Tax avoidance charges dropped by HMRC

With their experience and expertise in tax avoidance law, Simon Myerson QC and Alasdair Campbell acted for Edward Watkin Gittins, and Nigel Sangster QC led for Martin Calcutt in their successful defence against the HMRC.

Simon Myerson KC and Alasdair Campbell acted for Edward Watkin Gittins, and Nigel Sangster KC led for Martin Calcutt in their successful defence against a charge of Cheating the Revenue in respect of a tax avoidance scheme devised and implemented by Mr Gittins, which enabled a Liverpool educational charity – Rotunda – to survive a financial crisis.

The Revenue had asserted that transactions involving the gift of government gilts said to take place in a particular tax year were ineffective, and had taken place in a different year. The team were able to demonstrate that the transactions were legally effective. HMRC nonetheless proceeded on the basis that tax relief of over £2.5m had been claimed for a year in which it was not due. After calling half its evidence and seeing what its witnesses said in cross-examination, HMRC withdrew its case – a decision with which the Judge publicly agreed.

Calling the result ‘exceptionally pleasing’ Myerson said that the question of Mr Gittins’ costs (no legal aid being available for him) would have to be addressed at a later date.

For more information on tax avoidance law or if you think you’d been implicated in a tax avoidance scam, please contact our team of fraud barristers.

Related people

Nigel Sangster KC

Nigel Sangster KC

Call: 1976 Silk: 1998

Simon Myerson KC

Simon Myerson KC

Call: 1986 Silk: 2003

Alasdair Campbell

Alasdair Campbell

Call: 1999

Featured insights

What happens if you drive without a licence?
What are the penalties for Benefit Fraud?
Stages of Money Laundering explained

Contact Us

Chambers is centrally located within walking distance of the train station, secure car parks and the Courts.

Contact Us

St Pauls Chambers
Park Row House
19-20 Park Row

For out of hours assistance please call the senior clerk on 07854170429.

The switchboard will open from 08:30 until 17:30

Phone: +44 (0)1132 455 866
Email: [email protected]
CJSM: [email protected]

Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)