Paul Harris QC

Paul Harris QC
Call 1994 | Silk 2011
Education

MA (Cantab) (First Class) (Law & Economics) (Trinity Hall); LL.M. (University of California, Berkeley) (Fulbright)

Contact the Clerks

+44 (0)20 7405 7211 | chambers@monckton.com

Paul’s practice concentrates on contested litigation and advocacy, particularly in the fields of competition, European, broadcasting, public/administrative, sports, and VAT law. He has an unparalleled reputation in these fields and has consistently been recognised in legal publications as a skilful, effective and approachable advocate in his areas of specialisation.

For instance, prior to taking Silk in 2011, Paul was the Chambers Bar Awards ‘Junior of the Year’ for EU and Competition law (2010-2011), he was ranked as England’s number 1 ‘star’ Sports law junior in Chambers and Partners for many years, and he featured as a Litigator in The Lawyers “Hot 100″ in 2010.

Paul has also been a long-standing member of the A Panel of Junior Treasury Counsel, specialising in judicial review/administrative law, European and VAT law.

He appears regularly in all manner of domestic and international Courts and Tribunals including, recently, the Court of Appeal (Fulham FC v. The Premier League), (‘TurfTV’ dispute), (divestiture of Stansted airport), the CAT (Pay TV appeals) (Construction cartel) & (CRF cartel), the High Court (Nokia LCDs competition damages action), (Alstom v. Eurostar & Siemens), (‘Bloodgate’ appeal), (Copper Tubes and Copper Fittings cartel damages actions), (Gaviscon: abuse of dominance), the Administrative Court (disposal of Olympic Stadium), the Companies Court (Hicks & Gillett v Liverpool FC), the Upper Tribunal (ERF: VAT penalties), The FIFA Ethics Committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (World Cup vote scandal) and many more.

Paul belongs to the Bar European Group, the Bar Sports Law Group, the Competition Law Association, the UK State aid law association and COMBAR. He is also former Vice-Chairman and a Director of the British Association for Sport and Law, member of the VAT Practitioners Group, and he is qualified as a Legal Practitioner of New South Wales, Australia.

During 2012 he was very active in matters relating to the London Olympics, see “Sports and Olympics” below, and has vast experience before a wide range of sporting adjudicative bodies.

Recent / Major Cases

Administrative, including Human Rights

  • John Lewis plc v. OFT [2013] CAT 7 (judicial review challenge concerning extended warranties website decision)
  • Tottenham Hotspur and others v. The Olympic Park Legacy Corporation and others (Admin) (2012) (judicial review and state aid challenge to the decision to select the West Ham Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium)
  • BAA v. Competition Commission [2012] EWCA Civ 1077 (Court of Appeal)(judicial review challenge to order compelling divestiture of Stansted airport)
  • Stephen Brennan v. The Health Professions Council [2011] EWHC 41 (Admin) (‘Bloodgate’ appeal; failure of professional disciplinary body to give adequate reasons)
  • Sports Direct v. The Competition Commission [2009] CAT (Enterprise Act s.120, judicial review challenge to CC’s disclosure procedure during course of merger inquiry)
  • Merger Action Group v. SSBERR [2008] CAT 36 (Enterprise Act s.120, judicial review challenge to Secretary of State decision not to refer Lloyds/HBOS merger to competition commission)
  • MAN ERF v. HMRC (2008) (judicial review of HMRC policy of apportionment of s.61 penalties as between directors and company)
  • R (Boughton & Others) v. HM Treasury (2006)(Admin. Court) (conscientious objection, freedom of religion, Article 9 ECHR)
  • Taylor v. Lancashire CC (2005) HRLR 17 (Court of Appeal) (Article 14 ECHR, scope and effect of HRA 1998, meaning of “victim”)
  • Hawkins & Feakins v. Rural Payments Agency (2005) (Court of Appeal) (statutory construction, transactions at an undervalue, direct effect, EC law damages, trespass)
  • R v. ITC ex p TVDanmark (2004) (House of Lords) (TV Without Frontiers Directive, cross-border transmissions)

