Rebecca Murray

Call: 2001    

Practice Overview

Chambers & Partners 2019 Ranked Band 2 (Tax): "A pleasure to deal with. She quickly grasps the issues and deals with them very effectively and efficiently." "Diligent and very bright."

Legal 500 2019: ‘Well prepared and fights her corner in court.

Chambers & Partners 2018 Ranked: Band 2 (Tax); (Indirect tax) 

"She is brilliant. She has a really impressive ability to identify the key legal and factual elements of a case and put forward incredibly concise arguments." "A pleasure to work with."

"She's very bright, capable and works well as part of a team."

Legal 500 2018 Ranked Private Client and Tax

A rapidly rising star at the tax Bar.’

Excellent technical tax expertise tempered with a sense of realism.’

Chambers & Partners 2017 Ranked: Band 2 (Tax) (Indirect tax) 

"We have a huge regard for Rebecca Murray."

"She is quickly up and coming. She's a very nice person, active at the Revenue Bar and earning a good reputation." 

"An enthusiastic character"

Chambers & Partners 2016 (nominated Tax Junior of the Year)

"very energetic and very bright"

"what a modern barrister should be-she's very client facing and has incredible energy"

Chambers and Partners 2015 - Tax: Continues to enhance an already fine reputation with high-profile instructions in notable cases. Her workload covers both direct and indirect tax issues, and she represents both the Revenue and the taxpayer. 

She's smart, presentable, determined and dogged. She's steely in her approach."

Legal 500 (Ranked Corporate, VAT, Private Client, Tier 2):

"A hardworking and forceful advocate"

"A superb advocate who presents her opinions clearly, concisely and promptly"

"Concise and straightforward; goes the extra mile" 

Chambers and Partners 2015 – Indirect Tax: Has a growing reputation and has recently led in a number of significant and complex cases. She has a broad indirect tax practice, and has a particular area of specialism in the VAT principle of abuse and its interplay with tax avoidance.

"She appreciates what is going on with the clients, and provides practical and pragmatic solutions."

"She is clearly very bright and knowledgeable and has a considerable future ahead of her." (2013)


Rebecca has an enviable tax litigation and advisory practice in Private Client, Corporate Tax and VAT, as well as substantial experience of judicial review in tax and immigration, acting for the Secretary of State for the Home department on the Attorney General's Panel in over 100 immigration cases.  She has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal, High Court (Administrative division), Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), Upper Tribunal (Asylum and Immigration Chamber), Upper Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber), First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) and County Court, on a vast range of direct and indirect tax issues. She was Junior counsel on the following major cases:

- Unled in the Court of Appeal, Arthur v HMRC [2017] EWCA Civ 1756

- Unled in the Court of Appeal in a penalties case reported in the Times Law Reports affecting over 600,000 taxpayers, Donaldson [2016] EWCA Civ 761,

- The two largest tax avoidance cases in 2011-2016: Eclipse Film Partners (No 35) LLP, led by Malcolm Gammie QC (won in the Court of Appeal, 2015, the taxpayers were refused permission at oral hearing in the Supreme Court, April 2016); andTower MCashback (a landmark Supreme Court case) led by Kevin Prosser QC, tax avoidance schemes involving over £4billion of tax;

- BAA v HMRC, a landmark case in the Court of Appeal on a European law point on the recovery of input tax incurred by a takeover vehicle.  

- The first judicial reviews of Accelerated payment notices (Rowe; and Walapu, in which she successfully applied orally for disclosure from HMRC of documents evidencing their decision making process)


Her book “Tax Avoidance” (Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd ed. November 2016) is considered to be “brilliant”, “comprehensive coverage of some extremely difficult areas of the law”, “very hard” and to “cut through the muddled thinking of the courts”.  The 3rd edition includes updates for Finance Act 2016, including to the chapters on transactions in land and transactions in securities, the GAAR chapter, as well as a new chapter on Accelerated Payment Notices.



- Pro Bono Awards Highly Commended Pro Bono Junior of the Year 2018

- Chambers & Partners "Tax Junior of the year" Finalist 2015

- STEP "Young Practitioner of the Year" Finalist 2013

- Winner of the Tax Journal 40 under 40 2012/13 Instructing accountants and solicitors said:


"She is a fantastic character and great fun to work with.  The team really buzzes when she is there

 “She goes the extra mile for clients

 “Rebecca is charming and easy company and also a fighter, well able to think nimbly on her feet and produce convincing (and winning) arguments in front of the Tribunal.”

