Jeremy Woolf

Called: 1986

Jeremy Woolf

Jeremy’s advisory practice covers a wide area of both direct and indirect tax issues and a mixture of contentious and advisory work. Contentious work includes negligence, judicial review and variation of trust act and rectification proceedings raising tax issues.

Jeremy is qualified to accept Public Access instructions.

Privacy Policy

A copy of Jeremy’s privacy notice can be found here.

  • Career

    Called 1986

  • Areas of practice

    Jeremy’s work includes the following:

    Corporate and business taxes

    Providing advice about and acting in disputes relating to:

    • incorporations and corporate restructuring and sales, including the SDLT and VAT consequences of such transactions. He has recently been acting for clients who have been in dispute with HMRC about the application of the transaction in securities provisions and entrepreneurs’ relief;
    • property development transactions, including SDLT and VAT issues;
    • partnership structures, including the rules relating to mixed partnerships and partnerships with solely corporate members, including SDLT and VAT issues connected to such structures;
    • employee incentives, including the agency provisions, IR35 and the managed services legislation, share schemes and issues connected to both registered and unapproved pension schemes and the use of employee benefit trusts. This work has extended to being instructed on professional negligence actions in relation to such planning.


    VAT and customs and excise duties

    Jeremy has appeared in three references in the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) indirect tax committee and chairs the indirect tax committee of CFE Tax Advisors Europe. He is also one of CFE Tax Advisors Europe’s representatives on the European Commission VAT expert group. Recent contentious work has included acting in disputes about VAT and customs duties on aircraft parts and in disputes about the VAT charges on cross-border professional services and the recovery of input tax on free legal services. He has also acted in MTIC disputes. He has provided advice on the availability of exemptions and the VAT consequences of property transactions and the VAT consequences of using crypto-currencies and e-tokens and making claims to recover overpaid VAT.


    Stamp taxes

    Contentious work has included acting on disputes about multiple dwellings relief and whether sales of property should be considered mixed use or residential and the extent to which goodwill on the sale of a business should be subject to SDLT. He has also acted for solicitors whose clients have claimed that they have received negligent advice on these issues. He has also provided advice about the SDLT and stamp duty consequences of proposed transactions including issues connected to corporate and partnership reorganisations and business incorporations and more generally on the SDLT consequences of acquiring property portfolios.


    Personal and private client

    Jeremy regularly advises on inheritance tax and capital gains tax issues relating to lifetime gifts as well as tax planning on death. This includes drafting trusts, wills and deeds of appointment and providing advice about issues arising from the use of trusts and the availability of business property and agricultural property relief. He also advises in relation to planning on the family home. He was counsel in one of the leading reservation of benefit cases, IRC v Eversden. He also advises and has acted in disputes about individuals’ residence and domicile status and structuring investments by non-domiciled individuals in the United Kingdom.

    Contentious work has recently included acting for individuals who have undertaken home loan schemes and other inheritance tax planning and disputes about the beneficial ownership of funds in bank accounts and the availability of the normal expenditure out of income exemption and tax charges on a farm whose ownership was disputed.

    He also provides advice in relation to offshore trust and corporate structures. As chair of the CIOT EU and human right sub-committee Jeremy has an interest in EU law. While it remains relevant, his work has therefore included considering the compatibility of charges relates to offshore structures with the EU fundamental treaty freedoms and the availability of motive defences to income tax and capital gains tax charges. He has also more generally advised about the tax consequences of proposed reconstructions of offshore groups, including in the context of matrimonial proceedings.



    Jeremy is chair of the CIOT European and Human Rights committee. Issues connected to tax and human rights have therefore been a long term interest of his. He was instructed in one of the first cases to address the issue of whether civil penalties should be considered criminal for the purposes of the European Convention of Human Rights and made a related application to the European Court of Human Rights, which held that there had been a breach of the Convention on account of undue delays. He also acted in a judicial review seeking a declaration of incompatibility in relation to retrospective SDLT Legislation. Other recent work has included acting for clients seeking to challenge advance payment notices and considering challenges to follower notices and acting for clients disputing claims that they have been guilty of deliberate conduct.

