David Yates KC

David Yates KC

"An exceptionally clear and user-friendly barrister, with a very practical approach."

Chambers & Partners
  • Call: 2004
  • Silk: 2019

Overview

David’s practice covers a wide range of tax law areas and related fields:

  • Personal tax
  • Corporation tax
  • VAT
  • Public law (particularly tax related)
  • Professional Negligence (particularly tax related)

A copy of David's privacy notice can be found here.

Corporate tax

“Impressively pragmatic and commercial in his advice. He is very industrious and really gets under the skin of a case.”

A substantial portion of David’s practice relates to corporation tax, including areas such as the loan relationships regime, group relief, double tax relief, intangible fixed assets, tonnage tax and the taxation of insurance companies. Recent cases include:

  • Credit Suisse v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0086 (TC): led by Kevin Prosser KC in a successful appeal concerning a bank payroll tax liability by the Credit Suisse group.
  • Skatteverket v Memira Holding AB [2020] 1 WLR 647: represented the United Kingdom in the CJEU in a case concerning cross-border group relief and a merger between a Swedish parent and its German subsidiary.
  • HMRC v English Holdings (BVI) Ltd [2018] STC 220: appeared alone for HMRC in a case concerning a non-resident company and the interaction of the income tax and corporation tax codes.
  • Towers Watson Ltd v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 846 (TC): appeared alone for the taxpayer in a case concerning whether HMRC should be permitted to raise new arguments not identified in their closure notice.
  • BNP Paribas v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 487 (TC): led by Giles Goodfellow KC for HMRC in a case concerning whether dealing in a dividend strip was a trading transaction and the interpretation of s.730 of ICTA 1988.
  • Biffa (Jersey) Ltd v HMRC [2015] STFD 163: led by Sam Grodzinski KC for HMRC in a case concerning a scheme which sought to utilise s.730A of ICTA 1988.

Personal tax

“A very smooth advocate who is excellent in every way. Extremely competent and great to work with.”

David provides advice on a wide range of personal taxes, including in particular trust and partnership issues (including DIMF and carried interest). In addition to his advisory practice, David frequently appears in the tribunals and courts, his recent cases include:

  • Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 717 (TC): appeared alongside Sam Grodzinski KC for the taxpayers in their successful appeal against HMRC’s refusal to allow a CGT deduction in respect of losses arising from property development in Barbados.
  • Routier v HMRC [2019] 3 WLR 757: appeared for HMRC in the Supreme Court in a case concerning the status of Jersey under EU law and the question of whether the inheritance tax treatment of charities should apply to non-UK charities.
  •  Andrew v HMRC [2019] SFTD 714: appeared for the taxpayer in a case concern a gilt stripping arrangement.
  •  Reeves v HMRC [2019] 4 WLR 15: led by Kevin Prosser KC for the taxpayer in an appeal concerning the application of hold over relief for the transfer of a hedge fund interest to a corporate vehicle and the compatibility of UK legislation with ECHR and EU law.
  • Hardy v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 754 (TC): appeared as leading counsel for HMRC in a case concerning whether disposals of shares generated a capital loss eligible for relief under s.131 of ITA 2007.
  • Mills v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 378 (TC): led by David Goy KC for HMRC in a case concerning whether a bid for the America’s Cup constituted a trade carried on on a commercial basis with a view to profit.
  • Samarkand Film Partnership No.3 [2017] EWCA Civ 77: led by John Tallon KC for HMRC in a case concerning whether sale and leaseback activities amounted to a trade together with questions of legitimate expectation arising from HMRC’s manual.
  • Sanderson v HMRC [2016] 4 WLR 67: appeared unled for HMRC in a case concerning the validity of a discovery assessment in respect of an avoidance scheme.
  • Gilchrist v HMRC [2015] Ch 183: appeared alone in a case concerning the application of the IHT 10 year charge on a discretionary settlement.
  • Giles v RNIB [2014] STC 1631: appeared alone in a rectification case concerning a mistake as to the effect of a deed of variation.

