The former head of VAT at Clifford Chance, Etienne Wong, has taken up fast track pupilage at Tax Chambers, 15 Old Square and is now able to accept instructions through the Chambers clerks. The pupillage formally required for a solicitor transferring to the Bar will be completed on 1 December 2014.
Etienne qualified as a solicitor in 1990, and was a partner and head of the international VAT unit at Clifford Chance LLP from 1999 to 2014. He was called to the Bar in 2014.
Etienne has been advising on all aspects of VAT since 1989, and appeared in Band 1 in Chambers Global as an “excellent choice for indirect tax matters”.
In particular, he advises on the VAT treatment of:
• financing transactions (including structured finance, securitisations, asset finance, commodities transactions, factoring and Islamic financing)
• real estate transactions
• insurance transactions
• corporate acquisitions and disposals
• private equity transactions
• outsourcing transactions
• transactions in the transport sector (including transactions in aircraft, vessels, trains and automobiles)
• e-commerce and other new media transactions
• transactions in the leisure sector
• transactions in the power and energy sectors (including solar panel financing, transactions in carbon credits and renewable energy projects)
He also advises on tax matters generally — in particular, the direct and indirect taxation of:
• real estate transactions (e.g. property development, property investment)
• outsourcing transactions
• transactions in the power and energy sectors (e.g. solar panel financing, biomass projects)
• e-commerce and other new media transactions and transfer pricing, insurance premium tax and customs and excise duties.
He also advises on disputes with HMRC.
Etienne has authored several articles and spoken at various conferences both within the UK and abroad, and was the author of the tax chapter of the Outsourcing Practice Manual and the co-author of the European Union chapter of the Inward Investment and International Taxation Review.
Former Gray’s Inn Tax barristers have launched a new tax chambers – Field Court Tax Chambers.
To view the new website please click here
The founding members are:
Patrick Soares was called to the Bar in 1983. Previously he was a tax partner in a leading firm of London solicitors.
He obtained his Masters Degree in Taxation from University College, London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Mr Soares advises on all areas of taxation, with particular emphasis on the taxation and structuring of property transactions, value added tax, trusts and offshore tax. He acts for many high profile clients and large commercial enterprises. He lectures on a great variety of topics and chairs annual London conferences on Optimum Tax Structures for Land Transactions, Corporate and Personal Taxation and Taxation of the Family Business and Overseas Trusts and Companies.
He is the Tax Editor of the Property Law Bulletin and was the author of a number of tax books, including “Value Added Tax Planning for Property Transactions”, “Offshore Investment in UK Property” and “Non-Resident Trusts”.
Patrick Way QC
Patrick Way QC has strong advocacy and advisory practices. He has successfully represented clients at all levels of the UK court system and he acts for both taxpayer and HMRC alike in cases where the tax at stake may run into hundreds of millions of pounds. He has also advised on some of the biggest UK takeovers. His clients include major corporates as well as famous celebrities, charities, wealthy individuals and businesses of all types whom he has advised in relation to virtually every form of UK tax.
He has written and edited books and chapters on the taxation of commercial transactions including in particular the taxation of corporate groups, on joint ventures, the Business Expansion and Enterprise Investment Schemes, inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning for individuals and on stamp duty and stamp duty land tax.
Before being called to the Bar he was a solicitor during which time he was an equity partner in two leading London law firms, first becoming a partner at the age of 31.
He aims to bring to clients an approach which is both practical and pragmatic. Practical, since, having been a commercial solicitor he is well aware of the realities of business transactions and the need for sensible advice; and pragmatic since his court experiences have shown him the way in which courts are likely to react and he factors this experience into his advice.
Throughout his career he has only ever appeared as lead or sole counsel.
Philip Baker QC
Philip Baker QC began practice in 1987, having been a full-time lecturer in law at London University from 1979 until then. He has maintained some links with academia, and is now a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. He took silk in 2002.
He specialises primarily in international aspects of taxation, which covers both corporate and private client matters. He has a particular interest in taxation and the European Convention on Human Rights, and is the author of a book on Double Taxation Conventions. He has appeared in cases before courts and tribunals at virtually every level from the Special Commissioners (now the Tax Tribunal) to the House of Lords, Privy Council and European Court of Justice.
