Top Ten Tax & Trust Lawyers
Stephenson Harwood’s head of private client has always been a cerebral and outspoken practitioner in the field, having famously defended David Cameron’s offshore funds in a live argument with John Humphrys. James Quarmby pulls no punches in his most recent catch-up with Spear’s. Having seen a rise in ‘nudge letters’ and the increased use of suspended penalties by HMRC, he gives a stark warning against its newly set up HNW unit, which he says is coughing up ‘quite a staggering amount of money’. ‘That’s really a VIP club you never want to join,’ he says. ‘You’ll get your own dedicated inspector, who you can bet is going to be trawling through your tax return every year with a microscope. ‘They will give you all sorts of warm words, but what that means is they’re just going to turn the heat on you massively, and try to squeeze extra tax out of you, and sort of scare you into submission.’ Whatever the method, Quarmby remains dauntless in defending HNWs and diligently helps his clients navigate the Revenue’s traps. He was a nominee for Spear’s Tax & Trust Lawyer of the Year in 2018, and his practice has achieved five industry accolades in the past 12 months and praise among peers. One commends his technical excellence, ‘which shines through’, and admires his ability to ‘dissect difficult subjects into a more comprehensible format’.