Commercial Competition

  • WH Newson v. IMI plc & ors (Copper Tube and Copper Fittings cartels, damages actions and contribution proceedings)
  • NHS v. Reckitt Benckiser (‘Gaviscon’, pharma abuse of dominance, damages action)
  • Nokia v. Hitachi and others (LCD and CRT cartels, multi-Defendant, multi-jurisdictional damages action)
  • Cable & Wireless v. OFCOM [2009] CAT (leased lines charge control, telecoms regulation)
  • PKF Corringway v. OFT [2009] CAT (construction cartel, penalty appeal)
  • Cresta Furntiure v. Natuzzi [2009] (Ch) (furniture distribution, alleged RPM)
  • Hays plc v. OFT [2009] CAT (construction recruitment cartel, penalty appeal, challenge to MDT)
  • Eden Brown & Others v. OFT (2009) (construction recruitment cartel, penalties)
  • William Hill & Ladbrokes & others v. Racing UK & others [2009] EWCA Civ 750 (Court of Appeal, ‘TurfTV’ new broadcasting market entrant, Ch I prohibition, horizontal collusion, foreclosure, exclusivity, collectivity, effect of article 81(2))
  • Chester City Council v. Arriva [2007] EWHC 1373 (Ch) (market for bus services, abuse of dominance, ‘flooding’, predatory pricing, geographic scope)
  • adidas v. the ITF & others [2006] EWHC 2262 (Ch) (challenge to rules of tennis world governing body and Grand Slams, Articles 81EC and 82EC, discrimination, disproportionate impact, interim injunction)
  • Umbro; Manchester United Plc; JJB Sports; Allsports Ltd v OFT [2005] CAT 22 (price-fixing cartel for replica football shirts, level of penalties)

Other Commercial

  • Sir Martin Broughton vs Hicks & Gillett and others (High Court)(2010) (dispute regarding the sale of Liverpool FC)
  • Alstom v. Eurostar and Siemens (High Court)(2011) (public procurement challenge to tender for new Eurostar trains)
  • FMC Foret v. Unilever [2009] (Commercial Court) (worldwide sales of STPP)
  • Nokia Gmbh v. IPCOM (2009)(FRAND patent issues re mobile phones)
  • BWFC v. Kalivions (2009)(liability under image rights agreements)
  • SuperAguri (2008) (Formula 1 contract dispute)
  • MSM SATELLITE (SINGAPORE) (2008) (valuation of broadcasting rights)
  • Frontier Estates (2008) (directors’ liability, breach of trust)
  • ALPHAMERIC / SIS (2008) (use of horse racing data rights)

Broadcasting

  • Sky and The FAPL v. Ofcom and others [CAT] (2011) (challenge to Ofcom’s decision to impose the Wholesale Must Offer remedy upon Sky in respect of its supplies of Sky Sports 1 and 2)
  • William Hill & Ladbrokes & others v. Racing UK & others [2009] EWCA Civ 750 (Court of Appeal, ‘TurfTV’ new broadcasting market entrant, Ch I prohibition, horizontal collusion, foreclosure, exclusivity, collectivity, effect of article 81(2))
  • The Film Council (2010): advising on the Government’s plans to disband The Film Council
  • Carlton/Granada merger: advising on issues arising out of the merger remedy
  • R v. ITC ex p TVDanmark (House of Lords) (TV Without Frontiers Directive, cross-border transmissions)
  • Bacardi-Martini v TÉLÉVISION FRANÇAISE TF1 (CASE C-429/02) (compatibility with EU law of alcohol advertising in cross-border transmissions)
  • RTL Television v .NLPR (Case No. C-245/01) (compatibility of legislation regarding advertising breaks with EU law)

