Simon Whitehead
Partner

Simon Whitehead Partner

Simon Whitehead has thirty years‘ of litigation experience, practising in London since 1991 and prior to that in Australia. For over fifteen years he has practised exclusively in the area of contentious tax disputes, mostly in direct tax, particularly corporation tax. Simon has been selected as the lead and test-case solicitor in most group litigation orders in the Chancery Division of the High Court, in which multinational company groups challenge the lawfulness of various UK corporate tax imposts. He established the first ever Group Litigation Order in the Administrative Court which successfully challenged HMRC’s practice in assessing the tax transfer of pension savings to foreign pension funds. He also represents numerous high-net-worth individuals in their UK tax investigations and disputes.

His cases include the ground breaking Marks & Spencer case on the availability of group relief for cross border losses. He has represented tax payers at every court level including six times in the Supreme Court/House of Lords and seven times before the European Court of Justice. In 2016, his cases included successes in the Court of Appeal in the CFC & Dividend Group Litigation and the FII Group Litigation.

Recommendations

For over ten years, Simon has been ranked consistently top among the leading individuals for tax litigation and contentious tax by The Legal 500 and the Chambers UK Directory. The directories have praised his “amazing ability to manage the most complex litigation” (Chambers, 2009) and “natural litigation prowess” (Chambers, 2010), while Legal Business (March 2012) has described Simon as “the go-to guy if you want a no-nonsense approach to success” and “the first person any company should think about in tax litigation”. Other recommendations include:

Legal Business “Fantasy Law Firm – Head of Tax”, March 2012

Ranked as a “leading individual” for corporate tax, Legal 500, 2009 edition

Winner “ECJ Award 2008”, International Tax Review European Awards, 2008

Winner “Tax Team of the Year”, Legal Business Awards, 2006

Winner “Editor’s Award”, International Tax Review European Awards, 2006

One of the world’s leading 250 tax advisors, Legal 500, 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions

Leading tax lawyer, PLC Tax on Transactions Multi-Jurisdiction Guide, April 2012

“Excellent grasp of the subject”, Legal 500, 2011 edition “hailed by clients and barristers as “Excellent, with an amazing ability to manage the most complex litigation”. His “responsiveness, clarity and hard work”have made him popular with claimants whilst his “unmatched knowledge and experience” enable him to retain a pre-eminent role on large GLOs” Chambers UK Directory, 2009 edition

“natural litigation prowess…extremely user-friendly and has superb technical command of the area” Chambers UK Directory, 2010 edition

“an expert with regard to EU law and the impact of European legal principles on domestic tax issues” Chambers UK Directory, 2011 edition

“excellent client relationship partner and technician” Legal 500, 2010 edition

“deemed one of the “gurus of the industry” by commentators” Chambers UK Directory, 2010 edition

“One of the most important people in UK corporate tax” Accountancy Age, January 2007

Head of the Team “Highly Commended for Legal Expertise” in Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Report, 29 June 2006

Finalist “Best Tax Team in Law Firm” Lexis Nexis Awards 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006

Finalist “Tax Team of the Year” Legal Business Awards 2007 Lawyer of the Week, Times, January 2006

Finalist “Litigation Team of the Year 2005”, The Lawyer Awards

No. 6 in the “Top 50 Financial Power List 2007”, Accountancy Age

The Tax Business “50 Most Influential Figures in the Tax World”, 2004 and 2006

“Hot 100 Lawyers”, The Lawyer, 2004

Lawyer of the Month, Times, April 2002

Admissions and Affiliations

Solicitor of the Australian Federal Court and the Australian High Court

Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales

Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Member of the Law Society of England and Wales

Member of the Law Society of New South Wales

Education

University of Sydney, BA (1984) BA, 1st Class Honours

University of Sydney (1987), LLB

University of Sydney (1993) PhD