Awards: Tax credit

HMRC lawyers deserve their day in the sun too, you know

If there’s one profession more hated than journalists or lawyers it’s surely tax collectors. So you can picture the reaction at The Lawyer Awards last week when, in a room full of lawyers at a ceremony hosted by journalists, HMRC Solicitor’s Office scooped In-House Public Sector Team of the Year.

Going down like a lead balloon with the audience, poor general counsel Anthony Inglese wasn’t quite greeted with the chorus of applause he deserved, given that his team were pegged as in-house public sector top dogs of 2013.

So, you miserable lot, let us explain. In a year when HMRC faced unprecedented scrutiny, its in-house team worked effectively with the bar to achieve success in 85 per cent of its cases, protecting £5bn of revenue through litigation. That’s enough dosh to buy the The Ritz, Harrods, Arsenal FC, Richard Branson’s Necker Island and at least two private jets. 

Still not impressed? Well, three of HMRC’s cases also made The Lawyer’s top 20 for 2012: Loyalty Management UK, Prudential and the Franked Investment Income Group Litigation Order, while another case, UK Uncut, made The Lawyer’s top 20 for 2013. How’s that for a swish CV, naysayers. 

“The record does speak for itself,” commented one judge. “This is a smart and intelligent group of lawyers applying themselves in complex situations with a lot of external scrutiny on their behaviour and internal demands for high standards and results.”

Booers, go and apologise.