European

  • Tottenham Hotspur and others v. The Olympic Park Legacy Corporation and others (Admin) (2012) (judicial review and state aid challenge to the decision to select the West Ham Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium)
  • Beheer (2008) Case C-124/07 (VAT treatment of insurance intermediaries)
  • HMRC v. Isle of Wight Council (2008) Case C-288/07 (correct meaning of Article 4(5) 6th Directive, “significant distortions of competition”)
  • Securenta (2008) Case C‑437/06 (economic and non-economic activities, right to deduct)
  • Gotz (2007) C‑408/06 (economic activity, transactions of agricultural intervention agencies and staff shops, geographic market)
  • Compaq (2006) Case C-306/04 (customs value, laptop computers equipped with operating systems software)
  • Tempelman (2005) (ECJ) (interpretation of Community animal health legislation, foot and mouth epidemic)
  • Bacardi-Martini v TÉLÉVISION FRANÇAISE TF1 (CASE C-429/02) (compatibility with EU law of alcohol advertising in cross-border transmissions)
  • RTL Television v .NLPR (Case No. C-245/01) (compatibility of legislation regarding advertising breaks with EU law)

Sports and Olympics

  • Disputes concerning athlete and team Olympic selection (2012), including Joe Ward v. AIBA and IOC (2012) CAS ad hoc division: http://www.tas-cas.org/recent-decision
  • Disputes concerning athlete and team Olympic selection (2012)
  • Disputes concerning application of London Olympic Association Right (2012)
  • Disputes concerning Olympic Team Members/Participation Agreement (2012)
  • Tottenham Hotspur and others v. The Olympic Park Legacy Corporation and others (2011) (Admin) (judicial review challenge to the decision to select the West Ham Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium)
  • 3 strikes and out: dispute regarding application of 3 missed drugs test rule to gold medal contender Olympic athlete (2011)
  • Dispute about the entry of Team GB football team to the Olympic tournament (2011)
  • Portsmouth FC v. Tottenham Hotspur FC (2011) (PL arbitration) (Transfer dispute)
  • Netball New Zealand v. IFNA (CAS) (challenge to the decision on eligibility of a leading NZ netball player)
  • World Cup Vote Affair (2011) (FIFA Ethics and Appeal Committees and then CAS)(allegations of bribery in respect of 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes)
  • Fulham FC v. Sir David Richards and The FAPL (2011)(Court of Appeal)(whether football unfair prejudice petition should be litigated by arbitration or in the Companies Court)
  • Stephen Brennan v. HPC [2011] EWHC 41 (Admin)(‘Bloodgate’ appeal; failure of professional disciplinary body to give adequate reasons)
  • Celtic Rugby Board v. Ospreys [2010] (CR Disciplinary Panel) (disciplinary and misconduct charges for failing to fulfil Match fixture)
  • Premier Rugby v. London Wasps [2009] (PR Panel) (alleged rule breaches from non-fulfilment of fixture)
  • Bolton Wanderers FC v. Nicolas Anelka & others [2009] (High Court) (image rights dispute)
  • The Renault ‘crashgate’ hearing before the WMSC
  • The Formula 1 ‘budget cap’ and ‘breakaway’ dispute
  • Ferrari v. FIA & Brawn GP (2009)(International Court of Appeal) (“diffusers” appeal)
  • Adrian Mutu v. Chelsea FC (2009) (CAS appeal against compensation order)
  • McLaren Mercedes v. FIA (2008) (International Court of Appeal) (appeal against Stewards Decision, Spa Grand Prix, admissibility, obtaining an advantage)
  • Sheffield United FC v. West Ham United FC (2008)(FA Arbitration) (CAS appeal)(compensation for relegation arising out of West Ham’s use of Carlos Tevez)
  • Luton Town FC v. The FA (2008) (transfer rules breach, deduction of points)
  • Bergamasco & Del Fava v. 6 Nations (6 Nations disciplinary hearings, Italian RFU)
  • Gabriel Heinze v. Manchester United FC (2007) (Premier League) (disputed transfer to Liverpool FC)
  • The Carlos Tevez affair (2007) (Premier League fine on West Ham, disputes with rights owners)
  • Jon Obi Mikel and Chelsea FC v. Manchester United FC (2006) (FIFA Dispute Resolution Committee) (dispute over pre-contract option agreement, Nigerian international player)
  • Manchester City FC v. Joe Royle [2005] EWCA Civ 195 (Court of Appeal) (interpretation of commercial contract, termination of service, Premiership club and former manager)

