Alison Graham-Wells


Alison Graham-Wells

Call 1992
Qualifications BA (Hons)(Warwick)
Professional Memberships The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Revenue Bar Association, The Chancery Bar Association, Northern Chancery Bar Association, Northern Commercial Bar Association, VAT Practitioners Group, Court of Protection Practitioners Association.

Expertise


Recent cases include:

  • Re: Ms M, a solicitor, shareholder and director of Limited Co – supplying legal services – Construing terms of Shareholder Agreement and Articles of Association.Re: Enforceability of Directors’ Guarantees – Pre-action advice re Enforceability of personal guarantees, conduct of Administrators in pre-pack administration, and demand for release of funds from escrow.
  • Creditor v Director Guarantors – For Director Guarantors– application to set aside, drafting defences (creditor has elected to exercise right to realise other security in addition to call on guarantees, has been negligent in realising that security and thus affected Guarantors’ subrogated rights).
  • Director/shareholder v Co – For Company: Injunction and s994 CA petition. Injunction refused, s994 CA petition to be decided if mediation fails.
  • Restraint of trade – For Claimant Doctor: Contract dispute between Doctor providing reports for insurance companies (PI) and company engaging him as a consultant. Doctor terminated contract for repudiatory breach, continued to provide reports to some of the company’s clients. Contract contained clause restraining Doctor from working in the same area and with the same clients for period of 3 months after termination of the contract, company counterclaimed for breach.
  • SOS BIS v Nadhan Singh Potiwal [2012] EWHC 3723 (Ch) Companies Court – Director Disqualification following insolvency of company. Privity of Parties and abuse of process.
  • Various instructions – professional negligence (Solicitors and Accountants), standstill agreements (dispute concerning sale of shares) etc.

Recent cases include:

  •  Re: Alternative Finance Structure – Advising Company in relation to proposed alternative funding scheme (crowd funding) to raise funds for the development of residential care homes for children and young people. Review of Security and Mortgage documents, advice as to remit of Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (specifically Collective Investment Schemes and Promotion), advice in relation to the Prospectus Directive and regulatory matters arising in relation to contractual documentation specifically consumer protection legislation including UCTA, UTCC and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • Re: Start Up Co – Advising a Start Up Co in relation to options for provision of credit, duties under current Consumer Credit Legislation and
  • “ Logbook Loan” Finance Provider – Review of draft agreements & advice re – compliance with CCA requirements for regulated agreements and unfair relationship criteria.
  • Consumer Credit Act 1974/Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 – Numerous instructions for both Creditors and Debtors in relation to regulated agreements: Enforcement, Enforceability, Extortionate Credit Bargain, Unfair Relationship, Breach of licensing provisions – ancillary credit services, Miss-selling – PPI and mortgages.

 

 

 

Recent cases include:

  •  B v Trading Standards – Contempt proceedings.
  • Dr M v Trading Standards – advice following investigations by TS into the supply and sale of tooth whitening products chair side and directly to patients by dentists. Criminal powers, PACE interviews and the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008. Advising on impact of amendments to the Cosmetics Directive, when amendments must be implemented in UK and direct effect.

 

Recent cases include:

  • Various instructions primarily in relation to financial matters but also DOLs, Office of Public Guardian and appointment of deputies.

Recent cases include:

  • HMRC v H – Advising Mr H (former footballer who had used a film scheme to mitigate tax) in relation to HMRC bankruptcy petition. Mr H had been previously made bankrupt and tax claimed to be due on failure of the scheme was accepted to be part of that debt. Petition withdrawn. Tax returns amended.
  • Mr B (Director of R Limited – in liquidation) – Advising B and LLP of which B & R are partners in relation to enquiries during the winding up of the company following movement of assets following restructuring for tax mitigation. Negotiating compromise of Liquidator’s claim against B
  • HMRC v PF – Representing PF in application to annul bankruptcy (s282(1)9a)) and subsequent defending HMRC application to set aside annulment – late application to set aside made following PF’s approach to his MP and MP’s criticism of HMRC in a Sunday paper. Advising PF in relation complaint to HMRC about conduct during bankruptcy proceedings and possible application to the Adjudicator and Parliamentary Ombudsman; representing PF in appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber).
  • Re: Mr Tax Avoidance Scheme Promoter – advice in relation to Accelerated Payments Notice and bankruptcy.
  • Re: Film Schemes and IVA – Instructions on behalf of former footballer to advise on likely exposure to tax following refusal by HMRC to grant relief to subscribers to a film scheme tax arrangement (Invicta Film Partnership).
  • Re: Appeal by Bankrupt following rejection of IVA proposal – appropriate voting rights – For Trustee in Bankruptcy: advising on status in appeal, proposed IVA detrimental to creditors interests. Attending appeal to represent Trustee’s interest. Joined to proceedings. Barrell application when Judge exceeded jurisdiction in annulling bankruptcy.
  • Re: s342A Insolvency Act 1996 – excessive contributions to pension fund – For the Trustee in Bankruptcy: 3 former Directors of a company (Tarn Insurances Services Limited) who in breach of their fiduciary duties had extracted £5.5M from the company.
  • Nicola Jane Haworth v Donna Cartmel (Trustee in Bankruptcy) (1) and HMRC (2) [2011] EWHC 36(Ch) –  For Trustee: application to annul bankruptcy on grounds of lack of capacity. C also alleged breach of Disability Discrimination Act.
  • Various instructions –  On behalf of Trustees in Bankruptcy, Debtors, Petitioners in relation to: Bankruptcy, Winding up, Annulment of bankruptcy (both limbs and costs), Income payment orders, Declaration of interests in property, Possession/sale of property, Conduct of administrators.

