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Disputes, contentious matters and ultimately litigation are risks in business that can be hard to avoid. We expect a rise in contentious activity given the economic and fiscal challenges that businesses, governments and collection authorities will be grappling with in the short to medium term. 

Many issues don’t start out as contentious but develop over time. Tackling litigation and disputes effectively requires a strong strategy, which is grounded in clear perspective and thinking on the range of outcomes and options available. We deliver that to our clients by combining our deep legal expertise with our broader business perspective and skills in non-legal areas such as forensic accounting and tax advisory. We also offer clients the benefit of legal advice privilege where appropriate. 

We specialise in supporting clients in the following areas:

  • management and settlement of disputes by way of alternative dispute resolution and litigation across all taxes: corporate and income taxes and indirect taxes
  • making or defending claims against public authorities by way of judicial review 
  • specialist advocacy services before the courts and tribunals
  • support with some niche areas of contentious work, such as trust asset protection liability and, more recently, the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme
  • supporting corporate clients with handling volume regulatory driven claims scenarios

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Legal solutions for contentious issues

When you’re faced with challenging and complex disputes, you need experienced legal support. Our lawyers help you tackle contentious issues such as tax enquiries and mass claims. We also support you in preparing for the future and mitigating the risks around disputes by putting in place contingency plans.

Corporate tax enquiries

We cover all aspects of UK corporate, international and cross-border corporate tax including: profit allocation issues (such as permanent establishment, tax residency and transfer pricing), double tax treaty matters (including mutual agreement processes) and “high-risk” corporate enquiries. We work with our extensive international network where the UK tax position may impact other jurisdictions. 

Mass claims management

Our most recent experience of high-volume claims is in automotive and financial services, often working alongside law firms handling other aspects of litigation. We manage the volume of claims using technology and optimised resource, while also dealing with technical issues such as initial claim screening, merits triage, causation and consequential loss. 

Unfair treatment by a public authority

Whether in the context of COVID-19 or otherwise, we can help you if you come into dispute with a public authority (such as HMRC). This may require using mechanisms such as judicial review to seek access to justice. We also provide access to alternative dispute resolution to seek closure or redress.

Appeals and settlements

If an issue ends up in the tribunal or court system, our teams have extensive experience of appeals to the First-tier Tax Tribunal, Upper Tax Tribunal, High Court (for public law), Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union. We have experienced advocates and a team of trained mediators with extensive experience facilitating alternative dispute resolution. 

Legal advice privilege protection

As a regulated legal practice, we offer our clients the benefit of legal advice privilege and we understand how important that protection is to you. For example, we can supervise the preparation of tax opinions to ensure such advice benefits from legal advice privilege. That gives you control on how to make appropriate disclosure of uncertain tax positions. 

Personal tax enquiries

We can help you if you’re facing a significant personal tax issue. We have experience of supporting individuals through personal tax investigations as well as residency, UK domicile and tax status challenges. 

 

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme disputes

We’ve been working extensively with our clients to help them understand and, in many cases, access support under the JRS scheme. But given the size of the scheme and the tight deadlines within which it was launched, there have been various iterations and HMRC has been open about its intention to retrospectively assess its use.
 

Indirect tax enquiries

Are you facing a challenging issue with VAT, customs duty, excise duty or any other indirect tax? Our lawyers can help you from the point of initial consideration of your technical position through to interaction with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Ultimately, if required we support you in taking the issue through the courts and tribunals.  

Dispute planning

We can help you create contingency plans to reduce the risks of finding yourself in a contentious situation – and help to ensure you’re in a better position to handle a dispute and influence a positive outcome.

Talk to our legal experts

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