Brendan McGurk

Brendan McGurk
Call 2004 | Northern Ireland Bar 2015
Education
M.A. (Cantab), BCL (Oxon), D.Phil (Oxon)
Contact the Clerks

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

Brendan is a leading junior with a wealth of experience in Commercial, Public law and Regulatory disputes. He offers expertise across Chambers’ core areas and he is in equal demand amongst public and private clients in Judicial Review,  EU, Competition, Procurement, Professional Negligence and Tax litigation. In addition, he regularly acts in Financial Services and Insurance disputes. His intellectual rigour, hard work and commercial common sense has resulted in a thriving advisory practice. Brendan is personable and persuasive and is regularly instructed in his own right as both a trial advocate and an appellate advocate. In addition, he has been an integral team member in several high-value commercial disputes. Brendan is on the executive committee of the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association and the Procurement Lawyers’ Association. Brendan is on the Attorney-General’s B Panel. He is co-author of Professional Indemnity Insurance, the second edition of which was published in February 2016 by Oxford University Press and the chapter on UK Merger Control (with Ben Rayment) in Weinberg and Blank on Takeovers and Mergers. In addition, Brendan has published several articles on Insurance and Competition law. Brendan is recommended as a leading junior in Administrative and Public law, Procurement law and Professional Negligence.

“He is a supremely capable barrister whose public law practice is diverse and of a very high quality.” Chambers UK, 2015

‘intellectually powerful, thorough and hardworking.’ Legal 500, 2012

  • Administrative & Public Law

    “He is good on complex matters and esoteric areas of the law.” – Chambers UK, 2016

    ‘‘Highly impressive.’’ Leading Junior in Administrative and Public Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • Kontic & Ors v Ministry of Defence [2016] EWHC 2034 (QB); (Representing the Ministry of Defence in relation to civil claims brought following the deaths of ethnic Serbs following NATO intervention in Kosovo in June 1999).
    • R(Gallaher Group Ltd and Somerfield Stores Ltd v Competition and Markets Authority [2015] EWHC 84 (Admin) [2016] EWCA Civ 719 : (Representing the CMA, over the alleged failure of the CMA to extend the benefit of certain statements made to one addressee of its Tobacco Cartel decision to other addressees of that decision, alleged to be in breach of its equal treatment obligations).
    • R (Veolia ES Ltd and Ors) v HMRC [2016] EWHC 1880 (Admin); (Representing HMRC in a judicial review claim by a landfill operator seeking to enforce alleged legitimate expectations aid to arise from a Business Brief).
    • R (Hudson Contract Services Ltd) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills [2016] EWHC 884 (Admin); (Representing the Secretary of State over a challenge to the new basis upon which the industrial levy is to be calculated and imposed).
    • Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations v Competition and Markets Authority [2016] EWCA Civ 777 (Representing the CMA in defence of a statutory judicial review brought in relation to its Private Healthcare Market Investigation Report).
    • R (Allpay Limted) v HMRC; (acting for HMRC in defence of a challenge to the lawfulness of a number of retrospective assessments raised on the basis that the Claimant’s supply of debt and payment collection services were treated by the Claimant as exempt when they should have been taxed at the standard rate).

