Valentina Sloane

Valentina Sloane
Call 2000
Education

BA, Oxford (First Class) Diplome d’etudes specialisees en droit europeen, Brussels (Grande Distinction)

Contact the Clerks

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

Valentina has extensive experience in EU, tax and procurement law. She is consistently ranked as one of the leading juniors in her fields in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, where she is recommended as a “standout” junior and “a rising star”. She is “extraordinarily bright”, “a formidable opponent”, “excellent on paper” and “a tough, tenacious and brilliant advocate”.  She is also “extremely user-friendly and responsive” and ”has great client-facing skills”. She has been instructed in many of the leading cases in her fields, frequently against a QC.

Valentina is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel and has wide-ranging public law and judicial review expertise.

Recent / Major Cases

Before the ECJ:

  • Case C-134/13 Fluke and Raytek (customs classification of thermal imagers)
  • Case C-259/10 Rank Group plc (gambling, tax, fiscal neutrality)
  • Case C-215/10 Pacific World and FDD International (customs classification)
  • Case C-517/07 Afton Chemicals (excise duties, mineral oils, electricity, energy)
  • Case C-506/04 Graham Wilson v. Conseil de l’ordre des avocats du barreau de Luxembourg (freedom of establishment)
  • Case C-452/03 RAL (Channel Islands) Limited v Customs and Excise (gambling, tax, place of supply)

Before the Supreme Court/House of Lords:

  • Rank Group plc [2014], pending (gambling, statutory interpretation)
  • Pendragon [2014], pending (car industry, alleged VAT avoidance)
  • Fleming / Conde Nast v. HMRC [2008] UKHL 2 (legality of time limits)
  • Dr Beynon and Partners v. Customs and Excise [2004] UKHL 53 (single/multiple supplies, healthcare)

Before the Court of Appeal:

  • Insurancewide and Trader Media [2010] EWCA Civ 422 (insurance intermediary exemption)
  • Bloomsbury International Ltd v Sea Fish Industry Authority & Defra [2010] EWCA Civ 263 (legality of levy on sea fish products, charge equivalent to a customs duty)
  • BAGS & Others v Amalgamated Racing [2009] EWCA Civ 750 (horseracing, betting, media rights)
  • Dwr Cymru v Albion Water [2008] EWCA Civ 536 (water industry, margin squeeze)
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Longborough Festival Opera v Customs and Excise [2006] EWCA Civ 1281 (cultural exemption)

High Court:

  • NP Aerospace Limited (trading as Morgan Advanced Materials Composites and Defence Systems) v Ministry of Defence [2014] EWHC 2741 (TCC) (procurement, allegedly abnormally low tender and alleged breaches of obligations of equal treatment and transparency).
  • Fujitsu Services Ltd v (1) Department of Transport (2) IBM UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 1177 (HC) (procurement, novation and Pressetext amendments)
  • R (on the application of National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, Transport Salaried Staffs Association and Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) v (1) Secretary of State for Transport (2) First Capital Connect [2014] EWHC (Admin) (alleged failure to consult and a breach of Regulation 1370/2007 on public passenger transport by rail and road, arising from the award of a railway franchise).
  • R (on the application of The Minister for Economic Development of the States of Jersey ) v Revenue and Customs [2012] EWHC 718 (Admin) (legality of legislation closing low value consignment relief)
  • R (on the application of UNISON) v NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust & 9 Others & (1) NHS Shared Business Services Ltd (2) Secretary of State for Health [2012] EWHC 624 (Admin) (public procurement, health sector)
  • Portsmouth City Football Club v HMRC [2010] EWHC 75 (Ch) (insolvency)
  • Bloomsbury International Ltd v Sea Fish Industry Authority & Defra [2009] EWHC 1721 (QB) (legality of levy on seafood products)
  • Flir v HMRC [2009] EWHC 82 (thermal imagers, customs classification)
  • R (on the application of SPCM) & Others v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs [2007] EWHC 2610 (Admin) (challenge to validity of EU chemicals legislation)

VAT and customs duty appeals before the Upper Tribunal:

