Waqar Shah, Managing Associate, Dispute Resolution

Waqar Shah


Personal Profile

Waqar is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution department, focusing on high value complex indirect and direct tax cases and matters concerning tax avoidance.

He has considerable experience in judicial reviews and group litigation orders and has assisted and managed high profile matters at all levels from the Tax Tribunal through to the Supreme Court.

Recently, Waqar has had particular success in Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.

Waqar has acted for FTSE 100 and high net worth clients and has been published in a number of tax publications.

Beyond contentious tax work, Waqar has general commercial litigation experience in breach of warranty cases and has assisted on fraud matters, including investigations into alleged bribery and corruption.

Key Experience


  • Acted on and managed a variety of matters before the Courts and Tax Tribunals, as well as advising at a pre-litigation stage on other cases, including: VAT
  • Mercedes-Benz Financial UK Limited's hearing in the Court of Appeal, as to whether supplies of certain products are correctly considered supplies of goods or supplies of services for VAT purposes.  This included the subsequent referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Zipvit's appeal to the Upper Tribunal relating to the VAT treatment of postal services supplied by Royal Mail.
  • Kumon's successful appeal in the First-tier Tribunal relating to VAT and contingent discounts.
  • Taylor Wimpey plc's white goods claim, in respect of whether VAT incurred by the taxpayer on the purchase of white goods that it installed into new houses could be reclaimed.
  • Advising an online gambling company in respect of its litigation relating to the recovery of VAT on transaction costs.
  • Advising high net worth individuals on the VAT status across the EU on the importation of luxury vehicles.

Customs Duty

  • Managing a global electronics company's customs duty litigation on the classification of a portable music device, specifically, whether it should be classified as a music or video player. 

Excise Duty

  • Acting for a warehouse and distribution company in respect of its appeal against excise duty assessments in the First-tier Tribunal and a related judicial review in the High Court.

Direct Tax

  • Advising on multiple matters relating to 'Disguised Remuneration' on Employee Benefit and Remuneration Trusts, particularly with regards to settlement.
  • Advising on recipients on Accelerated Payment Notices and Follower Notices respectively.
  • Nottingham City Council's appeal to the First-tier Tribunal in respect of income tax and National Insurance Contributions on its salary sacrifice bus pass scheme.
  • Versteegh Limited's litigation in respect of a scheme designed to achieve a corporation tax deduction (as part of a number of joint claims claim).
  • Vocalspruce's appeal in respect of whether the profit on loan notes is subject to a charge to corporation tax, as a result of certain intra-group financing arrangements.


  • The Prudential privilege litigation in the Supreme Court, which considered whether legal advice privilege should extend to legal advice given by accountants (one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases of 2012).
  • The States of Jersey's judicial review, in respect of the government’s decision to abolish Low Value Consignment Relief for goods imported from the Channel Islands.
  • A Francovich damages claim against the government relating to its failure to stop evasion, avoidance and abuse in respect of Channel Islands' fulfilment industry. 
  • Sycamore's High Court (and then Court of Appeal) proceedings, in respect of whether express warranties in a share sale agreement could also found an action for misrepresentation.


  • Assisting with the investigation into the accounting practices and acquisition history of a large Japanese manufacturer, in response to allegations of fraud.

Articles & Publications

"Zipvit: diluting the fundamental right to recover input VAT?" - Tax Journal, 22 July 2016
"Yearly VAT Roundup" – LexisNexis (webinar), 6 October 2015
"Kumon: credit notes and contingent discounts" – Tax Journal, 24 April 2015
"Mapcargo: take care with customs procedure code" – Tax Journal, 22 November 2013

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Managing Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Solicitor, PwC Legal LLP
Trainee Solicitor, PwC Legal LLP
The College of Law, London, Legal Practice Course
City University, London, Law (LLB) (Hons)

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