36 Queen Street, London, EC4R 1BN
+44 (0)20 7242 2642
How to Instruct Us

Members of Chambers can be instructed both to give tax advice and to conduct tax appeals and other tax-related litigation. We are often instructed directly by accountants, under the Licensed Access scheme, previously known as “Bar Direct”.

We appear in tax appeals argued before the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax), the Upper Tribunal, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council and, in special circumstances, in Hong Kong. We give advice on the tax aspects of a wide variety of domestic and international transactions and issues. It is our habit to discuss amongst ourselves difficult points of law arising in all these matters, and our wide experience enables us to offer the most current, accurate and practical tax advice.

For advisory work, particularly where major transactions are in contemplation, it is common to instruct a tax barrister at the early planning stages. For contentious work, a barrister may be instructed at any stage right up to a hearing before a tribunal, or the court. However, it is almost always beneficial to instruct a barrister at the early stages of correspondence: in this way, a dispute between the taxpayer and HM Revenue & Customs may often be resolved satisfactorily, without the need for protracted correspondence or a court hearing.

Like other barristers’ chambers, we are not a firm or a partnership: each member of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers has his or her own personal practice. But in more complex matters it is generally cost-effective to instruct a junior barrister along with a senior one. This is also true in litigation, where a QC (Queen’s Counsel) will commonly be assisted by a junior.

The choice of barrister for a particular matter is best made in consultation with the clerks, normally by telephone.

WHO CAN INSTRUCT US

All Members of Chambers accept instructions from solicitors and other persons regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and from other professionals (including accountants) under the Licensed Access Scheme. Some Members of Chambers also accept instructions directly from members of the public (see “Public Access” below).

FEES

Prospective clients are invited to contact the clerks for a fee quote.

Fees are normally calculated either (a) on an hourly rate, charged according to the number of hours that the barrister works, or (b) as a fixed fee for a specified tranche of work.

The amount of a fixed fee will depend primarily on (1) the seniority of the barrister, and (2) the amount of work involved.

The amount of work involved in a case depends on various factors, such as (a) the complexity of the case, (b) the volume of the papers, (c) the duration of any appearance in court or before a tribunal, (d) whether a professional client is also instructed, and (e) the division of responsibility between the barrister and any professional client.

Our quotations do not include VAT.

TIMESCALE

The clerks will always endeavour to find a suitable barrister who is able to provide the work within the requested time-scale. Please inform the clerks at the earliest possible opportunity of any relevant time-limits or deadlines.

It is not uncommon for barristers to receive instructions at short-notice, although it is always preferable to be involved from an early stage.

All members of Chambers are self-employed barristers, and there may be times where a requested barrister is unavailable. In such a case, the clerks will endeavour to find another suitable barrister, either in Chambers or elsewhere.

MONEY LAUNDERING REGULATIONS 2007 – CLIENT IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE

In accordance with guidelines issued by the Bar Council and the Revenue Bar Association, we are required to ask all UK or foreign lawyers or regulated professionals who instruct a member of Chambers to confirm in writing that they have confirmed the identity of the client in accordance with the relevant money laundering regulations.

CONTRACTUAL TERMS

a. Solicitors

All members of Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers offer their services to clients subject to and in accordance with the BSB Handbook. In the case of solicitors and other persons regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under s.18(1)(a) of the Legal Services Act 2007, members offer their services under the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2012 (updated 2018). These may be found at:

https://www.barcouncilethics.co.uk/documents/contractual-terms/

b. Licensed Access

In the case of licensed access clients (for example, accountants and certain other professionals) members of Chambers offer their services on the Licensed Access Terms of Work published by the Bar Council at

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/uploads/assets/02ba6863-21bd-4a03-88eda9d79454e619/Licensed-access-terms-of-work.pdf

In all other cases, specific terms will be agreed between the member of Chambers and the client on a case by case basis, subject always to the BSB Handbook.

c. Public Access

The Public Access Guidance for Lay Clients published by the Bar Standards Board may be found at:

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/uploads/assets/20f0db2a-a40c-4af9-95b1b9557ad748e9/Public-Access-Guidance-for-Lay-Clients.pdf

The information on ‘fees’ and ‘timescales’ set out above applies equally to public access instructions.

Our complaints procedure can be found below.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

In compliance with Part 2 of the BSB Handbook, Chambers has a complaints procedure as follows:

If a complaint cannot be resolved informally by discussion with the Senior Clerk, a professional or lay client is at liberty to make a formal complaint to the Senior Clerk who will within 28 days and after discussion with the Head of Chambers send a reply.

If the client is not satisfied with the reply or the complaint has not been dealt with in eight weeks, he or she may within take his or her complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Clients who have a right to complain to the Legal Ombudsman are individuals and, broadly speaking, small businesses and charities. The Legal Ombudsman may be contacted as follows:

Legal Ombudsman
PO Box 6806
Wolverhampton
WV1 9WJ
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333.
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk.

More information about the Legal Ombudsman is available on their website: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/.

You must complain to the Legal Ombudsman either within six years of your barrister’s actions/failure to act, or no later than three years after you should reasonably have known there were grounds to complain.

You must also complain to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving your barrister’s final response to your complaint.

The Ombudsman can extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. Chambers must therefore have regard to that timeframe when deciding whether they are able to investigate your complaint. Chambers will not therefore usually deal with complaints that fall outside of the Legal Ombudsman’s time limits.

The decision data on the Legal Ombudsman’s website lists all providers that received a decision from the Legal Ombudsman in the previous 12 months and whether the provider was required to give the consumer a remedy. The decision data may be viewed here:

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/#ombudsmandecision-data

COMPLIANCE

The BSB’s Barristers’ Register shows who has a current practising certificate and whether a barrister has any disciplinary findings. The BSB’s Barristers’ Register may be viewed here:

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers’-register/

Information about decisions made by the Legal Ombudsman is available here:

https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/raising-standards/data-and-decisions/#ombudsman-decision-data