Peter Mantle

Call: 1989

Custom PDF Contact

Contact Peter Mantle

"*" indicates required fields

Drop files here or
Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, Max. file size: 5 MB, Max. files: 8.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


    MA (Oxon) LLM (Cantab)

    Custom PDF

    Which sections would you like to include in your PDF download?


    Peter has a breadth and depth of experience and expertise in the field of VAT unsurpassed at the junior bar.

    He is regularly instructed by accountants and solicitors to advise clients, in many sectors, on VAT issues which they need to resolve. Peter has helped private clients successfully address a wide range of VAT issues, from Assessments to Zero-rating. “He is always prepared to go the extra mile and impresses clients with his technical understanding and knowledge of the law” (Chambers UK). If disputes with HMRC do require an appeal to be made to the specialist tax tribunal, Peter is “a pleasure to have representing you; he’s professional but at the same time makes the client feel included within the litigation, never over-complicating matters” (Chambers UK). He has recently acted for clients in the charities, education, e-commerce, insurance and financial services sectors, amongst others. Peter has extensive experience acting for, as well as against, HMRC and is regularly entrusted by HMRC with advice and litigation in complex high value cases.

    Peter has appeared in over 100 reported VAT cases (major cases reported in Simon’s Tax Cases, which were decided by the Upper Tribunal or by the higher courts), including successful appearances in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. This is in addition to frequently representing clients in appeals to the First-tier tax Tribunal, where most tax litigation is resolved. Before EU Exit he regularly represented the UK in the European Court of Justice in VAT cases. His strong reputation on points of EU law helps equip him well to handle disputes over assimilated EU law, as it continues to affect UK taxpayers, and over post-EU Exit amendments to the UK’s VAT legislation.

    Peter was part of the HMRC counsel team which won the Littlewoods multi-billion pound compound interest litigation in the Supreme Court (in 2017), the only counsel to represent HMRC in every court throughout that litigation. He acted in the first VAT Group Litigation to be tried in the High Court.

    With a growing charity sector practice, his Advice to the Charity Tax Group, which CTG put to HMRC, helped CTG to trigger a favourable shift in HMRC policy on charity advertising.

    Peter brings skills originally acquired across a broad range of civil litigation and honed in the tax field, including valuable insights gained from representing both private clients and HMRC.

    His tax practice includes many tax judicial reviews and human rights based claims. Alongside VAT, his practice includes excise duty and other indirect taxes.