  • Clear plc v HMRC [2014] (application to reinstate struck-out appeal)
  • Barrus & Kubota v HMRC [2013] (dumpers, customs classification)
  • Rank Group plc v HMRC [2012] UKUT 347 (TCC) (gambling, fiscal neutrality)
  • Photron Europe v HMRC [2012] UKUT 275 (TCC) (video recorders, cameras, customs classification)
  • Pendragon v HMRC [2012] UKUT 90 (TCC) (motor industry, alleged VAT avoidance)

VAT and customs duty appeals before the First Tier Tribunal:

  • Honda v HMRC [2013] (tractors, customs classification)
  • TUI Travel plc & Others v HMRC [2012] (tourism, TOMS, discounts)
  • Jaguar Land Rover v Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 562 (motor industry, customs classification, tariff quota)
  • Furukawa Electric Europe Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 129 (TC) (motor industry, customs classification)
  • Dransfield Novelty Company Ltd & Others v Revenue & Customs [2011] UKFTT 348 (TC) (amusement machine licence duty)
  • Oasis Technologies (UK) Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2010] UKFTT 292 (TC) (gaming machines and lotteries)
  • Skipton Building Society [2009] UKFTT (partial exemption and attribution)
  • Allen Carr’s Easyway [2009] UKFTT 181 (medical exemption)
Tax

Valentina is recognised in the directories as one of the top juniors in the field of indirect taxes. Valentina’s taxation expertise includes VAT, customs duties, excise duties (including duties on alcohol and tobacco, oil duties, amusement machine licence duty and other gambling duties) and landfill tax.

She is recommended in the directories as a “standout” junior, a “rising star, on the shortlist of top juniors for VAT”, “extraordinarily bright”, “excellent on paper” and a “tough, tenacious and brilliant advocate”. She is also described as “measured, careful and very pleasant to work with”.

The most recent edition of Chambers and Partners observes that Valentina has “contributed to some of this year’s most important indirect tax cases” and is “acclaimed for her “clearly structured arguments” and for never taking bad points”. The previous edition noted that she is “held in the highest regard by interviewees, with peers singling her out as a “formidable opponent.”

Valentina is a contributor to the Tax Journal and De Voil Tax Intelligence.

Major VAT cases include:

  • Pendragon, Court of Appeal [2013] (motor industry, VAT avoidance)
  • Rank Group Ltd, Court of Appeal and ECJ [2013] (gaming and fiscal neutrality)
  • TUI Travel plc & Others v HMRC [2012] (discounts, tourism, Elida Gibbs, TOMS)
  • R (on the application of Jersey & Guernsey ) v Revenue and Customs [2012] (low value consignment relief)
  • Insurancewide & Trader Media, Court of Appeal [2010] (insurance intermediary exemption)
  • Portsmouth City Football Club v HMRC [2010] (insolvency and VAT)
  • Oasis Technologies (UK) Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2010] (gaming machines and lotteries)
  • Skipton Building Society [2009] UKFTT (partial exemption and attribution)
  • Allen Carr’s Easyway [2009] UKFTT 181 (medical exemption)
  • Fleming / Conde Nast v. HMRC [2008] UKHL 2 (compatibility of time limits with EU law)
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra [2006] EWCA Civ 1281 (cultural exemption)
  • Longborough Festive Opera [2006] EWCA Civ 1281 (cultural exemption)
  • Salon 24 [2006] EWHC 111 (Ch) (single/multiple supplies)
  • Beynon and Partners [2004] UKHL 53 (healthcare, multiple/single supplies)
  • Case C-452/03 RAL (Channel Islands) Limited (tax avoidance)
  • Laura Ashley [2003] EWHC 2832 (Ch) (recovery of refunds, capping)

Customs duty cases include:

