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.

Our experience as a commercial litigation set, together with relevant Chancery, offshore, and corporate litigation expertise enables us to assist 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 in government panel litigation, for many years.

Our work in large tax avoidance and transfer pricing cases on behalf of HMRC, in cases such as Re AstraZeneca plc v HMRC and Reed Employment v HMRC, demonstrates 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.

Fountain Court members 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.

We have 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

  • Investors in the Scotts Atlantic Film Finance Scheme v Andrew Thornhill QC: Acting for over 100 investors who allege they were negligently advised by a barrister that investing into a film scheme would successfully allow them to mitigate tax liabilities.
  • Rowe & Ors v Ingenious Media Holdings plc & Ors: Acting for various parties in relation to claims concerning advice given regarding investments in the Ingenious film partnerships.
  • Red White & Green v HMRC: Acting in this IR35 dispute involving Eamonn Holmes and ITV.
  • Wired Orthodontics v HMRC: 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: Acting in this IR35 dispute in the Upper Tribunal decision in the context of TV broadcasting.
  • Reed Employment v HMRC: Acting in this dispute regarding tax avoidance, relating to a home-to-work travel expenses scheme for temporary employees.
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Tax Barristers

Richard Coleman QC

Richard Coleman KC

Call 1994 | Silk 2012

Stuart Ritchie QC

Stuart Ritchie KC

Call 1995 | Silk 2012

Adam Tolley QC

Adam Tolley KC

Call 1994 | Silk 2014

Clare Sibson KC

Call 1997 | Silk 2016

John Mehrzad KC

Call 2005 | Silk 2020

Ian Simester

Call 2022

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Contact our clerks

For more information on our experience or to discuss a particular case, please contact us.

Call:    +44 (0)207 583 3335

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