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Commercial Litigation

Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.

Martin Heidegger

JHA's commercial litigation team is instructed on many of the world's largest and most complex cases and is led by Tom Beazley QC who has more than 30 years' experience in the field.

We have significant and industry-leading experience in most sectors of the British and international economies, with unrivalled expertise in finance-related disputes.

This experience allows us to provide our clients with a unique perspective into the litigation process and to prepare our cases with clear focus on the most persuasive arguments. This saves time and costs for our clients and provides them with the best chance of winning at trial, or of achieving beforehand.

We are often instructed in cases where we are not the primary counsel, so that we can offer a different perspective, or to facilitate the settlement of the dispute. Our clients have found this service to be invaluable.


A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.

Jean Paul Sartre

JHA's arbitrations team is involved in some of the most significant, challenging, and high-value commercial arbitrations in the world. In each case, we apply our exceptional experience and expertise to achieve consistently outstanding results for our clients.

A particular specialism is representing large corporations in significant commercial disputes or international treaty claims. We also specialise in the enforcement of arbitral awards against sovereign states.

Some of our recent international arbitration cases have included:

  • Investor-state disputes relating to sovereign debt restructuring
  • Post-mergers and acquisitions disputes
  • Investment disputes in the extractive industry
  • The worldwide enforcement of an arbitral award by a Tribunal constituted under ICC rules
  • Construction disputes involving private investors, sovereign states, and the ICC
  • Analysis of investor-state claims against sovereign states

JHA's experience and expertise in international arbitration has seen the firm engaged in high-profile and high-value cases in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Tax Disputes

Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

JHA's tax disputes team is led by six partners: Simon Whitehead, Paul Farmer, Michael Anderson, Ray McCann, Daniel Margolin QC and the leading tax silk of his generation, Graham Aaronson QC. All are supported by a strong team of in-house barristers, solicitors, and paralegals who work together with and on behalf of the client from the outset.

In keeping with JHA's philosophy, our tax team offers a direct client experience. By bringing together leading barristers and solicitors, we deliver a cohesive approach to advising and representing our clients throughout all stages of a dispute.

We can draw on experience from all areas of the domestic court and tribunal system, from the First-tier Tribunal to the Supreme Court. We have also represented clients in numerous references to the Court of Justice of the European Union and in high-value, business-critical tax disputes in foreign jurisdictions.

We are best known for acting as lead and test-case solicitors in almost all corporation tax Group Litigation Orders (GLOs), which bring together High Court claims made by multinational corporations both within and outside the UK. These claims are groundbreaking and have successfully challenged various elements of the UK's tax legislation as being contrary to EU legal principles.

We also act in a wide range of domestic tax disputes, assisting clients to resolve issues and disputes with HMRC. We regularly advise both corporations and individuals facing complex enquiries and, occasionally, criminal investigations. The firm has developed a practice of attempting to resolve tax disputes by proactive and cooperative engagement with HMRC, and has thus achieved consistently excellent results for our clients.

Our clients include household names in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, logistics, retail, and other sectors, as well as other commercial taxpayers and high-net-worth individuals.

Our tax team is already ranked in the top tiers for both tax litigation' and contentious tax' in The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.


The only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity.

Albert Camus

At JHA we pride ourselves on providing unmatched strategic advice that enables our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in their disputes or in their dealings with regulators. Essential to this success is our ability to gather facts and to analyse evidence.

Traditionally, such work is divided between lawyers in a law firm, forensic accountants in accounting firms, and other specialists. Yet, uniquely for a law firm, JHA has access to all the necessary investigative skills under the same roof.

Our London office runs an investigations team led by Adam Bates that employs experienced white-collar crime and regulatory defence lawyers, investigative lawyers, former regulators, forensic accountants, and data scientists.

We reap numerous benefits from this innovative approach: there are no turf wars' between competing firms; all members of our team are familiar with each other's methods; our investigators have immediate, unfettered access to some of the world's leading trial lawyers; and privilege is maintained over all our work papers. Our team is also at the forefront of applying cutting-edge technology to legal investigation.

In this way, we can search for and identify key documents, we can review transactional data to detect previously unseen patterns, and we can save time and money by accelerating the progress of any investigation. Then, when we report our findings, there are no tedious reports or lengthy presentations: we give clear and timely advice that allows our clients to act immediately.

With access to such experience and expertise, JHA provides rapid investigative services relating to: regulatory enquiries; suspected or actual fraud; crisis management; and concerns over current or potential employees, directors, and trading partners.

Costs Litigation

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

Oscar Wilde

JHA's Costs Team has in excess of 50 years combined experience in providing costs advice and representation, largely in relation to substantial and complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters. In keeping with JHA's commitment to providing an unrivalled cradle to grave' legal service, all members of the Costs Team are either experienced Costs Lawyers or Solicitors.

The Costs Team is led by Michael Anderson, a Partner of the firm who has considerable experience in relation to both Tax Litigation and costs related matters. He is also responsible for maintaining the firm's commitment to client care and regulatory compliance.

Other members of the team include: Darren Salliss, Brenda Kinney, David Hill and Scott Sweeney, all of whom have previously worked within commercial costs teams at major national and international law firms and at specialist legal costs firms within the City of London.

Our wide range of experience has included significant commercial litigation matters (tax litigation, shipping matters, insurance litigation, international arbitrations and substantial group litigation), as well as white-collar crime, catastrophic injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease claims. This has involved claims for costs in all courts and international tribunals.

We are able to undertake instructions on the full range of costs litigation including:

  • Bill of Costs/Schedule of Costs (including preparation of the new Precedent AB bill of costs where necessary)
  • Costs Budgets (initial preparation, negotiations and attendance at Costs and Case Management Conferences)
  • Statements of costs for interim payments
  • General advice on internal costs matters (retainers, internal costs forecasts etc.)
  • Preparation of Points of Dispute/Replies
  • Advocacy at detailed assessment
  • Solicitors Act assessments

The Costs Team is forward-thinking and innovative and our experience of large, complex commercial litigation and arbitration costs claims means we are able to deal with and produce Bills of Costs from voluminous electronic time and disbursement data proficiently. Our team of costs lawyers and solicitors have used modern methods of bill drafting for many years before J-Codes were introduced and we continue to look for new technologies that will assist us in developing our process of costs recovery.

Our costs service is also available to in-house legal departments, insurers or any other corporations who do not have in-house costs expertise and to anyone seeking costs advice and/or representation, be it with a view to claiming costs or challenging an opponent's costs claim, or with a view to challenging their solicitors' bills.

Being part of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, the Costs Team has unparalleled access to a number of senior commercial litigation Counsel and other experts (e.g. accountants; multi-linguists; investigators). This enables the Costs Team to discuss complex commercial points of law which may affect the recovery of legal costs, and where necessary, seek advice and use Counsel to provide specialist advocacy services on behalf of clients.

Please visit the Costs Litigation team blog: https://aboutlegalcosts.co.uk/