  • Honda v HMRC [2013] (tractors, customs classification)
  • Icelandic v European Commission [2012] (action for annulment, Articles 220, 236 and 239 of the Customs Code, remission and repayment of customs duties)
  • Jaguar Land Rover v Revenue & Customs [2012] (customs classification, tariff quota)
  • Furukawa Electric Europe Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2012] (motor industry, electronics, customs classification)
  • Photron v HMRC [2012] (video recorders, cameras, customs classification)
  • Pacific World and FDD International, ECJ [2011] (false nails, plastics, customs classification)
  • Bloomsbury International Ltd, Court of Appeal [2010] (seafood products, charge equivalent to customs duty)
  • Flir [2009] EWHC 82 (Ch) (thermal imagers, customs classification)
  • NGK Spark Plugs, C00269 [2009] (customs classification)
  • AgroEuropa, C00255 [2008] (food, customs classification and procedure)
  • Fluke Europe, C00228 [2006] (customs classification)
  • Motorola, C00225 [2006] (telecoms, interest on customs duty repayment)
  • Arcadia Group Ltd, C00211 [2006] (retail industry, valuation for customs duties)
  • David Hendry, C00192 [2005] (valuation for customs duties)

Excise duty cases include:

  • Dransfield Novelty Company Ltd & Others v Revenue & Customs [2011] (amusement machine licence duty)
  • Case C-517/07 Afton Chemical: reference to the ECJ on compatibility of domestic legislation with Council Directive 92/81/EC on excise duties on mineral oils and Council Directive 2003/96/EC on taxation of energy products and electricity
  • Morris Young [2007] (hydrocarbon oil duty)
  • H&S Handel Und Transport [2004] (forfeiture and restoration)
  • Strouthos v HMRC [2004] (forfeiture and restoration)
Procurement

Valentina has extensive experience of EU procurement and is currently acting in a variety of leading cases against QCs. She is ranked in the top tier of leading juniors in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners where she is recommended for her “intellectual power and focus”, her “technical excellence” and for being “extremely user-friendly and responsive”.

She has experience of litigation in all of the EU procurement regimes, including public contracts, utilities and defence and security, concessions and railways. She regularly acts and advises in relation to interlocutory and procedural issues arising in procurement litigation, including in particular protection of confidentiality, applications for early or specific disclosure, applications to intervene and pursuing or defending applications to lift the automatic suspension.

A significant number of her cases have been resolved by mediation leading to settlement on confidential terms.

In Chambers and Partners (2014), she is stated as having “over a decade’s experience advising on procurement disputes, either unled or in tandem with leading silks in the field. She is instructed by the leading solicitors in the market” and is recommended for “the quality of her drafting skills and her approachable mien with clients”.

She has also been described in earlier editions as “very good, especially when on the attack” and “widely respected”. “She picks things up quickly, has a good knowledge of the law and turns things around with great efficiency” and has “clear experience of and skill in handling procurement work”.

Recent cases include:

  • NP Aerospace Limited (trading as Morgan Advanced Materials Composites and Defence Systems) v Ministry of Defence [2014] EWHC 2741 (TCC). Represents the Ministry of Defence in ongoing proceedings concerning a claim for damages in respect of an allegedly abnormally low tender and alleged breaches of obligations of equal treatment and transparency. Successfully applied to lift the automatic suspension.
  • Vestey Foods UK Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence [2014] EWHC (TCC). Represents the claimant in ongoing proceedings concerning a claim for damages in respect of alleged breaches of EU law in the rejection of a tender as non-compliant.
  • Medicure v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2014] EWHC (HC). Represents the Cabinet Office in ongoing proceedings claiming breaches of EU law arising out of alleged amendments to and allegedly improper use of a framework agreement for the provision of locum doctors.
  • Fujitsu Services Ltd v (1) Department of Transport (2) IBM UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 1177 (HC). Represented the Department of Transport in proceedings seeking damages and a declaration for ineffectiveness, concerning an allegedly unlawful novation and Pressetext amendments to a contract. Successfully resisted interlocutory applications relating to disclosure. The case settled on confidential terms.
  • R (on the application of National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, Transport Salaried Staffs Association and Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen) v (1) Secretary of State for Transport (2) First Capital Connect [2014] EWHC (Admin). Represented the interested party in this judicial review alleging a failure to consult and a breach of Regulation 1370/2007 on public passenger transport by rail and road, arising from the award of a railway franchise.
  • Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd v (1) Minister for the Cabinet (2) Secretary of State for Transport [2013] EWHC (TCC). Acted for the Defendants in proceedings concerning alleged breaches of obligations of equal treatment and transparency in the application of the assessment of financial standing and an allegedly abnormally low tender. The case settled on confidential terms.
  • R (on the application of UNISON) v NHS Wiltshire Primary Care Trust & 9 Others & (1) NHS Shared Business Services Ltd (2) Secretary of State for Health [2012] EWHC 624 (Admin). Acted for the interested party in a judicial review challenging the decisions of the defendant primary care trusts to outsource family health services to the interested party. Eady J. determined that the unions did not have sufficient standing to bring the judicial review and were out of time. An appeal was due to be heard in the Court of Appeal but settled prior to the hearing.
What the Directories Say

