Harry Gillow

Call: 2017

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Contact Harry Gillow

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    BA (Oxford), GDL (City University), BPTC (BPP)

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    Harry joined Chambers as a tenant in 2018 following successful completion of pupillage. He has a busy and diverse practice spanning all areas of Chambers’ work, including competition, commercial, EU, VAT, procurement, administrative and public law. Harry is regularly instructed both as junior and sole counsel and has appeared in a range of courts and tribunals, including the County Court, High-Court, Court of Appeal, Information Tribunal, SEN Tribunal and VAT Tribunal.

    Recent highlights include:

    • Mid Ulster District Council (formerly Magherafelt District Council) v Comrs. for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs TC/2011/687& TC/2012/9253: acting for Mid Ulster District council against HMRC (led my Melanie Hall QC) regarding the scope of VAT in relation to sports and leisure facilities in Northern Ireland, in the First Tier Tribunal (Tax).
    • Secretary of State for the Home Department v Denis Viscu [2019] EWCA Civ 1052: acting for the Secretary of State for the Home Department in a successful appeal regarding whether the term “imprisonment” in the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 included custodial sentences passed on minors and young offenders (led by Ben Lask).
    • Acting for a Part 20 Defendant in relation in the Power Cables cartel litigation.
    • Varano v Air Canada: acting as sole counsel for the Claimant in a test case in the High Court on the jurisdictional scope of EU regulation No 261/2004.
    • R v Nicholas Woods and Simon Marshall: acting for the Serious Fraud Office, led by Philip Moser QC, as specialist commercial counsel dealing with preliminary issues of contractual interpretation in the criminal prosecution of two former directors of Serco for fraud and false accounting.
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    • Commercial

      Harry is regularly instructed both as sole counsel on commercial disputes and as part of a team. He is instructed as junior counsel, led by William Buck, in Quilter v Leonteq, a complex £20m+ multiparty Commercial Court (originally offshore in the Isle of Man) dispute concerning allegedly fraudulent sales of structured note investment products to a major insurance institution.

      Recently, Harry has also been instructed by the Serious Fraud Office in a criminal prosecution of two former directors of Serco for procurement fraud. Led by Philip Moser QC, he formed part of a counsel team brought in to deal with preliminary matters relating to points of contractual interpretation ahead of trial.

      More broadly, he has extensive county court advocacy experience, particularly defending airlines in claims under EC Regulation 261/2004, but also a range of other contractual and tortious disputes. He has considerable experience of conducting CMCs and strike out applications on behalf of clients.

    • Competition

      Harry has experience in a range of competition matters, both acting along and assisting more senior members of chambers, including instructions as a junior barrister in a response to a CMA cartel investigation led by Ben Rayment and advising a local authority on the competition implications of suspected employee fraud.

      Harry is instructed on behalf of Vodafone in relation to the ongoing “Phones4U” litigation, regarding alleged anti-competitive conduct by P4U’s major suppliers, and also acts for a part 20 Defendant with regards to the Power Cables cartel litigation.

      In 2019, Harry completed a secondment at the Payment Systems Regulator assisting with the card-acquiring services market review.

      Harry also worked on a wide range of competition law matters during pupillage, including Emerald Supplies and others v British Airways plc (assisting Philip Moser QC and Ben Rayment) and Ping Europe Limited v Competition and Markets Authority (assisting Ben Lask). Harry also assisted with a range of confidential advisory matters, including in respect of object and effect infringements in the financial sector and the applicability of the illegality defence in competition law actions.

    • Public, EU and human rights

      Harry accepts instructions in relation to all aspects of EU law, and regularly advises private clients, NGOs and regulatory bodies on the interpretation of EU legislation. Recent instructions include advising on the possibility of an EU regulation for tackling human rights abuses in business supply chains and advising DEFRA on farming appeals. He is currently seconded to the FCO within a team dealing with consular aid to British nationals abroad and issues around diplomatic immunity and international organisations in the UK.

      Recently, Harry has been instructed as sole counsel for the Claimant in a test case in the High Court (Varano v Air Canada) on whether the jurisdictional scope of EU Regulation No 261/2004 (providing for compensation in case of delayed flights) conflicts with principles of customary international law and exceeds the EU’s legislative competence.

