Laura Stephenson

Laura Stephenson

Year of call: 2012
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Tax

Laura acts for HMRC both as a junior alone and leading junior in tax appeals in the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber). She is instructed in a number of cases involving large-scale VAT frauds including Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) frauds.

In a recent case, Laura acted as leading junior counsel, defending an appeal at the FTT. The appeal was presented by an experienced silk and involved reclaimed VAT in the sum of over £240k. This was a case of considerable complexity because the commodity traded was PPI leads, a commodity never before seen in Missing Trader/Acquisition frauds, and required the use of two experts. The written submissions in the case ran to well over 150-pages because of the amount of evidence required to prove the objective person ought to have known of a connection with VAT fraud. A close analysis of data protection law at the time of the transactions was required. The appeal was dismissed after a two-week hearing; the Tribunal found that the appellant should have known his trading was connected with fraud and HMRC retained the sum in its entirety. Laura is now the leading barrister for HMRC in the PPI Data field given her success in this case and her knowledge of this unique, fast-paced market and associated data protection law.

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