11 New Square is a leading set of barristers’ chambers specializing exclusively in tax law. Our Members advise and act in relation to all aspects of tax law and in all Courts and tax tribunals in the UK as well as in several other jurisdictions.
Chambers is made up of a number of separate offices and each barrister is a self-employed individual. We are not a company or a firm, and our Members are not employees or partners. This arrangement ensures that clients receive entirely impartial and independent advice. At the heart of Chambers is the Clerks' room where instructions are received and co-ordinated. Members of Chambers may be instructed individually or as a team, so as to provide a wide range of expertise in both advisory and litigation work.
We are the oldest established set of chambers to specialize exclusively in tax law. We trace our history back to at least the 1880s when William Upjohn QC (father of the Lord of Appeal) was Head of Chambers. Subsequent Heads of Chambers include famous names from the Law Reports such as Count Otto Danckwerts KC, Malcolm Latter QC, Frank Heyworth Talbot QC and Barry Pinson QC. Other recent members of note have included Harold Major Allen QC and Lord Rees QC (formerly Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Lady Thatcher’s Government).
An examination of the landmark cases in tax law over the past 50 years demonstrates the breadth of practice and involvement of past and present Members of Chambers. Members of Chambers have been involved as advocates in such landmark cases as: Unit Construction v Bullock on the fiscal residence of companies, Clarke v Oceanic Contractors on the territorial limits of UK tax legislation, Willingale v International Commercial Bank on the computation of banking profits and the relationship between tax law and accountancy evidence, Ensign Tankers (Leasing) v Stokes on the development and application of anti-avoidance principles in the structured finance field, and the leading cases on the recovery of overpaid tax - the two Woolwich Building Society cases and Metallgesellschaft.
More recently, Members of Chambers have appeared in ground-breaking decisions as to the application in the UK of the “abuse of right” principles of EC law (Halifax Building Society, WHA and Lower Mill Estate), the application of the anti-avoidance “main purpose” test (SEMA and Prudential), the operation in the UK of the transfer pricing provisions (DSG International), the application of the UK-US Double Tax Treaty (FCE Bank, Bayfine and Anson), the operation of the rules on ‘repo’ transactions (Bank of Ireland and DCC Holdings) and one of the leading authorities on HMRC’s powers to raise discovery assessments (Lansdowne Partners Limited Partnership).