Sarabjit Singh QC speaks to parliamentary cross-party group on commercial sexual exploitation - Oct 2020
Sarabjit Singh QC specialises in tax, with a particular emphasis on all forms of indirect tax and the interface between tax and public law. He is ranked as a leading silk in tax by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, and has been described in those directories as “very persuasive” and “a very compelling advocate”, whose “drafting is fantastic” and whose “performances in conference impress”. Sarabjit also specialises in public law in its own right, and frequently appears in public law and tax cases in the highest courts, including regular appearances in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Prior to becoming a silk, Sarabjit was appointed to each of the Attorney General’s A, B and C panels, and it was through his work on the panels that Sarabjit represented government departments and others in the most complex and high-profile cases in his areas of practice. His excellence in advocacy in the higher courts was recognised by his appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2018, whilst still in his thirties.
Sarabjit has appeared in some of the most heavyweight cases in tax and public law in the last few decades, as outlined in the description of his practice in each of those areas below. He continues to act both for the government in high-profile cases, being instructed by HMRC in Brexit-related litigation, and against the government in similar cases, including in a recent £300m import tax case.
Unusually for someone who practices in tax and public law, Sarabjit is regularly instructed in and thoroughly enjoys acting in more witness-focused areas of the law such as clinical negligence, where his careful and high-quality pleadings and advocacy and tactful manner with clients invariably help secure excellent settlements and trial outcomes.
Outside of his practice, Sarabjit is heavily involved in work promoting access to the Bar and retention in the profession of those from underrepresented groups. Being from an underrepresented group himself, he feels strongly that barriers to access should be broken down, and to that end he travels all over the country to speak to students from state schools to encourage them to see the Bar as an option for them. He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee, with a particular interest in ensuring the fair allocation of publicly funded work.Tax
Sarabjit accepts instructions from HMRC, taxpayers and ratepayers and has acted in numerous landmark cases over the last few years. These include successfully representing HMRC in the British Film Institute litigation on the VAT cultural exemption that went to the European Court of Justice, appearing as sole counsel in the Amoena appeal which is the only ever customs case to have gone to the House of Lords or Supreme Court, acting as lead counsel in the seminal rating case of Newbigin v Monk in the Supreme Court and appearing again for the Revenue in the Supreme Court in the major VAT case of SAE Education Ltd.
Tax & Duties
- Kishore v HMRC : Acting as lead counsel for HMRC in case due to be heard in the Court of Appeal with major implications on the correct approach to abuse of process in the tax tribunal in the context of a previous struck out appeal.
- Malca-Amit (UK) Ltd v HMRC : Appearing as sole counsel for taxpayer in appeal concerning liability to duty on significant importation of rough diamonds.
- Sporting Wholesale Ltd v HMRC : Acting as sole counsel for taxpayer in multi-pronged attack on HMRC for repeated interceptions of company’s goods for no proper reason; case involves simultaneous judicial review, human rights and statutory challenges against HMRC.
- Gray & Farrar International LLP v HMRC  UKFTT 684 (TC): Succeeded for HMRC in case on appeal to Upper Tribunal on whether the services of a high-end matchmaking agency should be subject to VAT.
- Claims Advisory Group Ltd v HMRC  UKFTT 512 (TC): Appeared successfully for HMRC in case on whether certain supplies were exempt insurance transactions; appeal to Upper Tribunal due to be heard in 2021.
- SAE Education Ltd v HMRC  UKSC 14: Appeared as sole counsel for HMRC in the Supreme Court in case about what an entity needs to show to establish that it is a college 'of' a university for the purposes of the VAT education exemption.
- Case C-592/15, Commissioners for HMRC v British Film Institute  STC 681: Successfully appeared before the Court of Justice of the European Union in case about whether Member States are permitted to choose which cultural services to exempt for the purposes of applying the cultural exemption from VAT.
- Amoena (UK) Ltd v HMRC  UKSC 41,  1 WLR 2904: Appeared as sole counsel for the Revenue in the Supreme Court in customs duty case on the meanings of 'part' and 'accessory'.
- South African Tourist Board v HMRC  UKUT 280 (TCC),  STC 2650: Succeeded in appeal on the issue of whether a tourist board owned by the South African government was making supplies of marketing services for consideration to the government.
