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Hugh Gunson

Partner

Hugh specialises in disputes and investigations across all areas of tax, both direct and indirect, for clients including individuals, trustees, family businesses and corporates.

hugh-gunson

About

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’s work frequently has a significant cross-border element, often combined with allegations of tax fraud or criminal behaviour.  

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 has been recognised as a 'Rising Leader' in Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite 2022.

Hugh is admitted to practise in England and Wales.

Experience

  • Advising a client in relation to claims being brought against them in connection with cum-ex transactions.
  • Francoise Findlay v HMRC: acting for Mrs Findlay in a successful appeal against an HMRC challenge (on technical grounds) to the capital gains tax treatment of her interest in a French usufruct.  A procedural decision on whether to make a reference to the CJEU is reported at Francoise Findlay v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 217 (TC) – HMRC subsequently withdrew their case and Mrs Findlay was successful in her appeal.
  • 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 enquiries into IR35 / the off-payroll working rules.
  • Advising an individual on an application to set aside an appointment as trustee in connection with a “Round the World” tax avoidance scheme on grounds including mistake and undue influence – Mackay v Wesley [2020] EWHC 1215 (Ch); [2020] EWHC 3400 (Ch).
  • Advising individuals and trustees on claims for mistake and rectification in both the English and offshore courts, including The Representation of Vistra Fiduciary Limited, Re the Maria Trust [2022] JRC 164 (Jersey); Y Trust Company Ltd v Z [2022] GRC 002 (Guernsey)
  • Tax fraud investigation: advising a company in relation to Code of Practice 9 (COP 9) notices issued to senior individuals.
  • VAT litigation: instructed as junior counsel to the taxpayer in The Serpentine Trust Limited v HMRC [2018] 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.

Recognition

  • Chambers-2024-Hugh-Gunson
  • uk-next-generation-partner-2024
  • private-client-global-excellence-2024
  • Hugh-Gunson-CHNW2023
  • Directory Rising Leaders

Our thinking

  • Stewart Hey, Hugh Gunson and Rachel Warren write for Solicitor's Journal on the cum-cum scandal

    Stewart Hey

    In The Press

  • Hugh Gunson and Karin Mouhon write for Tax Journal on a recent Upper Tribunal decision - HMRC v The Taxpayer

    Hugh Gunson

    In The Press

  • IR35 update: HMRC consultation on proposed mechanism for off-setting tax liabilities

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Stewart Hey, Hugh Gunson and Rachel Warren write for Solicitors Journal on the cum-ex scandal

    Stewart Hey

    In The Press

  • Hugh Gunson and Tom Watts write for Tax Journal on Property118 schemes for landlords

    Hugh Gunson

    In The Press

  • Q&A: Supreme Court finds for Danish tax authority

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Property118 schemes for landlords – a mistake worth fixing?

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Solicitors Journal quotes Hugh Gunson on a £1.4bn tax fraud case in the Supreme Court

    Hugh Gunson

    In The Press

  • Danish tax authority wins "cum-ex" tax fraud case at the Supreme Court

    Hugh Gunson

    Quick Reads

  • Domicile Disputes: Actions speak louder than words

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Pandora Papers: HMRC nudge taxpayers to come out of their box

    Hugh Gunson

    Quick Reads

  • It was a mistake

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Rectification: Clarifying the nature of the test

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

  • Not so ‘mini’ a mini-Budget

    Robert Birchall

    Insights

  • Hugh Gunson and Guy Bud write for the Tax Journal on the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment in Hoey

    Hugh Gunson

    In The Press

  • Hoey: you’d better PAYE up

    Hugh Gunson

    Insights

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