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • R (On the application of Long) v Ministry of Defence: (Brendan acted for the MoD in a challenge to the adequacy of investigations into the deaths of 6 Royal Military Police in Iraq in 2003): [2015] EWCA Civ 770
    • R (Keyu) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [[2015] UKSC 69; (Represented the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in a claim for judicial review arising out of a call for a public inquiry to be held into the deaths of a number of people during the Malayan Emergency in 1948).
    • R (Biffa Waste Services Ltd) v HMRC [2016] EWHC 1444 (Admin); (Representing HMRC in a legitimate expectation claim over the scope of a tax concession).
    • Carpenter v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 464 (Admin): Brendan successfully  resisted an application for a declaration of incompatibility in relation to the evidential requirements imposed under s.3 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
    • Gilead v Secretary of State for Health: (Brendan acted for the Claimant Biopharmaceutical company in a challenge to the promulgation of the of the Health Services Medicines (Control of Prices and Supply of Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2013).
    • Smith & Ors v Ministry of Defence: (acting for the MoD in defence of claims arising out of the death of soldiers travelling in Snatch Land-Rovers in Iraq).
    • Victor Tchenguiz & Ors v Serious Fraud Office: (acting for the SFO (civil claim by the Claimants arising from the SFO’s execution of a search warrant over the Claimant’s property in a high profile investigation of his financial activities following the collapse of the Icelandic Bank Kaupthing).
    • Kamoka & Ors v The Security Services and Ors [2015] EWHC 60 (QB): (Brendan acted for the Security Services in a claim brought by 14 Libyan nationals who are alleging complicity in extraordinary rendition. The High Court rejected an application to strike out civil damages claims in circumstances where the claimants had failed to appeal against earlier SIAC and High Court rulings. The security Services have, however, been given permission to pursue the strike out on a closed basis under the JSA.
    • Case C-301/10 Commission v United Kingdom: acted for the United Kingdom Government, instructed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in relation to the infraction proceedings brought by the European Commission over the UK’s alleged non-compliance with the Urban Waste Water Directive.
    • R (On application of Brown) v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs: successfully defended the Commissioners in a judicial review on the question of the appropriate jurisdiction in which decisions by HMRC to exempt certain supplies from VAT might be challenged.
    • Blackbay Ventures Limited v Secretary of State for Health (acting for pharmacy chain in dispute over wholesale dealer licensing).
    • R (on the application of U) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: acted for the Defendant on an application in SIAC by terror suspect ‘U’ to extend the boundaries of the zone to which he is confined when not under curfew).
    • Alacakanat v General Medical Council: Advised the General Medical Council on application of Directive 2004/58/EC and its relationship with the Ankara Agreement.
    • Advised Local Authorities on the applicability of the Electricity Act 1989’s licensing regime in relation to renewable energy installations designed to avail of the Feed in Tariff scheme.
    • R (On the application of Mhango) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWHC 1321 (Admin) (claim under art. 8 to remain in the UK)
    • A B & Others v Ministry of Defence – The British Nuclear Test Veterans Litigation: (acted for the Ministry of Defence in relation to the class action brought by former servicemen alleging improper exposure to radiation during the UK’s nuclear test programme in the Pacific in the 1950s.
    • The Billy Wright Murder Inquiry: (Brendan acted for the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Prison Service in the public inquiry convened to consider the allegations of collusion surrounding the death of Billy Wright in HMP Maze).
    • Environment Agency v Kirkwood: Counsel to the Environment Agency, seeking recovery of waste.
    • Advised on the impact of the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s consultation on financial incentives for renewable energy which include a Feed in Tariff (“FIT”) for small scale, low carbon electricity generation of capacity up to 5MW.
    • Advised the Environment Agency in relation to claims for remediation (following the pollution of rivers), and has advised on the Agency’s enforcement powers.
    • Brendan acted for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in relation to the civil claims brought by a number of British citizens and residents as a result of being held in Guantanamo Bay.
    • He is regularly instructed in immigration matters on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

    Brendan is on the executive committee of the Human Rights Lawyers’ Association.

  • EU and Competition

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations v Competition and Markets Authority [2016] EWCA Civ 777 (Representing the CMA in defence of a statutory judicial review brought in relation to its Private Healthcare Market Investigation Report).
    • Packet Media Limited v Telefonica UK Ltd [2015] EWHC 3873 (Ch); (Represented Telefonica in relation to allegations by a supplier of communications services via GSM Gateways of abuse of dominance on the call and text origination markets; discharge of injunction preventing disconnection and enquiry as to damages);

