Simon Whitehead was a founding partner of the firm. He has more than 36 years of litigation experience and has spent more than 23 years exclusively focusing on contentious tax, mostly in direct tax and particularly corporation tax. He represents high net worth individuals, the largest multinationals and household names in complex tax disputes in all areas of direct and indirect tax in the UK and Europe. He has represented clients at all court levels including 9 times in each of the Supreme Court and CJEU.
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.
His cases include the Marks & Spencer (group relief), Prudential (dividend taxation, the ROSIIP (pension transfers) and Autologic (jurisdiction of tax courts) cases. He has been top ranked in leading legal directories for well over a decade.
Publications include Tax Journal, EC Tax Review, Taxation, International Tax Review & others. Editor The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review (8 Eds).
Admitted as a solicitor of the Australian Federal Court and High Court
Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales
Admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales
Member of the Law Society of England and Wales
Member of the Law Society of New South Wales
University of Sydney - PhD
University of Sydney - LLB
University of Sydney - BA (first class honours)
For more than ten years, Simon has been ranked consistently top among the leading individuals for tax litigation and contentious tax by the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Legal Business 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’ (2012).
BT Pension Trustees: possible extension of remedies for breach of EU law
In BT Pension Trustees (Case C-628/15), Advocate General Wathelet challenges the established dichotomy adopted in the characterisation of claims in breach of EU law. He finds a simpler way to address a claim by an exempt taxpayer seeking a credit denied in breach of EU law than the usual distinction between a claim for the repayment of tax and the more restricted claim for damages to compensate for indirect losses. In his view, the primacy of EU law acts to remove the discriminatory provisions pure and simple.Read More
The Legal 500 Comparative Tax Guide
This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to tax laws and regulations that may occur in the United Kingdom (UK). It will cover witholding tax, transfer pricing, the OECD model, GAAR, tax disputes and an overview of the jurisdictional regulatory authorities. This Q&A is part of the global guide to Tax.Read More
FII group litigation ruling on tax on foreign sourced dividends
The First-tier Tribunal has given a detailed decision in an appeal against discovery assessments to capital gains tax that HMRC made in consequence of the Appellant's disposal of a property in Switzerland (declared via the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, the "LDF") and associated penalties. The main issue was which method should was the correct method to calculate the chargeable gain on disposal.Read More