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Valentina Sloane QC

Call: 2000 | Silk: 2019

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    Education

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

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    Introduction

    Valentina is a leading barrister in EU relations, procurement and tax law, including VAT, excise and customs duties.

    Who’s Who Legal recognises her as a Global Leader in Government Contracts and Tax Controversy:

    “Valentina Sloane QC is “a highly persuasive advocate” say peers who commend her impressive practice. She appears in domestic and international courts on high-value tax disputes” and she is “recognised for her considerable experience handling complex public contracts matters relating to EU procurement regimes”. She is “an impressive and powerful barrister” and “an exceptional advocate who is hugely respected in court”.

    The directories have consistently recommended Valentina as an outstanding practitioner. She has been described as “extraordinarily bright”, “incredibly compelling”, “a formidable opponent”, “excellent on paper” and “a tough, tenacious and brilliant advocate” with “excellent command of the detail”. She is also “extremely user-friendly and responsive” and “has great client-facing skills”.

    Prior to taking silk, Valentina was named Tax Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2018. Who’s Who Legal UK Bar recognised her as one of the “Most Highly Regarded” juniors in Government Contracts, as well as one of the foremost tax juniors in the country.

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

    • News
    • Tax & duties

      Valentina is recognised in the directories as one of the top silks in the field of indirect taxes. Who’s Who Legal names her as a Global Leader in Tax Controversy.

      Valentina specialises in VAT, customs and excise duties.

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

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “A great all-rounder with excellent client-handling skills, who is very good technically and on the strategy.” “Valentina has one of the sharpest VAT minds in the business. Her speedy grasp of complex technical matters is first class.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘She is a class act.’’ – Legal 500, 2020

      Cases

      Court of Justice of the EU:

      • C-182/19 Pfizer (customs duties, healthcare products)
      • C-545/16 Kubota (customs duties, motor vehicles)
      • 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-452/03 RAL (Channel Islands) Limited v Customs and Excise (gambling, tax, place of supply)

      Supreme Court/House of Lords:

      • FMX [2020] (customs duties, limitation period)
      • Rank Group plc [2015] (gambling, statutory interpretation)
      • Pendragon [2015] (car industry, alleged VAT avoidance)
      • Fleming / Conde Nast v. HMRC [2008] (legality of time limits)
      • Dr Beynon and Partners v. Customs and Excise [2004] (single/multiple supplies, healthcare)

      Court of Appeal:

      • Adecco [2018] (agency and principal, temporary workers)
      • 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:

      • R (on the application of Premier Foods) v HMRC [2015] STC 2384 (restitution of mistakenly paid VAT, Reemtsma principles)
      • 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)
      • 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)

      Upper Tribunal:

      • Milton Keynes [2020] (NHS bodies, assessment powers, section 41(3) refunds)
      • Rank and Done Bros [2020] (fiscal neutrality, gaming machines)
      • Adecco UK Ltd v HMRC [2017] (VAT, agency workers)
      • Honeywell Analytics Ltd v HMRC [2017] (customs duties, classification)
      • Clear plc v HMRC [2016] (application to reinstate struck-out appeal)
      • Barrus & Kubota v HMRC [2013] (dumpers, customs classification)
      • Rank Group plc v HMRC [2012] (gambling, fiscal neutrality)
      • Photron Europe v HMRC [2012] (video recorders, cameras, customs classification)
      • Pendragon v HMRC [2012] (motor industry, alleged VAT avoidance)

      First Tier Tribunal:

      • Fenix v HMRC [2020] (internet platform, social media website, challenge to legality of EU law, reference to CJEU)
      • McBraida v HMRC [2019] (zero-rating, aircraft parts)
      • N Brown Group [2018] (partial exemption, retail)
      • Adullam Homes [2018] (charity, exemption)
      • Euro Packaging Ltd v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 160 (TC) (customs duties, classification, remission)
      • Hotels4U v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 718 (TC) (tour operators, TOMS)
      • N Brown plc v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 445 (TC) (VAT, disclosure of without prejudice correspondence)
      • National Car Parks Ltd v Revenue & Customs Commissioners [2015] UKFTT 666 (TC) (consideration for VAT supplies)
      • Nufarm v HMRC [2014] UKFTT 54 (TC) (customs duties, inward processing relief)
      • 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)

       

       

    • Public procurement

      Valentina has extensive experience of public procurement.

      She is recommended in the directories as one of the top silks in the field of public procurement. Who’s Who Legal names her as a Global Leader in Government Contracts.

      “Gets to the heart of complex issues quickly and provides value in developing strategy.” She has a commanding courtroom presence and her cross-examination has real impact with the judges.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Valentina Sloane QC is “an impressive and powerful barrister” and “an exceptional advocate who is hugely respected in court”. One peer effuses, “She is fiercely intelligent and delivers a more effective message in 15 minutes than many barristers do in two hours.” – Who’s Who Legal, Global Guide 2020, Government Contracts

      Cases

      • Rail Franchise litigation [2020] (challenge to rail franchise procurements by Stagecoach and others)
      • Eurotunnel [2019] (the Brexit ferry case, challenge to award of contracts to ferry companies by the Secretary of State for Transport)
      • Bombardier Transportation v London Underground [2018] (challenge to procurement of tube trains)
      • Bombardier Transportation Ltd v Merseytravel [2017] EWHC 575 (TCC) (damages claim in relation to a contract for rolling stock, confidentiality).
      • Medicure Ltd v The Minister for the Cabinet Office [2015] EWHC 1854 (TCC) (challenge to the legality of a framework agreement)
      • Group M UK Ltd v Cabinet Office [2015] 1 CMLR 43 (allegedly abnormally low tender, lifting of the statutory suspension)
      • NP Aerospace Limited (trading as Morgan Advanced Materials Composites and Defence Systems) v Ministry of Defence [2014] EWHC 2741 (TCC). Represented the Ministry of Defence in 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). Represented the claimant in proceedings concerning a claim for damages in respect of alleged breaches of EU law in the rejection of a tender as non-compliant.
      • 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

