David Yates QC

  • Call: 2004
  • Silk: 2019


David’s practice covers a wide range of tax law areas and related fields:

  • Personal tax
  • Corporation tax
  • VAT
  • Public law (particularly tax related)
  • Professional Negligence (particularly tax related)

Privacy Notice

A copy of David's privacy notice can be found here.


March 2019 – QC

September 2017 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “A” panel

March 2013 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “B” panel

March 2009 – Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “C” panel

Called: 2004 (Lincoln’s Inn)

Recent cases

Personal Tax

David provides advice on a wide range of personal taxes, including in particular trust and partnership issues (including DIMF and carried interest). In addition to his advisory practice, David frequently appears in the tribunals and courts, his recent cases include:

  • Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 717 (TC): appeared alongside Sam Grodzinski QC for the taxpayers in their successful appeal against HMRC’s refusal to allow a CGT deduction in respect of losses arising from property development in Barbados.
  • Routier v HMRC [2019] 3 WLR 757: appeared for HMRC in the Supreme Court in a case concerning the status of Jersey under EU law and the question of whether the inheritance tax treatment of charities should apply to non-UK charities.
  •  Andrew v HMRC [2019] SFTD 714: appeared for the taxpayer in a case concern a gilt stripping arrangement.
  •  Reeves v HMRC [2019] 4 WLR 15: led by Kevin Prosser QC for the taxpayer in an appeal concerning the application of hold over relief for the transfer of a hedge fund interest to a corporate vehicle and the compatibility of UK legislation with ECHR and EU law.
  • Hardy v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 754 (TC): appeared as leading counsel for HMRC in a case concerning whether disposals of shares generated a capital loss eligible for relief under s.131 of ITA 2007.
  • Mills v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 378 (TC): led by David Goy QC for HMRC in a case concerning whether a bid for the America’s Cup constituted a trade carried on on a commercial basis with a view to profit.
  • Samarkand Film Partnership No.3 [2017] EWCA Civ 77: led by John Tallon QC for HMRC in a case concerning whether sale and leaseback activities amounted to a trade together with questions of legitimate expectation arising from HMRC’s manual.
  • Sanderson v HMRC [2016] 4 WLR 67: appeared unled for HMRC in a case concerning the validity of a discovery assessment in respect of an avoidance scheme.
  • Gilchrist v HMRC [2015] Ch 183: appeared alone in a case concerning the application of the IHT 10 year charge on a discretionary settlement.
  • Giles v RNIB [2014] STC 1631: appeared alone in a rectification case concerning a mistake as to the effect of a deed of variation.

Corporation Tax

A substantial portion of David’s practice relates to corporation tax, including areas such as the loan relationships regime, group relief, double tax relief, intangible fixed assets, tonnage tax and the taxation of insurance companies. Recent cases include:

  • Credit Suisse v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0086 (TC): led by Kevin Prosser QC in a successful appeal concerning a bank payroll tax liability by the Credit Suisse group.
  • Skatteverket v Memira Holding AB [2020] 1 WLR 647: represented the United Kingdom in the CJEU in a case concerning cross-border group relief and a merger between a Swedish parent and its German subsidiary.
  • HMRC v English Holdings (BVI) Ltd [2018] STC 220: appeared alone for HMRC in a case concerning a non-resident company and the interaction of the income tax and corporation tax codes.
  • Towers Watson Ltd v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 846 (TC): appeared alone for the taxpayer in a case concerning whether HMRC should be permitted to raise new arguments not identified in their closure notice.
  • BNP Paribas v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 487 (TC): led by Giles Goodfellow QC for HMRC in a case concerning whether dealing in a dividend strip was a trading transaction and the interpretation of s.730 of ICTA 1988.
  • Biffa (Jersey) Ltd v HMRC [2015] STFD 163: led by Sam Grodzinski QC for HMRC in a case concerning a scheme which sought to utilise s.730A of ICTA 1988.

VAT & Indirect Tax

David advises and litigates on VAT and other indirect tax issues on a frequent basis. Recent cases include:

  • Asiana Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 267 (TC) and [2018] UKFTT 350 (TC): appeared for HMRC in a case concerning excise duty assessments and whether remedies arising under customs regulations were available.
  • Devon Waste Management Ltd and others v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 181 (TC): led by Sam Grodzinski QC on behalf of two of the appellants in major case concerning whether landfill tax was payable on the placement of “fluff” layers in landfill site.
  • Lloyds Banking Group v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 835 (TC): led by Andrew Hitchmough QC on behalf of taxpayer on an appeal concerning whether redundancy payments as part of an outsourcing arrangement were subject to VAT.
  • Jazztel Plc v HMRC [2017] EWHC 677 (Ch): led by Rupert Baldry QC for HMRC in a case concerning restitution of stamp duty on the basis that it was levied contrary to EU law.
  • Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd v HMRC [2014] 1 WLR 3866: led by David Milne QC on behalf of the taxpayer on an appeal concerning a Fleming claim for repayment of output tax. The issues in the appeal were (i) whether EU law recognized the concept of an “abusive” claim for repayment of tax and (ii) the proper interpretation and application of VATA 1994 s 81(3A) in circumstances where HMRC were otherwise out of time to assess overclaimed input tax for a different period than that which was relevant for the taxpayer’s output tax claim.

