Emile Simpson

  • Call: 2019


Emile practises across tax, sanctions and export control, commercial law, international law, and public law. The core of his practice typically involves finance in some form. This focus comes from having previously worked for a consultancy advising macro-focused hedge-funds, and academic research into economic and financial sanctions.

Emile is bilingual in French, and is happy to accept instructions in French.


Emile successfully acted for HMRC (led by Elizabeth Wilson KC) before the FTT in a long-running tax avoidance case involving a film scheme (Acamar v HMRC). He is currently instructed by HMRC on various other significant cases, including an avoidance case involving pharmaceuticals, and a banking matter arising out of the 2008 financial crisis.

Emile also regularly acts for taxpayers, and accepts instructions in all of Chambers’ core practice areas. He is currently instructed (with David Yates KC) on a significant matter involving a contested company purchase of own shares.

Emile also advises on private client matters, both onshore and offshore. This often involves a finance element; for example, the taxation of carried interest in a private equity context.

Sanctions and export control

Emile is a specialist in economic and financial sanctions, and regularly advises in this area. He has carried out research in this field to PhD level, and has given evidence on sanctions to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Emile also accepts instructions in customs and export control, which is one of Chambers’ core practice areas, and which overlaps with the law of trade sanctions.

Commercial law

Emile accepts instructions in all areas of commercial law, especially those with a finance element. During pupillage, part of which was at a commercial set, Emile worked on various commercial matters in the English courts and in arbitration, including: VTB v Sberbank (dispute arising from the insolvency of one of Russia’s largest oil refineries); Yukos v Russia (enforcement proceedings in the UK); and several contractual matters involving commodities.

International law

Emile holds a PhD in international law from King’s College London and accepts instructions in all areas of international law. He has advised, for example, on the sovereign immunity of sovereign wealth funds in relation to taxation.

Public law

Beyond tax judicial review, Emile has experience of various areas of public law. In particular: (1) immigration - Emile worked on many immigration cases while a judicial assistant at the Court of Appeal, and (with Edward Brown KC) for the Home Office on several cases involving the Windrush scheme during pupillage; and (2) national security - Emile has practical experience of national security issues, having previously served in the British Army; and he is familiar with the law in this area.

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


2020 – 21 – Pupillage (Essex Court Chambers and Pump Court Tax Chambers).

2019 – 2020 – Judicial Assistant to Lord Leggatt and Males LJ at the Court of Appeal.

2013 – 2020 – Consultant to Greenmantle LLC (part-time) – provided advice to various marco-focused funds.

2006 – 2012 – British Army (infantry officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles; completed three tours of duty in Afghanistan).


2018-19 – BPP Law School, London — Bar Professional Training Course, graded outstanding.

2016 – 2018 – Harvard University — Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows.

2013 -18 – King’s College London — PhD in Law (international law)

2012 – 13 – BPP Law School, London — Graduate Diploma in Law, graded distinction.

2002 – 05 – Oxford University — BA (Hons) in Ancient and Modern History, first class.

Scholarships and Prizes

– Twice awarded a “Joint Commander’s Commendation” in the UK honours and awards list for operations in Afghanistan (2008 and 2010).

– Jesus College Oxford Prize for Finals results (ranked 5th in year across the university).


Native speaker of English and French; intermediate Nepali; basic Italian.