Joanna Vicary

Joanna Vicary

Year of call:

2003, Middle Temple


Joanna Vicary

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2018 - Attorney General's 'A' Panel (regional)
2007 - Attorney General's Panel of Junior Counsel

Scholarships and Prizes:

Astbury Scholarship, awarded by Middle Temple 2002. Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition, awarded by Middle Temple 2002. Fowler Prizes, awarded by Oxford University 2001 & 2002


Merton College, Oxford:
BA Jurisprudence (First Class Honours)
and MA (Oxon)

Specialises in commercial and chancery litigation, and undertakes work in the related fields of directors' disqualification and both direct and indirect taxation. Joanna’s practice also covers a number of complementary areas, including employment status (IR35) disputes together with applications for a wide range of interim remedies both in a commercial and an employment context.

Joanna is consistently recognised as a leading junior in her field by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, where she is recommended as being 'immensely bright' and 'very charismatic'. A 'highly intelligent, tenacious and responsive advocate,' 'her knowledge of the law and tactical awareness is superb.' She is 'charming with Judges but does not duck the difficult legal arguments.'

Appointed to the Attorney General's 'A' Panel of Counsel (regional).

Examples of tax work include

Touma Foreign Exchange Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2020)(ongoing) - instructed as sole Counsel for HMRC in relation to an appeal against a record fine of £7.8 million imposed for breach of Money Laundering Regulations. Link to government press release is here.

Lynton Exports (Alsager) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2020)(ongoing) - instructed as lead Counsel for HMRC in an appeal against decisions denying the appellant’s claims to input tax and zero-rating in sums which exceed £10.6 million.

Scanwell Logistics (UK) Limited v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2020)(ongoing) - appeal against an assessment to import VAT in the form of a C18 Post Clearance Demand Note for £5.7 million and associated decision that the appellant’s declared entries did not qualify for Onward Supply Relief.

ULookUBook Ltd (2020) (decision of Judge Cannan pending) - appeal against a denial of input tax and associated decision determining that a card-handling fee charged by the appellant travel agent was not consideration for a supply of financial services exempt within the meaning of Group 5 of Schedule 9 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

Window to the Womb (Franchise) Ltd & Ors v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2019) (decision of Judge Cannan pending) – whether the principal purpose of a supply of obstetric ultrasound scanning was the provision of medical care or simply ‘baby bonding' and souvenir imagery; and whether there was a single composite supply thereby enabling all packages sold to fall within the VAT exemption.

Marlow Rowing Club v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2020] UKUT 0020 (TCC) - whether the Appellant had a reasonable excuse for incorrectly filing a zero-rating certificate relating to the rebuilding of a clubhouse.

Revive Corporation Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2019] UKFTT 519 (TC) - £1 million MTIC fraud relating to computer gaming products. Included the use of contra-trader schemes. On appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Byers v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2019] UKFTT 0310 (TC) - personal liability notice imposed on the director of a company following the deliberate under-declaration of VAT.

Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Logfret (UK) Limited [2018] UKUT 0422 (TCC) - ‘Significant’ case relating to Directive 2008/118 on excise duty, focusing on the duration of duty-suspended movements of goods, the detection of irregularities in such movements, and the evidential requirements for demonstrating the end of a movement. Due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in March 2020 (led by Jessica Simor QC)

Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Woodstream Europe Ltd [2018] UKUT 0398 (TCC) - the first reported case in the UK concerning the excise duty provisions relating to denatured alcohol. Further considers the jurisdiction of the F-tT on a strike out application, and when a person will have standing to issue an appeal.

Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Jigsaw Medical Services Ltd [2018] UKUT 222(TCC) - whether the supply of emergency ambulance services is exempt or zero-rated for the purposes of VAT.

Cavendish Green Limited v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKUT 66 (TCC) - whether a building was properly a zero-rated or exempt supply for the purposes of VAT; and the circumstances in which new factual evidence can be introduced to the Upper Tribunal.