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • AXA PPP Healthcare Ltd v CMA [2015] CAT 5: Brendan successfully defended the CMA’s Private Healthcare Market Investigation Report against a challenge to its decision not to find that the formation and operation of anaesthetist groups did not support a finding of an adverse effect on competition
    • Floe Telecom Limited & Ors v Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics Media and Sport: Brendan is acting for DCMS in a Francovich Damages claim by several commercial providers of GSM Gateway technology.
    • Gallaher Plc and Somerfield Stores Ltd v Office of Fair Trading: Counsel to OFT: Defending the OFT in the Court of Appeal against an application permission to appeal out of time to challenge the OFT’s Tobacco cartel decision in light of that decision being set aside as against other addressees to the decision who have since successfully appealed that decision.
    • Isle of Wight CC & Ors v HMRC: acting for the Commissioners in relation to the determination of whether disapplication of the VAT Directive would lead to the distortion of competition between local authorities and private providers providing the same service in the same market. The Commissioners succeeded before the Tribunal. The matter is currently under appeal
    • BT v Ofcom; Sky / TalkTalk v Ofcom: Counsel to Ofcom (led by Josh Holmes). BT, Sky and Talk Talk are challenging the price control review issued by Ofcom in relation to Wholesale Line Rental and Local Loop Unbundling services.
    • Chemistree v Roche Products Ltd: Counsel to the Claimant Pharmacy company in a dispute over the consequences of its having discontinued proceedings against Roche in which it had alleged constructive refusal to supply.
    • Blackbay Ventures Limited v Secretary of State for Health (acting for pharmacy chain in dispute over wholesale dealer licensing).
    • Everything Everywhere Limited v Shebang Limited: Counsel to Everything Everywhere (the owner of Orange and T-Mobile). Termination of Mobile Phone distribution agreements.
    • BT v Ofcom (acting for Ofcom against BT, Sky and TalkTalk’s appeal against Ofcom’s Local Loop Unbundling and Wholesale Line Rental Charge Control Review).
    • Zablockyte v London Borough of Harrow (CJEU): allocation of housing was allegedly discriminatory under EU Law).
    • Case C-301/10 Commission v United Kingdom: acted for the United Kingdom Government, instructed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in relation to the infraction proceedings brought by the European Commission over the UK’s alleged non-compliance with the Urban Waste Water Directive.

    Brendan has recently become an editor of Bellamy and Child’s European Community Law of Competition.

    Brendan’s recent competition law publications include:

    • ‘Competition Law and Human Rights: The Privilege against Self-Incrimination and related rights in competition investigations’, Competition Law Journal, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2013
    • ‘Off-Patent abuses in the Pharmaceutical Sector’, Competition Law Journal, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2012

    Brendan is on the executive committee of the Procurement Lawyers’ Association.

  • Procurement

    ‘‘He has sound commercial instincts.’’ Leading Junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • JS Fraser Ltd v Department of Heath: (Representing the Department of Health in a challenge to the procurement of Major Incident Response Vehicles);
    • Secretary of State for Defence & Anor v Nash & Ors; (Representing the Secretary of State in a claim for wasted costs over the abandonment of a procurement for the supply of search air and rescue helicopters);
    • Supreme Foods GmbH v Ministry of Defence; (Represented the Ministry of Defence in relation to a decision to refuse to permit the Claimant from participating in a procurement for the worldwide supply of food to the British Army following associated entities being entangled in the fraudulent provision of similar supplies to the US Military);

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • Advanced Business Software and Solutions v Pirbright Institute [2014] EWHC 4651 (QB): application to lift the automatic suspension in an IT procurement;
    • Vestey Foods Limited v Ministry of Defence; (Represented a challenge to the award decision in relation to the procurement for the worldwide supply of foods to the British Army);
    • Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust v DRC Locums Limited: acting for the NHS Trust in a dispute over the entitlement of locums providers to charge uplifted commission payments under a National Locums Framework Agreement.
    • Gilead v Secretary of State for Health: (Brendan acted for the Claimant Biopharmaceutical company in a challenge to the compatibility of the Health Services Medicines (Control of Prices and Supply of Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2013) with the Treaty principles of Transparency and Equal treatment.
    • Brendan has recently advised on neutralising the advantages of incumbency in relation to the re- procurement of high value central government IT contracts.
    • Law Enforcement International Limited v National Policing Improvement Agency: Acting for the NPIA (led by Philip Moser QC). Civil claim arising out of the decision to use Single Tender Action (and thus forego the holding of a public procurement under the 2006 Regulations) on grounds of national security.
    • Carillion Plc v Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council: acted for Carillion Plc in a claim for wasted bid costs as a result of the suspension and abandonment of a procurement process (led by Michael Bowsher QC).
    • Brendan has advised on the potential application of the EU procurement rules in relation to a number of service proposals arising out of the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s consultation on financial incentives for renewable energy and Feed in Tariffs in relation to small scale, low carbon electricity generation of capacity up to 5Mw.
    • Re Development of Poplar Baths and Dame Colet in Tower Hamlets: advising on the procurement process relating to the refurbishment of Poplar Baths and the construction of affordable housing under a Competitive Dialogue procedure.
    • Re Guildford College: Counsel to the College in relation to various issues surrounding the tendering of works leading to a substantial redevelopment of its sporting and educational facilities.
  • Insurance and Professional Negligence