VAT

  • A major London land development (2013) (options to tax, planning gain agreements, exemption, ‘funding’ and Schedule 10 anti-avoidance measures)
  • Dreams Beds plc v HMRC (2013) (fiscal neutrality, zero-rating of supplies made to invalids)
  • HMRC v. Isle of Wight Council & others Case (ongoing) (supplies of car parking services, correct meaning of Article 4(5) 6th Directive, “significant distortions of competition”)
  • MAN ERF v. HMRC (2012) (FTC/66/2010) (Upper Tribunal)(dishonesty attribution to company, penalties, mitigation, proportionality)
  • Hammersmith and West London College v HMRC (VAT Tribunal)(election to waive exemption over sale of educational land site)
  • Ford Motor Company & others v. HMRC [2008] EWHC 712 (Admin) (VAT period staggers, legislation and policy)
  • RFU v HMRC (VAT Tribunal) (financing of property transactions by means of debentures, nature of supplies, taxable/exempt)
  • Securenta (2008) Case C‑437/06 (economic and non-economic activities, right to deduct)
  • ICSIL (IDT) v. HMRC (2006) (Court of Appeal) (VAT treatment of vouchers, Marleasing doctrine, territorial scope of 6th Directive)
  • Southampton University v HMRC [2006] EWHC 528 (Ch) (whether publicly funded research within the scope of VAT, scope of the right to deduct)
  • Zielinski Baker [2004] UKHL 7 (House of Lords)( zero-rating of land development re protected buildings)
Administrative Law including Human Rights

Paul was for many years a member of the A Panel of Treasury Counsel and amassed considerable experience in the field of public and administrative law, both for and against the Government. He continues to be particularly active in contested court/tribunal work, at all levels, and is regularly instructed in judicial review proceedings and/or to advise in relation to judicial review. Recent examples include John Lewis plc v. OFT [2013] CAT 7 (judicial review challenge concerning extended warranties website decision), Portsmouth Supporters Trust (2013) (state aid complaint concerning a football stadium), Tottenham Hotspur and others v. The Olympic Park Legacy Corporation and others (Admin) (2012) (judicial review and state aid challenge to the decision to select the West Ham Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium), BAA v. Competition Commission [2012] EWCA Civ 1077 (Court of Appeal)(judicial review challenge to order compelling divestiture of Stansted airport).

Other high profile cases have included the urgent judicial review challenge under s.120 of the Enterprise Act to the Secretary of State’s decision, in the context of the recent banking/financial crisis, not to refer the Lloyds/HBOS merger to competition commission.

Paul has appeared in many other leading Court of Appeal cases on public administrative/European law matters:

  • Robin Feakins (concerning direct applicability of EU derogations, and relevance of motive in judicial review)
  • Searby (concerning the ability of criminal defendants to run ‘Euro’ defences)
  • Taylor (Article 14 ECHR, and section 6 HRA 1998)
  • Feakins & Hawkins (express and implied statutory powers, direct effect, scope of Community interpretive obligations, trespass).

Paul has also appeared in the New Zealand High Court and Court of Appeal in a case concerning attempted publication and broadcast of materials by a former member of Her Majesty’s Special Forces.

Other recent public law issues include legitimate expectation (substantive and procedural), declarations against the State, express and implied powers, social security, false arrest and imprisonment, trespass, misfeasance in public office, agricultural tenancies, possession orders, debentures, unfair and wrongful dismissal, race and sex discrimination, injunctions (interlocutory and final).