- Winner of "Taxation’s Rising Star" Award 2013
- Shortlisted for BLT’s "Indirect Tax Rising Star" Award 2012


Supreme Court

 - Eclipse Film Partners v HMRC  (April 2016) Junior Counsel for the Crown led by by Malcolm Gammie QC (Eclipse was refused permission at oral hearing)

Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs v Tower MCashback LLP 2 [2011] UKSC 19: Junior Counsel for the Crown, led by Kevin Prosser QC

 Court of Appeal

- Arthur v HMRC [2017] EWCA Civ 761 Sole Counsel for Mrs Arthur.

- Donaldson v HMRC [2016] EWCA Civ 761 (unled) penalty appeal affecting 600,000 taxpayers.  

- Donaldson v HMRC (OPH), successful applicationfor permission to argue two points not decided by the Upper Tribunal

- Eclipse Film Partners (No 35) LLP v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 95, for HMRC led by Malcolm Gammie QC

- BAA v HMRC [2013] EWCA Civ 112: Counsel for BAA led by Roderick Cordara QC and David Southern QC

- Prince Karunaraina Samurappuli Arachchige v Commissioners for HMRC [2010] EWCA Civ 1255: Counsel for Mr Arachchige led by David Southern QC

Upper Tribunal

 - Sippchoice v HMRC [2017] UKUT 87 Sole counsel for Sippchoice in an appeal by HMRC.

- Hills & Anor v Revenue And Customs [2016] UKUT (costs appeal, sole counsel for the Hills)

- Hills & Anor v Revenue And Customs [2016] UKUT 189. Sole Counsel for the Hills. 

- Arthur v HMRC (Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)) (2015)  Sole Counsel for Mrs Arthur

- R (OAO Houari) v Secretary of State for the Home department (2015)  Sole counsel for the SSHD

- HMRC v Donaldson [2014] UKUT 0536 (TCC): Appointed sole advocate to the Upper Tribunal by the President of the Upper Tribunal

 -Eclipse Film Partners (No. 35) LLP v HMRC [2013] UKUT 639 (TCC) (20 December 2013): Junior Counsel for the Crown, led by Malcolm Gammie QC

-Aberdeen Asset Management Plc v HMRC [2012] UKUT 43: Junior Counsel for the taxpayer led by Kevin Prosser QC

- Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs v BAA Limited [2011] UKUT 258: Counsel for BAA led by Roderick Cordara QC and David Southern QC

- Mr and Mrs Coll v R & C Commissioners, Upper Tribunal [2010] UKUT 114 (TCC): Counsel for the taxpayer led by David Southern QC

 High Court (Queens Bench Administrative Division)

- R (oao Walapu) v HM Revenue & Customs [2016] EWHC 658 (Admin)

- R (oao Rowe & Ors) v Revenue & Customs [2015] EWHC 2293 (Admin)

 High Court (Chancery Division) 

Battarai v HMRC (bankruptcy proceedings) (2016). Sole Counsel for HMRC

First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber)

- Sippchoice v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 464. Sole counsel for Sippchoice

- Lorimer v Revenue and Customs (PROCEDURE : Other) [2016] UKFTT 315.  Sole counsel for Mr Lorimer 

- Hasbro European Trading BV v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 186. Sole Counsel for Hasbro

- Tower MCashback 3 LLP v Revenue & Customs [2014] UKFTT 1081: Sole counsel for HMRC

- Moyes v Revenu & Customs [2014] UKFTT 1030: Sole counsel for Mr Moyes
- Hills v Revenue & Customs [2014] UKFTT 646: Sole counsel for the Hills
- MCashback Software 6 LLP v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 679 (TC) (25 October 2013): Sole counsel for HMRC

- Eclipse Film Partners (No.35) LLP v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 270: Junior Counsel for the Crown, led by Malcolm Gammie QC

- Eclipse Film Partners (No.35) LLP v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 401: Junior Counsel for the Crown, led by Malcolm Gammie QC

 - Aberdeen Asset Management Plc v Revenue & Customs [2010] EWCA Civ 1255: Junior Counsel for the taxpayer, led by Kevin Prosser QC

