Commercial Litigation

At JHA, we have an established team of commercial litigation lawyers and KCs, which collaborate to deliver an effective case strategy, built around the clients’ commercial objectives. Our extensive experience and expertise are complemented by an agile approach. We are often able to complete a conflict check-in less than one hour, meaning we can start work at short notice for clients with time-sensitive needs.

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Tax Disputes

JHA’s contentious tax practice brings together barristers, solicitors, chartered tax advisors and accountants. Together, we deliver a cohesive, considered and effective approach to advising and representing clients through all stages of a dispute.

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Insolvency Litigation

JHA brings its extensive contentious experience to matters of financial distress, including restructuring advice and insolvency litigation. Our experience extends to advising insolvency practitioners, creditors, debtors and committees on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency-related disputes.

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Arbitration continues to grow in popularity as a means of resolving commercial disputes quickly, effectively and confidentially. In response to this increased demand, our arbitration capability has similarly grown and, using our depth of experience and understanding of the arbitration process, we continue to guide clients in a manner to fit their commercial objectives.

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An investigation can be a daunting prospect, with the requirements of resource and time alongside the potential threats to reputation and even license to operate. We provide unrivalled strategic advice and maintain long-standing working relationships with the SFO, FCA and other foreign regulators, to achieve the best possible client outcomes.

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Costs Litigation

The overseeing and recovery of costs is a core part of every dispute.  Spiralling costs or the ability to obtain payment are major client concerns. At JHA, we make the process efficient and easy for our clients, which include in-house legal teams and other law firms.

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Art Law

JHA has deep and broad experience in advising clients across all sectors of the art market, including with respect to the sale and purchase of works of art, both privately and at auction, litigation, including disputes relating to the authenticity or ownership of works of art, the negotiation of loans using art as collateral, tax-related issues, such as VAT, and advice on insurance, risk management, intellectual property and regulatory issues. Our attorneys strive to offer practical advice based on their many decades of experience in the art market in both London and New York.

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International Protection and White Collar Criminal Defence

Our solicitors and barristers work closely with our investigators and forensic accountants to ensure that clients facing investigation and potential prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC and the Crown Prosecution Service for offences including high-value fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption have access to a multi-disciplinary team from the outset. JHA brings a wealth of experience, insight and tactical awareness to provide advice and representation extending beyond the sphere of criminal defence to private prosecutions, Unexplained Wealth Orders, the annulment of sanctions and the deletion of INTERPOL Red Notices.

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Increased Investment in Personal Tax Compliance in the UK (Published in Thought Leaders 4 Private Client)

Advances in technology and increased international fiscal co-operation have made global personal tax compliance initiatives pop up in abundance in recent years. To compound the issue, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the corresponding economic fallout prompted domestic governments to increase transparency in relation to investments held by wealthy foreign individuals (with a focus on oligarchs).

In the UK, in the context of the cost-of-living crisis, public opinion certainly seems to be in favour of increased accountability for high-net-worth individuals (eg, on 9 October 2022, 63% of Britons surveyed thought that “the rich are not paying enough and their taxes should be increased”).1

HMRC is one of the most sophisticated tax collection authorities in the world and the department is making significant investments in technology in the field of compliance work; they are well placed to take advantage of new international efforts to increase tax compliance, particularly considering the already extensive network of 130 bilateral tax treaties in the UK (the largest in the world).2 The UK was also a founding member of the OECD’s Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration (JITSIC) forum.

This article discusses the main developments in support of the increased focus on international transparency and personal tax compliance in the UK. There are other international fiscal initiatives, particularly in the field of corporate taxation, but such initiatives are beyond the scope of this article.

It should be noted that a somewhat piecemeal approach, with constant tinkering makes compliance difficult for the taxpayer and is often criticised for lacking the certainty that a stable tax system needs to thrive.

This article was first published with ThoughtLeaders4 Private Client Magazine

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Tax-Related Measures in the Autumn Statement 2022

On 17 November 2022, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiled the contents of the Autumn Budget 2022. This comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its world economic forecast on 11 October 2022. The IMF expects the British economy to grow 3.6% in 2022 and 0.3% in 2023. Other major developed economies are also expected to stagnate next year, namely Spain (1.2%), the US (1.0%), France (0.7%), Italy (-0.2%) and Germany (-0.3%).

This note focuses on tax measures included as part of that statement.

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Offshore Structures and Onward Gifts

The so-called “onward gift” tax anti-avoidance rules were introduced by the Finance Act 2018 to complement the changes brought in the previous year aimed at restricting the UK tax privileges afforded to non-UK domiciled individuals. The rules were designed to close some perceived loopholes in relation to the taxation of non-UK resident structures (including but not limited to non-UK trusts). With effect from 6 April 2018, it would no longer be possible for an individual to receive a gift without questioning its providence, particularly where family trusts are involved.    

The rules were designed to prevent non-UK structures from using non-chargeable beneficiaries as conduits through which to pass payments in order to avoid tax charges. Gone are the days of “washing out” any trust gains that could be matched to offshore income or gains by prefacing a payment to a UK-resident taxable beneficiary with a non-taxable primary payment to a non-UK resident beneficiary.  

“It is notoriously challenging to prove a negative (especially to HMRC) and even more tricky where the taxpayer must speak to someone’s intention other than their own.”

Note that the new rules will apply where funds are received from non-UK resident structures before 6 April 2018 to the extent that they are subsequently gifted after that date.

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