Tax Advisory & Dispute Resolution


Our tax advisory and dispute resolution team consists of barristers who have extensive experience in tax disputes, litigation and advisory work. We offer heavy-weight advocacy experience alongside technical knowledge and expertise.

In the current edition of Chambers UK we have two out of only three barristers recommended outside London for Tax litigation. George Rowell and Alison Graham-Wells are listed as leading individuals under Band 1 reinforcing St John’s Chambers’ position for expertise  in taxation disputes outside of London.

The team’s core areas of expertise are private client IHT and CGT, VAT, employment-related taxes, corporation tax, tax penalties, and property-related taxes.

The team offers advice and assistance with the negotiation and settlement of HMRC enquiries and representation before all tribunals and courts on contentious tax matters, as well as non-contentious advice within our core areas.

The team is part of Chambers’ highly-rated Commercial & Chancery Practice Group. We are therefore well-placed to act in commercial and chancery disputes with a tax dimension and have a particular expertise in tax-related professional negligence cases.

Dispute Resolution 

With HMRC taking an increasingly aggressive approach to compliance and enforcement, it is vital to have specialist assistance available throughout any enquiry or dispute. The team offers a complete dispute resolution service to solicitors, accountants, CTAs and other tax professionals:-

  • full advice on merits, so that a cost-effective strategy for resolving the dispute can be planned;
  • drafting letters to HMRC to put the client’s case as persuasively as possible;
  • negotiating terms of settlement, including the level of any penalty;
  • drafting the notice of appeal, witness statements and skeleton argument if an appeal is necessary;
  • expert advocacy at all Tribunal and Court hearings.

Professional clients who do not specialise in litigation can use us as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to minimise the overall cost of resolving the dispute.

Advisory Work

The team offers expert advice on tax issues in non-contentious cases. We are regularly asked to advise upon matters such as:

  • posthumous variations and disclaimers for IHT purposes;
  • IHT reliefs on agricultural and business property;
  • tax aspects of commercial transactions;
  • tax liability upon termination of employment;
  • VAT registration requirements and option to tax.

Our tax advisory work complements the rest of the work of Chambers’ Commercial & Chancery Group. We can offer advice on the tax and non-tax aspects of a chancery or commercial case, so as to achieve the best overall solution for the client.

Direct Instruction by Professional Clients

Under the Bar Council’s Licensed Access Scheme we can be instructed by members of the following professional bodies without the need for a solicitor as intermediary:

  • Association of Authorised Public Accountants
  • Association of Taxation Technicians
  • Chartered Association of Certified Accountants
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation
  • Insolvency Practitioners Association
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • Institute of Financial Accountants
  • Institute of Indirect Taxation
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Terms and conditions of the Licensed Access Scheme are available on the Bar Council’s website.

Our team regularly delivers lectures to solicitors and other professionals on recent developments in the law and practice. If you are interested in arranging a lecture then please contact our clerks.

Members