He is a former member of the Council of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, and remains a member of several committees of the CIOT and of the International Tax Sub-Committee of the Law Society. He is a member of the UK Committee of the International Fiscal Association and a member of the Permanent Scientific Committee of IFA.
Imran read Law at Oxford as an undergraduate and postgraduate, coming top of the university on both occasions. He studied tax as part of both his BA and BCL degrees, winning prizes in all the tax exams he sat. He was called to the Bar in 2008. In 2014 he founded Field Court Tax Chambers with three colleagues, having previously practised in another set of tax chambers.
Since commencing practice Imran has been involved in a range of domestic and international matters, acting for companies, private-clients and tax authorities. In addition to advisory work he is regularly involved in litigation. Indeed he first made oral submissions, shortly after commencing practice, before the Privy Council in Mauritius. In 2012 he was appointed to the Attorney-General’s C Panel.
Imran is often instructed in high-profile and high-value matters. By way of example, he has: (1) advised in relation to a multi-billion dollar settlement; (2) assisted a foreign company in a matter involving over £1 billion; (3) acted for an oil company in a foreign dispute; (4) appeared for HMRC in the “Littlewoods” compound interest litigation; and (5) been instructed by HMRC in relation to various partnership loss appeals (e.g. the “Icebreaker” litigation).
From 2007-13 he taught tax part-time at the LSE, and during the 2013-14 academic year he was one of the tutors on the MA in Taxation at the IALS. Outside of work his interests include travelling, politics, reading, and cars.
Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho joins Thirty Nine Essex Street this month as a Barriser. Her practice covers tax (disputes and advisory), EU law and commercial litigation.
Kelly has extensive experience advising and litigating for multinationals on a wide variety of tax issues. She is experienced in litigating and advising on matters with values ranging from relatively modest sums for individuals and SMEs to cases worth billions of pounds for litigation groups of multinationals.
Prior to joining Chambers, Kelly was a solicitor in the award winning team at Dorsey & Whitney running the FII GLO, the CFC GLO, the Thin Cap GLO, the Loss Relief GLO and the prominent Marks & Spencer (final losses) cases. She has been involved with litigation at every level of tax tribunal, English Court and the CJEU. She has experience of advising on high value tax enquiries for multinationals dealing with cross border and domestic issues. Her tax disputes experience includes claims made under statutory claims procedure, High Court litigation, Judicial Review, and settlements with HMRC.
Her experience includes:
Corporation tax (Patent Box, Dividend tax, Group and Loss Relief, Thin Capitalisation, Debt Cap)
Indirect taxes (Stamp taxes, VAT, Interest)
Environmental taxes (Climate Change Levy, Carbon Price Support, Aggregates Levy, Landfill tax)
International Tax Law and EU Tax Law
Tax Procedure (Operation of the CTSA rules, discovery assessments)
Interim applications and costs in tax disputes
Kelly has an interest in and experience in EU law and International Law. She has advised on a wide range of EU law issues, including the fundamental freedoms, State aid, REACH requirements, E-Money and Payment Services Directives, Capital Requirements Directive. She trained at DG TAXUD of the European Commission.
She has also had experience of a wide range of commercial litigation and advisory matters, including misrepresentation, fraud, winding up, professional negligence and employment. She has a keen interest in financial services issues.
Aparna Nathan and Marika Lemos, formerly of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers, have joined the fast-growing specialist tax team at Devereux Chambers.
Aparna Nathan (called 1994, member of the Attorney General’s panel and a Chambers UK 2014 Top 100 Junior) undertakes all aspects of tax work, combining a high profile litigation practice with a strong advisory practice focusing on tax planning for high net worth individuals and commercial work.
Lord Howard of Henderskelfe (Deceased) v. HMRC;
Moyles & Others (Working Wheels Tax Avoidance) v. HMRC;
Chappell v. HMRC;
Berry v. HMRC;
Longborough Festival Opera v. CEC;
Wood v. Holden;
Laerstate v. HMRC;
Taylor and Haimendorf v. HMRC;
Skye Inns v. HMRC;
Bingham v. HMRC.
Marika Lemos (called 2002 and member of the Attorney General’s panel) specialises in all aspects of tax litigation (direct and indirect taxes) and advises on tax, focusing on private client tax and in the context of commercial litigation, trust and pensions disputes, Variation of Trust Act applications and professional negligence cases where tax is involved.
