15 July 2022

PCTC ranked as Band 1 set in Chambers and Partners HNW Guide 2022

We are pleased to announce that we have been ranked as “The Band 1 Set” in the Tax: Private Client category of the Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2022 guide with 12 ranked individuals, including 3 “Star Individuals”.

Pump Court Tax Chambers remains the pre-eminent set for private client tax work. One source calls it “the best tax chambers in the UK” and several describe it as their go-to tax set. “I’ve used heavens knows how many barristers from Pump Court Tax over the years,” says one solicitor; “they’re generally acknowledged as one of the best and largest tax chambers in the UK. They provide an excellent service, they’re incredibly helpful.”

Mark Rushton is the set’s director of clerking and John Poyser and Bruno Antoniotti are its team leaders. “The service levels and speed of response from all the clerks never lets me down and is always dependable,” says an instructing solicitor.

We would like to congratulate the following members on their rankings in the Chambers and Partners High Net Worth 2022 guide:

Kevin Prosser QC (Star Individual) – is “a consummate advocate before the Tax Tribunal,” says a source; “you know you’re in safe hands when Kevin is acting for you.” “Kevin is simply superb,” says an instructing solicitor, adding: “He grapples with the most difficult tax issues, comes up with an answer at amazing speed, and is always right.” Another reports that “I always think he’s extremely good value, based on his ability to get on top of real complexity. Within 40 minutes he’s figured everything out, despite you setting aside three hours for it.”

William Massey QC (Star Individual) is a noted expert on Inheritance Tax (IHT), particularly Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR) matters. “William has excellent vision all around matters put to him and is willing to comment helpfully on matters at the periphery of his instructions,” says one solicitor. “William’s long experience in the landed estates area makes him the go-to around capital tax planning and IHT planning,” says another interviewee, adding: “For the last few decades he’s made his name in classically landed estates. That’s driven by case law, much of which he’s been involved in.”

David Ewart QC is a tax specialist with a broad practice, including private client tax work. One source says: “I think David Ewart has an excellent technical knowledge and that’s allied to a good ability to explain not only to his lay client but also in a persuasive way to the court.”

Richard Vallat QC is “the cleverest man I have ever met.” An instructing solicitor describes Vallat as “properly clever, rated extremely highly and a go-to barrister.” Vallat acts for taxpayers and HMRC on a wide range of matters.

 David Yates QC has a broad tax practice, acting both for the Revenue and taxpayers. One source says he is “an absolutely exceptional barrister who combines excellent intellect with a down-to-earth and friendly approach.” “I’ve used David on pure tax, but also tax professional negligence and he’s cornered the market on that,” says another source; “I’d always go to him for that, based on his commercial background and understanding of tax.”

James Rivett QC 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.”

Elizabeth Wilson QC “is very reassuring,” says an instructing solicitor; “she has done a lot with the Revenue and knows how they think, which is very useful for us to work out how to get through things. She helps people take realistic views on things, and I like that.” Another solicitor says that “Elizabeth is hands-down the tax counsel I would go to. She has a real skill at being able to articulate highly technical tax terminology that not only you can understand as a tax practitioner but so can the lay client. She’s a real lateral thinker and her drafting is superb.” This interviewee also highlights Wilson’s “exceptional personable manner,” explaining that “she inspires confidence in the client in an area that I think is really tricky.”

Emma Chamberlain OBE (Star Individual) is one of the best-known and most admired tax counsel at the Bar, known for her enormous intellectual ability on complex private client tax matters matched with strong client-care skills. “She’s like a walking book on tax, but she’s a complete human being at the same time,” says an instructing solicitor; “she’s got fantastic presence and gravitas, and there’s nothing she doesn’t know about tax. She goes the extra mile with client care; she takes her time, likes to get the client onside and gets to know the client. She’s persuasive as well: she’s interested in persuading you, matched by this sheer intellectual brilliance. She really is impressive.” Another interviewee describes Chamberlain as “simply brilliant; whether advising in conference or on her feet arguing a point in court, there is no one better.”

Oliver Conolly wins frequent praise for his advisory work. One instructing solicitor reports that “Oliver’s advice on a complex issue was really clear.” Another says that “Oliver’s advice was clear and easy to follow.”

Laura Poots acts on a range of private client tax matters, and often acts for the Revenue. “Laura Poots is my go-to barrister on complex tax aspects with a cross-border aspect,” says an interviewee, adding: “She is always available when I need to check anything with her. I find her extremely good at not just looking at the tax rules but looking at the commercial realities behind the transaction.”

Edward Waldegrave handles both litigation and advisory matters for high net worth clients. “I find him very impressive,” says a source, adding: “He has a very clear and concise style of written advocacy which is a real benefit. He has a way of getting a point across in an understated way which makes it irresistible.”

Ben Elliott is “a rising star,” says an instructing solicitor, explaining that he is “extremely easy to engage with, very hard-working, understands the technical issues of tax law that arise. Ben will communicate with you and clients in a way that allows you to practically progress the case. He handles a very complex and tricky case, and his input has been critical, showing maturity beyond his seniority.” Another interviewee describes Elliott as “the best tax junior I have worked with.”

To view our full chambers review, please click here.