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One minute with... Philip J.D. Simpson QC

What attracted you to the tax bar?

Most lawyers don’t like numbers but I do so tax had a natural draw. Then I discovered that at the bar tax has nothing to do with numbers: it’s all about words and what they mean and trying to make them mean what you want them to mean.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in tax since starting your tax career?

The culture shift away from artificial tax avoidance which was really as a result of the 2008 global meltdown rather than a new morality among taxpayers. But I think it’s all part of a cycle and the pendulum will gradually swing back as the economy and with it public finances improve.

What recent tax cases have caught your eye and why?

The stramash about Starbucks and others shifting profits through low-tax jurisdictions. Nothing about the...

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