    ‘‘He is personable, great on his feet, and provides valuable input into strategic decisions.’’ Leading Junior in Professional Negligence. Legal 500, 2015

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • Confiance v AM Trust; (representing insurers in dispute over cover following investigation of a Guernsey Financial Services Firm by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission;
    • Various Investors v McClay Murray & Spens: (acting for solicitors in relation to claims by investors in Enterprise Zone tax Shelter Investment Schemes);
    • Das v YVA Solicitors; (acting for solicitors in litigation loss of a chance claim);

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • Sharma and Ors v Hawkins Ryan; (representing insured solicitors in relation to the provision of of SDLT avoidance products);
    • Various Investors v Howlett Clark; (acting for insured solicitors who acted for the providers of alleged land-banking schemes);
    • McManus Seddon Runhams v European Risk Insurance Company Hf: acting for insured seeking declarations that valid notification of circumstances was made under a policy of professional indemnity insurance.
    • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Independent Financial Advisers: acting for Independent Financial Advisers insured alleged to have mis-sold bonds comprising Traded Life Policies;
    • Allardyce & Ors v ProAct Financial & Ors (Defending Independent Financial Advisors in the Little Wings Film Finance Tax Avoidance litigation).
    • Brown & Ors v Innovator Plc and others (the Innovator litigation), acting for a firm of solicitors in relation to a claim arising out of allegedly fraudulent tax efficient technology investment schemes established by their former client. Brendan was also instructed in sister litigation arising out of very similar technology tax avoidance schemes (the Keydata litigation).
    • Ellis & Co v ZL Insurance (acceptance of notifications made under professional indemnity insurance policies.
    • Advised insurers on the impact on certain types of cover of the Environmental Liability Directive.
    • Collyer Bristow & Ors v Streets Financial Services & Ors (Part 20 proceedings subsequently commenced against a large number of Independent Financial Advisors in the Innovator litigation).
    • Givaudan Suisse SA v Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE and other :acting on behalf of Chubb Insurance in relation to the policy aspects of a mass-tort action brought by American Claimants in the Swiss Courts.
    • A.C. Ward & Sons Ltd v Catlin (Five) & Others [2009] EWHC 3122 (Comm) (Protections Warranties in Commercial Contents Insurance policies)
    • Brendan regularly advises on issues relating to the scope of authority granted to financial advisers operating under authorised representative agreements or within financial services networks
    • Durham v BAI (Run Off) Ltd : Brendan was instructed as a research junior for the Zurich Insurance companyin the Employer’s Liability Policy Trigger litigation in the Court of Appeal in, led by Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC.
    • Re Falconara: acted on behalf of insurers on a major commercial arbitration arising out of delay claims brought in respect of the construction of a power plant. The case considered the impact of the decision of Colman J in Lumbermans Mutual Insurance Company v Bovis Lend Lease Limited.
    • Brendan has advised insurers on the potential liabilities of local authorities arising out of the major flood events of 2007.

    Brendan is co-author of Professional Indemnity Insurance, published in March 2010 by Oxford University Press, the leading practitioners’ text on the subject and has published several articles on insurance law.

