Edward regularly acts for HMRC and taxpayer clients in a wide range of direct and indirect tax cases. He often acts as sole counsel in factually and legally complex high-value cases, and also has considerable experience acting in teams of counsel. Recent significant tax appeal cases on which Edward has been instructed have concerned the treatment of pharmaceutical intellectual property rights for the purposes of the intangible asset regime, “inward processing relief” from customs duty, share valuation in relation to the gift-aid rules, the VAT grouping provisions, the availability of capital allowances in respect of facilities for the processing and storage of nuclear waste, “enterprise zones”, and the loan relationship rules. Edward was also instructed on the high-profile Ingenious film finance case (which involved issues concerning what constitutes “trading”, the “view to profit” test, and generally accepted accounting practice).

Selected Cases

Corporate Tax

  • URENCO Chemplants Limited and Another v. HMRC: Led by Jonathan Bremner KC, Edward appeared for HMRC in the First-tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal, and the Court of Appeal in this case concerning the availability of capital allowances in respect of expenditure of some £192 million on facilities for processing and storing nuclear waste. Edward is also instructed for HMRC on another capital allowances case concerning a major infrastructure development.
  • HMRC v. AML Tax (UK) Limited: Edward appeared as sole counsel for the taxpayer in a three-day hearing before the First-tier Tribunal concerning whether certain arrangements were “notifiable” for the purposes of the “disclosure of tax avoidance scheme” rules.
  • Cobalt Data Centre 2 LLP and Another v. HMRC: Led by David Ewart KC, Edward acted for HMRC in this high-value litigation concerning the availability of enhanced “enterprise zone” capital allowances in respect of the construction of data centres outside Newcastle. The litigation included a claim for judicial review in respect of representations said to have been made by HMRC. The case was heard by the Upper Tribunal in two parts in 2019 and 2020, and an appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal in October 2022.
  • Ingenious Games LLP and Others v. HMRC: Working with various counsel including Jonathan Peacock KC, Richard Vallat KC, and James Rivett KC, Edward acted in this major litigation (thought to be worth in the region of £1 billion) concerning the availability of tax relief in respect of investment in film production activities.
  • Hill Catering Limited v. HMRC: Edward acted as sole counsel for the taxpayer in this case concerning appeals against VAT, income tax, and corporation tax assessments issued by HMRC on the basis that that takings from a restaurant business had been significantly underdeclared over a number of years. An important issue in the case concerned the validity of the relevant assessments.

Personal Tax

  • Nuttall and Others v. HMRC: Edward acted as sole counsel for HMRC in a case concerning claims by taxpayers for relief in respect of gifts which they made of shares to charities. As well as involving expert share valuation evidence, the litigation also involved “abuse of process” arguments arising from long delays during the relevant enquiries.
  • Naghshineh v. HMRC: Edward acted as sole counsel for the taxpayer before the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal in a case concerning the restrictions which apply to tax relief for farming losses. The case involved expert evidence and legislation which the Upper Tribunal described as “dense and difficult”.
  • Dukeries Healthcare Limited and Others v. HMRC and Others: Led by Mark Herbert KC, Edward appeared in the High Court for HMRC in resisting a claim by which the taxpayer sought to have various tax avoidance arrangements set aside on the basis of mistake.

Indirect Tax

  • ThyssenKrupp Materials (UK) Limited v. HMRC: Edward acted as sole counsel for HMRC in a six-day hearing before the First-tier Tribunal in a complex and important case concerning “inward processing relief” from customs duty (having previously acted in related judicial review proceedings). The case concerned customs duty of £2 million and related import VAT of about £6 million.
  • HSBC Electronic Data Processing (Guangdong) Limited and Others v. HMRC: Led by Hui Ling McCarthy KC, Edward is instructed for HMRC in litigation concerning the circumstances in which an entity may join a VAT group, and the scope of HMRC’s related “protection of the revenue” powers. Various novel points of law, including EU law, are involved, and the amounts at stake are in the region of £200 million.
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