Emile Simpson

  • Call: 2019


Emile practises across tax, sanctions, 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 is happy to accept 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 particular experience in private client matters, both onshore and offshore; this often overlaps with his sanctions practice.

His tax advisory practice usually involves a finance element; for example, the taxation of carried interest in a private equity context.

Emile acts for both for taxpayers and HMRC in tax litigation. For example, he 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); and he is currently instructed for the taxpayer (with David Yates KC) on a significant matter involving a contested company purchase of own shares.


Emile is a specialist in economic and financial sanctions. 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 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, and public authorities.

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

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.

Public law

Beyond tax judicial review, Emile has experience of various areas of public law. In particular: (1) immigration; and (2) national security.

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.