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Tax Litigation and Disputes

We know that a dispute with HMRC can be a time-consuming and costly process for clients. HMRC have extensive information powers and are increasingly scrutinising the tax affairs of corporates and private individuals. We can ease that burden. Proper advice from the outset of a tax enquiry can ensure that the flow of documents and information to HMRC is controlled (and in some cases limited), whilst also shaping HMRC’s reaction to disclosure and the overall course of an investigation.

Our expertise

Our experienced team offer a comprehensive service covering:

  • advice on the risks of potential disputes arising with HMRC and how these may be minimised, particularly as part of tax planning;
  • advice during and throughout the course of a tax enquiry, including:
    • taking over the day to day management of the enquiry and all correspondence and meetings with HMRC;
    • handling the disclosure process to manage, control, and (potentially) limit the flow of documents and information to HMRC;
    • shaping HMRC’s reaction and the course of an investigation, including using all tools available to a taxpayer to accelerate a lengthy enquiry with the use of closure notices;
  • all statutory appeals and litigation in respect of a tax assessment by HMRC and judicial review proceedings; and
  • advice in relation to any situation in which HMRC allege or infer that there are (or may be) circumstances in which an individual or corporate may have dishonestly failed to disclose the true position in relation to their tax affairs, or otherwise being engaged in any scheme or arrangement with the purpose of evading or cheating in any way the appropriate level of tax due.

Our experience

We respect the confidentiality of our work and are unable to disclose the full details of the scope, size and status of our matters but our team are experienced in:

  • advising individuals and corporates in the context of income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, VAT and stamp duty/SDLT enquiries, investigations and disputes with HMRC, including in relation to tax planning arrangements;
  • advising on statutory appeals to the First Tier Tribunal, including in respect of the disallowance of a claim for (i) input VAT in the context of MTIC fraud, and (ii) relief on interest;
  • issuing protective proceedings against HMRC for recovery of compound interest on VAT;
  • advising individuals in relation to allegations to cheat HMRC as a result of the establishment of a multi-million pound gift aid tax avoidance scheme;
  • advising in relation to allegations of a conspiracy to cheat HMRC by a group of individuals through the establishment of a complex on and off shore tax avoidance structure;
  • advising in circumstances where both individuals and corporations have through associated trading become involved in allegations associated or linked to MTIC fraud;
  • successfully advising the selling shareholders of a private company (and the target post-completion) in relation to the target’s share plans (including an employee share ownership plan, approved profit sharing plan under Schedule 9 Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and a share incentive plan under Schedule 2 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003) and making submissions to HMRC in respect of undeclared historic share liabilities;
  • acting for a former employee of a large investment bank in a case concerning an executive share incentive plan arrangement put in place by the bank;
  • acting for a private financial services group in relation to the restructuring of certain performance share arrangements for the group and advising on the tax risks arising in respect of the existing arrangements;
  • providing tax advice to an employee of a hedge fund in respect of the tax treatment of his partnership profits and the risks of certain tax planning arrangements put in place/proposed to be put in place by the hedge fund;
  • acting for a US hedge fund in relation to its partnership and remuneration structures; and
  • acting for a number of investees in film partnership arrangements.

Who should I contact?


Emma Bailey
Direct dial: +44 (0)20 7614 2560


Joanne Varia
Tax Director
Direct dial: +44 (0)20 7614 2604


  • Top Ranked Chambers UK 2014 - Leading Firm
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  • The Lawyer UK 200 - Listed Firm
  • The Law Society Excellence Awards 2012 - Shortlisted
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