Owain represents both HMRC and taxpayers in wide range of indirect tax matters. He has experience as a leader and junior in all domestic courts and tribunals up to the Supreme Court. He has appeared in more than a dozen cases in the CJEU. His work is roughly evenly split between Crown and private work. He has experience across the full range of indirect tax cases including VAT, customs duties, excise duties, landfill tax, anti-dumping duties, and insurance premium tax.

Selected Cases

  • Build-A-Bear Workshop UK Holdings Limited v Revenue and Customs [2021] UKUT 67: Successfully resisted VAT appeal.
  • United Grand Lodge of England and Wales v HMRC (2021): acted for United Grand Lodge appeal against a ruling that it does not qualify for an exemption from VAT for its membership fees.
  • Kaplan International Colleges (UK) Ltd v HMRC: VAT exemption case which is perhaps the last reference to the CJEU from a domestic court before Brexit.
  • Case C- 276/19 Commission v United Kingdom (2020): case taken against the UK by the European Commission for failure to notify certain measures simplifying VAT on transactions in terminal markets for commodities traded in the City of London on major exchanges.
  • HMRC v Newey T/A Ocean Finance [2018]: acted for the Commissioners in Court of Appeal where an offshore structure is established to provide a VAT advantage to a business offering loans to UK consumers.
  • Volkswagen Financial Services Ltd v HMRC [2017] UKSC 26 / (Case C‑164/16): partial exemption implications of hire purchase transactions, referred from Court of Justice of the European Union back to Court of Appeal.
  • Will Woodlands v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 0578 (TC): represented a private woodland charitable trust in an appeal against HMRC’s decision to resile from a business/non business method for the recovery if input tax incurred in the running of several large woodland estates.
  • Inhealth & Another v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 289 (TC): acted for taxpayer in successful challenge to HMRC decision on joint employee services.
  • Craft Carnival [2016] UKUT 433(TCC): acted for taxpayer in case about licences to occupy land.
  • General Healthcare Group v HMRC [2016] UKUT 315 (TCC): single/multiple supply dispute relating to the provision of prostheses by private hospitals.
  • Airtours Holiday Transport Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKSC 21: Supreme Court case relating to VAT tax treatment of supplies in tripartite contracts.
  • Cooneen Watts & Stone Ltd v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 1261: availability ofmilitary end-use relief from customs duty.
  • HMRC v Pendragon [2015] UKSC 37: Supreme Court case on abuse of law concerning margin scheme for demonstrator cars.
  • Mercedes Benz v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 1211: tax treatment of hire purchase transactions.
  • Interfish Ltd v HMRC [2014] EWCA Civ 876: concerning scope of deductions from corporation tax liability of payments made partly to benefit another company.
  • Subone Limited v HMRC [2014] EWCA Civ 773: compliance of domestic law with EU principle of fiscal neutrality.
  • BAA Limited v HMRC [2013] EWCA Civ 112: deduction of input tax by holding companies.
  • Case C- 194/15 Baudinet: double taxation of profits on shares.
  • Case C- 326/11 DNB Banka: scope of relief for costs sharing groups.
  • Case C- 605/15 Aviva: scope of exemption for costs sharing groups.
  • Case C-126/14 Sveda: deduction of input tax on capital projects with a subsidy and extent of non economic use of recreational land.
  • Case C-183/13 Banco Mais: partial exemption for car leasing transactions.
  • Case C-605/12 Welmory: place of supply in cross border cases.
  • Joined Cases C-108/14 109/14 Larentia and Minerva: deduction of input tax by holding companies and scope of Member States’ discretion under the grouping provisions.
  • Case 26/12 Fiscale Eenheid PPG Holdings: deduction of input tax by employer in respect of separate pension scheme.
  • Case 594/10 Van Laarhoven.
  • Case 653/11 Newey t/a Ocean Finance –v- HMRC: abuse of law case concerning offshore loan broking structure.
  • Case 511/10 Finanzamt Hildesheim -v- BLC Baumarkt.
  • Joined Cases C-288/09 and 289/90 BSkyB -v- HMRC: customs classification of set top boxes.
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