Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Tax

Members of Fountain Court Chambers maintain their tax practices alongside the set’s existing corporate, insolvency, employment and restructuring offerings, whilst also leveraging their top-tier banking and finance experience.

The set brings all its experience as a commercial litigation set, together with relevant Chancery, offshore, and corporate litigation expertise to bear in assisting on tax avoidance and transfer pricing cases. Our work is informed by our familiarity in the handling of the mechanics of large-scale, factually and legally complex litigation.

Members have represented Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs at junior and senior levels, including some having acted in government panel litigation for over five years or more.

Our work in large tax avoidance and transfer pricing cases on behalf of HMRC, in cases like Re AstraZeneca plc v HMRC and Reed Employment v HMRC showed our ability to manage legally and factually complex areas of tax litigation with lengthy time estimates and extensive case management.  Recent tax avoidance matters include ‘gold bullion’ schemes and umbrella employment.  Members are also used to dealing with the overlap between tax and employment litigation, illustrated by their work in IR35 cases involving TV presenters such as Adrian Chiles, and Eamonn Holmes and employment status cases involving high-profile individuals such as Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The set acted in one of the first transfer pricing case to be litigated before the (then) Special Commissioners in DSG Retail v HMRC (2009), as well as at all stages of the Re Paycheck Services Ltd; HMRC v Holland (2009) litigation, which is the leading authority on the question of de facto directors and the use of corporate directors in tax avoidance schemes.

It has also acted in substantial carousel VAT fraud cases and cases concerning film finance schemes.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Corporate tax
  • Personal tax
  • VAT / indirect tax
  • Tax avoidance schemes – including film finance arrangements
  • Transfer pricing
  • Fraud
  • Negligence claims relating to tax advice (also see here)


NOTABLE CASES

  • Red White & Green v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 109: Acting in this IR35 dispute involving Eamonn Holmes and ITV.
  • Wired Orthodontics v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 290: Acting in this dispute regarding tax avoidance, relating to a gold bullion scheme and an employee benefit trust. The matter involved issues of without prejudice privilege and legal professional privilege.
  • Christa Ackroyd Media v HMRC [2019] STC 2222: Acting in this IR35 dispute in the Upper Tribunal decision in the context of TV broadcasting.
  • Reed Employment v HMRC [2015] STC 2518: Acting in this dispute regarding tax avoidance, relating to a home-to-work travel expenses scheme for temporary employees.