Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers
Gray’s Inn Tax handles the full spectrum of tax issues, having direct tax, indirect tax and private client specialists at the set. Its members handle high-profile litigation for taxpayers and the Revenue before the domestic courts and in Europe, and they are also able to take matters to trial before the Hong Kong courts. Its barristers have flourishing advisory practices, and regularly counsel a range of clients, including blue-chip corporates on highly complex tax issues.
Client service: “Absolutely fantastic. They’re flexible and nothing is too much trouble. The clerks are very, very good. Down to the receptionist it’s an incredibly friendly and excellent place,” say sources. The “fantastic” Chris Broom heads the team.
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: “Good, solid, reliable. Excellent in a fight.” “Good client handling.”
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: “Exceptional and just gives fantastic advice.”
David Goy QC
Has extensive experience of taxation of real estate transactions, and a wider practice that encompasses a variety of direct and indirect tax-related advisory and advocacy work. He is a regular in high-profile litigation and provides sage advisory counsel.
Strengths: “Good at handling clients and very good at saying no to people when they need to be told no. He is a high-quality adviser, and someone who is always on our list of people to instruct.” “One of the greats at the Tax Bar. He is a very good, solid barrister who you always get a reasoned view from.”
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.
Strengths: “She is a delight to work with. She is practical, sensible, has good judgement, and is undoubtedly going to be one of the leaders of the Tax Bar in years to come.”
Laurent Sykes QC
New 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.
Strengths: “Very thorough and diligent, and a great communicator.”
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: “I always find him really easy to work with and very on top of all the issues. He gets to the point really easily and quickly.” “He’s very good: he’s very smart, clear, sensible and responsive. He just ticks lots of boxes.”
Recent work: Acted in a judicial review brought by Bernie Ecclestone against HMRC related to the Revenue’s decision to issue assessments against him for tax and penalties totalling over £1 billion.
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: “He is very, very clever indeed.”
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.
Strengths: “He has the advantage of having been a solicitor, so he’s used to dealing with clients. He knows what it’s like to face the client and tailors his advice with that in mind.”
Recent work: Represented the taxpayer in a dispute as to whether the full carry-forward of trading losses is permitted on a trade succession in common ownership.
Tax: Indirect Tax
A specialist tax set handling domestic and international issues, and assisting the Revenue and the taxpayer. The set prides itself not only on its litigation prowess but also on its particularly high standard of advisory work. Members are specifically noted for their expertise in VAT, particularly in terms of the recovery of overpaid tax.
Client service: “They’ve been very accommodating, they’ve always tried to meet my expectations, and they’re one of my first ports of call when I come to a matter that I need assistance on.” “The clerking is very good. Everyone appreciates the pressure that solicitors are under, and are always willing to accommodate our needs on funding or other issues. They make sure the barristers are adequately prepared. You are always reassured that, when you pick up the phone to Gray’s Inn Tax Chambers, you are going to get a very good 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. Described as “brilliant” and “impressive” by market observers, she is further lauded for her charismatic advocacy.
Strengths: “I think she’s an excellent advocate, and she is very cool under pressure.” “She’s really personable, she rolls her sleeves up and works with us and the client in a very collaborative way.”
Recent work: Representing Prescription Eyewear in a case regarding VAT liability of supplies of prescription glasses by internet retailers.
David Goy QC
An extremely well-regarded silk singled out for his niche expertise in VAT issues within land and property. He is also well equipped to advise on a vast number of other areas within indirect tax.
Strengths: “He is utterly charming, delightful and very articulate.” “A well-known name on the circuit.”
Tax : Private client
Gray’s Inn’s private client work has seen its barristers represent clients in UK and Hong Kong courts. Members draw on their expertise in personal and business tax to represent both the Revenue and taxpayers, including high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs. They also frequently advise non-domiciled individuals on estate planning and residence issues.
Client service: “The clerks are absolutely fantastic. They’re flexible and nothing is too much trouble. Chris Broom is fantastic – very social and very approachable.” Chris Broom is the senior clerk.
Michael Flesch QC
An experienced practitioner adept in representing UK and non-UK domiciled clients on private client tax matters. He has strong litigation and advisory practices.
Strengths:”He is exceptional and top of the line. He just gives fantastic advice.” “He is a really wonderful private client silk. A very good, charming guy.”