  • Financial Services

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • Brendan is advising on the regulatory aspects of crowdfunding and Peer to Peer (P2P) lending in light of the introduction of Article 36H to the Regulated Activities Order;
    • Complete Claims Solutions v Claims Management Services Regulator CMS/2015/003; (Represented the Claims Management Regulator in the first appeal to its new penalty jurisdiction conferred under section 139 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (which amends the Schedule to the Compensation Act 2006);
    • Brendan is currently advising on a number of claims involving allegations of mis-selling of swaps products; allegations of breach of various COBs rules; and claims under s.138D of FSMA.

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Various ISAs (2013) (acted for Royal and Sun Alliance and all of their IFAs in relation to the subrogated claim brought by the FSCS following pay-outs relating to the sale of traded life insurance policies);
    • Various Investors v McClay Murray & Spens & Anor (2013-2015) (acted for the Defendant following a claim by disappointed investors in an EZ Investment Scheme, which claims involved alleged failure to advise on FSMA 2000 and the existence of collective investment schemes);
    • Various Investors v Howlett Clark (2015) (claim by various investors in land-banking schemes; allegations that scheme was a collective investment scheme);
    • Brown v InnovatorOne Ltd & 8 Ors [2012] EWHC 1824 (Admin) (claim alleging that tax efficient technology schemes amounted to collective investment schemes; claims under old FSMA s.150 and the relationship between a right of action under s.150 and the common law duty of care);
    • Ex Parte the Horizon Group (2014) (advising insurers on the PII and FSMA issues arising out of an investigation into the conduct of a Jersey-based Financial Services provider in light of a report by the Jersey Financial Services Commission);
    • Various Investors v ProAct Financial & Ors (2013/14) (acted for insurers in defence of claims relating to tax efficient film scheme. Allegations of breach of Financial Promotions Order and violation of general prohibition in relation to advice on suitability of certain designated investments);
    • Ugboaja v Kidd Rapinet (2012) (claim against law firm over alleged conflicts of interest arising from role in sale of plots in land-banking scheme);
    • Solicitors Disciplinary Authority v Benz & Ors (2011) (disciplinary proceedings brought against 4 partners of a firm acting for company administering schemes said to be collective investment schemes);
    • Sun Lane Limited v Claims Management Regulator [2013] CMS/2013/0002 (Challenge to sanctions imposed for breach of conditions of authorization);
    • Money Made Simple v Claims Management Regulator [2014] CMS/2014/0002 (Challenge to sanctions imposed for breach of conditions of authorization);
    • Iqbal v Claims Management Regulator [2015] CMS/2015/0001 (Challenge to Regulator’s penalty decision);
    • Elkador Financial Limited v Claims Management Regulator (Challenge to the Regulator’s penalty decision);
    • Brendan has regularly advised insurers on whether the FSO has correctly taken jurisdiction over complaints against financial services providers, dealing also with limitation issues and claims for judicial review;
    • Brendan regularly advises on issues relating to the scope of authority granted to financial advisers operating under authorised representative agreements or within financial services networks.
  • Tax

    Brendan is currently involved in:

    • R (Veolia ES Ltd and Ors) v HMRC [2016] EWHC 1880 (Admin); (Representing HMRC in a judicial review claim by a landfill operator seeking to enforce alleged legitimate expectations aid to arise from a Business Brief).
    • R (Hudson Contract Services Ltd) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills [2016] EWHC 884 (Admin); (Representing the Secretary of State over a challenge to the new basis upon which the industrial levy is to be calculated and imposed).
    • Euro Trade and Finance Ltd v HMRC [2016] WL 01566119; (acted for HMRC in appeals brought revoking WOWGR licences of licensed traders in duty suspended alcohol).
    • Fairway Lakes Limited v HMRC [2016] UKUT 340 (TC) (acted for HMRC in a dispute over the proper characterization of construction contracts).
    • R (Allpay Limted) v HMRC; (acting for HMRC in defence of a challenge to the lawfulness of a number of retrospective assessments raised on the basis that the Claimant’s supply of debt and payment collection services were treated by the Claimant as exempt when they should have been taxed at the standard rate).

