Stewarts boosts tax disputes team with Eversheds partner hire

Giles Salmond joins specialist disputes firm having been Eversheds’ head of indirect taxes and tax disputes resolution

Giles Salmond Image courtesy of Stewarts Law

Specialist disputes firm Stewarts has bolstered its London tax disputes bench with the hire of a partner from Eversheds Sutherland. 

Giles Salmond has joined the firm as a partner after nearly a decade at Eversheds, where he was head of indirect taxes and tax dispute resolution. 

Salmond is a leading and widely-recognised tax litigator with more than 25 years of experience. He specialises in complex VAT litigation and prior to his time at Eversheds spent 17 years as a director for tax dispute resolution at Deloitte. 

A barrister by profession, Salmond earlier practised in-house at what is now His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for six years as a prosecutor and tax disputes lawyer, specialising in both VAT and customs duty litigation.

He joined legacy Garretts, a law firm associated with former accountancy giant Arthur Andersen, before moving to Andersen itself and from there joined Deloitte in 2002 following its merger with Andersen’s UK business. 

Salmond has acted for clients in a number of leading indirect tax cases over the years including the historic decision in Fleming and Condé Nast v HMRC before the House of Lords, which paved the way for a change in the law permitting taxpayers to make retrospective claims for incorrectly paid VAT. He also acted in MG Rover Group and Others v HMRC at the Court of Appeal, one of the leading cases on the operation of UK VAT groups, as well as other important cases on taxpayers’ legitimate expectations.

At Stewarts Salmond joins existing tax disputes partners David Pickstone, James Le Gallais, Alex Lerner and Matthew Greene. Greene is himself a recent arrival, having joined in June from Osborne Clarke.

Pickstone, who heads the practice, commented: “I am very excited to welcome Giles to our team at Stewarts. His vast experience in market-leading indirect tax cases adds further depth to our substantial tax disputes offering.”

Salmond’s hire also follows partner Sherina Petit joining the firm last week from Norton Rose Fulbright to lead the international arbitration team, the practice’s former head, Philippa Casey, having left in February for Twenty Essex. Petit has a mandate to grow the practice with a particular focus on increased team diversity and expanding its sectoral and geographical reach.

Key to those ambitions will be the expanded projection of Stewarts’ international presence, not just in India, on which she will also lead, but in Africa, the Middle East and Singapore. 

Petit said: “We have an aggressive, targeted plan to grow the team and become a major force within the London arbitration market,” adding that plans to expand its South Asian and international reach alongside the team’s existing expertise in South America was “just the beginning”.

The firm also boosted its insurance disputes bench in August with a two-partner hire that included respected City litigator Alex Leitch, who was previously head of complex litigation at Paul Hastings. 

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