Professional information

• Harris Academy, Dundee
• University of Edinburgh
• St Edmund Hall, Oxford

• Revenue Bar Association
• Chancery Bar Association
• VAT Practitioners Group
• London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
• Bar European Group

Professional experience

Julian is particularly well known for his corporate work and that involving European taxation issues, he also specialises in Judicial Review and Administrative Law and is co-writing the next edition of Wade & Forsyth, a leading textbook on JR.  He also teaches Administrative Law at Cambridge.

Julian was called to the Bar in 1993 (Lincoln’s Inn) and called to the Scots Bar in 1999 and the Bar of Ireland in 2018.  He became a QC in 2006 (and in Scotland in 2010) and is a Judge of the First-Tier and Deputy Judge of the Upper-Tier Tax Tribunals. He is a Senior Fellow, International Tax Centre, Leiden; and a Bye-fellow, Peterhouse, Cambridge, and is a Visiting Professor at King’s College London where he teaches on the Law of Personal Taxation.

Notable cases

HMRC v Raymond Tooth (Court of Appeal)

HMRC v Newey (t/a Ocean Finance) (Court of Appeal)

RFC 2012 Plc (in liquidation) (formerly The Rangers Football Club Plc) v Advocate General for Scotland (Supreme Court)

Travel Document Service & Ladbroke Group Int v HMRC (Court of Appeal)

GDF Suez Teesside Ltd v HMRC (Court of Appeal)

  • Chambers UK Bar Awards 2021 Julian won Tax Silk of the Year .
  • Chambers UK Bar – Recommended as leading silk in Tax (Star Individual).
  • Legal 500 – Recommended as leading silk in Private Client: Personal Tax (Tier 2); Tax: VAT (Tier 3);  and Tax: Corporate (Tier 1) .


“A fine technical thinker and a good courtroom advocate,” “he provides incisive, precise and crystal-clear advice.” (Chambers UK Bar 2020 – Tax)

A very thorough advocate” who is “very, very bright.” (Chambers UK Bar 2020 – Tax: Indirect Tax)

A technically exceptional barrister who clients like because he is always very confident. He is very balanced in his views and is someone who listens to and engages with those that instruct him.” (Chambers UK Bar 2020 – Tax: Private Client)

A go-to expert for issues involving the interaction of tax rules that turn on accounting treatment.” (Legal 500 2020 – Tax: VAT; Tax: Corporate)

A formidable intellect combined with his own style of forthright and succinct advocacy has generated a reputation as one of the leading tax silks.” (Legal 500 2020 – Private Client: Personal Tax)

Incredibly clear and helpful to clients.” “His powers of analysis are formidable and he inspires confidence in clients.” (Chambers UK Bar 2019 – Corporate Tax)

He’s very clever, very hard-working and very knowledgeable. I’m sure he’s very capable at anything he turns his hand to. He’s a very able person to have on your team.” (Chambers UK Bar 2019 – Private Client)

Technically unsurpassed. He has a formidable intellect and never equivocates. Clients appreciate his well-considered views and he has an incredibly succinct but formidable presence in oral advocacy.” (Chambers UK Bar 2019 – Tax: Indirect Tax)

Matters under consideration benefit from his fresh perspective.” (Legal 500 2019 – Tax: VAT)

One of the sharpest minds at the Tax Bar.” (Legal 500 2019 – Tax: Corporate)

He is exceptionally bright.” (Legal 500 2019 – Private Client: Personal Tax)

He is a technically exceptional barrister and always very confident, which is very suitable for the clients,”says an instructing solicitor, who adds: “I like working with him because he listens and engages with you, and recognises that we have expertise and skills too.” (Chambers and Partners HNW 2019 – Tax: Private Client)

Knowledgeable, thorough and skilled at both advocacy and specific advice.” “He has a very sharp and agile mind and is very good at shining a bright light on convoluted legislation. He is a great practitioner.” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Corporate Tax)

He is phenomenal. He has a brain the size of a planet but is also very personable.” “We were very impressed with the speed of his response and the advice he gave.” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Tax: Scotland)

Of all the barristers we’ve worked with, he’s the standout.” “Renowned for being technical and solid in his approach. He is a high-quality performer.” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Private Client)

He is very clever, a brilliant litigator and fantastic at cross examination.” (Chambers UK Bar 2018 – Tax: Indirect Tax)

Combines strong, technical analysis with good client skills.” (Legal 500 2018 – Tax: VAT)

He thoroughly understands the line HMRC will take in court.” (Legal 500 2018 – Tax: Corporate)

Always up to date on HMRC practices and attitudes.” (Legal 500 2018 – Private Client: Personal Tax)

He’s very clever, very hard-working and very knowledgeable,” comments a fellow barrister, adding: “I’m sure he’s very capable at anything he turns his hand to. He’s a very able person to have on your team.” (Chambers and Partners HNW 2018 – Tax: Private Client)

Incredibly sharp. He’s client-friendly, switched on and practical.” (Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Corporate Tax)

He really is excellent, superb.” (Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Private Client)

He is exceptionally bright.” “He brings an invaluable perspective to any case.” (Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Tax: Indirect Tax)

His technical skills are absolutely first-class.” (Chambers UK Bar 2017 – Tax: Scotland)

Absolutely excellent. A fine advocate as well as being strong technically.” (Chambers UK Bar 2016 – Tax: Scotland)

HMRC dread to see him on the other side of cases” (Legal 500 2016 – Tax, Trusts & Pensions)

The Legal 500 UK Silk of the Year 2015

Select publications
  • The Taxation of Loan Relationships and Derivatives, up to December 2016 (with I L Johnson & Paul Miller):
  • Principles of the Internal Market and Direct Taxation, Key Haven, 2007