- Vehicle Control Services Ltd v HMRC  EWCA Civ 186,  STC 892: Appeared before Court of Appeal in case on whether charges collected by a parking enforcement company were outside the scope of VAT as either damages for breach of contract or damages for trespass.
- British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions Ltd v HMRC  UKUT 130 (TCC): Successfully appeared before the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) on the issue of whether a trade association's primary purpose was political lobbying and whether it would be unjustly enriched by the repayment of output tax.
- Tui Travel PLC & Ors v HMRC  UKFTT 75 (TC): Successfully acted in claim by travel agents for repayment of approximately £150 million in VAT allegedly overpaid on commissions received from tour operators for selling package holidays.
- Checkprice (UK) Ltd (In Administration) v HMRC  EWHC 682 (Admin),  STC 1153: Acted for claimants in judicial review challenge to the actions of HMRC in detaining perishable goods without seizing or releasing them and then destroying them.
- Holland (t/a the Studio Hair Company) v HMRC  EWHC 2621 (Ch),  STC 150 & HMRC v Denyer  EWHC 2750 (Ch),  STC 633: Successfully appeared in two appeals to the Chancery Division of the High Court on the issue of whether certain supplies were supplies of land for VAT purposes.
Rating & Valuation
- Hughes (VO) v Exeter City Council  UKUT 7 (LC): Acted for the Revenue in major case on whether loss-making museums should in effect pay no non-domestic rates.
- Newbigin (VO) v SJ & J Monk (a firm)  UKSC 14,  1 WLR 851: Appeared in Supreme Court as leading counsel for the Revenue in case on rateability and valuation of non-domestic buildings undergoing reconstruction; reported below at  EWCA Civ 78,  1 WLR 4817.
- Tunnel Tech Ltd v Reeves (VO)  EWCA Civ 718: Succeeded before the Court of Appeal on the question of whether a hereditament was a ‘market garden’ for the purposes of the agricultural exemption and on the issue of whether buildings could fall within the exemption for agricultural land.
- Johnson (VO) v HB Foods Ltd  UKUT (LC) 539: Appeared before President of the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) in case about whether appeals before the Lands Chamber are heard de novo.
In public law, Sarabjit appears in first-instance judicial reviews for both claimants and public bodies and also has vast appellate experience in the Court of Appeal, having appeared there dozens of times as sole counsel. He has acted in a number of complex cases, particularly where they interact with other areas he practices in. For example, he appeared as amicus in the Court of Appeal in the AR (Pakistan) case on immigration bail powers and has had numerous successful appearances in the Court of Appeal in human rights and immigration cases, as illustrated below.
- YD (Algeria) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1683: Successfully resisted challenge by Appellant and UNHCR, brought in Court of Appeal on Refugee Convention and human rights grounds, to legality of Tribunal country guidance on the safety of Algeria for gay men.
- AL (Albania) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 950: Succeeded before the Court of Appeal in arguing the correct approach that a tribunal should take to findings made in a decision in a linked case.
- AS (Afghanistan) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 873,  1 WLR 5345: Acted in major case in the Court of Appeal, with the UNHCR intervening, on the correct approach to be taken to the reasonableness of internal relocation. See also earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in the same case at  EWCA Civ 208,  1 WLR 3065, where Sarabjit succeeded in establishing that the Upper Tribunal had statutory and inherent powers to correct errors in the reasons for its decisions.
- R (Guled) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 92: Appeared before the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the implication of an Anisminic error of law in a deportation order.
- SSHD v SM (Rwanda)  EWCA Civ 2770: Succeeded in showing before the Court of Appeal that the failure to comply with a statutory precondition to the granting of immigration bail rendered the grant invalid and of no legal effect; acting as lead counsel for SSHD in appeal to Supreme Court due to be heard in 2021.
- SSHD v Lucas  EWCA Civ 2541: Succeeded in case in the Court of Appeal about the scope of FTT bail and the consequent effect on the legality of detention.
- R (Teh) v SSHD  EWHC 1586 (Admin),  1 WLR 4327: Appeared as leading counsel for the Claimant in a judicial review claim in the Administrative Court and succeeded in arguing that a person with solely British Overseas Citizen status was stateless.