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • Grand Entertainments Co v HMRC [2016] UKUT 209 (TC) (acted for HMRC in dispute over scope of what constitutes an amendment to an existing  claim as opposed to a new (and time-barred) claim).
    • R (Biffa Waste Services Ltd) v HMRC [2016] EWHC 1444 (Admin); (Representing HMRC in a legitimate expectation claim over the scope of a tax concession).
    • Lenstore Limited v HMRC; (acted for HMRC in defence of an appeal by online contact lens supplier that a certain proportion of its suppliues were exempt healthcare – appeal withdrawn following cross-examination).
    • National Car Parks Ltd v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 666 (TC); (acted for HMRC in dispute over tax treatment of ex gratia payments).
    • Isle of Wight & Ors v HMRC [2015] EWCA Civ 1303: Counsel to HMRC in successfully demonstrating that exempting local authorities from VAT in the provision of commercial (and taxable) services such as car parking would likely lead to a distortion of competition where private entities were offering the same services in the same market albeit without the benefit of the tax exemption.
    • Honeywell Analytics Ltd v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 586; (acted for HMRC in dispute over correct tariff classification of certain electronic equipment).
    • United Grand Lodge of England v HMRC [2015] UKUT 589 (TC): Counsel to HMRC in an appeal by the Claimant against the Commissioners decisions that, to the extent that the Freemasons constitution does not have philanthropy is one of its aims, it cannot seek an exemption from VAT (and thus seek recovery of allegedly overpaid tax) on that basis.The matter is currently under appeal.
    • Mather v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 1062 (TC): customer of a taxpayer could not compel HMRC to take a decision and had an effective remedy if he could take action against his supplier in the civil courts.
    • Redcats (Brands) Ltd v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 376 (TC); (acted for HMRC in a dispute over whether a catalogue retailer was entitled to reduce the consideration for a supply retrospectively).Vital Nut Co Ltd v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 338 (TC); (acted for HMRC in dispute over classification of certain foods under the Common Customs Code).
    • Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd v HMRC: Counsel to HMRC. Successfully resisted an appeal by the Theatre over its entitlement to recover overpaid tax without having to give credit for input tax received in different periods albeit where both the overpayments and the deductions were made and received pursuant to the same failure by the UK to implement a VAT exemption for certain cultural activities. This case is on appeal to the Court of Appeal.
    • Brown v HMRC: defending a challenge by boat-dwellers to the compatibility of the VAT Act with the ECHR and the Equality Act 2010.
    • Dazmonda Ltd v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 337 (TC): Counsel to HMRC in an appeal by the Claimant as to its entitlement to recover VAT said to be wrongly assessed on commission payments made by table-dancers to the owners and operators of table-dancing clubs (relying on the exemption for the grant of licences to occupy land).
    • R (On application of Brown) v Commissioners : successfully defended the Commissioners in a judicial review on the question of the appropriate jurisdiction in which decisions by HMRC to exempt certain supplies from VAT might be challenged.
    • Prescription Eyewear Limited v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 357 (TC): Counsel to HMRC in an appeal as to the correct apportionment between the Claimant’s standard-rated and exempt supplies.
    • Lighterlife Ltd v HMRC: Counsel to HMRC in a second appeal by the Claimant as to the availability of VAT exemptions.
    • Tallington Lakes v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 159 (TC): acted for HMRC in an appeal on the tax treatment of non-permanent residential accommodation.
    • David Baxendale Limited v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 377 (TC): Counsel to HMRC in a claim for the return of overpaid tax on the basis that a Court of Appeal decision in the same proceedings was per incuriam the prior decision of the ECJ in RLRE Tellmer Case C-572/07. The appeal was dismissed, inter alia, on grounds of res judicata.
  • Sports Law

    Cases currently involved in:

    • Brendan acted for Giorgio Intoppa following a citing after a mass brawl at a Guiness Pro 12 fixture between Edinburgh and Treviso;
    • Brendan acted for Michele Rizzo and the Italian Rugby Federation following a double sending-off in the RBS 6 Nations game between Italy and France;
    • Brendan is acting in a company court challenge against the British Weightlifters Association;

    Recent work and significant cases include:

