Emile Simpson

Rising Star: Tier 1 - Personal Tax

Legal 500
  • Call: 2019


Emile practises across tax, sanctions, commercial law, and international law.

The common thread running through his practice is finance, whether financial sanctions, or finance issues in a tax or commercial law context. This focus comes from having previously worked as a consultant advising hedge funds.

Much of his practice involves offshore matters, and in particular offshore trusts.

He is bilingual in French, and accepts instructions in French.

Emile accepts instructions on a public access basis for both litigation and advisory work in suitable cases.


Emile accepts instructions in all of Chambers’ core practice areas.

He has a wide-ranging advisory practice across direct and indirect tax, including: private client matters, both onshore and offshore; corporate and employment tax; VAT; SDLT; insolvency and enforcement; penalties; and professional negligence in a tax context.

Emile acts for both for taxpayers and HMRC in tax litigation. He successfully acted for the Revenue several significant cases, including: Acamar v HMRC (tax avoidance, led by Elizabeth Wilson KC); Morgan Lloyd v HMRC (pension-led financing, led by Laura Poots); and Barclays PLC v HMRC (loan relationships, led by David Milne KC and Elizabeth Wilson KC).

He is the co-author (with Ben Elliott) of the chapter on the enforcement of tax debts in the Tax Litigation Handbook, and accepts instructions in matters at the intersection of tax and insolvency law.



Emile is a specialist in financial sanctions.

He is regularly instructed to advise, alone or in a team, on offshore matters that raise sanctions issues. This includes advice to trustees, beneficiaries, company directors, shareholders, UK government departments, and professional bodies.

Emile has advised on some of the most high value sanctions matters considered by the UK, Guernsey, and Jersey regulators.

He advises the STEP UK Technical committee on sanctions, and is the author of its guidance on the trust services prohibition in the UK’s Russia sanctions regime.

He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Committee.

He speaks regularly on sanctions matters, and has given evidence on sanctions to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Commercial law

Emile accepts instructions in all areas of commercial law, especially those with a finance element.

He has worked on a variety of 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); 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.

He was seconded to the UK Foreign Office Legal Directorate in 2022 where he worked on several public international law matters involving the UK government, primarily in the context of (1) national security; and (2) immigration / refugees.

Emile is ranked as "Rising Star: Tier 1 - Personal Tax" by legal 500

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.