Contentious Tax

Global corporates and financial institutions rely on Linklaters’ renowned contentious tax group to guide them through greater compliance burdens, time-consuming negotiations with tax authorities and tax litigation itself.

Linklaters’ contentious tax group combines the expertise of tax lawyers with litigators who have specialist experience of tax disputes and investigations. The group’s lawyers represent clients in or in relation to enquiries and investigations by tax authorities, conducting appeals before all relevant courts and tribunals. The team frequently advises on matters before the European Court of Justice and on tax issues relevant to the conduct or settlement of civil litigation. It also advises on tax-based contractual disputes concerning tax warranties and indemnities in sale and purchase agreements and on claims concerning alleged professional negligence by tax advisers.

The contentious tax group’s service is comprehensive. Extensive knowledge of corporate transactions and financial products is supported by profound experience of handling tax challenges at any stage in the process, leading to finalisation of assessments. The group focuses on avoiding lengthy disputes with tax authorities. Where cases do go to court, clients are reassured by Linklaters’ combined tax and litigation advice right up to resolution.

Recent contentious tax cases include advising:
  • Vodafone in relation to its ground-breaking challenge to the compatibility of the Controlled Foreign Companies  rules with EU law.
  • REWE Zentralfinanz e.G. before the European Court of Justice in tax litigation with fundamental importance for German tax law. REWE Zentralfinanz claimed that losses stemming from partial write-downs to the value of its holding in a Dutch subsidiary could be offset against other positive income. As a consequence of the REWE Zentralfinanz judgment the distinction between "good" and "bad" foreign activities in another member state no longer has significance for tax treatment. Other provisions, where the offsetting of foreign-sourced losses is limited or excluded, are liable not to be upheld.