Our global tax litigation team has impressive breadth and considerable experience in advising on the full range of tax-related disputes throughout the world. With expertise across Europe, Australia, Canada, Africa and Latin America, we handle both domestic and cross-border litigation for a number of prominent financial institutions and corporations.
Working in close co-operation with our asset finance and litigation and dispute resolution lawyers, as well as with specialists across our key industry sectors, we can provide a full-service approach to every dispute. Clients will also benefit from our in-depth commercial and legal knowledge of their industry, particularly: financial institutions; energy; transport; technology and innovation; and pharmaceuticals and life sciences.
- Extensive experience in audits and investigations carried out by tax authorities around the world.
- Expertise in handling tax-based litigation of all types and at all levels; you will find us to be flexible, robust and determined on your behalf.
- Industry specialisation, enabling us to provide the additional benefit to clients of a thorough understanding of the industry sector and commercial context of the relevant facts and law; this strengthens our ability to negotiate intelligently, and if resolution is not achieved, enables us to judge the most effective and appropriate litigation strategy.
Our areas of work include:
- alternative dispute resolution of tax matters
- judicial review
- mainstream litigation
- risk management (including on tax structured transactions)
- settlement with tax authorities
- tax audits and investigations.
Our recent work:
- Advising the taxpayer, a special purpose leasing company within the Lloyds Banking Group, and winning at the first instance hearing in the First-tier Tribunal. This was the first taxpayer victory in a “main purpose” case for over 30 years and the case will have an impact across the wider tax world, as there are very few decisions on the application of “main purpose” tests.
- Advising HSBC in litigation concerning the compatibility of the UK's SDRT regime for American depositary receipts (ADR) with EU law. This case has led not only to significant repayments for HSBC but also a number of corporate taxpayers. HMRC have also had to change their interpretation of the law to comply with the Judgment.
- Representing Bombardier Inc, as lead counsel before four different jurisdictions in first instances and in appeals in cases involving capital tax issues for 16 taxation years.
- Representing Hydro-Québec, as lead counsel before the Tax Court of Canada in a case involving the determination of whether the entire network equipment of Hydro-Québec was exempt from federal sales tax as well as pension plan issues.
- Representing the Revenue Authority in South Africa in complex litigation regarding the investment structuring utilised by a high net worth individual.
- Advising several clients in their German tax audits relating to the defence of their transfer pricing system (e.g. THQ Entertainment GmbH, the German subsidiary of a US hearing aid producer, the German subsidiary of a US musical instruments producer).
- Advising a highly reputable EU based multinational technology company in tax litigation before the German Federal Fiscal Court relating to the abuse of organizational structures (outsourcing, permanent establishment, general anti avoidance rule). We represented the same client before in the Local Tax Court proceedings.
- Representing Eurowatt, a French developer in the renewable energy sector, in litigation regarding the constitutionality of the IFER (flat tax on the network industries) before the French Supreme Court.
- Advising NRJ Mobil (now Euro-Information Telecom), a French telecom operator, in the litigation on the compatibility with EU law of the tax on operators of electronic communications.
- Advising and representing ExxonMobil Oil Inc in a tax dispute against Indonesia’s Directorate General of Taxation in an alleged payment shortfall from a payment of tribute deriving from the acquisition of an oil block from Asamera Oil Co (now ConocoPhillips).
- Acted for Melbourne Water in proceedings to determine whether a charge was properly characterised as a fee for service or a tax and on the legal implications of such characterisation.