    • News
    • Recent and selected major cases


      Recent cases

      • Bollinway Properties Ltd v HMRC [2023] UKUT 00295 (TCC), UT
        VAT – s 79 VATA 94 Repayment Supplement – request by taxpayer entitled to VAT credit for HMRC to credit a related company – HMRC complied – credit made after 30 day period – whether taxpayer entitled to repayment supplement – The FTT had dismissed the appeal for 2 self-standing reasons: (1) Bollinway had no claim for repayment supplement because of assignment of its rights; and (2) HMRC had paid within the ‘relevant period’. The UT dismissed the further appeal – the relevant period had been extended by the time taken to answer HMRC’s requests for a full set of backing documents regarding the relevant supplies of land. HMRC’s request had included a request for transfers of title, and was reasonable.
      • Cambria Automobiles (SE) Ltd v HMRC [2023] UKUT 00249 (TCC), UT
        VAT – “Italian Republic” Section 80 claim for historic overpaid VAT – whether compromised – earlier claims in respect of same supplies subject to Section 85 agreement with HMRC – whether new claims finally settled by that Agreement – the UT held that the FTT had erred in law on this point but concluded that the Agreement had compromised the new claims even though they were claims with something new to say and permissible second claims under s 80 VATA 94
      • Nereo Management Ltd v Isle of Man Treasury [2023] IOM VAT & Duties Tribunal
        VAT – place of the deemed supply of a superyacht when owner ceased to be a taxable person (no export of yacht) – whether IOM, where import VAT deducted by taxpayer as input tax, or outside the EU, as the yacht had been sailed into the territorial waters of a non-EU state just before cessation – Article 18(c) PVD required the place of supply to be the IOM and IOM VAT Act could and must be interpreted to conform – VAT assessment made in time – assessment reduced – the correct amount was £37 million
      • Kingston Maurward College v HMRC [2023] UKUT 69 (TCC), UT
        VAT – procedure before FTT – whether HMRC’s case adequately pleaded – whether FTT wrong to determine the appeal in full – post-hearing request for issues to be determined only in principle by Appellant rejected by FTT – UT held that HMRC’s pleading was adequate as it properly addressed the case raised by the Appellant and the Appellant had not advanced any alternative case – the FTT had not erred in law as it had clearly been open to it to give a final decision
      • HMRC v Prudential Assurance Company Ltd [2023] UKUT 54 (TCC), UT
        VAT – group registration – interaction with time of supply rules – investment management services – continuous supplies – fees invoiced after supplier left VAT group – time of supply rules had to be applied to determine whether the s 43(1) VATA 94 deeming and disregard provisions applied – applying those rules there was a supply of services which could not be disregarded – BJ Rice distinguished
      • Fareham College v HMRC [2023] UKFTT 00214 (TC), FTT
        VAT – supplies of services closely related to exempt supplies of education – whether VATA 94 to be interpreted as conforming to Art 134(b) PVD – application of the Marleasing principle – the FTT held that VATA 94 should be interpreted to exclude from exemption supplies where the basic purpose is to obtain additional income through transactions in direct competition with commercial enterprises – applying that exclusion the FTT held that supplies by an FEC to the public of restaurant meals were exempt, but supplies to the public of hairdressing and beauty services and of performing arts shows were taxable
      • R (oao Gloucestershire Hospitals NHSF Trust) v HMRC [2023] STC 350, UT
        VAT – Supply of healthcare facilities and surgical prosthetics and other goods consumed in surgical procedures – Refund of VAT – the COS Direction used concepts which had to be interpreted in accordance with VATA 94 and the PVD – that included ‘supply’ and therefore single/multiple supply – the transactions were properly classified as a single supply of services, which included an element of the provision of consumable goods – HMRC had not acted unfairly because it had not treated the Trust in the same way as another NHS Trust
      • Staysure.Co.UK Ltd v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 134 (TC), FTT
        VAT – insurance – exemption – insurance intermediary exemption – whether services supplied by an associated company within exemption – services, including advertising, web-hosting and providing IT to enable quotations, classified as single service of generating insurance leads and held to be within the exemption – also issue on whether global assessment for first long VAT accounting period made in time – penalty – issues on reasonable excuse and mitigation
