Recent News & Events

Tax effective wills in plain English: can it be done?

James Kessler QC and Mary Ashley are speaking at a seminar on 6th that will look at the challenge of drafting wills that:

  • Meet the testator’s wishes.
  • Maximise relief for testators under the new residential nil-rate band.
  • Are written in plain intelligible English.

Can one achieve all three objectives?  Or must we jettison the third?

The seminar will look at a variety of published precedents and assess their success.

To attend the seminar, please visit

[Posted: 12 July 2017]

ITC: End of the Road for the End-User ~ Article by Etienne Wong

Etienne Wong recently had an article published as part of the Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report on June 1. A copy of the article can be seen here*.

*Reproduced with permission from Tax Planning International Indirect Taxes, 15 IDTX 21, 6/30/17.  Copyright © 2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.  (800-372-1033)

[Posted: 20 June 2017]

VAT Focus: The CPP principle: lessons from Brockenhurst and Colaingrove ~ Article by Etienne Wong

Etienne Wong has recently had an article published in the Tax Journal, a copy of the article can be seen here*.

*[This article was first published in the 2 June 2017 issue of the Tax Journal, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved]

[Posted: 12 June 2017]

Amanda Hardy QC becomes Bencher of Middle Temple

Amanda Hardy QC was called to the Bench of Middle Temple during a ceremony held on 6th June 2017.

[Posted: 8 June 2017]

Winners of Acquisition International Awards

Old Square Tax Chambers are delighted to announce that Amanda Hardy QC has won the Acquisition International’s Most Outstanding Tax Litigator 2017, and Oliver Marre was named Junior Tax Barrister of the Year 2017.

[Published: 8 June 2017]

Notes available following Variation of Trusts Seminar

Following the Old Square Tax Chambers seminar held on Tuesday 6th June, the notes are now available at the links below:

The Pemberton Settled Estates Variation – Amanda Hardy QC

How to Vary Trusts – Harriet Brown

Some Reasons to Vary Trusts – Robert Venables QC

[Published: 07.06.17]

Key Haven Seminar

Foreign Domiciliaries and Offshore Trusts and Companies Post Finance Acts 2017

Delegates may register for either or both parts
Delegate Fees
£750 + VAT (£150) = £900 for both sessions
£450 + value added tax (£90) = £540 for either the morning or afternoon session
Early booking fee for bookings received before May 27th
£650 + VAT (£130) = £780 for both sessions
£400 + VAT (£80) = £480 for either the morning or afternoon session.
Robert Venables Q.C. (Chairman)
Peter Vaines
Harriet Brown
Setu Kamal
Oliver Marre
Mary Ashley
All the speakers except Peter Vaines all from Old Square Tax Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn, WC2A 3UE, 020 7242 2744,

While, as a result of the general election, the Finance Bill, published in March 20th, will now be divided into two Finance Acts, virtually all of the relevant provisions will be retrospective to April 6th 2017.
It contains the most important changes to the taxation of foreign domiciliaries for several years.
HMRC has also slipped in other provisions particularly relating to offshore trusts and companies which also affect UK domiciliaries and non-UK residents.
Even after the Finance Bill becomes law, much can be done by way of forward planning by those not yet UK domiciled (or deemed domiciled) or not yet UK resident.
The proposed changes to the rules re capital payments from offshore trusts have been shelved for the moment but will inevitably return in one form or another. There is thus an extended window to forestall their application.
A panel of barristers will discuss tax planning in the light of the Finance Bill and likely future changes.

