We have decades of experience of tax disputes, across the whole of the tax system; for clients from FTSE 100 companies to private individuals; for disputes involving multiple billions down to disputes over tens of thousands; and for all types of disputes, from disputes about international corporate or private structuring, to 'traditional' civil enquiries, to HMRC 'raids' and interviews under caution.
We settle – often on extremely advantageous terms – the vast majority of the disputes we are instructed on. Where settlement is not possible, we litigate, and have successful experience of doing so at all levels, from the First-tier Tribunal to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
We advise individuals and companies of all sizes on disclosures to HMRC in circumstances where there is an ongoing HMRC enquiry, including under Code of Practice 8 and Code of Practice 9, and in making disclosures under the various disclosure facilities.
We advise, alongside accountancy firms of all sizes, on civil settlements with HMRC, and represent regulated individuals in interviews under caution conducted by HMRC – both where the individual has been arrested and where they have not.
We conduct representative litigation before the tax tribunals in respect of investments that HMRC argues to be tax avoidance schemes.
We have considerable experience of cross-border tax issues. We advise companies and individuals in continental EU Member States on UK tax law and cross-border litigation and settlement strategies. We advise in English, French, and German. In addition, through our network of European offices, Fieldfisher advises clients around Europe on Belgian, French, Luxembourgeois, and Italian tax law.
Notable deals / highlights
Most of our matters are settled without recourse to any open forum, and thus remain confidential. However, the following indicate the breadth of the recent experience of our tax disputes partners:
- Conducting group litigation against HMRC's attempts to impose customs duty on the importation of mobility scooters into the UK
- Conducting representative appeals against HMRC's imposition of charges to tax in circumstances where HMRC allege that a series of transactions amount to a failed 'tax avoidance scheme'
- Advising SRA and FCA regulated individuals in relation to COP8 and COP9 investigations into their personal tax affairs
- Advising on and conducting civil claims for tax-related fraud and/or professional negligence against lawyers, accountants and independent financial advisers
- Assisting businesses during HMRC search and uplift operations under warrant at their offices .
- Assisting (including at interviews under caution) individuals who had been arrested on suspicion of cheating the public revenue and whom the CPS proposed to charge
- Representing, in civil proceedings against them by a liquidator, individuals who had been accused of involvement in VAT fraud