Paul specialised in Human Rights law at Cambridge University and again as part of his LLM at Berkeley. Paul’s LLM thesis advocated the incorporation of the ECHR into UK domestic law and since the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998, Paul’s practice has covered human rights litigation including, recently, Article 6 (right to a fair trial), Article 8 (private and family life), Article 10 (freedom of expression), Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1, Protocol 1 (protection of property rights).

Recent cases include Boughton (conscientious tax objectors case under Article 9), ex p. Jackson (Article 10 right to a public or other enquiry) and Taylor (Article 14  and meaning of “victim” under HRA).

Paul has a wealth of experience in relation to all aspects of regulatory judicial review.

Commercial and Competition

In common with other members of this leading commercial Chambers, Paul’s practice sees a concentration in the field of EC and UK competition law and related commercial disputes. In his case there has been a particular focus on contested litigation and trial/court work, and a further niche specialisation in the fields of sports, entertainment and media work.

In recent times, Paul has been instructed in relation to issues such as industrial valves, floating oil rigs, cross-Channel wine trading, joint ventures, trade shows, pan-European software distribution, advertising, dominance on ferry and bus routes, essential facilities at ports/airports, corporate hospitality, wool production, paper and other merchandising distribution, broadcasting discrimination, predatory pricing, excessive pricing, cartels, real estate development, exclusivity, collectivity, objective necessity, and foreclosure.

Paul has virtually unparalleled experience of expedited commercial litigation, in the last 3 years alone having appeared in 4 major High Court expedited actions.

Paul is experienced in approaching and dealing with the OFT, and in guiding clients through investigations and procedures, including ‘dawn raids’ and leniency. Paul has particular expertise in competition penalties and competition compliance and regularly provides (solicitor and/or client) seminars, for example in relation to the criminal cartel offence and the OFT’s extended powers of surveillance etc.

This year’s Lawyer “Hot 100″ describes Paul as “A rising star in the competition world, Harris has appeared in almost every abuse of dominance case in the past few years.

European Law

Paul has extensive experience of many other areas of Community law in addition to competition – such as state aid and free movement and establishment – and appears regularly in the CJEU and General Court. Recent CJEU appearances have included animal health, customs valuation, tax, television broadcasting and intra-Community provision of services.

He is often instructed as a specialist Community law advocate in domestic litigation. Familiar topics for Paul in High Court litigation include state aid, direct effect, Marleasing, emanations of the State, damages against the State, travaux preparatoires, abuse of rights, and Article 4TEU.

Recent cases in which he has been instructed that feature Community law include state aid in the context of football stadia (Olympic stadium, Portsmouth, Plymouth) parallel imports (of pesticides), broadcasting of designated events under the TV Without Frontiers Directive, application and interpretation of the Animal Waste Directive, the Veterinary Checks Directives, the Principal, Sixth and Eighth VAT Directives, the Excise Goods Directive, the Waste Framework Directive, the FMD Directives, the TSE Regulation, free movement rules (for sports professionals), wrongful dismissal by the European Commission, application and interpretation of the Customs Code, Euro defences to criminal proceedings, countervailing duties, Community law derogations, IP licensing and areas of harmonisation.

Other topical ECJ cases in which Paul appeared include RTL Television (application of the TV Without Frontiers Directive to films and soap operas), Tempelman (vires of European disease control legislation) and Bacardi (alcohol advertising at sports events).

Sports & Olympics

Paul continues to be highly sought after as a sports law advocate, a point recognised by his ranking for many years (prior to becoming a Queen’s Counsel) as the number 1 ‘star’ sports law junior barrister in the UK. Chambers and Partners 2012 writes that: “…in terms of the sports market, [he] is already considered to be amongst the most luminous of the Bar’s leading lights. His elevated standing is affirmed by his case list, which includes some of the year’s biggest sports issues … sources believe Harris is “both an absolute A* practitioner intellectually, but also top-notch on the practical side of things, and a man who understands the nuances of a case.” Clients from within the sports industry are unequivocal in their praise: “Harris is a no-nonsense barrister who knows the sports industry intimately and understands exactly what sports people want.”.