Professional negligence

“His knowledge of tax is absolutely outstanding. He is an exceptionally clever person and an extremely good barrister.”

Professional negligence disputes, particularly tax-related, remain a significant part of David’s practice. David acts for both claimant and defendant clients (both professionals and financial institutions). Recently David has advised and acted on professional negligence claims in the following areas:

  • Partnership based tax avoidance schemes
  • The chargeable event regime for insurance contracts (particularly the consequences of partial surrenders)
  • Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Relief
  • Tax Residence
  • Offshore tax planning
  • Trusts & Estates taxation (including advising on applications for relief based on mistake and Hastings-Bass)
  • R&D Relief for corporations
  • Negligent handling of tax litigation

Public law

“An exceptionally clear and user-friendly barrister, with a very practical approach.”

David is frequently asked to advise both HMRC and taxpayers concerning the public law implications of actions by either HMRC or other public bodies. Significant recent cases include:

  • R (Locke) v HMRC [2019] STC 2543: led by Richard Vallat KC in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning whether a Follower Notice could be served in respect of the Court’s earlier judgment in Eclipse 35.
  • R (Archer) v HMRC [2019] 1 WLR 6355: appeared in the Court of Appeal for HMRC in a significant case concerning prematurity and costs in the context of tax related judicial review.
  • R (Broomfield) v HMRC [2019] 1 WLR 1353: led by Sir James Eadie KC for HMRC in relation to a judicial review concerning the validity of Follower Notices following HMRC’s success in the Huitson litigation.
  • R (Carlton) v HMRC [2018] EWHC 130 (Admin): appeared alone for HMRC in a case concerning accelerated payment notices and whether the relevant scheme was a notifiable arrangement under DOTAS.
  • R (Rowe & Vital Nut) v HMRC [2017] EWCA Civ 2105: led by James Eadie KC, Sam Grodzinski KC and Gemma White KC in a landmark case concerning the lawfulness of the accelerated payment notice regime.
  • R (Sword Services Ltd) v HMRC [2016] 4 WLR 113: led by Sam Grodzinski KC on behalf of HMRC in a case concerning the validity of partner payment notices sent to members of various LLPs.
  • R (Bampton Property Group Ltd) v King [2012] EWCA Civ 1744: led by Sam Grodzinski KC on behalf of HMRC in defending a decision to refuse a late claim for group relief. The issues raised included the duty to give reasons, legitimate expectation and the meaning of “tax avoidance” in SP5/01

VAT/Indirect tax

“Impressively clever, very hard-working and extremely good on the detail. He is very commercial and a very strong advocate.”

David advises and litigates on VAT and other indirect tax issues on a frequent basis. Recent cases include:

  • Asiana Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 267 (TC) and [2018] UKFTT 350 (TC): appeared for HMRC in a case concerning excise duty assessments and whether remedies arising under customs regulations were available.
  • Devon Waste Management Ltd and others v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 181 (TC): led by Sam Grodzinski KC on behalf of two of the appellants in major case concerning whether landfill tax was payable on the placement of “fluff” layers in landfill site.
  • Lloyds Banking Group v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 835 (TC): led by Andrew Hitchmough KC on behalf of taxpayer on an appeal concerning whether redundancy payments as part of an outsourcing arrangement were subject to VAT.
  • Jazztel Plc v HMRC [2017] EWHC 677 (Ch): led by Rupert Baldry KC for HMRC in a case concerning restitution of stamp duty on the basis that it was levied contrary to EU law.
  • Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd v HMRC [2014] 1 WLR 3866: led by David Milne KC on behalf of the taxpayer on an appeal concerning a Fleming claim for repayment of output tax. The issues in the appeal were (i) whether EU law recognized the concept of an “abusive” claim for repayment of tax and (ii) the proper interpretation and application of VATA 1994 s 81(3A) in circumstances where HMRC were otherwise out of time to assess overclaimed input tax for a different period than that which was relevant for the taxpayer’s output tax claim.

