At the start of her career, HMRC’s general counsel Gill Aitken was on the other side of the negotiations table suing the Government. The experience allowed her to glean an insight into what in-house lawyers were doing and decide to make the move to become a public servant.
Now she leads a formidable 180-strong team of HMRC lawyers, who win on average 80 per cent of their cases.
Since her appointment in January 2014, HMRC’s results may be largely thanks to Aitken implementing accurate risk-predictions for ministers, which allow in-house lawyers to use precedent as a type of barometer to determine the percentage outcome of specific claims.
HMRC is currently cranking up the heat on law firms and accountancy firms with an increase in disclosure notices, issuing 1,502 of them in the last year for information on clients who are subject to criminal tax investigations.
Despite some very impressive figures, Aitken has no doubt about her biggest achievement this year. “I’m most proud of spending nine months building a top team who really get on well together,” she says.
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