 

 

 

 

Recent cases include:

  • Re: Non-Resident Landlords – Advice to Local Authority in relation to its liability to account for tax payable by non-resident landlord whose property was used by LA Asylum Team.
  • Re: requests for information from local authorities by Data Analyst – Advice in relation to refusal on various grounds including s12 FOI, by 42 local authorities to supply information. Requested for purposes of business carried by client. Advice to include merits of appeal to ICO and Tribunal as well as development of strategy to ensure efficacy of future requests.

 

 

Recent cases include:

  •  A Charity – Advice as to Charity’s liability to business rates if it sub-licensed unoccupied retail units to Non-charitable Organisation.
  • Landlord v Agricultural Tenant (Farm Business Tenancy) – For Landlords (Trustees of settled estate): forfeiture and possession on breach of payment covenant.
  • Service Charges etc – For Management Companies: regularly instructed on behalf of agents for management companies in relation to disputes over imposition of service charges.

 

Recent cases include:

  • R (on the application of Mr D & 200 others) v HMRC – Application for permission to bring a JR claim against Accelerated Payment Notices issues to self-employed consultants using tax mitigation arrangement centred on offshore trusts and Double Taxation Agreements.
  • Mr Robert Huitson v HMRC – Appeal before the FTT against closure notices issued following retrospective amendment to s858 ITTOIA in 2008. Amendment aimed at closing loophole permitting use of Double Taxation Arrangements to mitigate tax liability of UK residents.
  • Re: A football club – Instructed in relation to tax enquiry and HMRC’s view that certain payments (£71M) to the majority shareholder in the club and categorised as payment for services by him through his personal services company (IR35) and other companies within his group of companies were in fact wages paid to the person
  • Re: Mr & Mrs F – Infraction Proceedings – Advising taxpayers on application to European Commission re UK’s failure to implement EU law.
  • D Ltd V HMRC – Appeal to the FTT against penalties imposed for irregular movement of excise goods imported from South Africa.
  • Re: Mr F, Alpha-Beta Trading and COP 9 investigation – Advising taxpayer on on-going basis during this investigation – in particular settlement options.
  • R (on the application of NCM 2000 Ltd) v HMRC [2015] EWHC 1342 –  Claim for repayment of VAT paid in error – Misdirection – Judicial Review – effective alternative remedy.
  • Re: O Bridge on estate of Duke X – Instructed by accountant in relation to refusal by HMRC to allow costs of works to a bridge on land occupied by a tenant farmer to be claimed as revenue/repair. HMRC classified them as capital/replacement. Assessment issued accordingly. Following representations and meeting with HMRC, assessment withdrawn
  • C- Centre of Independent Living v HMRC – Appeal to FTT. VAT liability of payroll services provided to people with disabilities who receive direct payments from the Government to pay for own care. Social Exemption for such services claimed.
  • Various Instructions – to advise and represent tax payers in relation to direct and indirect tax matters, those subject to HMRC investigations and in appeals to the First Tier and Upper Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and beyond.

Recommendations

  • “She is good at explaining things. She has a very commercial mind and is able to identify complex issues and put forward pragmatic solutions.” Chambers UK, Tax (2018)
  • “Alison has a broad commercial chancery practice and noteworthy experience of handling tax-related litigation. Her recent cases include acting for private clients on matters pertaining to inheritance tax, tax avoidance schemes and VAT returns. ‘She is a very tenacious and skilled courtroom advocate.’ ” Chambers UK, Tax (2017)
  • “Alison is highly experienced at handling tax litigation, and is especially well known for her work in probate, chancery, excise and environmental tax cases. She is frequently instructed on behalf of private clients in cases against HMRC. ‘She’s extremely knowledgeable, very approachable and has an excellent bedside manner.’ ” Chambers UK, Tax (2016)

Practice Overview

Alison is a commercial and chancery barrister specialising in taxation. She also has a substantial administrative / public law and insolvency practice – especially where there is a tax ‘twist’. Her practice also extends to consumer credit / protection and Court of Protection Matters. Alison aims to find workable, cost effective solutions to achieve her clients’ objectives. She accepts instructions from Solicitors, Licensed Access practitioners (contentious and non-contentious matters) and is licensed by the Bar Standards Board to accept Public Access instructions from members of the public in appropriate cases.

Alison also undertakes work for the Bar Pro Bono Unit as time allows

Alison has been recommended as a leading junior in Chambers UK and Legal 500.

“She is good at explaining things. She has a very commercial mind and is able to identify complex issues and put forward pragmatic solutions.” Chambers UK, Tax (2018)

“Alison has noteworthy experience of handling tax-related litigation. Her recent cases include acting for private clients on matters pertaining to inheritance tax, tax avoidance schemes and VAT returns. ‘She is a very tenacious and skilled courtroom advocate.’ ” Chambers UK, Tax (2017)

“Alison is highly experienced at handling tax litigation, and is especially well known for her work in probate, chancery, excise and environmental tax cases. She is frequently instructed on behalf of private clients in cases against HMRC. ‘She’s extremely knowledgeable, very approachable and has an excellent bedside manner.’ ” Chambers UK, Tax (2016)