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Tax Disputes and Investigations

Fieldfisher's Tax Disputes and Investigations team has a considerable reputation in, and many years experience of, tax litigation and investigations. It is a leader in its field, advising in respect of all taxes and duties.

Notable Cases and Work

Reported cases are the tip of the iceberg of our experience. Recent examples include:

  • Autogas (Europe) Ltd v Ochocki [2018] 9 WLUK 72. Successful defence of a multi-million £ claim brought by a liquidator that alleged knowing assistance in a VAT fraud that was committed against HMRC. 
  • R, on the application of Vacation Rentals (UK) Limited v HM Revenue and Customs [2019] STC 251. Successful judicial review that prescribes the parameters of when taxpayers can rely on HMRC's published guidance.
  • The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Desmond Higgins  [2019] STC 2312. The team acted for Mr. Higgins at the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal, resulting in his succeeding in his claim for Principal Private Residence Relief. The decision clarifies that the relief is available for the period between exchange and completion.
  • The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Invamed Group Limited and Others (C-198/15). Representative group litigation on behalf of a consortium of mobility scooter companies that is developing customs duty law in this area across the EU. The CJEU's decision in the group's favour was released in May 2016. The Court of Appeal hearing is listed for January 2020.

Most of our matters are settled without recourse to the courts and remain confidential. Recent examples of such work, and current matters, include:

  • Settlement of a claim against a US law firm for fraudulent misrepresentation in respect of a tax geared investment structure
  • Appeals against HMRC's imposition of tax charges in respect of "tax avoidance schemes"
  • Advising in respect of Accelerated Payment Notices and Follower Notices
  • Development of a virtual LLP concept that is enabling well over 1,000 investors in film structures to participate in representative appeals to the First-tier Tribunal
  • Advising businesses and individuals in relation to IR35
  • Advising SRA and FCA regulated individuals in relation to COP8 and COP9 investigations into their personal tax affairs
  • Advising on and conducting tax-related professional negligence claims
  • Assisting businesses during HMRC searches under warrant at their offices.
  • Assisting (including at interviews under caution) individuals who have been accused of cheating the public revenue