Directory quotes

The Chambers Guide

Corporate Tax
Ranking: Band 2

“Impressively pragmatic and commercial in his advice.” “He is very industrious and really gets under the skin of a case.” (2022)

“A very smooth advocate who is excellent in every way.” “Extremely competent and great to work with.” (2021)

“A leader in his field, who is incredibly knowledgeable and excellent to work with.” “His advice and all-round approach are top-notch.” (2020)

Professional Negligence
Ranking: Band 4

“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.” (2022)

“I would never hesitate to recommend him for complicated tax-related matters. He’s very efficient and hard-working, and incredibly dedicated.” “He has enormous tax expertise and for anything tax-related he is on speed dial. He is absolutely terrific and he has excellent judgement.” (2021)

“He’s extremely cool-headed and rational.” “A diligent, bright and client-friendly barrister whose sector knowledge is second to none.” (2020)

Tax: Indirect Tax
Ranking: Band 3

“David Yates is impressively clever, very hard-working and extremely good on the detail.” “He is very commercial and a very strong advocate.” (2022)

“Very good, calm in court and particularly tenacious.” “He is excellent commercially and doesn’t hide from difficult points.” (2021)

“A very good advocate who is always well prepared and able to think quickly on his feet.” (2020)

Tax: Private Client
Ranking: Band 2

“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.” (2022)

“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.” (2021)

“Very detailed in his approach and good on technical points.” (2020)

The Legal 500

Tax: Corporate
Ranking: Leading Silk, Tier 3

‘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. ’ (2022)

‘Excellent advocate who is able to read the court well, technically excellent and great tactically, too.’ (2021)

‘He provides clear, accurate and timely advice and is an excellent courtroom advocate.’ (2020)

Tax: VAT
Ranking: Leading Silk, Tier 4

‘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. ’ (2022)

‘Excellent advocate who is able to read the court well, technically excellent and great tactically, too.’ (2021)

‘He provides clear, accurate and timely advice and is an excellent courtroom advocate.’ (2020)

Tax- Private Client: Personal Tax
Ranking:  2019 Silk, Tier 1

‘Absolutely brilliant mind, incisive, decisive, superb recall of case law, and he really impresses in consultations.’ (2021)

‘An exceptionally clear and user-friendly barrister, with a very practical approach.’ (2020)

‘He is clear, calm and very thorough.’ (2019)

Professional Negligence
Ranking: 2019 Silk, Tier 4

‘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. ’ (2022)

‘He is truly excellent.’ (2021)

‘Very technical and precise.’ (2020)

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth

Tax: Private Client
Ranking: Band 2

David Yates KC has a broad tax practice, acting both for the Revenue and taxpayers. One source says he is “an absolutely exceptional barrister who combines excellent intellect with a down-to-earth and friendly approach.” “I’ve used David on pure tax, but also tax professional negligence and he’s cornered the market on that,” says another source; “I’d always go to him for that, based on his commercial background and understanding of tax.” (2022)

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.” (2021)

A solicitor says Yates’s strengths are his “exceptional knowledge and strong recall of case law and statute,” reports that he is “always very well prepared for conferences,” is “very quick-thinking and impressive on his feet,” and that “you never have any doubt about the correctness of his instincts.” “His real skill is preparation,” says a fellow barrister, adding: “He knows every document backwards – he will know the exact line that you wish your client hadn’t written and he will centre on it.” (2020)

Memberships

Revenue Bar Association

Chancery Bar Association

Professional Negligence Bar Association

Career & education

Career

March 2019 – KC

September 2017 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “A” panel

March 2013 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “B” panel

March 2009 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “C” panel

Called: 2004 (Lincoln’s Inn)

Education

Sep 1998 – Jun 2001: Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge BA Classics (1st)

Oct 2002 – Jun 2003: City University, Diploma in Law (Commendation). Awarded Lord Haldane Scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn

Oct 2003 – Jun 2004: Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course
(Very Competent). Awarded Lord Denning Scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn

Menu