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One minute with... Michael T. McGowan

Why did you choose to become a tax lawyer?

In truth I zigzagged into practising tax. As a postgraduate I studied it as an afterthought; enjoyed it; did some more of it during articles at Clifford Chance; and then at the eleventh hour decided to practise tax not banking law.

That was the right choice both for me and for banking law. Tax advice is perfect for those who are interested on advising on the law but in a highly commercial environment.

Who do you most admire in tax?

I admire the late Lord Tomlin for spelling out in 1935 the liberal principle that ‘every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so as that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be’. Nowadays HMRC most politicians and even some judges like to...

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