Tax is a core part of our work, and we have historic and extensive experience across the whole spectrum of tax litigation.

The team is led by Owain Thomas KC and Sarabjit Singh KC and members of chambers have experience in all forms of domestic tribunals from the First-tier Tribunal to the Supreme Court as well as the CJEU.

1 Crown Office Row was shortlisted for ‘Tax Set of the Year’ at the 2023 Legal 500 Bar Awards and is highly recommended for handling the entire spectrum of tax litigation.

Recent work handled by the team includes:

  • HMRC v Gray & Farrar International LLP [2023] EWCA Civ 121: Sarabjit Singh KC succeeded before Court of Appeal in VAT case on place of supply of services of a high-end matchmaking agency, which established the existence in English law of a ‘predominant element test’ when characterising single supplies.
  • Build-a-Bear UK Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2022] EWCA Civ 825: Owain Thomas KC and Paul Reynolds in customs duty case on imports of toy accessories.
  • Mainpay Ltd v HMRC [2022]: Sarabjit Singh KC was instructed as lead counsel in an appeal before Court of Appeal on whether a supply is of exempt medical care (Upper Tribunal decision at [2021] UKUT 270 (TCC)).
  • Kaplan International Colleges (UK) Ltd v HMRC: Owain Thomas KC was instructed in a VAT exemption case. This case is perhaps the last reference to the CJEU from a domestic court before Brexit.
  • R (oao Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) v HMRC [2023] UKUT 00028: Owain Thomas KC appeared for the Trust in a judicial review of HMRC’s decision to deny COS recovery.
  • Avison Young Ltd v Jackson (Valuation Officer) [2021] EWCA Civ 969: Matthew Donmall appeared in a Court of Appeal rating case concerning the powers of the Valuation Tribunal for England in a proposal for deletion.
  • Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation v HMRC [2021] EWCA Civ 910: Matthew Donmall acted for HMRC in a Court of Appeal VAT case on whether production costs are attributable to taxable catering supplies.
  • Ampleaward Ltd v HMRC [2021] EWCA Civ 1459: Natasha Barnes led Paul Reynolds in a Court of Appeal case concerning the lawfulness of the ‘fall back’ provisions relating to acquisition tax due on cross-border supplies.
  • OWD Ltd and another v HMRC  [2019] UKSC 30: Amy Mannion appeared in a case concerning the HMRC-managed Alcohol Wholesalers Registration Scheme (AWRS).

Chambers acts for both taxpayers and HMRC in cases involving VAT, customs and excise duties, landfill tax, direct tax and ratings. Chambers is unusual in that it has particular expertise in both litigation in the tax Tribunals and appellate courts, as well as a forensic specialism in all aspects of judicial review.

As one of the leading sets in public and administrative law, our tax expertise has a unique and complimentary public law parallel. Members of 1COR’s tax team are regularly instructed by both taxpayers and HMRC in judicial review challenges involving matters such as accelerated payment notices, questions of jurisdiction, enforcement and territoriality, as well as broader based public law challenges involving discrete aspects of tax administration.

We accept instructions from solicitors, accountants, corporate executives, and taxpayers alike, and a number of our team are qualified to act on a direct access basis.

Our team is highly regarded by legal directories; “1 Crown Office Row has a broad bench of practitioners able to assist clients with the full range of indirect tax law issues. They are well respected for their advocacy skills and appear in cases across all levels of the UK court system.” “The clerks at 1COR are efficient and reliable, and always such a pleasure to deal with.” Chambers & Partners 2023

“A brilliant set.  All the barristers are such good quality and so clever. The silks are first class and the juniors are excellent.” Legal 500 2023

“This set is filled with excellent barristers who are at the top of their game. The silks are of an impressive calibre and the juniors are hugely impressive.” Legal 500 2022

Who to contact:

1COR Great Legal Bake Off 2021 Cakes

Great Legal Bake Off 2021

We're thrilled to be back baking for the Great Legal Bake Off this week with members and clerks...