- IT (Jamaica) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 932,  1 WLR 240: Succeeded before the Court of Appeal on the question of the weight to be attached to the public interest, under the current immigration rules, when considering an appeal by a person who has already been deported against a refusal to revoke a deportation order.
- R (AR (Pakistan)) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 807,  1 WLR 255: Appeared as amicus curiae in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the issue of whether the Chief Immigration Officer had the power to vary bail conditions imposed by an immigration tribunal.
- HD (Trafficked women) Nigeria (CG)  UKUT 454 (IAC): Appeared in country guidance case before the Upper Tribunal on whether it was safe for Nigerian sex trafficking victims to be returned to Nigeria.
- OO (Gay Men) (CG)  UKUT 65 (IAC): Appeared in country guidance case on the issue of whether gay men were generally at risk of persecution in Algeria.
- Sarfraz v Disclosure and Barring Service  EWCA Civ 544,  1 WLR 4441: Appeared for claimant in Court of Appeal case on whether a right to appeal existed against a refusal of permission to appeal against the decision of a body that was not a tribunal of law.
- AA (Algeria) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1741 and Soares v SSHD  EWCA Civ 575: Succeeded in two cases before the Court of Appeal on the correct application of Article 3(2)(a) of Directive 2004/38/EC, which requires Member States to facilitate the entry and residence of “other family members” of European Union citizens.
- ZS (Jamaica) & Anor v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1639: Successfully appeared in the Court of Appeal on case about whether a non-British child’s best interests required him and his mother to be permitted to remain in the UK.
- Bah (EO (Turkey) - liability to deport) Sierra Leone  UKUT 196 (IAC): Succeeded in case before the President of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) on whether police intelligence from anonymous sources was admissible in deportation appeals.
- AAO v Entry Clearance Officer  EWCA Civ 840: Succeeded in the Court of Appeal on case about whether the positive duty on the part of the state to show respect for family life under Article 8 of the ECHR extends to the provision of financial support.
- AO (Iraq) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1637: Successful in judicial review appeal to the Court of Appeal on the question of whether enforcement action taken against Iraqi nationals was contrary to the Secretary of State's policy not to take such action against those belonging to countries which were 'active war zones'.
- MK (Algeria) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 980: Acted in judicial review appeal to the Court of Appeal on the question of the appropriate level of damages to be awarded in cases of unlawful immigration detention.
- R (MC (Algeria)) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 347: Successfully defended judicial review challenge in the Court of Appeal to the lengthy detention, after his prison sentence had expired, of a man with mental health difficulties.
- MD (Jamaica) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 213: Successfully appeared in appeals to the Court of Appeal on the issue of the correct interpretation of the 'long residence' provisions in the Immigration Rules.
- CD (Jamaica) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 768: Succeeded in appeal before the Court of Appeal on the circumstances in which the Secretary of State should be permitted to withdraw a concession.
- Sanchez v SSHD  EWHC 3233: Succeeded before Divisional Court in judicial review claim on whether returning a US citizen to the USA, where he claimed he would face a disproportionate prison sentence under California’s 'three strikes and you’re out' legislation, would breach Article 3 of the ECHR.
Sarabjit has a thriving advisory and court practice in clinical negligence, where he regularly acts for claimants, doctors and hospitals in cases involving complex medical evidence and profound and high-value injuries. His work spans all areas of clinical negligence, such as delayed diagnosis of cancer and birth injury cases and also cases raising more unusual medical issues, one example being a trial on whether the rare disease of necrotising fasciitis should have been detected earlier in an intravenous drug user.
- JM v X Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2021: Acting for hospital in complex birth injury claim.
- DG v X NHS Foundation Trust 2020: Instructed by hospital in cerebral palsy claim alleging negligent midwifery advice.
- LN v X GP 2019: Acted for claimant in case concerning alleged failure to refer earlier for investigation of potential brain tumour, which resulted in patient’s death.
- LS v X Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2019: Appearing for hospital in case involving alleged delayed diagnosis of infection that led to drastic amputation.
- CT v X Hospitals NHS Trust 2018: Acting for hospital in potentially high-value and medically complex case concerning alleged negligent fundoplication procedure.