Paul is also noted for his approachability and willingness to fight tenaciously for clients’ interests: “[Paul Harris] is ‘extremely bright, yet down-to-earth’ and reaps strong praise for his ‘considerable experience in sports law cases and familiarity with the Premier League and Football Association rules and regulations’.” Legal 500, 2011; “…[Paul produces] outstanding work and [has a] tireless work ethic.” Clients are particularly keen to laud his availability and commercial approach...”: Chambers and Partners 2010.

Paul has unparalleled experience before all varieties of sports forum, whether they be disciplinary, arbitral, High Court or European and has appeared in all manner of sports-specific tribunals including the Court of Arbitration for Sport, FIFA, The FA, the FAPL, Sports Resolutions, Premier Rugby, 6Nations, Magners League, International Hockey, Formula 1 International Court of Appeal, the World Motor Sports Council, English Cricket Board, Amateur Swimming Association and so on. Paul’s write-up as a leading Litigator in The Lawyer “Hot 100″ 2009 refers to his “…slew of sports cases, representing the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile in the appeal hearing concerning Lewis Hamilton, representing West Ham United FC in its dispute with Sheffield United FC, as well as taking a role in the Carlos Tevez litigation.”.

Recent sports disputes include:

  • Olympic athlete selection disputes
  • Olympic (and Commonwealth Games) Team Member disputes
  • Application of London Olympic Association Right legislation
  • Application of ‘3 strikes and you are out’ doping rules to Olympic athletes
  • World Cup voting scandal (CAS) – FIFA Executive Committee Member found guilty of corruption
  • International Hockey dispute – international governing body arbitration panel
  • Netball New Zealand v. IFNA (CAS) – challenge to the decision on eligibility of a leading NZ netball player
  • Indian Cricket League v. BCCI & ors – dispute concerning the formation and operation of the ICL
  • adidas v. The LTA – High Court dispute about branding on tennis apparel during Grand Slams
  • The Renault ‘crashgate’ hearing before the WMSC involving Piquet Jnr and Briatore
  • Ospreys v. Magners League – rugby disciplinary panel hearing and appeal
  • Premier Rugby v. London Wasps (PR Panel) (alleged rule breaches from non-fulfilment of fixture)
  • The Formula 1 ‘budget cap’ and ‘breakaway’ dispute
  • Ferrari v. FIA & Brawn GP (International Court of Appeal) (“diffusers” appeal)
  • Ladbrokes etc. v. AMRAC (horse racing broadcasting) (Court of Appeal)
  • FIA v. Lewis Hamilton (motor racing)(International Court of Appeal)
  • Indian Cricket League (cricket)(ECB Appeal)
  • SuperAguri (motor racing) (High Court)
  • MSM Singapore (cricket)(arbitration)
  • Salary cap (rugby)
  • Bergamasco & Del Fava (rugby union)(6 Nations disciplinary)
  • Westminster Hospitality (rugby union)(High Court)
  • Shand & Others (swimming)(ASA disciplinary)

Recent football disputes include:

  • Kop Football & Broughton and others vs Hicks & Gillett and others (High Court)(ongoing dispute regarding the sale of Liverpool FC)
  • Bolton Wanderers FC v. Nicolas Anelka & others (High Court) (image rights dispute)
  • The Carlos Tevez Affair (FAPL Disciplinary and FA Arb. and CAS and High Court)
  • Adrian Mutu v. Chelsea FC (compensation for breach of contract, CAS appeal)
  • Luton Town FC v. The FA (FA) (transfer irregularities, points deduction)
  • Gabriel Heinze v. Manchester United FC (FAPL Arb)
  • The 2007 FA Football Agents Regulations
  • Manchester United v. Chelsea FC & Jon Obi Mikel (FIFA DRC)
  • Newcastle United v. The FA (Michael Owen)
  • Leeds United v. Chelsea FC & Worthington (Woods & Taiwo)(High Court)
  • Manchester City FC v. Joe Royle (Court of Appeal)
  • Crystal Palace FC v. Bradford City FC (FA Arb)
  • Burscough & others v. The FA (High Court)
  • Lindsay v. Manchester City FC and Kevin Keegan (FA Arb)
  • Leichtenstein v. Clube Atletico Mineiro (Gilberto Silva) (High Court)

Paul has also acted in other sports disputes relating to athletics, golf, basketball, boxing, ice hockey, A1GP racing, rugby league, swimming, greyhound racing, speedway racing and snooker – including in relation to issues such as ticketing, corporate hospitality, challenges to governing bodies, breakaway competitions, touting and other secondary ticketing, licensing, transfers, promotion, undue influence, duress, agency, disciplinary, corporate governance, sponsorship, advertising, branding, media rights, passing off, bias, salary cap and implied terms.

Paul is experienced in international sporting disputes; for instance, he is currently acting in disputes about the operation of cricket and hockey in India.

Clients include clubs, governing bodies, national unions, leagues, agents, players and commercial partners.

Paul is former Vice-Chairman of the British Association of Sport and Law (BASL) and co-author of two chapters (transfers, and relations with sports governing bodies) in Butterworths: Sport Law and Practice.

 

Sports, Entertainment & Media Commercial & Competition

Paul acts often in the niche fields of sport, entertainment and media commercial and competition, including, by way of examples, the following issues:

  • the ‘PAY TV’ dispute about the WMO remedy imposed by Ofcom upon Sky
  • team payment/salary caps
  • brand and IP licensing and distribution
  • collective broadcasting
  • exclusive broadcasting
  • dominance of governing bodies
  • rights of teams to league participation
  • break-away leagues
  • transfer rules
  • ground advertising
  • replica football kits
  • corporate hospitality
  • new competition entrants
  • ‘home grown’ player requirements
  • doping and doping sanctions
  • corporate governance
  • discrimination between participants
  • brand advertising
  • kit and equipment rules
  • disciplinary procedures
  • valuation of rights – image and broadcasting
  • passing off
  • ticketing
  • data rights
VAT & Customs Duties

Paul’s VAT and Customs practice is varied and extensive, both for and against HMRC. He is particularly active as advocate in contested High Court and Tax Tribunal work. Chambers & Partners states that “Paul Harris “always impresses” on VAT cases, consistently proving himself a “real fighter.”” He is known for his abilities both to roll up his sleeves and to handle difficult judges and opponents.

Paul has a wealth of VAT experience, both domestically and in the Court of Justice of the European Union, covering issues such as election to waive exemption/options to tax property, s.106 property planning gain agreements, single/multiple supplies, place of supply, time of supply, economic activity, avoidance, exemptions, territorial jurisdiction, charities, out of scope supplies, neutrality, distortions of competition, right to deduct, cost components, usual place of residence, intra-EC movements of goods, locus standi, excise diversion fraud, MTIC fraud, other carousel fraud, seizure and forfeiture of excise goods, partial exemption special methods, out of country supplies, debentures, general betting duty, abuse of rights, vouchers, penalties.

Recent sectors in relation to which Paul has advised and/or litigated include complex property transactions, including anti-avoidance measures, fiscal neutrality and zero-rating of supplies of manufactured goods, corporate frauds (dishonesty attribution to company, penalties, mitigation, proportionality), motor manufacturing (VAT period staggers, legislation and policy), insurance (economic and non-economic activities, right to deduct), supplies of car parking services, supplies of telecoms – supplies of computers (customs valuation of laptop computers) supplies of land development and architectural.

