max schofield e1625053821254

Max Schofield

Year of Call: 2016
Email Address:
Telephone: 020 7583 8055
Clerk Name: Matthew Scanlan
Clerk Telephone: 0207 453 9249
Clerk Email:

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Max is a specialist in Indirect Tax with a practice far beyond his call. He has a number of cases at various stages of disputes against HMRC. Unlike many at the pure tax bar, Max appears in court every week and prides himself on his courtroom advocacy. He has also successfully resolved disputes with HMRC before they progress to the Tribunals, including settling multi-million pound assessments in the taxpayer’s favour.

Max has clients in multiple sectors from the food and drinks industry to construction and the media. For example, recently Max was instructed by TV channel S4C in relation to their VAT treatment and s.33 status and by a nationwide producer of healthy food bars. Max has advised many food and drink companies on their VAT liability under Group 1, Schedule 8 of the VAT Act 1994 from start-ups to large international companies.

Max continues to author and present papers at conferences globally and has written on topics as diverse as VAT and Brexit, the European Commission’s legislative competence on VAT rates, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s implementation of a VAT, an analysis of English case law on MTIC carousel fraud, and the taxation of food and cakes.

In addition to pure VAT cases, Max advises on professional negligence claims for and against tax advisors and accountants.


Max regularly volunteers at the Insolvency and Companies Court as counsel for City Law School’s COIN scheme assisting litigants-in-person at the Winding Up Court. In the course of his practice, Max has successful obtained an extension of a company’s administration to allow for recovery of VAT, restored companies to the register, and regularly appears on matters concerning bankruptcy, insolvency, and debt recovery in the Insolvency and Companies Court.

  • Articles
    • Schofield, M., Deluxe Property Holdings Ltd v SCL Construction Ltd: VAT repayment on trust, (2021), British Tax Review, Issue 2, 178

      Deluxe Property Holdings Ltd v SCL Construction Ltd

      3PB’s specialist tax and commercial law barrister Max Schofield has analysed the case of Deluxe Property Holdings Ltd v SCL Construction Ltd for the British Tax Review.

      View Article
    • News Corp UK & Ireland Ltd v HMRC: VAT and digital newspapers

      In this article written for the British Tax Review, Max Schofield reviews News Corp UK & Ireland Ltd v HMRC and whether digital versions of newspapers should attract VAT, while printed versions do not.

      View Article
    • VAT: HMRC disagreed with its own guidance

      Max Schofield analyses Landlinx Estates Ltd v HMRC, in which an option agreement over land was broken when the seller backed out and paid the would-be buyer £1.4m. HMRC wanted a slice of the action as VAT on the deal.

      View Article
    • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Claiming against HMRC

      3PB’s tax and commercial litigation barrister Max Schofield has issued a briefing, in tandem with employment barrister Daniel Barnett from Outer Temple Chambers, aimed at UK employers who face difficulties with their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments from HRMC.

      View Article
    • VAT on; VAT off: Martial Arts and the Education Exemption

      Max Schofield analyses Premier Family Martial Arts LLP (“PFMA”) v HMRC in which the First Tier Tribunal was tasked with assessing kickboxing classes and the education exemption for private tuition.

      View Article
    • VAT: When you have overpaid your welcome

      Max Schofield analyses the recent Court of Appeal decision in National Car Parks Ltd v HMRC [2019] concerning parking ticket overpayments and consideration for VAT purposes.

      View Article
    • Praesto Consulting: VAT on legal services

      3PB commercial barrister Max Schofield analyses the implications of the Court of Appeal’s judgment on Praesto Consulting v HMRC, in particular, when a company can reclaim the VAT for legal proceedings against its director.

      This article was first published in the Tax Journal -

      View Article
  • Recommendations

    ‘Max is clearly compassionate and puts a great deal of effort, time and consideration into his response. He is also approachable and whilst he uses technical jargon where appropriate, such as in his detailed notes, he then follows up with a meeting to discuss the advice note and explains everything so that the clients can understand who clearly do not have his level of VAT knowledge. VAT in particular is a very complex area of tax law and Max is well versed and clearly exceptionally knowledgeable.’

    Legal 500 2022/TAX: corporate and vat/indirect tax/Rising Star/London Bar


    “Max has been a pleasure to work with, and I have already instructed him on a second matter, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him for future work, particularly in relation to VAT liability disputes.”

    Daniel Rice, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton

    “Max’s drafting skills are exceptional, […] clear, succinct and legally correct.”


    “Max was instructed very late on in the day. He managed to grasp the main issues extremely well and quickly. He thought “outside of the box” and managed to advise me of the most appropriate (and safest) way of proceeding.”


View Full CV
  • The Legal 500 - Rising Star 2022 Logo

Academic qualifications

  • Law (LLB), University of Exeter
  • International Trade and Commercial Law (LLM), University of Durham
  • Law in a European and Global Context (LLM), Católica Global School of Law, Lisbon
  • Visiting Scholar and JD Exchange, Cornell Law School, NY
  • Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), City University, London

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Attorney General’s London C Panel of Junior Counsel

Professional bodies

  • Revenue Bar Association