      • City YMCA London v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 477 (TC), FTT
        VAT – land exemption – hotel exception – temporary hostel accommodation for homeless young people – FTT accepted that the YMCA’s supplies were of a licence to occupy land and also that they fell within the ‘similar to a hotel’ exception – the YMCA therefore (1) benefited from reduced liability for output VAT (because almost all rooms were occupied for over 28 days) and (2) (because its supplies were taxable, not exempt) could also recover all of its relevant input tax, including that incurred in the construction of LandAid House, a major new hostel in London.
      • Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation v HMRC [2021] STC 1374, Court of Appeal
        Lead case – VAT – opera houses and theatres – input tax – recovery of VAT incurred on production costs – exempt cultural supplies (of tickets to opera and ballet) and taxable bar and restaurant supplies to audience members – integrated visitor experience – input tax recovery – whether production costs directly linked to taxable supplies, so recoverable in part – CA overturned FTT’s decision that a proportion of input tax on production costs was directly linked to taxable bar and restaurant supplies.
      • Bollinway Properties Ltd v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 309 (TC), FTT
        VAT – claim for repayment supplement under s 79 VATA – effect of assignment and set off of claim – B asked HMRC to set-off B’s VAT Credit against the output liability of related company, T – HMRC made the set-off (discharging T’s liability to them in full) but more than 30 days after B had claimed the VAT Credit – no entitlement to repayment supplement because (1) B had assigned its repayment claim and as a result had no right to repayment supplement and/or (2) on the facts, HMRC had issued the requisite direction within the required period taking into account delay by B in providing full responses to legitimate enquiries by HMRC – (appeal to UT pending).
      • Colchester Institute Corporation v HMRC [2021] STC 151, UT
        Rule 18 lead case – VAT – Education – whether education provided free to students, but funded by Government grants, was a supply for consideration – set off – Further Education Colleges – Lennartz treatment originally applied – claim for overpaid VAT – whether VAT overpaid – yes, because grant was consideration for a supply of education to students – whether HMRC could set off input tax over-claimed by CIC more than 4 years previously against its claim for overpaid VAT – yes – HMRC not liable to pay anything to CIC
      • Kingston Maurward College v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 127 (TC), FTT
        VAT – Further Education College – rural studies college – input tax recovery – KMC’s business model said to depend on “integration” / “interlinking” of exempt supplies of student training and taxable supplies of farm produce and other goods/services sold to the public – whether all input tax residual – no – that was not an inevitable consequence of the business model – it was also not consistent with the evidence adduced – KMC had failed to prove that any of the disputed input tax was residual as opposed to exclusively linked to its exempt supplies.
      • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust v HMRC [2020] STC 1720, Court of Appeal
        Judicial Review – VAT refunds – NHS Trust claiming refund under Contracted Out Services Direction (‘COSD’) – salary sacrifice scheme – Trust leasing cars to employees for their personal use – UT held that was economic activity under Art 9(1) PVD – however, CA affirmed that, despite that correct conclusion, the Trust was entitled to the COSD refund claimed – that economic activity had to be disregarded for all VAT purposes, including COSD, due to the ‘de-supply’ provisions applying to salary sacrifice schemes in the VAT (Treatment of Transactions) Order 1992.
      • VW Financial Services (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2020] STC 729, UT
        VAT – Sales of repossessed vehicles originally supplied under HP and PCP agreements – output tax – amount of VAT chargeable on re-sales after repossession – whether Margin Scheme applied– no – whether sales ‘de-supplied’ by VAT (Cars) Order 1992 – no – VAT was chargeable on full sale price received on sale of car following repossession.