What the Directories Say

‘He is particularly well known for disputes in the sports, media and telecoms sectors.’ Paul Harris QC is recommended as a leading silk in Commercial Litigation. Legal 500, 2014

‘Very bright and decisive.’  Paul Harris QC is recommended as a leading silk in Media, Entertainment & Sport and EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2014

Paul Harris QC is ranked in Band 1 under Sports Law. “He is very, very hard-working and well regarded, and has an effective style when it comes to clients.” “He is a force of nature; he’s very aggressive and goes for the jugular every time.” Chambers UK, 2014

Under Competition Law: He is a particularly popular choice as lead counsel in follow-on damages actions, not least because of his outstanding litigation skills. “An absolute delight to work with, he is incredibly clever and truly a litigators’ litigator.” “He is very good at devising a strategy.” Chambers UK, 2014

“Paul Harris QC of Monckton Chambers is fast becoming one of the silks of choice for sports advocacy. Peers agree that he is “a first-rate barrister who knows the sports industry inside-out and works very well with clients as a result.” Sports clients are keen to work further with a barrister who “speaks a language we understand; he has the appearance, he gets the strategy – when we’re loading the cannon for a hearing, we want him to fire it.”” Chambers UK, 2013

Under Media, Entertainment and Sport: “The ‘thorough and reliable’ Paul Harris QC successfully acted for the applicant in Brennan v Health Professionals Council, and represented several major sports bodies in their challenge to Ofcom’s decision to compel Sky to provide the Sky Sports 1 and 2 channels to other pay TV retailers.”- Legal 500, 2012

Paul Harris QC is recommended as a leading silk in EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2012

Paul Harris QC is recommended as a leading silk in Media, Entertainment and Sport Law. Legal 500, 2012

Under Competition/European Law, Paul Harris QC is “Commended for his expertise and skill, he is described by solicitors as “a fantastic street fighter in court.” He has been acting in the high-profile recruitment industry cartel case Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd v Office of Fair Trading. – Chambers UK, 2012

Sports Law: “Well supported in the market is Paul Harris QC of Monckton Chambers. He may have only recently taken silk but, in terms of the sports market, is already considered to be amongst the most luminous of the Bar’s leading lights. His elevated standing is affirmed by his case list, which includes some of the year’s biggest sports issues … sources believe Harris is “both an absolute A* practitioner intellectually, but also top-notch on the practical side of things, and a man who understands the nuances of a case.” Clients from within the sports industry are unequivocal in their praise: “Harris is a no-nonsense barrister who knows the sports industry intimately and understands exactly what sports people want.” ” – Chambers UK, 2012

EU & Competition recommend Paul Harris QC as a leading silk. Legal 500, 2011

Media, Entertainment & Sport states that ‘new silk’ Paul Harris “is ‘extremely bright, yet down-to-earth’ and reaps strong praise for his ‘considerable experience in sports law cases and familiarity with the Premier League and Football Association rules and regulations’.” Legal 500, 2011

Tax: Corporate & VAT recommends “‘the high rated’ Paul Harris QC ‘who appeared in ERF v HMRC’.” Legal 500, 2011

Paul Harris is regarded as one of “chambers’ rising stars.” – Global Competition Review: Barrister Survey, 2011

Under Competition/European Law “Paul Harris wins recognition for his “diligence and consistently commercial advice.” “Impressively aggressive as conditions dictate,” he is not one to shirk the fight. Of late, he has acted in such cases as British Afternoon Greyhound Services v Amalgamated Racing” – Chambers UK, 2011

“Paul Harris of Monckton Chambers is another with a tremendous profile within the sports sector. He is frequently involved with sports cases from a competition angle, and draws praise for his advocacy style, which is “straight up and direct – he understands that you need to avoid the kind of pyrotechnics which some of his peers tend to use and which alienate sports tribunals.” ” – Chambers UK, 2011

Winner of the 2010 EU and Competition “Junior of the Year” – Chambers Bar Awards

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