Hugh Gunson, Legal Director
Hugh specialises in disputes and investigations across all areas of tax, both direct and indirect, for clients including individuals, trustees, family businesses and corporates. His practice also includes tax-related commercial and trust disputes, including claims for mistake and rectification and tax-related professional negligence.
Hugh specialises in tax disputes and investigations. His clients include internationally mobile high net worth clients and other private individuals, family businesses, trustees, entrepreneurs and corporates, both small and large. His practice covers the full range of UK taxes, both direct and indirect; including income tax, CGT, inheritance tax, SDLT, corporation tax and VAT.
Hugh has experience of litigating tax cases at all levels, from the specialist tax tribunals through to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
A significant element of Hugh’s practice involves remedying unsuccessful planning (often involving complex trust arrangements), including by way of claims for mistake and rectification in both the UK and offshore jurisdictions. He also acts on tax-related professional negligence disputes and other trust and commercial disputes with a tax angle.
Hugh is a regular conference speaker and frequently writes in a number of tax and trust related publications, such as Tax Journal and Trusts and Trustees. He is a contributor to the most recent edition of Clarke's Offshore Tax Planning and the upcoming edition of Trust Taxation and Estate Planning.
Hugh is a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings). Prior to joining Charles Russell Speechlys, he spent over six years in the tax department of a magic circle law firm and a year as a barrister at Pump Court Tax Chambers.
Hugh is admitted to practise in England and Wales.
- Film scheme litigation: acting for the taxpayer in Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP v HMRC, in appeals at the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal and oral permission hearing at the Supreme Court.
- Disguised remuneration / loan charge: advising individuals and companies on issues relating on historic disguised remuneration schemes and the impact of the loan charge, including negotiation/settlement with HMRC and related professional negligence claims.
- HMRC investigations: advising individuals in relation to HMRC investigations, particularly on offshore matters, including in relation to the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility and UK-Switzerland Rubik agreement.
- Domicile enquiries: advising individuals on HMRC enquiries / investigations into domicile status.
- Employment tax disputes: advising individuals and corporates on employment tax disputes, including voluntary disclosures of PAYE irregularities, disguised remuneration issues and IR35 enquiries.
- Tax-related trust litigation: advising an individual on an application to set aside an appointment as trustee in connection with a tax avoidance scheme on grounds including mistake.
- Tax fraud investigation: advising a company in relation to COP 9 notices issued to senior individuals.
- VAT litigation: instructed as junior counsel to the taxpayer in The Serpentine Trust Limited v HMRC  UKFTT 535.
- International corporate tax dispute: acting on a multi-million pound dispute involving diverted profits tax, transfer pricing, permanent establishment and royalty withholding tax issues in HMRC’s High Risk Corporates programme.
Hoist with his own petard? Henkes v HMRC, and the lessons that can be learned regarding domicile enquiries
In recent years HMRC have shown a growing interest in challenging taxpayers on their claims to being foreign domiciled