- HN v X Hospitals NHS Trust 2018: Acting for surgeon alleged to have carried out negligent bowel operation, with difficult issues on causation and quantum.
- MS v X NHS Foundation Trust 2017: Acted for hospital in lengthy trial on issue of extent of delay in diagnosing necrotising fasciitis in an intravenous drug user; raised medically tricky issues on appropriate antibiotic medication, what ‘localising signs’ were present and what outcome would have been had disease been detected earlier.
- M v X NHS Trust 2017: Acted for hospital in spinal injury case with radically opposing expert evidence as to consequences of timely treatment.
- D v X Hospitals NHS Trust 2017: Acted for claimant in Fatal Accidents and Law Reform (MP) Act claim alleging that oesophageal cancer should have been detected earlier, which raised complex histopathology issues as to state of tumour at various earlier periods of time.
Sarabjit accepts instruction from lay clients, with particular interest in tax, public law (including immigration) and clinical negligence. For further information please visit his profile on Barrister for Me here.
Sarabjit Singh QC discusses age verification online with UK Feminista - Jul 2020
Have you read the latest AvMA Newsletter featuring Sarabjit Singh QC, Robert Kellar QC & Dominic Ruck Keene? - Jun 2020
1COR Quarterly Medical Law Review – Spring 2020 – Issue 5 - May 2020
Sarabjit Singh QC acts for Home Office in Jamaica deportation flight cases - Feb 2020
1COR hosts Sutton Trust students for an insight into life at the Bar - Oct 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC speaks at the JUSTICE Human Rights Conference 2019 - Oct 2019
Bar Council Social Mobility Advocate Sarabjit Singh QC featured in #IAmTheBar video - Jul 2019
Scope of Duty and Causation: Chester v Afshar Revisited - Jun 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC and Jo Moore successfully defend British Nationality judicial review claims - May 2019
Six members of chambers participate in Inner Temple outreach events - Apr 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC features in the latest AvMA Newsletter - Apr 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC features on SOAS Bar Society & Law Society ‘In conversation with barristers, solicitors, and dispute resolution practitioners’ Panel - Mar 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC in significant Court of Appeal case on internal relocation - Mar 2019
Sarabjit Singh QC profiled as a newly appointed silk - Dec 2018
Sarabjit Singh QC featured in The Times as part of ‘The changing face of the modern bar’ - Nov 2018
Sarabjit Singh QC to appear in Supreme Court - Oct 2018
Proud to partner with The Sutton Trust to positively impact social mobility through their extensive programmes - Oct 2018
Sarabjit Singh QC appears in Court of Appeal in significant deportation case - Oct 2018
Sarabjit Singh QC to speak on I Am The Bar panel at the Bar Council Pupillage Fair - Oct 2018
Sarabjit Singh QC interviewed as a Social Mobility Advocate for The Bar Council’s ‘I am the Bar’ - Jul 2018
Congratulate Jo Moore as the new head of Outreach at 1COR - Jul 2018
Sarah Lambert QC and Sarabjit Singh QC take silk - Feb 2018
Sarah Lambert and Sarabjit Singh appointed Queen’s Counsel - Dec 2017
1 Crown Office Row promotes access to the Bar - Jul 2017
Sarabjit Singh Succeeds on behalf of the United Kingdom in European Court of Justice - Feb 2017
Sarabjit Singh to lead Matt Donmall in landmark rating law case in Supreme Court on Monday - Nov 2016
Equality & Diversity Mini Pupillage Scheme - Oct 2016
Sarabjit Singh to represent UK in European Court of Justice - Sep 2016
Equality & Diversity Mini-Pupillage Scheme is launched - Jun 2016
Sarabjit Singh appears in the Supreme Court - Jun 2016
Sarabjit Singh wins for the Roald Dahl Museum against HMRC - May 2014
New appointments to the Attorney General’s A and C Panels - Feb 2014
Sarabjit Singh wins in Court of Appeal in EU Law case - May 2013
Sarabjit Singh wins VAT case for HMRC in Upper Tribunal - Apr 2013
New Appointments to the Attorney General’s A, B and C Panels – February 2013 - Feb 2013
New Appointments to the Attorney General’s A, B and C Panels – February 2012 - Feb 2012