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UK Bar Guide
Firm Profile

Old Square Tax Chambers

Firm Profile


  • Profile
  • 15 Old Square
  • Lincoln's Inn
  • London
  • Greater London
  • UK
  • WC2A 3UE

Firm profile submitted by Old Square Tax Chambers

Head of Chambers: James Kessler QC
Senior Clerk: Anthony Hall
Tenants: 11

THE CHAMBERS Old Square Tax Chambers is an elite set whose members are among the best regarded tax barristers in practice. Members of Chambers advise and litigate on tax and trusts matters of all types.

Chambers was founded in 1968. Members are supported by senior clerk, Anthony Hall, who will discuss the likely level of fees before work is done and will happily advise as to the most suitable member to deal with any particular matter. Chambers’ approach is based on the experience that is seldom sufficient to advise on a discrete tax question in isolation. All relevant tax considerations must be taken into account, in addition to any other legal constraints and business or personal considerations which may influence a client’s course of action. Members of Chambers also write and speak prolifically, including addressing large audiences at Chambers’ own quarterly seminars on topical issues, including new legislation and important recent cases.

  • Robert Venables QC (called 1973, QC 1990)
  • James Kessler QC (called 1984, QC 2003)
  • Amanda Hardy QC (called 1993, QC 2015)
  • Philip Simpson QC (called 2001, (QC (Scotland) 2014)
  • Patrick Cannon (Solicitor 1984, Called to Bar 2003)
  • Etienne Wong (Solicitor 1991, Called to Bar 2014)
  • Rory Mullan (2000)
  • Setu Kamal (2004)
  • Harriet Brown (2005)
  • Oliver Marre (2011)
  • Mary Ashley (2014)


Private Client Taxation: Members counsel clients ranging from long established families to the best known entrepreneurs and advise at the high end for both UK and foreign domiciliaries. The team has played a lead role on a number of major matters of first importance over the past year - both as regards tax planning and dispute resolution including litigation. Chambers’ barristers provide coherent and comprehensible advice to private clients in all aspects of their tax affairs. The ability to combine tax advice with trust, succession and charity law expertise makes this a unique resource in the UK market.

Corporate Taxation: Members cover all aspects of corporate taxation, both in and out of court. The team has particular strengths in advising on corporate reconstructions, entrepreneurs, and employee remuneration strategies.

VAT: Many members of Old Square Tax Chambers provide VAT advice and undertake VAT litigation, including on complex cross-border issues, in respect of structured finance products and for the charitable sector. Etienne Wong, formerly head of VAT at Clifford Chance. 2014.

International: A cross-border tax offering is a key factor which sets Chambers apart from the majority of tax specialists at the UK Bar. As well as advising and litigating international issues in the UK, members of Chambers appear in front of Scots and Jersey Courts and foreign courts and tribunals including the Court of Justice of the European Union. Recent cases include a landmark decision on the application of double tax treaties to trust taxation.

PUBLICATIONS: Members are sought out as thought leaders and have written a significant number of leading textbooks, including the following: Drafting Trusts & Will Trusts, The GAAR: A Practical Approach, Individual Tax Residence, The Interaction of EU Treaty Freedoms and the UK Tax Code, The Jersey Law of Trusts, Taxation of Charities and Nonprofit Organisations, Taxation of Foundations, Taxation of Non-Residents and Foreign Domiciliaries, Taxation of Trusts, Tolley’s Stamp Taxes.