01 Jun 2021
Wilson Wright continues to grow tax team with appointment of tax disputes partner
Wilson Wright, the City-based accountancy, tax and business advisory firm, has continued to grow its tax team with the appointment of a tax disputes partner.
Jessica McLellan joins the firm in June to establish and grow its tax risk and dispute resolution division.
Her appointment increases the firm’s ability to assist clients facing protracted or serious enquiries from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), or who have legacy schemes to settle or potential disclosures to make.
Jessica has more than 15 years’ experience as a tax disputes resolution specialist, including more than a decade at a big four firm and a period as a Policy Adviser at HMRC, giving her a deep insight into the revenue’s approach to litigation and dispute resolution.
She joins Wilson Wright at a time when HMRC has more powers than ever before to instigate tax investigations, while political pressure and limited resources are leading it increasingly to pursue ostensibly easy targets such as owner-managed businesses.
HMRC investigations can be highly intrusive and disruptive for individuals, families and businesses alike. If they are not handled effectively, they can also be costly and inflict significant reputational damage.
The challenge of applying complex tax legislation to complex financial structures and transactions means that tax disputes can often turn on highly technical questions of interpretation, meaning experienced professional advice is vital.
Jessica is experienced in managing relationships with HMRC and mitigating the risks of complex transactions and disclosures.
She is also a qualified Mediator (CEDR), enabling her to assist clients entering into Alternative Dispute Resolution with HMRC.
Jessica said: “Most people who find themselves in the midst of a tax dispute never expected to be there, whether because their advisers have interpreted their liability differently from HMRC, they have made an inadvertent error or have received bad advice. Sometimes their tax affairs are just complex or cross-jurisdictional and have not been explained in the right way to HMRC.
My approach is to bring technical expertise within practical strategic advice considering the wider context of disputed matters for families, their business interests and other commercial factors.
“With HMRC increasingly seeking to pursue the owner-managed businesses it perceives as being more likely to make mistakes, I am delighted to be joining Wilson Wright to launch this new service to complement the firm’s already strong advisory and compliance services.”
Craig Nicholson, Senior Tax Partner at Wilson Wright, added: “Tax disputes are an increasing risk and have potentially severe consequences if they are not handled effectively.
Jessica brings an impressive track record of assisting her clients with tax disputes to bring about the best possible outcomes.
Her appointment is a natural progression for the department and the firm as we look to offer our clients a comprehensive set of specialist advisory services.