    • Brendan has advised on several football transfer disputes.
    • Brendan has advised on the requirements of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations 2012;
    • Football Dataco & Ors v SportRadar: (Brendan advised Sportradar GmbH on prospects of appealing judgment of Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court);
    • Paddy Power v LOCOG (acted for Claimant in dispute over compatibility of billboard campaign with Olympics advertising regulations).
    • Winston Gordon & Ors v British Judo Federation: Counsel to a number of Team GB ‘Judokas’ who contested the decision of the British Judo Federation not to select them for London 2012. As a result of the challenge, Mr Gordon was selected to represent Team GB, the only successful challenge to a selection decision in the run up to the London Games.
    • London Olympics 2012: acted for a number of other Team GB Athletes who have sought to challenge the selection decisions of their governing bodies’ Olympic Selection Panel
    • Big Star Creations: Acting for agents in dispute over commission in transfer of Marlon Samuels to Pune Warriors
    • Joe Calvino v British Weight-Lifting (acted for Ms Calvino in seeking to challenge BWL’s Olympics de-selection decision)
    • Allardyce & Ors v ProAct Financial Limited & Ors (claim by, amongst others, Sam Allardyce and Peter Reid in relation to film finance tax avoidance schemes)
    • Anthony McGann v Michael Bisping: (dispute between sports agent seeking recovery of commission payments from his former client, a leading ‘ultimate cage fighter’ in the United States of America).
    • Brown & Ors v InnovatorOne Plc (footballers and agents invested into failed tax efficient technology schemes).
    • Re Don Valley Sports Stadium: (advising the local authority in a matter relating to whether additional securitisation of a sports stadium would be in breach of covenants given by the local authority owner to banks that had an existing security interest in the stadium).
    • Hougaard v World Artists Limited (acted for Saracens and South African international in a commission and Image Rights dispute with former agent).
    • Costa v Welsh Karate (acted for the Welsh Karate Governing Body in a dispute with a former affiliate member over voting rights and disqualification).
    • Brendan acts for players in disciplinary contexts and takes instructions on a direct basis having obtained a direct access certificate.
    • Brendan advises on Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players
    • Brendan regularly advises on all kinds of contractual disputes between players and clubs and clubs and associations.
  • What the Directories Say

    Administrative & Public Law: “He is good on complex matters and esoteric areas of the law.” – Chambers UK, 2016

    ‘‘Highly impressive.’’ Leading Junior in Administrative and Public Law. Legal 500, 2015

    ‘‘He is personable, great on his feet, and provides valuable input into strategic decisions.’’ Leading Junior in Professional Negligence. Legal 500, 2015

    ‘‘He has sound commercial instincts.’’ Leading Junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Administrative & Public Law: “He is a supremely capable barrister whose public law practice is diverse and of a very high quality.”Chambers UK, 2015

    Brendan McGurk is ranked as an up & coming Junior in Administrative & Public Law: Acts for a variety of regulators and central government departments. He demonstrates strength in cases concerning telecommunications, national security and discrimination. “He is genuinely superb.” Chambers UK, 2014

    ‘Diligently engages with his casework.’ – recommended as a leading Junior in Administrative & Public Law Legal 500, 2014

    “The ‘excellent’ Brendan McGurk,” is recommended as a leading Junior in Administrative & Public Law. Legal 500, 2013

    Under Administrative and Public Law Brendan McGurk is described as ‘intellectually powerful, thorough and hardworking.’ Legal 500, 2012

    Brendan McGurk is recommended as a leading junior in Administrative and Public Law. Legal 500, 2012

  • Additional Information

    Brendan obtained First Class Honours (Law BA Hons) as an Undergraduate at Cambridge and as a Postgraduate at Oxford (BCL, 2 year). His D.Phil was supervised by Professor John Gardner and is entitled ‘The Rule of Law in the Regulatory State’. He was short-listed for a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford in 2003, won a Queen Mother’s Major Scholarship in 2004 and a Bar European Group Scholarship in 2006. Before coming to the Bar, Brendan held a lectureship in Constitutional and Administrative Law at Wadham College in the University of Oxford.

    Brendan was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2015.

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