The first VAT practitioner to be listed as one of The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ in 2013, Melanie Hall has been described as a ‘sensational litigator’ and a ‘razor sharp advocate’. Melanie has been an acknowledged leader in the field of VAT for many years. She is a tenacious and well-respected advocate who is respected for her ability to communicate complex points of law to both clients and courts with simplicity and clarity. She has a particular reputation for rigorous cross examination, thorough legal research and effective and persuasive presentation. Her background as a commercial litigator and EU Law specialist is particularly valued by clients. Since Melanie acts for and is therefore respected by both HMRC and the private sector, each set of clients can take comfort from the fact that any legal opinion she expresses will be respected by the other side.
Melanie’s cases have shaped the structure and boundaries of VAT and other indirect taxes. In recent months she has defended the legality of the very existence of VAT on hot takeaway food; the Aggregates Levy; the UK’s VAT Grouping legislation and the Landfill Tax. Over the years she has appeared in other key cases such as Mobilx, Southern Primary and the Mirror Group before the Court of Appeal and in cases such as Redrow, Eastbourne Radio Cars and Taxis and Dr Beynon before what is now the Supreme Court. She is also a well known and respected advocate in Luxembourg where she has argued cases before the European Court of Justice such as EC v UK on VAT Grouping, TNT, The Wellcome Foundation, Midland Bank, Abbey National, and Kretztechnik. There are very few areas of VAT upon which she has not advised.
Although she acts for HMRC, she is frequently engaged by taxpayers, representing a broad range of household name clients which include local authorities, hoteliers, universities and charities (large and small), high street retailers, publishers, banks and other financial institutions, telecommunications providers, pharmaceutical companies, premier league football clubs and gambling operators.
- What the Directories Say
Under Tax: Indirect Tax: A force to be reckoned with for the most sophisticated of VAT disputes, she has enjoyed success on behalf of clients ranging from major organisations to HMRC. “Melanie is hugely well prepared, very thorough and has a pleasingly direct client manner.” Chambers UK 2014
“Clients value highly Melanie Hall QC’s ‘ability to apply deep insight, and respond immediately to changing circumstances with agility and sagacity’.” Recommended as a leading silk under Tax: Corporate & VAT. Legal 500 2013
Recommended as a leading Silk under EU and Competition Law. Legal 500 2013
“A razor sharp advocate” The Lawyer, 2013
“The “very tenacious” Melanie Hall QC is a tough opponent for anyone at the Bar, whatever their seniority. Her knowledge of VAT and customs duties is such that she has been engaged in some of the most important indirect tax cases of recent years. Recently, she acted in British Aggregates Association v European Commission, a case concerning the legality of the Aggregates Levy that went on appeal to the ECJ.” Chambers UK, 2013
Under EU and Competition Law Melanie Hall QC is described as ‘informative, helpful and determined.’ – Legal 500, 2012
Under Tax: Corporate and VAT Law: “Melanie Hall QC has the ‘drive and determination that clients seek’.” – Legal 500, 2012
Melanie Hall QC is regarded as “calm, collected and analytically spot-on” by commentators. Her recent work has included the major Calltel, Mobilx and Blue Sphere VAT case in the Court of Appeal. - Chambers UK, 2012
Tax: Corporate and VAT states that Melanie Hall QC “is ‘very thorough and always well prepared’, and appeared in Calltel, Mobilx & Blue Sphere.” Legal 500, 2011
Recommended in Tax: Indirect Tax in Chambers UK, 2011 “the “polished and charming” Melanie Hall QC, handles VAT and customs duties matters, often appearing in the House of Lords and the ECJ. Sources say that she “always presents compelling arguments before the most demanding of tribunals.”