Simon Whitehead has thirty years of litigation experience, practising in London since 1991 and prior to that in Australia. For over fifteen years he has practised exclusively in the area of contentious tax disputes, mostly in direct tax, particularly corporation tax. Simon has been selected as the lead and test-case solicitor in most group litigation orders in the Chancery Division of the High Court, in which multinational company groups challenge the lawfulness of various UK corporate tax imposts. He established the first ever Group Litigation Order in the Administrative Court which successfully challenged HMRC’s practice in assessing the tax transfer of pension savings to foreign pension funds. He also represents numerous high-net-worth individuals in their UK tax investigations and disputes.
His cases include the ground-breaking Marks & Spencer case on the availability of group relief for cross border losses. He has represented tax payers at every court level including seven times in the Supreme Court/House of Lords and eight times before the European Court of Justice. In the last year, his cases included successes in the Supreme Court in the Prudential case on the taxation of portfolio dividend income and in the CJEU in Fidelity Funds on withholding taxes upon non-resident investment funds. In 2020 he will have two hearings in the Supreme Court on issues of time limits and remedies in tax cases.