Herbert Smith partner becomes first tax specialist to qualify as solicitor-advocate

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Herbert Smith partner Heather Gething, head of tax planning and disputes, has become the firm’s first solicitor-advocate in the tax area and is also the first UK tax lawyer to attain solicitor-advocate status. Head of tax Neil Warriner commented:

“This is a tremendous achievement for Heather and brings a new dimension to Herbert Smith’s tax practice. No client likes the thought of having to go to Court to prove a point (not least because of the expense involved), but in the current climate the possibility of this cannot be ignored. Having a solicitor-advocate with Heather’s knowledge and experience will enable us to provide a more cost-effective service when negotiation has failed.”

Formerly head of the tax department, Heather became head of tax planning and disputes with effect from 1 April 2006. Heather has been a partner at Herbert Smith since 1991.

Some of Heather’s cases that have been settled in court include:

BMBF-v- Mawson (HM Inspector of Taxes) 2004 House of Lords
Tesco plc-v Crimmin (the Inspector of Taxes) 1996 High Court
Hillsdown holidngs -v- Inland Revenue 1999 High Court
Argos distributors Limited -v- Customs & Excise ECJ 1996
Rafferty-v- Commissioners of Inland Revenue 2005 SpC

In April this year the number of solicitor-advocates at Herbert Smith passed the half-century mark.

Herbert Smith has been at the forefront of solicitor advocacy since its introduction in the UK through section 27 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

The Higher Courts Qualification Regulations 2000 helped reduce the complexity of application process and led to a significant increase in the number of lawyers at Herbert Smith applying for full rights through the so-called ‘accreditation’ and ‘development’ routes. All lawyers joining the firm’s litigation practice now go on the development route.

Herbert Smith LLP is an international legal practice with 1100 lawyers (including over 200 partners) and a network of offices in Europe and Asia. It has a formal alliance with leading German firm Gleiss Lutz and leading Dutch and Belgian firm Stibbe. On 1 April 2005 Herbert Smith became Herbert Smith LLP, a limited liability partnership. www.herbertsmith.com

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