Public law

David is frequently asked to advise both HMRC and taxpayers concerning the public law implications of actions by either HMRC or other public bodies. Significant recent cases include:

  • R (Locke) v HMRC [2019] STC 2543: led by Richard Vallat QC in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning whether a Follower Notice could be served in respect of the Court’s earlier judgment in Eclipse 35.
  • R (Archer) v HMRC [2019] 1 WLR 6355: appeared in the Court of Appeal for HMRC in a significant case concerning prematurity and costs in the context of tax related judicial review.
  • R (Broomfield) v HMRC [2019] 1 WLR 1353: led by Sir James Eadie QC for HMRC in relation to a judicial review concerning the validity of Follower Notices following HMRC’s success in the Huitson litigation.
  • R (Carlton) v HMRC [2018] EWHC 130 (Admin): appeared alone for HMRC in a case concerning accelerated payment notices and whether the relevant scheme was a notifiable arrangement under DOTAS.
  • R (Rowe & Vital Nut) v HMRC [2017] EWCA Civ 2105: led by James Eadie QC, Sam Grodzinski QC and Gemma White QC in a landmark case concerning the lawfulness of the accelerated payment notice regime.
  • R (Sword Services Ltd) v HMRC [2016] 4 WLR 113: led by Sam Grodzinski QC on behalf of HMRC in a case concerning the validity of partner payment notices sent to members of various LLPs.
  • R (Bampton Property Group Ltd) v King [2012] EWCA Civ 1744: led by Sam Grodzinski QC on behalf of HMRC in defending a decision to refuse a late claim for group relief. The issues raised included the duty to give reasons, legitimate expectation and the meaning of “tax avoidance” in SP5/01

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence disputes, particularly tax-related, remain a significant part of David’s practice. David acts for both claimant and defendant clients (both professionals and financial institutions). Recently David has advised and acted on professional negligence claims in the following areas:

  • Partnership based tax avoidance schemes
  • The chargeable event regime for insurance contracts (particularly the consequences of partial surrenders)
  • Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Relief
  • Tax Residence
  • Offshore tax planning
  • Trusts & Estates taxation (including advising on applications for relief based on mistake and Hastings-Bass)
  • R&D Relief for corporations
  • Negligent handling of tax litigation


Revenue Bar Association

Chancery Bar Association

Professional Negligence Bar Association


Sep 1998 – Jun 2001: Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge BA Classics (1st)

Oct 2002 – Jun 2003: City University, Diploma in Law (Commendation). Awarded Lord Haldane Scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn

Oct 2003 – Jun 2004: Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course
(Very Competent). Awarded Lord Denning Scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn

The Chambers Guide says...

Corporate Tax
Ranking: Band 3

“A very smooth advocate who is excellent in every way.” “Extremely competent and great to work with.” (2021)

“A leader in his field, who is incredibly knowledgeable and excellent to work with.” “His advice and all-round approach are top-notch.” (2020)

“Very clever and a good advocate.” (2019)

Professional Negligence
Ranking: Band 4

“I would never hesitate to recommend him for complicated tax-related matters. He’s very efficient and hard-working, and incredibly dedicated.” “He has enormous tax expertise and for anything tax-related he is on speed dial. He is absolutely terrific and he has excellent judgement.” (2021)

“He’s extremely cool-headed and rational.” “A diligent, bright and client-friendly barrister whose sector knowledge is second to none.” (2020)

“He is extremely capable at handling tax-related professional negligence claims.” (2019)

Tax: Indirect Tax
Ranking: Band 3

“Very good, calm in court and particularly tenacious.” “He is excellent commercially and doesn’t hide from difficult points.” (2021)

“A very good advocate who is always well prepared and able to think quickly on his feet.” (2020)

“Very sharp and very practical.” (2019)

Tax: Private Client
Ranking: Band 2

“He is someone who is very thorough; he knows the case inside out and back to front and he is never caught out by unexpected surprises. He is a very good advocate.” (2021)

“Very detailed in his approach and good on technical points.” (2020)


Chambers and Partners HNW says...

Tax: Private Client

Ranking: Band 2

David Yates QC one instructing solicitor comments: “He is a great guy. He is someone who is very thorough – he knows the case inside out and back to front and he is never caught out by unexpected surprises. He is a very good advocate.” Another source comments: “It’s nice to be in court against someone like David. He is very clear and concise.” (2020)

David Yates QC took silk in 2019. A solicitor says Yates’s strengths are his “exceptional knowledge and strong recall of case law and statute,” reports that he is “always very well prepared for conferences,” is “very quick-thinking and impressive on his feet,” and that “you never have any doubt about the correctness of his instincts.” “His real skill is preparation,” says a fellow barrister, adding: “He knows every document backwards – he will know the exact line that you wish your client hadn’t written and he will centre on it.” (2019)