- Eclipse Film Partners (No 35 LLP) v Revenue & Customs [2010] UKFTT 448: Junior Counsel for the Crown, led by Malcolm Gammie QC

 - (1) University of Essex (2) Universal Accommodation Group v C of R&C [2010] UKFTT 162: Junior Counsel for the taxpayer, led by Michael Conlon QC

- Mr John C Evans v R & C Commissioners [2010] UKFTT 140:  Sole counsel for the taxpayer

- Philip Duke v Revenue & Customs TC/2009/10439: Sole counsel for the taxpayer

- Jigsaw Wholesale Ltd v R & C Commissioners [2010] UKFTT 164 (TC):  Sole counsel for the taxpayer


Her latest book Tax Avoidance (Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd ed. November 2016) contains a commentary of and overseas comparisons with the UK GAAR; unique and detailed analysis of the Ramsay, sham and Abuse principles, up to date commentaries on the transfer of assets abroad, transactions in land, transactions in securities, transfer of income streams, sales of occupation provisions and the concept of trade in a tax avoidance context.

The 3rd edition contains a new chapter on Accelerated payment notices ("APNs") as well as explanation of the substantial changes to the transactions in securities rules, transactions in land rules and the GAAR in the Finance Act 2016. 

Previous publications:

  • Author of Tax Avoidance, 1st ed. Sweet & Maxwell, May 2012, 2nd ed. November 2013
  • Author of CCH British Tax Guide on Corporation Tax 2007-2008
  • Contributor to Simons Direct Tax Service and CCH British Tax Guide
  • Writes articles for Taxation, Tax Journal and Tax Adviser.
  • Recent Tax Journal articles can be accessed on the Tax Journal website.



  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Tax and representative on the corporation tax committee
  • Full member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners
  • Revenue Bar Association ("RBA") Secretary and Committee member and Bar Council representative
  • VAT Practitioners Group
  • Bankers Taxation Circle


Few barristers provide comprehensive tax advice on transactions and in tax planning.  Rebecca specialises in all areas of direct tax and VAT and applies detailed knowledge, experience and skills in providing practical advice and drafting in the following areas:


  • All aspects of direct tax planning for individuals and corporates: Income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, corporation tax and business taxes 
  • Tax avoidance litigation and advice on complex law and provisions, including the Ramsay and sham principles, transfer of assets abroad, transactions in land, transactions in securities, transfer of income streams, sales of occupation provisions
  • All aspects of VAT, including the principle of Abuse and in particular shares and asset transactions, residential and commercial property transactions including the option to tax and related anti-avoidance provisions; partial exemption; staff hire concession; zero rated supplies of food; funding transactions;
  • Employment taxes/owner managers:  employee remuneration; employment related shares and securities; capital gains versus income tax treatment of asset transactions; Advice on the anti-avoidance provisions such as transfer of assets abroad; transfers of income streams; sales of occupation income;  transactions in securities; transactions in land; All aspects of Employee Benefit Trusts, including the settlement opportunity and “post-Disguised remuneration” transactions
  • Capital Gains Tax (and corporation tax on capital gains), including substantial shareholdings exemption, entrepreneurs relief; and the new rules for offshore companies; rollover relief. 
  • Property Transactions
  • Private Equity transactions:  typical “Newco(s)” structures with combined debt/equity; MBIs; MBOs; debt funding; growth funding; employment tax issues; joint ventures/consortiums; acquisition of a corporate group; the “safe harbour”; restricted securities issues; ratchets; LLPs 
  • SDLT, including the application of SDLT avoidance provisions; SDLT and partnerships
  • Corporation Tax: worldwide debt cap; company residence; sale/purchase/merger transactions; loan relationship issues; securitisations; corporate restructuring issues; capital allowances; diverted profits tax
  • IHT planning: in particular succession planning for companies and businesses carried on through partnerships or LLPs; and trust planning; reliefs, in particular BPR & APR.
  • Pensions and QROPS
  • Insolvency and administration
  • Bankruptcy litigation
  • The implications of the proposed General Anti-Abuse Rule (“GAAR”) on implemented and/or potential planning
  • Planning for non-UK domiciled and/non-UK resident individuals
  • Trusts planning



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