Together with fellow partner Andy Brown, I co-founded the Tax Disputes Team at Bird & Bird in 2017. Since then, I have helped guide clients through a wide range of tax related enquiries, investigations and court/tribunal proceedings.

I have been at the forefront of VAT and Excise duty fraud investigation and litigation for over a decade, having been involved in many of the leading tax cases in this area. I also played a key role in the corporate investigations that arose from the carbon credit 'missing trader' frauds from 2009.

The forensic investigation of tax errors continues to be an important part of my practice – clients instruct me because I know what HMRC are looking for in a disclosure and how to find it. The prevailing penalty regime in the UK requires those making a disclosure to explain the reasons for that error, and penalties can be reduced depending on the timing and quality of the disclosure. The ability to quickly find evidence is therefore central to what I do.

Long standing experience acting for clients facing some of the most challenging HMRC interventions means that I am well placed to deal with cases that might have criminal implications, and have acted for clients subject to criminal investigation and prosecution in the Magistrates' and Crown Courts. With tax related criminal investigations becomingly increasingly common, I am able to combine my tax and criminal law practice to look beyond the procedural issues arising in any criminal investigation and/or prosecution and consider whether HMRC's technical analysis is correct and identify opportunities to raise challenges of HMRC behaviours.

In that regard, I regularly advise clients who are concerned that HMRC may be trying to exceed or have exceeded their powers to gather information and data from both taxpayers and those that hold their data.

In addition, I have a highly specialist contentious excise duty practice, including working with bonded warehouses and alcohol producers who face heavy handed action from HMRC, as well as niche expertise in the gambling sector. I also assist clients with contentious trade and customs work, in particular where HMRC are seeking the post clearance recovery of import VAT and/or customs duty.

  • Acting for a US tech firm in order to investigate a VAT error for the purpose of making submissions to HMRC on the applicable behaviour-based penalty that should be applied.
  • Acting for a Personal Services Company Provider seeking judicial review of HMRC's refusal to destroy work product derived from material obtained by HMRC from the taxpayer pursuant to invalid Information Notices.
  • Assisting clients to develop reasonable procedures to prevent their representatives from facilitating the evasion of tax (thereby providing a defence to the UK's strict liability criminal offences for corporates within Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017).
  • Acting for a bonded warehouse to which HMRC have issued a number of Excise duty assessments and related penalties (totalling in excess of £5m) and have revoked their bonded warehouse approvals due to alleged Excise duty compliance failings.
  • Advising a multi-national precious metals business on the VAT implications of its business model.
  • Acting for a family who run a number of inter-related family businesses, one of which HMRC have alleged has been used to cheat the public revenue and the resultant proceeds (amounting to more than £8million) laundered through the other businesses.
Education
  • University College London, University of London, BSc & MSc, Life Sciences
Admissions
  • Law Society of England & Wales in 2009