      Public Procurement: “Gets straight to the point and takes a very commercial view.” “A thoughtful barrister who is meticulous in her preparation and a highly effective advocate.” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “A superb advocate who is hard-working and commercial in her approach.” “She presents very well and is friendly and easy to work with.” – Chambers UK, 2022

      Leading Silk in Public procurement: ‘‘A fine advocate with a fine analytic legal mind. She had the judge’s ear.’Legal 500, 2022

      Leading Silk in Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘Valentina has a great eye for detail and is collaborative. She is an excellent communicator, thorough and has detailed technical knowledge.’’Legal 500, 2022

      Public Procurement: “Gets to the heart of complex issues quickly and provides value in developing strategy.” She has a commanding courtroom presence and her cross-examination has real impact with the judges.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “A great all-rounder with excellent client-handling skills, who is very good technically and on the strategy.” “Valentina has one of the sharpest VAT minds in the business. Her speedy grasp of complex technical matters is first class.” – Chambers UK, 2021

      New Silk in Public procurement: ‘‘A fine advocate with a fine analytic legal mind. She had the judge’s ear.’Legal 500, 2021

      New Silk in Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘Very user friendly with clients and has a great grasp of the detail when evidence is complex.’’Legal 500, 2021

      “Secures impressive endorsements from peers for her deep knowledge of EU procurement regimes.” – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

      Public Procurement: “Clear and well-directed advocacy, delivered extremely crisply. Very responsive and good to deal with.” “Highly technical advice on public procurement issues.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “Very user-friendly, incredibly bright and very practical.” “She has excellent client-handling skills, and is very good both technically and on the strategy front.” – Chambers UK, 2020

      New Silk in Public procurement: ‘‘A star performer, and especially good on funds in public procurement’’Legal 500, 2020

      New Silk in Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘She is a class act.’’Legal 500, 2020

      A highly persuasive advocate” say peers who commend her impressive practice. She appears in domestic and international courts on high-value tax disputes” – Corporate Tax, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Recognised for her considerable experience handling complex public contracts matters relating to EU procurement regimes” – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

      Public Procurement: “Provides clear and well-directed advocacy, which is delivered extremely crisply.” She is “responsive, good to deal with, dependable and hard-working.”Chambers UK, 2019

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “Incredibly compelling.” “An intelligent and dynamic advocate with excellent command of the detail.” – Chambers UK, 2019

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘Highly technical advice on public procurement issues’’Legal 500, 2018

      Leading junior in Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘A highly experienced tax barrister’’Legal 500, 2018

      Public Procurement: “A day-to-day specialist in this area” and “an impressive senior junior who is hard-working, dependable and knowledgeable.”Chambers UK, 2018

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “An excellent junior and a great advocate who is very good with clients.” “Her advice is clear, concise and considered and she really fights your corner.” – Chambers UK, 2018

      Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘Brilliant in court and at cutting straight to the issue.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Leading junior in Tax: corporate and VAT: ‘‘Experienced in everything from the small, tricky issues to the vast, technically complex ones.’’Legal 500, 2017

      Public Procurement: “She’s technically very strong and great for high-value procurement matters.” “She is willing to test the boundaries of the law to get the right result for the client.”Chambers UK, 2017

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “She is incredibly intelligent, always impeccably prepared and thinks on her feet. The advice is always excellent – nothing has ever come unstuck with her advice – and she is thoroughly professional at all times.” “She is very user-friendly and very sharp. A great asset to the team, and a great advocate.” – Chambers UK, 2017

      Leading Junior in Tax: Corporate and VAT: ‘‘An excellent advocate.’’ Legal 500, 2016

      Leading Junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘Decisive, thorough and leading from the front.’’ Legal 500, 2016

      Government Contracts: “A first-class senior junior” with significant experience of heavyweight EU procurement litigation. She receives effusive feedback from instructing solicitors, who describe her as “sensible and sharp”, as well as “determined and hands on”.WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

      Public Procurement: “She knows the law inside and out, is pragmatic and offers crisp advice.”Chambers UK, 2016

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “She has superb client-handling skills and is always fully prepared.” “She is extremely knowledgeable in relation to customs legislation, is diligent and user-friendly.”Chambers UK, 2016

      “Accessible and willing to provide complex advice in short timeframes.” Leading junior in Public Procurement Law. Legal 500, 2015

      “She is always in command of her brief and provides incisive as well as decisive opinions.” Leading Junior in Tax VAT Law. Legal 500, 2015

      Public Procurement: “She’s very approachable, straight-talking and commercial.” “She was on top of not just the law but also the procedural stuff in preparation for trial.”Chambers UK, 2015

      Tax: Indirect Tax: “A leading light on both VAT and customs duty matters – she gets to know the important details of clients’ businesses and provides advice which is highly practical and usable.”Chambers UK, 2015

      Public Procurement: “Valentina Sloane is consistently praised for her “remarkable intelligence” and “agile mind that stands up to challenges time and time again”. Along with her experience litigating in all of the EU procurement regimes, both led and independently, she is one of the “very top” juniors in the procurement market.” – Who’s Who Legal, 2015

      ‘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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