Laura Poots

Called: 2007

Laura Poots

Laura practises in all areas of taxation, acting in the course of disputes and litigation and offering planning advice. Her direct tax practice covers personal and corporate taxes and her indirect tax practice includes VAT, SDLT and landfill tax.  As can be seen from her list of Recent Matters (below) she has in recent years appeared in a number of high-profile VAT, pensions and employment remuneration cases, both for the taxpayer and HMRC.  Laura is qualified to accept  Public Access instructions.

  • Career

    September 2020: Junior Counsel to the Crown – A Panel
    September 2017: Junior Counsel to the Crown – B Panel
    March 2013: Junior Counsel to the Crown – C Panel
    October 2007: Called, Middle Temple

  • Recent Matters


    Brockenhurst College v HMRC (Court of Justice of the European Union) [2017] STC 1112: education exemption.

    BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKUT 415 (TCC) (Upper Tribunal, led by Andrew Hitchmough QC): investment management exemption and apportionment of consideration. Now referred to the Court of Justice.

    Rank Group PLC v HMRC [2019] UKUT 100 (TCC) (led by Andrew Hitchmough QC): Repayment claims and the impact of Birmingham Hippodrome. 

    Character World Limited v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 456 (TC): classification of product as children’s clothing.

    Bramall Contracts Limited v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 470 (TC) (led by Andrew Hitchmough QC): Repayment claims arising from car manufacturer bonuses.

    Vodafone Group Services Ltd v HMRC [2016] STC 1064 (Upper Tribunal, led by Andrew Hitchmough QC): scope of a section 80 repayment claim.


    Employment and Business

    Dunne v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 96 (TC): Income tax for offshore divers, whether activities are in connection with the exploitation of the seabed and subsoil.

    HMRC v Stephen West [2018] UKUT 100 (Upper Tribunal): failure to deduct PAYE and national insurance contributions prior to liquidation.

    Cyclops Electronics Limited v HMRC [2018] UKUT 7, (Upper Tribunal led by Malcolm Gammie QC): extraction of funds from owner-managed businesses.

    Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 127: deduction of tax – whether loyalty bonus payments are annual payments.

    The Crown and Cushion (Chipping Norton) Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 765: corporation tax deductions – whether expenditure was incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business.

    HMRC v Benham (Specialist Cars) Limited [2017] UKUT 389 (Upper Tribunal): business asset roll-over relief, assessments and amendments.



    Danvers v HMRC [2016] UKUT 569 (Upper Tribunal): unauthorised payment charges for pension scheme members.

    HMRC v Sippchoice [2017] UKUT 87 (Upper Tribunal): scheme sanction charges for scheme administrators.



    Advising on a residence status dispute with HMRC.

    Advising on “requirement to correct” for offshore matters.

    High Court litigation: representing the minor and unborn beneficiaries of a will trust on an application to set aside a deed of appointment with adverse inheritance tax consequences.

    Upper Tribunal application: penalties arising from failure to comply with an information notice.

    Dealing with an enquiry arising from a transfer of assets abroad “motive defence” claim.

  • Education

    2006-2007: Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court Law School (Very competent)

    2002-2006: St John’s College, Oxford (First Class BA Hons, Jurisprudence)

  • The Chambers Guide says...

    Tax: Indirect Tax
    Ranking: Band 3

    “She is terrifyingly clever and happy to get into the details.” “I am always impressed by how collegial she is.” (2021)

    Tax: Private Client
    Ranking: Band 3

    “She is incredibly clear, good at setting expectations and good at outlining the next steps. She is very good technically, but also very good at spotting those things that lots of people wouldn’t think of.” (2021)

    “She’s very pragmatic and practical, lovely to deal with, very approachable and she takes the complexities out so you can really discuss things with her.” (2020)

    “She is always happy to discuss problems, responds very promptly and her advice is sound.” “Her written advice is clear and precise and a joy to read.” (2019)

  • The Legal 500 says...

    Tax: VAT
    Ranking: Leading Juniors, Tier 3 

    ‘A great legal mind. Takes a commercial approach to tax problems.’ (2021)

    A rising junior with wide experience of advising the taxpayer and the Revenue in indirect tax cases. She is particularly noted for her expertise in VAT, and has handled a number of cases involving the exemption for special investment funds. “Very able and comprehensive in her approach.” “She does a very, very good job.” (2020)

    ‘A great junior on complex matters, makes a strong contribution to the technical analysis of cases.’ (2019)

    Private Client: Personal Tax
    Ranking: Leading Juniors, Tier 3

    ‘Quickness of response and the ability to explain complex legislation in plain language are her main strengths.’ (2021)

    Has particular expertise in offshore trust and family partnership structuring and domicile matters. “An excellent junior for complex tax cases who can hold her own arguing with QCs.” “Incredibly user-friendly, she’s the type of person you can pick the phone up and have a chat to.” (2020)

    ‘Puts things into plain English.’ (2019)

  • Chambers and Partners HNW says...

    Tax: Private Client

    Ranking: Band 3

    Laura Poots is often instructed by HMRC. She is described as “absolutely brilliant” by a fellow barrister, who continues: “She is incredibly clear, good at setting expectations and good at outlining the next steps. I think she is very good technically, but she is also very good at spotting those things that lots of people wouldn’t think of.” Another source reports: “She is very efficient and effective; she is great to be against and a sensible opponent.” (2020)

    Laura Poots is often instructed by HMRC, and has been appointed to the Treasury B panel for this work. She also takes instructions on the taxpayer side, and instructing solicitors in private practice consider her to be “incredibly user-friendly” and “an excellent junior – one of our go-to juniors for complex tax.” (2019)


  • Publications

    At a Glance – Regular contributor

  • Memberships

    Revenue Bar Association

    London Chancery and Commercial Bar Association

    VAT Practitioners Group

  • Miscellaneous

    2004-2005: President, The Oxford Union

    2003-2005: President, St John’s College Law Society

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