60-second interview with Emma Chamberlain

Emma Chamberlain, 5/9/2017

Emma Chamberlain OBE TEP is a barrister at Pump Court Tax Chambers and part time partner at Joseph Hage Aaronson in London.

What does your chambers do?

At Pump Court Tax Chambers we advise on all aspects of tax and also have a big litigation practice. I specialise in private client advisory work, particularly involving foreign doms and trusts.

Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP (JHA) is well known for its tax and commercial litigation practice and I’m part of a department headed by Ray McCann, deputy president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

What has STEP done for you, individually, or as a business?

Some at JHA are doing the STEP exams and find them a very useful way of improving their technical expertise in a structured way.

I am on the technical committee of STEP, which has been excellent at improving tax and trust policy changes introduced by the government and is highly respected by the Treasury and HMRC.

What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?

Providing training, exchanging ideas, and promoting a sense of team spirit and a collegiate feeling. I value this, as private client work is often quite lonely.

You will be speaking at the UK Annual Tax Conference 2017 conference this autumn. What will you be speaking on and what are the main issues in this area?

I’ll be discussing foreign domiciles: the major changes to long term UK resident foreign doms, and the changes to inheritance tax on residential property.

What do you most like about your job?

The variety – every day brings a new intellectual challenge.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

Sorting out problems and messes that clients have got into.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

Do tax if you like the analysis and enjoy sorting out client problems. Private client tax and trust work may not be the most remunerative but, in my view, it is the most varied and interesting.

Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?

In compliance, especially in terms of ensuring all the common reporting standards are met. I’d also say residential property in the UK, and conflict of law issues.

What do you feel are the main challenges facing your organisation at the moment, and how will you deal with them?

Keeping up to date. It is easy to become too specialised, given the volume of new information you have to master all the time, but that’s also dangerous.

Which social media channels do you use?

I never have time for social media, but my daughter tries to get me to use Twitter and Facebook.


Emma Chamberlain OBE TEP is a private client barrister at Pump Court Tax Chambers and a part-time partner at Hage Aaronson LLP. She is a member of STEP’s Technical Committee and CIOT’s Capital Taxes Committee, and is a Council Member of CIOT. She is member of the GAAR Committee. She has completed various secondments to HM Treasury and HMRC, including on foreign domiciles and IHT and residential property.

Emma is a co-author of Trust Taxation and Estate Planning, Sweet & Maxwell Co-editor of Dymond's Capital Taxes, and is a co-author of a chapter on Taxation of Wealth and Wealth Transfers in the IFS's Mirrlees Review. She is also a contributor to Current Issues in Succession Law, and is on the Editorial Board of the British Tax Review.