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National law firm Halliwells LLP has expanded its tax dispute resolution group with the hire of four senior tax specialists to its London office, with three joining from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Sally Hutchings, Paul Noble, Ian Manly and Guy Sander join the twelve-strong tax dispute resolution group, which was launched last October. The group initially focused on indirect tax but will now advise clients on how to minimise the risks of all tax (indirect and direct) disputes and HMRC investigations.

Sally Hutchings joins Halliwells as a senior VAT lawyer from HMRC. As a litigator at HMRC, Sally handled several leading VAT cases in the ECJ and House of Lords. She was previously a prosecutions lawyer for HMRC and trained with Norton Rose.

Paul Noble, who joins as a senior consultant, will head up the direct tax team within the group. He joins from AIM listed accountancy firm Vantis where he was director of tax investigations. Previously, he worked at big four accountancy firms Ernst & Young and KPMG, after a career as an Inspector of taxes with the Inland Revenue (now HMRC).

Ian Manly and Guy Sander join the tax dispute resolution group as senior consultants. Ian spent twenty years at HMRC and was a senior policy and strategy adviser. He will focus on the new civil investigations procedure. Guy, who will advise clients on export control risks, was a senior investigator with Customs & Excise (now HMRC) for over 25 years.

Halliwells has also appointed solicitor Sarah Donald, who will join the tax group in London from Hassan Khan & Co solicitors. She is an indirect tax lawyer. George Kelly, a former partner at KPMG, will head up the North West team and will be based in the Manchester office.

Chris Chipperton, head of the tax dispute resolution group, adds: “We have seen rapid growth in the work handled by the tax dispute resolution team since its inception in October. This started from an indirect tax base but we are now able to respond to clients’ demand for dispute resolution services across the full spectrum of taxes. We are looking forward to having Sally, Paul, Ian and Guy on board.”

Ian Austin, managing partner at Halliwells, said: “This new tax team brings extensive experience from senior roles within HMRC and demonstrates our ongoing investment in London. These appointments will enable us to capitalise on the early successes of the group and boost our existing regulatory capability and dispute resolution team in the capital.”

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