      Selected major cases

      Three groundbreaking VAT cases

      • Littlewoods Retail Ltd v HMRC [2017] STC 2413, Supreme Court; (after CA, High Ct and [2012] STC 1714, CJEU) – VAT – lead case deciding that HMRC was not liable to pay compound interest on overpaid VAT
      • Marks & Spencer Plc v CCE – the “Three-year Cap” litigation – VAT Tribunal, Chancery Division, Court of Appeal (x2), House of Lords (x2), Court of Justice of European Union (x2), Court of Appeal, Court of Justice of European Union from –1996 to 2009.
      • Card Protection Plan Ltd v CCE [2001] STC 174, HL – the foundation case on single/multiple supply.

      Other major cases

      • Buckingham Bingo Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKUT 140 (TCC), UT
        VAT– whether fresh appealable decision given by HMRC following considerable lapse of time after first decision – no – extension of time to appeal refused – criteria for exercise of discretion considered.
      • Lloyds Banking Group Plc v HMRC [2019] STC 1134, Court of Appeal
        VAT – VAT grouping – which company was entitled to recover overpaid VAT – dispute over correct claimant after real world supplier had left VAT group or VAT group had been dissolved – held current representative member, or last representative member if VAT group dissolved – won in FTT, UT and CA (Supreme Court refused permission to appeal).
      • Anglian Water Services Ltd v HMRC [2019] STC 342, UT
        VAT – unjust enrichment defence to claim for repayment of overpaid VATFleming claim re post privatisation water charges – water authorities subject to ‘net’ regulatory price cap – FTT held HMRC had proved defence of unjust enrichment – UT upheld decision, finding no error of law.
      • Marcandi Ltd v HMRC [2018] STC 1455, CJEU – VAT – Concerned output tax liability of a “penny auction” website, time and place of supply. Though users made payments to obtain Credits, which were then used to place bids, the issue of Credits was inside the scope of VAT as it was not a mere preliminary transaction.
      • ING Intermediate Holdings Ltd v HMRC [2018] STC 339, CA (after UT and FTT) – VAT – retail deposit taking with no fees by banks was an exempt supply for consideration, as the depositor gave non-monetary consideration. The direct and immediate link between the inputs in dispute and retail deposit taking meant they were not overheads and were irrecoverable.
      • U-Drive Ltd v HMRC [2017] STC 806, UT – VAT – direction of supply and input tax recovery – car hire firm paying for repairs to vehicles owned by third parties and damaged by drivers of its hire cars – car hire firm paid third party consideration – it could not recover VAT incurred on the repair service as the supply of the repair was to the vehicle owner
      • University of Huddersfield Higher Education Corporation v HMRC [2016] STC 1741, CA – VAT – abuse of rights – input tax recovery scheme adopted by university held to be abuse of rights.
      • HMRC v Open University [2016] STC 2273, CA – VAT – supply of production services by BBC to OU – whether BBC a public body for exemption purposes – whether supplies exempt under education exemption.
      • Unicom Insurance Services Limited v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 782 (TC), FTT – VAT – on direction of supply of insurance intermediary services. Held supplied to the insurer, not the insured.
      • HMRC v Southern Cross Employment Agency Ltd [2015] STC 1933, UT– HMRC recovery assessment over-turned because claim for overpaid VAT had been validly compromised.
      • MDDP [2014] STC 699, CJEU – VAT – on scope of education exemption and input tax deduction where national law wrongly treats supplies as taxable.
      • Dixons Retail Plc [2014] STC 375, CJEU – lead case deciding that retailers’ sales are subject to VAT where credit cards are fraudulently used to pay for goods.
      • HMRC v Total Technology Ltd [2013] STC 681, UT – lead case on proportionality and penalties for late VAT returns & late payments.
      • HMRC v Noor [2013] STC 998, UT – lead case on whether First-tier Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear taxpayers’ claims based on legitimate expectation.
      • John Wilkins (Motor Engineers) Limited v HMRC [2011] STC 1371, CA; [2010] STC 2418, UT – leading case on statute-based claims for compound interest under VATA 94 – the inaugural case in the Upper Tribunal (Tax & Chancery Chamber).
      • Danfoss [2013] STC 1651, CJEU – lead case on VAT repayment claims by recipients of supplies.
      • Macdonald Resorts Limited [2011] STC 412; CJEU – VAT – holiday accommodation – sale of timeshares – identification of chargeable event – leading case on time/place of supply.
      • EMI Group Ltd [2010] STC 2609, CJEU – lead VAT case on taxation of free gifts and samples.
      • American Express Services Europe Ltd v HMRC [2010] STC 1023, ChD VAT – single/multiple supply – place of supply – whether supplier performing management or consultancy functions
      • HMRC v Weight Watchers (UK) Ltd [2008] STC 2313, CA – VAT single/multiple supply case.
    • VAT & customs law

      Peter is frequently instructed in tax litigation. He also advises clients on solutions to a variety of indirect tax issues and in connection with disputes with HMRC.

      Peter initially made his name by representing HMRC and still regularly appears for them as a government A panelist. He was counsel to HMRC in the first VAT Group Litigation.

      Peter now regularly receives instructions on behalf of taxpayers, both to advise and in relation to disputes, including from top 10 accountancy firms. He is often instructed to appear against the leading VAT silks achieving a number of notable victories. He won for City YMCA in the FTT successfully defeating an array of arguments advanced on behalf of HMRC. HMRC did not seek permission to appeal.

      Peter has worked for his clients on a variety of areas, including on assessments, consideration and taxable amount, exemptions, input tax deduction and partial exemption, single/multiple supplies, claims for overpaid tax (including time-limits, unjust enrichment and interest), outside the scope activities, penalties, place of supply, registration, security requirements, unfair treatment of taxpayers, and zero-rating.

      He has advised and handled disputes in cases across sectors such as charities, construction, education, energy, health, insurance, financial services, food, land and property, health care, labour providers, publishing, retailing, transport, travel agents and holidays, telecommunications and internet services, welfare services. Alongside such mainstream areas, Peter has recently added advice concerning canals and litigation concerning yachts.

      He is often instructed in matters involving new or difficult points of law, arising out of retained /assimilated EU law including the EU VAT Directives or construction of UK legislation. He also has acumen advising on more everyday situations and problems.

      He regularly represents clients in VAT cases in the specialist tax tribunal, where he brings to bear great his specialist experience and expertise, and skills cross-examining witnesses initially developed outside the tax area across a wide range of civil litigation. He is experienced in litigation involving questions of fact requiring the ability to handle extensive evidence (documents and witnesses).

      Peter is a regular advocate in cases which require further appeals to the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal, often in high value, legally complex cases.

      In addition Peter often represents clients in judicial reviews involving HMRC, including equal treatment cases and human rights cases. Civil actions against HMRC in the High Court, and some criminal defence work involving VAT, have also featured in Peter’s practice.