‘Intellectual power and focus.’ Valentina is ranked as a leading Junior in Procurement Law – Legal 500, 2014

‘She is extremely thorough, an excellent advocate, and has great client-facing skills.’  Valentina Sloane is a recommended leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT Law – Legal 500, 2014

Under Public Procurement Law: Often instructed as a lead barrister on her own, but also has a wealth of experience working alongside the set’s leading silks. She is highly regarded for her excellent written opinions.”She has a very commercial grasp of the procurement rules and her opinions are always written with the end client in mind.”Chambers UK, 2014

Under Tax: Indirect Tax: Regularly represents the taxpayer and has experience working on behalf of some of the country’s most prominent accountancy firms. She has acted without a leader in the ECJ and Court of Appeal. “She has an excellent reputation across the private sector and with the HMRC.”Chambers UK, 2014

“Valentina Sloane is ‘an excellent advocate in court’ and ‘a great client server who is extremely clear in her advice’.” She is recommended as a leading Junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT Law. Legal 500, 2013

Valentina Sloane is also a recommended Leading Junior in EU & Competition Law and Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2013

“Valentina Sloane has contributed to some of this year’s most important indirect tax cases, representing, for example, the taxpayer in Rank Group v HM Revenue and Customs (ECJ), a gaming industry test case. She is acclaimed for her “clearly structured arguments” and for never taking bad points.” Chambers UK, 2013

“Valentina Sloane has over a decade’s experience advising on procurement disputes, either unled or in tandem with leading silks in the field. She is instructed by the leading solicitors in the market, one of whom remarked on the quality of her drafting skills and her approachable mien with clients.” Chambers UK, 2013

Under Tax: Corporate and VAT Law: “recommended juniors include the ‘standout’ Valentina Sloane.” – Legal 500, 2012

Valentina Sloane is a recommended leading junior in EU and Competition Law. Legal 500, 2012

Under Tax, “the “extraordinarily bright” Valentina Sloane is held in the highest regard by interviewees, with peers singling her out as a “formidable opponent.” As well as tax, her practice incorporates European, procurement and competition law. On the tax side she deals with VAT, customs duties and excise duties on behalf of accountancy firms, tax consultancies and solicitors’ firms.” – Chambers UK, 2012

For Public Procurement, “Valentina Sloane elicits strong praise from peers due to her “clear experience of and skill in handling procurement work.” Her qualities were recently demonstrated when she handled a procurement claim relating to the Sandwell Waste Improvement Programme.” – Chambers UK, 2012

Tax: Corporate & VAT recommends Valentina Sloane ” whois ‘professional in advocacy, preparation and strategy’.”  Legal 500, 2011

“Valentina Sloane is an accomplished advocate who handles VAT and other indirect tax matters. Recommended for her knowledge of European law and her “crystal-clear opinions,” she is never less than busy.” – Chambers UK, 2011

Recommended in Public Procurement Law “Valentina Sloane is a widely respected junior, who has an exceptional VAT practice to match her procurement work. “She picks things up quickly, has a good knowledge of the law and turns things around with great efficiency.” Along with Paul Lasok QC, she has been acting for the Environment Agency with regard to a troubled IT procurement for the agency. Proceedings were brought in the High Court by ATOS, which is claiming damages for loss of profit and wasted bid costs.” – Chambers UK, 2011

Additional Information

Valentina studied law at St. John’s College, Oxford where she gained first class honours. She was awarded a Wiener-Anspach scholarship to undertake a year of postgraduate study at the Institut d’Etudes Européennes in Brussels, where she gained a diplôme d’études spécialisées en droit européen (LLM) with a grande distinction. Valentina was a Bedingfield Scholar of Gray’s Inn.

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