  • Significant cases

    Abbey National -v- Commissioners of Customs and Excise (European Court of Justice): the scope of the exemption in Article 13B(d)(6) of the Sixth Directive for the management of special investment funds

    My Travel plc (formerly Airtours plc) -v- Commissioners of Customs and Excise (European Court of Justice): tour operator’s margin scheme and apportionment of consideration

    Commissioners of Customs and Excise -v- Pegasus Birds (CA): validity of best judgment assessment

    Customs and Excise -v- Madgett & Baldwin (European Court of Justice): tour operator’s margin scheme and apportionment of consideration

    Computeach International Limited: unjust enrichment

    DenmanCollege: supplies of construction and services

    Rasul v HMRC: validity of assessments


    Investigations and human rights

    King -v- Walden: whether civil penalties are criminal for Human Rights purposes and issue estoppel on tax appeals

    King -v- United Kingdom: application to the European Court of Human Rights: whether civil penalties are criminal and whether delay resulted in a breach of article 6 of the Convention

    R (on the application of APVCO 19 Ltd) v HM Treasury (CA): compatibility of retrospective legislation with the European Court of Human Rights


    Income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, stamp duty and national insurance

    Dunsten -v- Young Austen & Young: meaning of reorganisation

    CIR -v- Burton: approval of share scheme

    Pepper -v- Hart: use of Hansard/benefit in kind charge

    Marriot -v- Lane: retirement relief

    Edmunds -v- Coleman: new profession

    R -v- IRC ex p Roux: removal of approval from pension scheme 3 of 6

    HMRC -v- Household Estates: power to make further assessments

    Talentcore -v-HMRC: agency workers

    John Mander Pension Trustees Ltd v HMRC: validity of assessment made on retrospective loss of approval of a pension scheme

    Castledine v HMRC: entrepreneurs’ relief


    Inheritance tax

    IRC -v- Eversden (CA): reservation of benefit  on spouse exemptgifts

    Annand v IRC: ownership of funds in bank accounts

  • Publications

    Zamir and Woolf: The Declaratory Judgment (2nd, 3rd and 4th Edition)

    DeSmith, Woolf & Jowell: Judicial Review of Administrative Action (5th Edition) (contributor of Chapter 23 on Revenue Law)

    Halsbury’s Laws of England Vol 12(2) Customs and Excise (joint contributor)

    DeVoil Indirect Tax Service (contributor)

    Simon’s Direct Tax Service (contributor)

    Civil Appeals (contributor to chapter on tax appeals)

    Potter & Monroe (contributor)

  • Memberships

    Revenue Bar Association

    CIOT indirect tax sub-committee

    Chairman: CIOT EU and Human Rights sub-committee

    Chair of the indirect tax sub-committee of CFE Tax Advisors Europe

    CFE Tax Advisors Europe’s alternate representative on the European Commission’s VAT Expert Group

    The CIOT’s alternate representative on the European Commission’s Expert Group on removing tax problems facing individuals who are active across borders within the EU

    VAT Practitioners Group

    London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association

    Chancery Bar Association

    Stamp Taxes Practitioners Group

  • Awards

    Award of Certificate of Merit (Chartered Institute of Taxation)

  • The Chambers Guide says...

    Tax: Corporate
    Ranking: Band 1

    “Very bright and a highly capable performer.”  (2021)

    “Very thorough.” “Technically strong and very user-friendly.” (2020)

    .“He has a detailed knowledge of tax law and an ability to size up a situation and deliver relevant, pertinent advice.” “Very user-friendly.” (2019)


  • The Legal 500 says...

    Tax: VAT
    Ranking: Leading Junior, Tier 3

    ‘His knowledge and practical experience in both UK and offshore matters are extensive and highly valuable.’ (2021)

    ‘In court he is a softly spoken yet heavyweight advocate, who always impresses with his sound, erudite no-nonsense submissions.’ (2020)

    ‘He is admired for his knowledge of international tax issues.’ (2019)

    Tax: Corporate
    Ranking: Leading Junior, Tier 1

    ‘His knowledge and practical experience in both UK and offshore matters are extensive and highly valuable.’ (2021)

    ‘In court he is a softly spoken yet heavyweight advocate, who always impresses with his sound, erudite no-nonsense submissions.’ (2020)

    ‘He is an absolute delight to work with.’ (2019)

    Tax- Private Client: Personal Tax
    Ranking: Leading Junior, Tier 2

    ‘Very easy to work with; available to respond quickly to queries.’ (2021)

    ‘A highly recommended junior.’ (2020)

    ‘Highly rated for SDLT.’ (2019)

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