George Rowell

Call 2004

"George is a really impressive barrister, his knowledge of law is incomparable, and he is never anything other than 100% impeccably prepared. Remarkably, he is also highly pragmatic and commercially-minded, which is very rare indeed in combination with such an academic mind, so he really offers the best of both worlds."

The Legal 500 2024
Photo of George Rowell


George is a commercial barrister specialising in tax disputes, professional negligence and insolvency. Although he has experience across the range of insolvency work, he has a particular interest in cases with overlapping tax and insolvency issues. Where insolvency proceedings are brought by or for the benefit of HMRC, his expertise allows him to spot weaknesses in HMRC’s position that might not be apparent to other insolvency lawyers. He advises insolvency practitioners on the complicated interaction between the statutory tax assessment provisions and the insolvency legislation. He also has a thriving practice in insolvency and directors’ misfeasance cases arising from failed tax avoidance schemes.

George’s insolvency experience includes:

  • Pursuing and defending applications in the bankruptcy court
  • Freezing injunctions in the context of insolvency.
  • Insolvent TUPE transfers
  • Domicile and international issues
  • Claims against directors of ‘phoenix’ companies
  • Transactions defrauding creditors or at an undervalue
  • Tracing and breach of trust claims
  • Voluntary arrangements
  • Tax-related insolvency issues

George has been recommended as a Leading Junior in the Tax section of Chambers & Partners and the Commercial, Banking & Insolvency section of Legal 500 (see Recommendations for details).

Insolvency Cases

  • Advising former directors of major construction firm facing £6m misfeasance and TUV claims arising from failed EBT, “Alchemy” and “Goldfinger” tax avoidance schemes (with leader).
  • Advising liquidators on claims against directors who misappropriated £4m through a tax avoidance scheme.
  • Defending directors against misfeasance and related claims arising from £1.4m invested in a tax avoidance scheme.
  • Advising liquidator as to £1m+ claim against directors who used failed “E Securities” remuneration planning scheme.
  • Advising administrator as to tax and NIC assessments for £3.8m arising from failed tax planning.
  • Opposing bankruptcy petition brought by HMRC for tax debt of £1.1m.
  • Opposing bankruptcy petition brought by bank against property developer for £1m mortgage debt.
  • Defending director of ‘phoenix’ company against claim brought by HMRC for tax debts of his previous companies.
  • Representing the Insolvency Service in statutory redundancy payment proceedings brought by 200 ex-employees of insolvent property maintenance company.
  • Fraud, tracing and breach of trust claim against bankrupt trustee of intestate estate.