09.00 Delegate Registration
09.30 Chairman’s Introduction followed by
Taxation by Intimidation – An Overview – Robert Venables Q.C.
HMRC’s current conduct – Threatening and Bluffing – The GAAR – GAAR penalties – Enabler Penalties: are they that bad?
10.00 The New Deemed Domicile Rules – Harriet Brown
Long-term Residents – Residents with United Kingdom domicile of Origin – Interaction with Residence Rules – Excluded Property Settlements –
10.45 Discussion Session with Refreshments
11.00 Inheritance Tax on Indirectly Held UK Residences – Oliver Marre
The New Rules – Properties Held in Companies, Trusts and Partnerships – Creditor’s Rights – Planning
11.45 Protected Income and Gains of Settlements, Trusts and Companies – Setu Kamal
New categories of “protected income” – Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 Settlement Provisions – Transfer of Assets Abroad Provisions – Latest Proposals for Protected capital gains of trusts, settlements and companies
12.30 End of Morning Session – Buffet Lunch
13.30 Registration for those attending Afternoon Session only
14.00 Chairman’s Introduction to Afternoon Session follow by:
Offshore Trusts and Companies – Robert Venables Q.C.
Application of Deemed Domiciles Rules to Anti-avoidance Provisions, especially Participators in Offshore Companies (TCGA Sections 13 – 14A). Transfer of Assets Abroad Provisions: Income of Offshore Trusts, Income of Offshore Companies, Protected Arrangements; New Rules Re Relevant Income and Benefits: Retrospective “Unwashing” of Washed Income ? – New Charge on Settlors and Transferors; Beneficial New Valuation Rules for Benefits Conferred.
14.45 Tax Planning for Non-UK Domiciled or Non-UK Resident Directors and Employees – Mary Ashley
15.30 When are Income and Gains Remitted? – Peter Vaines
The Basic Rules – Special Cases
16.15 Discussion Session with Refreshments
16.30 Preemptive Planning – Robert Venables Q.C.
Planning for Those Not Yet (Deemed) United Kingdom Domiciled and / Or Resident – Planning in Anticipation of New Capital Payments Rules
17.00 Panel Session and Questions to Speakers
17.30 Close of Seminar

Booking information can be found here.
Conferences Terms and Conditions
Cancellations in writing 14 days prior to the seminar qualify for a refund subject to a £50 charge. Cancellations within 14 days prior to the seminar do not qualify for a refund.
Disclaimer: Key Haven Publications Ltd reserves the right to change the speakers or the programme for any reasons beyond its control or on account of changes in the law. Nothing in the talks or discussions or the prepared notes constitute legal advice. They are simply an expression of the speakers’ views, put forward for consideration and discussion. No action should be taken nor omitted in reliance on them but independent professional advice should be taken in every case. Neither the speakers nor Key Haven Publications Ltd accept any legal responsibility for them.
Warning: Neither Key Haven Publications Ltd nor the speakers gives any licence to any person to record and/or reproduce in any format (including sound and/or visual recording) (a) any Notes prepared in conjunction with this seminar; (b) the delivery by any speaker of any talk or any response to any question or discussion, in whole or in part, on any of the above. Any such unlicensed recording or reproduction or the making of any such epitome or transcript is a civil wrong and could well involve the commission of a criminal offence.

Practical Tax Planning 2017 – Key Haven Seminar


35th Annual Oxford Four-Silk Residential Seminar and Workshop 


Wednesday September 27th to Friday 29th September 

Merton College, Oxford

Early Bird Price £1,180 + VAT
Full price £1400 plus VAT. Earlybird Price £1,180.00 plus VAT per delegate before 1st August 2017, to include, accommodation within the college, meals, wines, conference and notes. Booking details below.
The aim of this year’s residential seminar is once again to examine, in the congenial atmosphere of an historic Oxford College, practical solutions to the ever changing fiscal complications to modern life. In addition to talks, a key feature of the Seminar is the Workshop in which case studies and problem papers raising current tax planning issues are considered. This is the 35th Annual Conference, once discovered, many delegates come every year and newcomers are always made welcome.  

Robert Venables Q.C. (Chairman)
James Kessler Q.C.
Amanda Hardy Q.C.
Christopher Coltart Q.C.
Keith Gordon
Patrick Cannon
Peter Vaines
Rory Mullan
Oliver Marre 

The speakers are all practising barristers.  They all practise from Old Square Tax Chambers, 15 Old Square Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3UE, except Christopher Coltart Q.C., who practises from 2 Hare Court, Temple EC4Y 7BH,  Keith Gordon who practises from 3 Temple Gardens, EC4Y 9AU and Peter Vaines who practises from Field Court Tax Chambers, 3 Field Court, Gray’s Inn, WC1R 5EP.


WEDNESDAY September 28th 

12.00 Arrival and Registration

13.00 Lunch Merton College

14.00 Chairman’s Introduction

14.10  Directors and Employees – Robert Venables Q.C.
Disguised Remuneration: the 2017 Disguised Rules – April 5th 2019 Charge.  The Supreme Court Decision in Murray Group Holdings.  Planning

15.00 The GAAR and Penalties for Enablers of Tax Avoidance – Patrick Cannon
The GAAR: the new penalty regime, provisional counteraction notices, binding notices and pooling notices.  Penalties for Enablers of Tax Avoidance: limited scope of regime – is it compatible with the Human Rights Act?

