Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers
“A set with a great pedigree and an in-depth knowledge of tax law,” whose members handle tax cases of every conceivable type. The barristers here are noted for offering comprehensive ongoing advice to clients with a view to avoiding litigation, but they are also amongst the first to be called upon when important cases reach court. Individuals have appeared in landmark matters in the Supreme Court and before the European courts, and have also tackled cases in Hong Kong. They act for both HMRC and the taxpayer. Client service: “The clerks are good; they’re agreeable on fees and good on the commercial side of things. Chris Broom, the senior clerk, is fantastic.”
Michael Flesch QC – A leading tax silk who is particularly noted for his work on the taxation aspects of significant corporate transactions. He works on both litigious and advisory matters. Strengths: “He is exceptional. He is particularly good where it comes to difficult structured finance arrangements.”
David Goldberg QC – A titan of the Tax Bar who is renowned for the fact that “he comes up with an angle and argument that no one else has thought of.” He is highly skilled at handling a broad array of tax matters, and is particularly good on the technical aspects of tax law. Strengths: “One of the brightest barristers around. He is very sharp minded and superb in court.”
David Goy QC – Boasts a wide range of skills and experience across the spectrum of tax matters. He appears in courts at all levels and is well versed in a variety of advisory and litigation work concerning both direct and indirect tax. Strengths: “A terrific advocate who is incredibly fluent when on his feet.”
Nicola Shaw QC – An exceptional corporate and indirect tax litigator, who acts for both taxpayers and HMRC. She regularly appears in the Tax Tribunal, Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the CJEU. Strengths: “Excellent and very knowledgeable on the law.”
Conrad McDonnell – A highly regarded junior who is appreciated not just for his impressive intellect but also for his approachable and straightforward manner when dealing with clients. Strengths: “He is a joy to work with and very unassuming. He knows the law so well and his advice is easy to understand and client-friendly.”
Laurent Sykes – A former solicitor in the tax department of a City law firm and a qualified chartered accountant. He is in expert in employment, corporation and business tax, and is particularly strong on capital gains and income tax. Strengths: “Has a great commercial head and knows what is realistically achievable.”
Nikhil Mehta – Able to draw upon extensive experience as a tax advocate in Mumbai, giving him unique expertise in handling cases with Indian elements. He is praised by sources for his skill in major restructuring projects. Strengths: “He is flexible, knows what sort of answer we need and comes up with some very good ideas.”
Tax: Indirect Tax
A dedicated tax set with a very strong reputation for excellence in litigation relating to indirect tax matters of all stripes. Members act for the taxpayer, HMRC, companies and individuals in matters at home and abroad. Their commercial and non-contentious instructions are also carried out with exemplary quality. Client service: ”Very accommodating, helpful, pleasant and well-organised clerks.” Chris Broom is the senior clerk at the set.
Nicola Shaw QC – Long recognised as one of the brightest minds at the Tax Bar, she is commended for her practical and commercial approach to instructions. She is much sought after for judicial review claims and also her advice on questions of tax exemption with regard to internet-based businesses. Strengths: “An excellent, no-nonsense advocate – decisive and a very clear thinker.” “Has a good litigator’s instincts.” Recent work: Successful representation of Secret Hotels2 in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the agency status of internet-based hotel databases.
David Goy QC – A celebrated tax law expert who advises extensively on indirect tax issues. As co-author of a key text on the discipline, he can be said to have literally written the book on VAT and property. Strengths: “Offers different and insightful perspectives on matters.” “A terrific advocate who is incredibly fluent on his feet.”
Conrad McDonnell – Much in demand for his superlative knowledge and substantial experience in matters relating to VAT, pension schemes and stamp duty. He tends to represent taxpayers rather than the Revenue. Strengths: “A joy to work with – very unassuming but one of the smartest people around.”
Tax: Private Client
A set with “more than its fair share of tax heavyweights,” that continues to advise widely on private client matters, particularly on residence issues and estate planning for non-domiciled individuals. Its members regularly represent ultra-high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs drawing on a combination of strong skills in business and personal tax. Client service:“They are very good and very client friendly, giving us real confidence in them.” The senior clerk is Chris Broom.
Michael Flesch QC – Highly regarded for his long service at the Tax Bar, he operates equally in an advisory or litigious capacity and maintains an extremely strong private client practice which sees him regularly counselling non-domiciled individuals. Strengths: “A very good advocate who has a very wide practice which he has kept up. He is very cool and calm and definitely the private client man of the set.”