Kinnerton Confectionery Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKFTT 0382 (TC) - classification of a 'Free From' chocolate bar: whether standard rated as confectionery or zero-rated as food.

All Answers Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKFTT 701 (TC) - whether the appellant was an agent or principal to the contracts pursuant to which 'model essays' and other academic works were supplied. On appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

The Core (Swindon) Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] on appeal from UKFTT 741 (TC) - classification of 'juice cleanse' programmes: whether standard rated as beverages or zero-rated as food. On appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Morgan James Ltd & Exeter Drinks Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (2018) (decision of Judge Anne Fairpo pending) - appeal against the decision of HMRC to refuse to approve the appellants’ applications to be approved to trade in the wholesale of alcohol under the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme.

Murray v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKFTT 622 (TC) - strike out application further considering arguments relating to ‘consumption and proportionality’ following the earlier decision in Staniszewski.

Jemmett v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2018] UKFTT 677 (TC) - excise duty assessment and wrong-doing penalty imposed following fuel audit of haulage fleet.

Brabners LLP v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2017] UKFTT 666 - whether property searches carried out by solicitors during the Conveyancing process are to be treated as disbursements.

Europackaging UK Ltd v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2017] UKFTT 160 - classification of Tesco ‘blue ladybird’ plastic bags. Issues of remission under the Community Customs Code.

Examples of recent chancery work

Toussaint v Toussaint & others (2018) - claim by ex-husband of deceased to an equitable interest in the former marital home. Consideration of the role of constructive trusts following both a TR1 transfer and a failure to make financial arrangements on divorce.

E.J.Mackelden & Sons (Bobbing) Ltd v Wilson's Auctions (Maidstone) Ltd (2017) - claim by a freeholder to forfeit the long-lease of an agricultural auction site. Issues concerning whether there had been unauthorised alterations to premises together with a change of use alleged to be in breach of the lease.

Mobile Doctors Ltd and MDL Administration Limited v Michael Levy, Sandra Levy: Oliver Levy v SHCE (ongoing) - order for sale of property exceeding £1m in value. Claim to an equity of exoneration in favour of debtor’s wife. Subsequent claim by debtor’s son to damages arising from alleged unlawful eviction.

Estate of Kershaw (2016) - claim brought by executors against former friend of the Deceased to whom monies in the region of £200k had been advanced. Case concerned whether monies were advanced by way of loan or gift, whether the executors could enforce a charge over the Defendant’s property, and whether any order for sale should be suspended.

Estate of Cheetham (2016) - action for revocation of the Grant of Letters of Administration.

"A very formidable opponent." "Joanna is immensely bright and able to generate clever arguments on tricky points of law. She is also very charismatic and an excellent communicator. She is a real all-rounder."

Chambers and Partners 2018

'Recommended for partnership disputes and bankruptcy matters.'

Legal 500, 2017

"'She has got us some excellent results and our clients are very impressed by her.' 'She is very good with clients and very responsive to their needs and our requests. I have no doubt that she is able to manage our clients very well.'"

Chambers and Partners 2017

"'A user-friendly, highly intelligent, tenacious and responsive advocate.'"

Legal 500, 2016

"Her knowledge of the law and tactical awareness is superb; she has an enormous intellect, she's very charismatic and we have been very impressed by the work she has done."

Chambers and Partners 2016

"Provides prompt and crystal-clear advice."

Legal 500 2014

"She has a practical, sustainable, punchy approach." "She is very tenacious and she dug around to find points we hadn't previously appreciated. She is very easy to deal with." 

Chambers & Partners 2014

"charming with judges, but does not duck the difficult arguments"

Legal 500 2013

Has been recommended for her "very in-depth knowledge"

Legal 500, 2012

"tipped as promising, she gets involved immediately and thinks ahead."

Legal 500, 2008

Specialist Areas of Practice:

Business and Property Group

Download CVs:

Commercial & Property CV [PDF]

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