15.45 Deemed Domicile Rules – Oliver Marre
New Deemed Domiciled Rules – Income and Gains of Protected Settlements

16.30 Discussion Session with Tea

16.45 – 18.00 Introduction to Workshop Papers

19.00 Pre-dinner drinks followed by dinner in the Great Hall


09.30 Chairman’s Introduction

09.35  Tax Planning for Non-UK Domiciled or Non-UK Resident Directors and Employees – Amanda Hardy Q.C.

10.20 Inheritance Tax on Indirectly Held UK Residences – Peter Vaines
The New Rules – Properties Held in Companies, Trusts and Partnerships – Creditor’s Rights – Planning

11.05 Discussion Session with Coffee

11.20 Transfer of Assets Abroad Provisions 2017 – Rory Mullan

12.05 How to Avoid Discovery Assessments – Keith Gordon

12.50  Lunch

15.00 Discussion of Problem Papers in Workshop Groups

15.45 Discussion Session with Tea

16.00 – 18.00 Continuation of Discussion of Problem Papers in Workshop Groups

19.15 Pre dinner drinks

19.45 Gala Dinner Merton College (Black-Tie Optional) in the Great Hall


09.30  Chairman’s Introduction

09.35 Tax and the Criminal Law:  A Shift in the Landscape – Christopher Coltart Q.C.
The current regime re tax evasion:  present offences (all of which require proof of dishonesty); HMRC investigations policy and COP9 · The new individual strict liability offence of offshore tax evasion ·The new corporate offence of facilitating tax evasion (whether offshore or domestic)

10.10  Charities Law and Tax Update and Social Investment Relief – James Kessler Q.C.
Charity Tax Law Update: Cases, Legislation and HMRC Practice – Social Investment Relief and and 2017 changes – Charity Commission Inquiries

10.45 Discussion Session with Coffee

11.00  Discussion of Problem Papers in Plenary Session followed by Questions to Speakers

12.45 Lunch

 Post Lunch Close of Seminar


For booking application and conditions please contact: E-mail:

Key Haven Publications Ltd, PO Box 669, Oxford OX3 3AU Tel: 01865 352121;  Fax: 01865 351081;

***FULLY SUBSCRIBED*** Free Seminar – Variation of Trusts – 6 June 2017

Old Square Tax Chambers are hosting an afternoon seminar on 6 June 2017 where Robert Venables Q.C., Amanda Hardy Q.C. and Harriet Brown will be speaking on Variation of Trusts.

The seminar is to be held from 4.00 pm to 6.15 pm in The Old Hall, Lincoln’s Inn and the timetable will be as follows:

4.00 – 4.15       Tea & Coffee

4.15 – 4.50      Amanda Hardy Q.C. on The Pemberton Settled Estates variation

4.50 – 5.25      Harriet Brown on How to vary trusts

5.25 – 6.00      Robert Venables Q.C. on Some reasons to vary trusts

6.00 – 6.15      Question to the speakers followed by drinks

Drinks will be hosted immediately after the seminar at which you will have an opportunity to meet members of Old Square Tax Chambers.

The seminar is free of charge and will provide 2 hours of CPD.

Please let us know if you wish to attend by emailing and do feel free to forward this to any colleagues who might be interested in joining us.

UK-Mauritius trusts case – Amanda Hardy QC & Oliver Marre

The decision of the First-tier Tribunal in Lee & Bunter v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 279 was published on 7 April 2017.

The taxpayers had entered into tax planning arrangements reliant on the UK/Mauritian DTT to relieve their trust gains from UK capital gains tax. They were represented in their appeal by Amanda Hardy QC and Oliver Marre.

HMRC argued that the DTT could not apply, and the Tribunal rejected this argument. In applying the DTT, the Tribunal held that it is necessary to have regard to the facts of the case to determine the place of effective management, and so to decide which territory had taxing rights. Although the taxpayers contended that this was Mauritius, the Tribunal found on the facts that it was the UK and so upheld HMRC’s assessments.

The decision can be found here.