Some recent or notable cases in which she has appeared are:
Dalriada Trustees Limited v. David Alexander Faulds & others (2013) (with John Stephens: joined and substitution and application for permission to appeal in a case concerning trust issues and pensions and tax);
Dalriada Trustees Limited v. John Lawrence Woodward & others  EWHC 21626 (Ch) (with Alan Steinfeld QC and John Stephens: a commercial case concerning inter alia pensions and tax);
Quayle v. Rothman Pantall & Co (2012) (with Richard Boulton QC: a claim concerning negligent advice relation to the availability of taper relief, limitation, deliberate concealment, scope of duty, etc.);
The Right Honourable Clifton Hugh Lancelot de Verdon Baron Wrottesley v. HMRC (2012) (application to set aside information notices; application for closure notice of 10-year long enquiry into domicile);
Andrew Berry v. HMRC  UKUT 81 (with Aparna Nathan: concerning a tax avoidance scheme);
Société Royal Gardens et Compagnie & 138 Others v. The Mauritius Revenue Authority  UKPC 11 (with Philip Baker QC: concerning the Mauritian GAAR);
Chiniah v. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Mauritius)  UKPC 23 (with Philip Baker QC).
Commenting on Aparna Nathan’s and Marika Lemos’ arrival Timothy Brennan QC, the elected head of Devereux Chambers, said, ”Aparna and Marika add yet more strength to our junior members, particularly in what we offer in the areas of technical private client work and in litigation both in the tax tribunals and the Administrative Court.”
Speaking about joining Devereux Chambers, Aparna Nathan and Marika Lemos (both of whom are listed in Who’s Who Legal: Private Client 2014) said:
“We are tremendously excited about adding our Private Client and other tax expertise to the rapidly expanding specialist tax team at Devereux Chambers. We, together with our new colleagues, are very much looking forward to reinforcing Devereux Chambers’ position as the “go to” set for all areas of tax advice as well as litigation”.
The question on everyone’s lips is – is there anyone else at Gray’s Inn who is intending to leave ? The hiring over the past 12 months has been a significant coup for Devereux and Timothy Brennan personally.
Barrie Akin, formerly of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers, has joined the fast-growing tax group at Devereux Chambers.
Formerly an accountant, Barrie Akin has been in practice at the tax bar since 1996. His work covers the range of direct and indirect taxes.
Commenting on Barrie Akin’s arrival Timothy Brennan QC, the elected head of Devereux Chambers, said “It is a pleasure for these chambers to welcome another excellent tax practitioner, adding to our strength in core areas. We recruit extremely able practitioners against objective criteria, and the success of this practice is obvious.”
The highly regarded Devereux tax team has recently been bolstered by the recruitment of Felicity Cullen QC from Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers, and Jolyon Maugham from 11 New Square.
Speaking about joining Devereux Chambers, Barrie Akin said “I welcome the opportunity to join chambers which cover all areas of taxation and offer excellent client service”.
On the advisory side, he assists both corporate and personal clients on a wide range of issues. For example, he has recently advised a liquidator on complex corporation tax issues arising out of post-cessation receipts and has advised executors on the optimum strategy for securing Inheritance Tax reliefs for a complex high value estate with unusual features.
The disputes side of his practice involves him in all aspects of tax litigation, including advising on strategy and tactics, the drafting of correspondence and pleadings, settlement negotiations and appearing before the Tax Tribunals and the courts.
Some notable cases in which he has appeared are:
Wiltonpark Limited v. HMRC – First-tier Tribunal (Tax) – 23 January 2014
HMRC v. Charman  EWHC 1448 (Fam) – High Court (Family Division)
1st Contact Limited v. HMRC First-tier Tribunal (Tax) – 25 January 2012
Datapoint Global Services v. HMRC First-tier Tribunal (Tax) 9 April 2009
Morgan and Self v. HMRC  UKFTT 78 (TC) First-tier Tribunal (Tax)
Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v. Total UK Limited  EWCA Civ 987 – Court of Appeal
Crispin Mark Taylor (HMIT) v. MEPC Holdings Limited  UKHL 70 – House of Lords
Greycon Limited v. Klaentschi (HMIT) – Special Commissioners – 15 July 2003
Toronto-Dominion Bank v. Oberoi  All ER (D) 313 High Court (Chancery Division)
Pawlowski (Collector of Taxes) v. Dunnington –  STC 550 Court of Appeal
Devereux Chambers has further expanded its team of tax specialists with the arrival of Felicity Cullen QC, formerly of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers.
