James Rivett KC

James Rivett KC

"A brilliant advocate who has a fantastic client manner and encyclopedic knowledge of tax law."

Chambers & Partners
  • Call: 2004
  • Silk: 2019


James practises in all areas of revenue law. His practice includes advice and litigation in the following areas: personal tax, corporate tax, VAT and other indirect taxes.

A copy of James' privacy notice can be found here.


Recent cases

Recent cases include MJP Media (Upper Tribunal); Forde & McHugh Ltd (Upper Tribunal); Icebreaker 1 LLP (Upper Tribunal); Class IV GLO (Court of Appeal); Huitson & Shiner (Court of Appeal); Trustees of the BT Pension Scheme (First-Tier Tribunal).


Regular contributor of articles to specialist tax journals

Contributor to Potter and Monroe’s Tax Planning with Precedents and Atkins Court Forms (Revenue) (2007 Issue)

Author of the statutory construction and Ramsay chapters of Simon’s Direct Tax Service

James lectures regularly on all aspects of tax

Directory quotes

The Chambers Guide

Tax: Corporate Tax
Ranking: Band 3

“He is a brilliant advocate who has a fantastic client manner and encyclopaedic knowledge of tax law.” “He has pizzazz as an advocate and a lot of personal charm.” (2022)

“He is very pleasant and his written work is good.” “A very effective and knowledgeable individual.” (2021)

“Extremely good and very persuasive.” “He’s very enthusiastic and super bright.” (2020)

Tax: Private Client
Ranking: Band 2

“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.” (2022)

“James is excellent. He is very personable and a clear advocate.” (2021)

“An absolute star on the tax advisory side, he is so in demand these days that it would be helpful if he were cloned.” (2020)

Tax: Indirect Tax
Ranking: Band 3

“He is especially user-friendly and is mindful of internal client management issues.” (2022)

“A very practical man who completely understands the situation from the solicitor’s point of view.” (2021)

“He’s super user-friendly and very able.” “Hugely clever and a brilliant advocate.” (2020)

Family/Matrimonial: Trusts/Tax Experts
Ranking: Band 1

“He’s approachable and is a real asset on family cases with complicated tax issues as he has the ability to make tax law understandable.” “James is a go-to for matrimonial disputes with tax issues.” (2022)

“The person you go to for a tax issue in the family area. He is extremely personable, gets straight to the point and gives incredibly clear advice.” (2021)

“His advice is sound in all cases. He is thorough, confidence-giving and authoritative.” (2020)

The Legal 500

Tax: Corporate
Ranking: 2019 Silk, Tier 1

‘He is a tenacious litigator and someone who pursues his case with vigour.’ (2021)

‘He is tenacious and argues his cases convincingly.’ (2020)

‘He has an incisive perspective, a good eye for detail.’ (2019)

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

‘Approachable, engages really well with lay clients (makes the law interesting and relevant to them), engenders a great partnership with the solicitor as he is always happy for us to ring up with questions later.’ (2021)

‘Explains complicated matters very well.’ (2020)

‘He is frighteningly intelligent and extremely well liked by opponents and judges alike.’ (2019)

Chambers and Partners High Net Worth

Tax: Private Client
Ranking: Band 2

James Rivett KC is “really good,” says a source; “he really knows his stuff on the private client side. He’s really good to work with.” Another source says: “He has an incredible ability to be incisive, his mind is like a knife through butter.” A client reports that “he’s one of the most knowledgeable people in the field. He’s lovely and everyone adores him.” (2022)

“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.” (2021)

James Rivett KC took silk in 2019, and remains a popular choice among private practice solicitors and with the Revenue for tax advisory work and litigation. Fellow counsel says he is “very thorough, very personable, good with clients and an effective advocate.” An instructing solicitor considers Rivett “an absolute star on the tax advisory side, but in such demand these days it would be helpful if he could be cloned.” (2020)



Chancery Bar Association

Revenue Bar Association

VAT Practitioner’s Group

International Fiscal Association

Career & education


Called 2004 (Lincoln’s Inn)

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

Dec 2013 – Appointed Consultant Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art

March 2014 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “B” panel

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

March 2019 – KC


MA (Cantab)(Starred Double First), Clare College, Cambridge

MPhil, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Postgraduate Diploma in Law, City University, London (Lord Bowen Scholarship and Hardwicke Award, Lincoln’s Inn, 11 King’s Walk prize for Public Law, City University)

Bar Vocational Course (Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn)


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