      Peter has experience in excise cases (including a 10 day excise hearing before the First-tier Tribunal, representing a duty guarantor). He has advised on Insurance Premium Tax and appeared in IPT appeals. He has also dealt with stamp duty/SDRT.

    • Commercial / consumer credit

      Peter has experience advising on consumer credit and related legislation and representing clients in civil actions and in some criminal proceedings under the 1974 Act.

      He has acted for major lenders, including HSBC and Nationwide, as well as a variety of smaller lenders and traders involved in consumer credit transactions. He has given advice in relation to terms of regulated agreements, including hire purchase, conditional sale and running account credit agreements, licensing (including representations to the OFT), advertising and quotations.

      In 2013 he represented the OFT in a major consumer credit licence revocation and money laundering penalty case involving payday lending (MCO Capital Ltd v OFT CCA/2012/0015).

    • Civil liberties & human rights

      Peter has appeared and advised in a number of human rights cases, particularly, but not exclusively, in the indirect tax field.

      His experience includes issues in relation to “retrospective” time limits, alleged infringements of the right to property, requirements to pay tax demands before tribunal proceedings can be commenced, and matters relating to the right to a fair hearing, including standovers pending criminal proceedings and the initial challenges to the independence of VAT & Duties tribunal under Article 6.

      A number of cases outside the tax area include matters involving the protection of family businesses from local authority action.

    • What the directories say

      Tax: Indirect Tax: Band 1 Junior: Clients always like dealing with Peter as he is clear and commercial in his advice.” “He is an excellent communicator, who puts clients at ease with his simple explanations of what can be extremely complex matters.” “Peter is so clear and open with his opinions.” – Chambers UK, 2024

      Tier 1 junior in Tax: VAT and excise: “Peter has a very wide knowledge of VAT law and he always takes an imaginative approach to finding solutions. He is always prepared to spend time discussing issues as they develop, he is always prepared to go the extra mile to resolve difficult issues, and his judgement is invariably spot on.” Legal 500, 2024

      Tax: Indirect Tax: Band 1 Junior: “He is always prepared to go the extra mile and impresses clients with his technical understanding and knowledge of the law.” “I am always confident that Peter has the measure of the arguments put forward by opposition tax counsel and is not deterred by adverse events.” “A pleasure to have representing you; he’s professional but at the same time makes the client feel included within the litigation, never over-complicating matters.” – Chambers UK, 2023

      Tier 1 junior in Tax: VAT and exciseLegal 500, 2023

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “Peter Mantle continues to impress with his deep knowledge of indirect taxes. He knows reams of stuff and is very good on the technical points” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘Peter can be relied upon to give a fully balanced appraisal of the position, avoiding either hedging all his views or being excessively optimistic. As he is instructed by both HMRC and tax payers, he can see the position from both sides and is a good guide to HMRC’s probable attitudes and thought processes. His opinions are detailed and logical.’’Legal 500, 2022

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “He is very methodical and measured.” “Peter displays precisely the right mix of tax technicality and commercial acumen required. He always enables clients to understand the intricacies of VAT law.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘He is able to explain complex ideas in a straightforward way that clients like. He is also willing to adopt challenging arguments if he believes in the cause.’’Legal 500, 2021

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “Excellent and extremely well prepared.” “He is clear in his advice and strong technically.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      Leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘He is willing to bring new ideas and solutions to the table.’’Legal 500, 2020

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “He absorbs information like a sponge and is able to deliver the most intellectually demanding ideas with the utmost clarity in court.” “He dispenses both technical expertise and practical industry knowledge in a thorough and logical manner.” – Chambers UK, 2019

      Leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘Helpful and technically very sound.’’Legal 500, 2018

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “He provides balanced, thorough and insightful advice that focuses on how to win the argument.” “His preparation is excellent and he is very clear in conference.” – Chambers UK, 2018

      Leading junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘Strategically excellent; he’s able to quickly identify the chinks in an opponent’s arguments.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “For representing HMRC he’s the best of the best of juniors.” “Incredibly hard working and very reliable.”Chambers UK, 2017

    • Additional information

      Member of the A Panel of the Attorney General’s panel of counsel, first appointed 2005


      Contributor of articles to the Tax Journal and past contributor to De Voil’s Indirect Tax Intelligence

      Professional Memberships

      VAT Practitioners Group

      Revenue Bar Association

    • Publications