She arrives with a balanced practice of contentious and advisory work which spans the full range of commercial tax, property tax and private client work. In recent years she has appeared in many important tax cases including RKW Limited v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.
Speaking about Felicity Cullen’s arrival, Timothy Brennan QC, Head of Chambers said ”We are delighted that another distinguished tax practitioner has chosen to join us. Felicity adds yet more strength and depth to our tax specialism. “
Felicity deals with all aspects of revenue law though she is primarily involved in commercial tax, both in an advisory and litigation context. On the advisory side, she has been involved in many large city transactions and is routinely involved in private company and business transactions, such as the recent substantial investment into Greenwich Peninsula by Hong Kong investors.
The disputes side of her practice entails correspondence, settlement negotiations, and other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation, as well as appearances in tribunals and courts. For example, she recently settled a permanent establishment dispute against HMRC involving profits of circa £150 million. She has appeared in many leading tax cases in the courts in recent years and has acted for parties in tax related mediations. She also deals with personal taxation, including capital taxation, again in the giving of advice and assisting with the resolution of disputes.
Other Notable cases include:
RKW Limited v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – First-tier Tribunal (Tax) – 30 January 2014
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v. Salaried Persons Postal Loans Limited – Chancery Division – 7 April 2006
Salaried Persons Postal Loans Limited v. Commissioners of Revenue and Customs – Special Commissioners – 5 October 2005
John C McBride v. Stephen John Blackburn (HM Inspector of Taxes) – Special Commissioners – 23-25 September 2002
Trustees of British Telecom Pension Scheme & others v. Clark (HMIT) – Court of Appeal – 24 February 2000
A Pardoe (HMIT) v Entergy Power Development Corporation – Chancery Division – 23 February 2000
Clark v. Trustees of British Telecom Pension Scheme & others – Chancery Division – 14 October 1998
Trustees of British Telecom Pension Scheme & others v. Clarke – Special Commissioners – 16 December 1997
Bricom Holdings Limited v I.R.C. – Court of Appeal – 25 July 1997
Vodafone Cellular Ltd v. Shaw (Inspector of Taxes) – Court of Appeal –  STC 734
Pump Court Tax Chambers has announced that Roger Thomas has been appointed Queens Counsel.
Roger will be formally appointed in the annual Silk ceremony, which will take place at the House of Lords on Monday 14th April 2014. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and his practice covers all areas of corporate and personal tax. He has developed a name for his expertise in SDLT and VAT.
Yarburgh Children’s Trust v CCE (High Court); Kerr v Brown Boyd v Brown(Special Commissioners); Public & Commercial Services Union v CCE(High Court); St Paul’s Community Development Trust v CCE (High Court);PJG Developments Limited v CCE (VAT Tribunal); Messenger Leisure Developments Limited v CCE (Court of Appeal); Marshall Motor Group v HMRC (VAT Tribunal); St Helen’s School v HMRC (High Court); Telent plc v HMRC (VAT Tribunal); Northampton Theatres Trust v HMRC (VAT Tribunal); HSBC v HMRC (ECJ); Atrium Club Ltd v HMRC (VAT Tribunal).
Temple Tax Chambers also announced that David Southern will be made a QC.
Mr Southern was called to the Bar in 1982. He gained an thorough grounding of tax working for the Inland Revenue and later for Lloyds Bank before transferring to the Revenue Bar in 1997. This experience has given him a unique insight in to the approach of Government departments and the needs of commercial clients.
Recent reported cases:
Weston v Revenue & Customs  UKFTT 11 (TC)
Astra-Zeneca Uk Ltd v R & C Comrs (Case C-40/09) (European Court)
The Lawyer reported today that Sam Grodzinski, who took silk in 2011, is moving from Matrix Chambers to Blackstone Chambers. He has been with Matrix for the past 11 years.
His practice covers both public law and tax.