Our Tax barristers offer heavyweight advocacy experience alongside technical knowledge and expertise, advising and representing both business and personal clients on direct and indirect taxation. We advise on tax and duty appeals, and represent taxpayers and HMRC on issues arising out of HMRC assessments on unpaid tax or duty, including challenging any adverse decisions made by HMRC.

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 the Tax Tribunal and Courts on contentious tax matters, as well as non-contentious advice within our core areas.

All of our tax barristers are recommended in both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 directories, reinforcing St John’s Chambers’ position for expertise in taxation disputes outside of London.

We are 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 Tax 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

Public Access

Some members of the team are also available to act, where appropriate, for members of the public, as well as for commercial and non-commercial organisations, under the Public Access scheme. Read more.


The team delivers workshops and seminars in Chambers and regional centres. We also provide training on behalf of local Law Societies and in conjunction with solicitors’ firms. In addition we can give tailored in-house training for particular firms. If you would like any further information please contact Simon Lyons on 0117 923 4696 or email: [email protected].

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