Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers
Gray’s Inn Tax has an impressive bench of tax silks and juniors capable of handling an impressive array of advisory matters and litigation proceedings. It boasts “widespread expertise” across direct, indirect and private client tax. Members of the set represent the taxpayer and the Revenue at all levels of the domestic courts including the Supreme Court. They also have international capabilities, appearing in the European courts and acting for clients in Hong Kong.
Client service: “The clerks are always friendly and always go above and beyond. It’s a very good relationship. They are very easy-going.” Chris Broom heads the team and is described by sources as “very responsive and very sensible.”
David Goldberg QC
A hugely well-respected figure at the Tax Bar, held in high regard for his innovative arguments and technical acumen. He has incredible experience in the most complex tax cases.
Strengths: “His knowledge is encyclopaedic and absolutely fabulous. He is good at making clients feel that they have every angle covered and the client is in extremely safe hands.” “Probably the most knowledgeable of all tax barristers. A phenomenal brain.”
Michael Flesch QC
Maintains a broad litigation and advisory practice covering the whole spectrum of tax-related issues. He specialises in big-ticket corporate transactions and offshore matters.
Strengths: “A tremendous advocate.” “Extremely user-friendly and technically excellent.”
Nicola Shaw QC
An eminent QC who is experienced in representing both the taxpayer and the Revenue. She has represented clients at all levels of domestic courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court, and has also taken cases to the ECJ. She has a broad practice including both direct and indirect tax expertise.
Strengths: “Utterly fearless as an advocate and extremely knowledgeable about the law and practice in tax cases.” “Clear, practical, incisive and user-friendly. She has a robust courtroom style.”
Recent work: Acted in Travel Document Service v HMRC, a case concerning the application of the unallowable purpose rule to deemed loan relationships.
Laurent Sykes QC
Recent silk with a corporate and employment tax litigation practice, who is active predominantly on the taxpayer side. He also has a solid advisory practice that caters to a number of leading corporate clients. He is admired for his knowledge of capital gains and income tax.
Strengths: “Always provides responsive and pragmatic advice. He has a great ability to communicate with the corporate client.” “He is always keen to get the right answer and the best answer for the client. He is extremely diligent, practical and commercial.”
A highly respected junior experienced in a broad range of tax issues, who has a focus on corporate and commercial matters, including shareholder taxation and employment tax issues. He is regularly instructed in high-value litigation both for the taxpayer and for HMRC.
Strengths: “Fantastic junior. Really strong technically and very user-friendly.” “He’s able to instil really complex points and arguments into clear, simple propositions.”
Concentrates his practice on VAT and corporate tax issues, along with employee taxation and pension schemes. He is usually instructed on the taxpayer side.
Strengths: “Hugely clever with a razor-sharp mind.” “First-class intellect. Just the sort of junior you want in cases which are likely to go the full distance to the Supreme Court.”
An experienced practitioner who previously worked as a solicitor in London and a barrister in Mumbai. He carries out contentious and advisory work on behalf of corporate and private clients. He continues to practise as an Indian tax advocate alongside his UK practice.
Strengths: “Sharp, pragmatic, practical and very user-friendly.”
Recent work: Acted for a US receivables energy group on restructuring a joint venture in India.
Sought after for his advice and representation in challenging tax matters. His practice includes business tax, personal tax and indirect tax.
Strengths: “A measured advocate. He writes clearly, has a good, broad legal knowledge and is not afraid to run an ambitious point.”
Recent work: Acted for the taxpayer in Lobler v Revenue and Customs, a case regarding income tax on partial surrenders of insurance policies.
Tax: Indirect Tax
Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers offers a comprehensive range of indirect tax services, and has notable litigation and advisory expertise. The set has extensive experience of handling international mandates and is adept at acting for both the taxpayer and HMRC. The set is highlighted for its particular prowess in VAT matters and is often instructed in high-profile mandates.
Client service: The team is led by senior clerk Chris Broom.
Nicola Shaw QC
Devoting a significant portion of her broad tax practice to indirect tax instructions, she regularly represents taxpayers and HMRC in contentious matters, particularly in the area of VAT. She acts for clients at every level of court including the CJEU.
Strengths: “Technically excellent and very practical in her advice, as well as tactically astute and very convincing as an advocate in court.”
Recent work: Represented the taxpayer in Volkswagen Financial Services v HMRC, a case centred on the recovery of overhead costs in respect of hire purchase transactions.
Tax : Private client
Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers has highly regarded specialists in corporate and indirect taxes, and its members also handle private tax advisory mandates and litigation. Counsel advise on IHT planning and offshore trusts, domicile issues and tax investigations.
Client service: Chris Broom is the set’s senior clerk. One interviewee says: “I know all the clerks there very well, and they’re always friendly and go above and beyond. They’re really easy-going.”
Michael Flesch QC
Has a broad advisory and litigation practice, with expertise in corporate and private client tax matters. He often acts for non-domiciled clients.
Strengths: “He’s really on-the-ball and very much still active and at the forefront. He certainly deserves his place, because at the moment he is very much there at the cutting edge.” “He’s very good at taking into account clients’ concerns; he has that skill. The thing that I respect most about him is that he is able to span across different areas of ability. It is also nice to see that he takes his juniors’ views into account.”