George Gillham, Partner, Dispute Resolution
I practice primarily in the field of tax disputes and investigations of which I have many years' experience. I deal with both direct and indirect tax disputes. I am a solicitor but also a former fast stream civil servant, tax inspector, and policy adviser on corporation tax so I have experience of both sides of the tax 'fence'. I am also a CEDR accredited mediator.
I work across all industry sectors, and with both companies and private individuals.
Part of my practice for corporate clients involves the use of litigation techniques to avoid litigation and achieve, instead, quick and effective settlements with HMRC. I have experience of disputes around transfer pricing, controlled foreign companies, revenue v capital, capital allowances, MTIC fraud, and suspected serious tax fraud settlements under COP9, as well as settlements of multiple outstanding issues under the various corporate settlement programmes. I also advise (usually on an emergency basis) companies who find themselves subjected to dawn raids by HMRC.
As regards individuals, I advise HNWs and professionals, such as lawyers, bankers and accountants, who are either subject to or caught up in civil enquiries, COP 8, COP 9, or criminal investigations by HMRC, including advising at interviews under caution. In addition, I advise on professional negligence claims against independent financial advisers, accountants and law firms in relation to tax advice they have given.
I have deep experience of tax litigation in all UK courts and tribunals, from the First-tier Tax Tribunal through to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice (ECJ), in particular in relation to the conduct of direct tax group litigation cases, but also disputes involving VAT, customs duties and other tax imposts.
I speak at conferences and seminars in the UK and EU on cross border tax issues, on complex litigation, and on HMRC raids. I co-write (with Hartley Foster) the 'Administrative Machinery' and 'Impact of EU Law' chapters of the textbook 'Revenue Law: Principles and Practice' published annually by Bloomsbury. I occasionally post on the Fieldfisher 'Tax Deductions' Blog.
I am ranked in the "Tax: Contentious" category in Chambers (2016 onwards); a client comments in the 2017 edition: "brings a thoughtful approach to litigation; he is always thinking about clients' interests and he's very measured and effective in his approach". I am also ranked in the UK Legal 500 (2015 onwards) for 'Tax Litigation and Investigations', being described in the 2017 edition as "extremely good with HMRC negotiations". Historically I have been amongst International Tax Review's Global 'Tax Controversy Leaders' (2015) and was named by The Tax Journal as one of their "40 under 40" for 2012/13 - their pick of the best young professionals working in tax.
In my limited spare time I am usually to be found walking or reading novels.