming duty. Roger Thomas QC is a key individual in the VAT and SDLT space and has extensive experience litigating before the Supreme Court and CJEU. Zizhen Yang is also noted and acted as sole counsel for G4S in its appeal against a statutory interest assessment by HMRC.

    Tax: corporate – Leading Silks

    David Milne QC‘He is an outstanding advocate and extremely clear and client focused in his advice work. His opinions are always hugely insightful.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Kevin Prosser QC‘Kevin’s particular strengths include his strong technical knowledge, explaining his views clearly, both in person and in writing; and considering issues from both a technical and commercial perspective. ’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    David Ewart QC‘Huge technical ability. Very quick to get at the issue.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Rupert Baldry QC – ‘Extremely knowledgeable and one of the few barristers in the tax Bar well versed in the environmental taxes. Extremely able and pragmatic in his advice.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    James Rivett QC‘James is extremely personable and a great VAT technician. He provides well thought through advice and will happily explore angles or counter points to get to a solution. He is a pleasure to work with and popular with clients. James is a tenacious and highly effective advocate in court.
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Roger Thomas QC ‘Roger is an expert in his field. First rate. He is very bright, pro-active and innovative in his thinking and a fantastic advocate. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Richard Vallat QC‘Exceptionally bright and thoughtful, providing practical advice.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    David Yates QC‘David’s greatest strength is his commercially savvy yet calm approach to his advice. He speaks in a perfectly measured cadence that allows for clarity and comprehension by advisers and clients alike. He is very good at hearing the counter argument and explaining why some strategies are not always the best option for the overall picture. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Tax: VAT – Leading silks

    Andrew Hitchmough QC ‘Andrew’s strengths lie in technical excellence and communicating exceptionally well with clients, cutting through the complexity of the tax code to identify the pertinent points. Andrew’s identification of the points of tension in legal analysis means that the run up to litigation is focussed and prepared. Andrew has a down to earth and friendly manner. Andrew’s strategic approach to disputes is second to none, offering clients incisive and proactive advice. ’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    David Milne QC‘He is an outstanding advocate and extremely clear and client focused in his advice work. His opinions are always hugely insightful.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    David Ewart QC‘Huge technical ability. Very quick to get at the issue.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Kevin Prosser QC‘Kevin’s particular strengths include his strong technical knowledge, explaining his views clearly, both in person and in writing; and considering issues from both a technical and commercial perspective. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Rupert Baldry QC‘Extremely knowledgeable and one of the few barristers in the tax Bar well versed in the environmental taxes. Extremely able and pragmatic in his advice. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Roger Thomas QC‘Roger is an expert in his field. First rate. He is very bright, pro-active and innovative in his thinking and a fantastic advocate.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Richard Vallat QC ‘Exceptionally bright and thoughtful, providing practical advice.’
    Ranked: Tier 4

    David Yates QC‘David’s greatest strength is his commercially savvy yet calm approach to his advice. He speaks in a perfectly measured cadence that allows for clarity and comprehension by advisers and clients alike. He is very good at hearing the counter argument and explaining why some strategies are not always the best option for the overall picture. ’
    Ranked: Tier 4

    Tax: corporate – 2021 Silks

    Elizabeth Wilson QC‘She has recently become a QC, and will no doubt become a very popular choice as counsel. Elizabeth excellent to work with. ’

    Tax: corporate – Leading Juniors

    Jeremy Woolf‘His knowledge and practical experience in both UK and offshore matters are extensive and highly valuable.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Zizhen Yang – ‘Technically strong and very hard working.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Thomas Chacko‘Excellent sophisticated analysis of difficult niche tax issues. Clear and commercial. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    James Henderson‘James has a very good sense of humour and is fun to work with whilst not losing focus of the overall task at hand. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Michael Thomas – ‘His written opinions are carefully considered and he is not afraid to dissuade clients from appealing when he considers a case to be particularly problematic.’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Tax: VAT – Leading juniors

    Zizhen Yang‘Technically strong and very hard working.’
    Ranked: Tier 1

    Barbara Belgrano – ‘Extremely bright and incredibly capable. I have always been impressed by her passion for the law. Her calm and assured manner instils confidence in both professional and lay client. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    James Henderson‘James has a very good sense of humour and is fun to work with whilst not losing focus of the overall task at hand. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Jeremy White‘Jeremy is probably the pre-eminent practising barrister in customs and excise duty in the UK. The breadth of his knowledge of the law – both UK and EU – is probably not equalled by any other practitioner. He is a fearless advocate and will not shy away from difficult submissions or exchanges. ’
    Ranked: Tier 2

    Thomas Chacko ‘Excellent sophisticated analysis of difficult niche tax issues. Clear and commercial. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Sadiya Choudhury ‘Sadiya is my first port of call for tax and customs matters. She not only knows the technical rules inside and out, but is also able to get to the heart of the matter quickly in order to provide the lay client with practical, commercial advice. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Oliver Conolly –  ‘Highly intelligent with a very organised approach.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Laura Poots  ‘Laura is very diligent and hard-working and acts as a great gatekeeper for the silk she is being led by. Laura is also very approachable and gets under the skin of a matter. ’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Michael Thomas – ‘His written opinions are carefully considered and he is not afraid to dissuade clients from appealing when he considers a case to be particularly problematic.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    Jeremy Woolf‘His knowledge and practical experience in both UK and offshore matters are extensive and highly valuable.’
    Ranked: Tier 3

    PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

    Leading Silks

    David Yates QC ‘David has excellent command of the detail without losing sight of the bigger picture. He quickly identifies the key issues and provides clear, practical and strategic advice to the client. ’
    Ranked: Tier 4

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