      He has also been instructed on behalf of the government in a number of benefits and immigration related cases, including Secretary of State for the Home Department v Denis Viscu, led by Ben Lask, where the Court of Appeal decided that that the term “imprisonment” in the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016 includes custodial sentences passed on minors and young offenders.

      He is also instructed on an ongoing appeal to the UNHRC on the question of the compatibility of whole-life sentences with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, led by Piers Gardner.

      In his first year of practice, Harry completed a secondment in the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Unit, where he gained extensive experience advising on Brexit-related issues in the financial sector.


    • Tax & duties

      Harry accepts instructions in VAT and customs matters, and has appeared for and against HMRC in the VAT Tribunal and county court. Most notably, he appeared in Mid Ulster District Council (formerly Magherafelt District Council) v HMRC (TC/2011/687 & TC/2012/9253), led by Melanie Hall QC. This is a test case for Northern Ireland in which the District Council claimed that its supplies of sports, leisure and recreational services fell outside the scope of VAT on the basis that the making of those supplies does not comprise an economic activity.

      Current and recent instructions include:

      • Acting for an industry body in a case relating to whether services provided should be classified as insurance intermediary services, led by Valentina Sloane QC;
      • Assisting with advice on the signs and implications of missing trader fraud in a supply chain; and
      • Advising a sporting body on the VAT implications of a scheme to construct sporting facilities.

      During pupillage, Harry worked on a number of VAT and customs matters, including HMRC v Honeywell Analytics [2018] EWCA Civ 579 and advice gambling duty and on the interpretation of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (assisting Valentina Sloane QC), as well as on cases involving the VAT classification of supplies related to further education (assisting Melanie Hall QC and Peter Mantle).


    • Public procurement

      Harry has gained extensive procurement litigation experience on both the claimant and defendant sides, and has acted in an advisory capacity to a number of government clients. His recent instructions include:

      • Acting for the Ministry of Justice in Mitie v Ministry of Justice, a challenge to a procurement for HMCTS’ facilities maintenance contract, including in respect of a successful application to lift the automatic suspension (led by Sarah Hannaford QC and Ewan West);
      • Advising a central government department on whether a multi-million pound procurement exercise had been properly carried out;
      • Acting as sole counsel in a challenge to a procurement for window-cleaning services;
      • Acting for the Ministry of Defence in Marine Specialised Technology Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence, a claim for substantial loss alleging breach of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.
    • Insolvency

      Harry has advocacy and advisory experience in insolvency matters. He has been instructed on a number of matters relating to winding up petitions, including applications to restrain, dismiss or rescind winding up petitions.

      Recent instructions include:

      • Successfully representing a company in an application to restrain and dismiss a winding up petition on the basis of a disputed debt;
      • Advising a company on potential liability to the directors under insolvency and tax legislation in the case of insolvency;
      • Drafting submissions to establish a company as a creditor in an insolvency, led by William Buck.
    • Data protection & information

      Harry is regularly instructed by the Information Commissioner to draft responses in appeals under FOIA and EIR and represent the Commissioner in the Information Tribunal. Recent cases include:

      • Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v Information Commissioner, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that the Trust should be required to disclose an external review into a contract for the provision of orthopaedic surgery.
      • Gerhold v Information Commissioner and Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government, where he successfully defended the Commissioner’s decision that MHCLG was not required to disclose minutes and other documents relating to the siting of the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.


    • Additional information


      • BPTC, BPP London
      • GDL, City University, London
      • BA Literae Humaniores, Magdalen College, Oxford (Double First)

      Scholarship and prizes

      • BPP Excellence Award
      • Inner Temple Exhibition
      • Magdalen College Demyship (Academic Scholarship)
      • Goddard Classics Scholarship

      Prior to coming to the Bar, Harry graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a double first in Classics. He was a choral scholar at Oxford and still enjoys singing regularly with choirs and operatic groups in London, and was also a finalist on University Challenge in 2015. After graduating, he worked as a researcher in Parliament with a particular focus on EU issues. He serves as an Army Reservist with the Honourable Artillery Company, and was previously chair of Human Rights Watch’s Young Professionals Network.

    • Publications