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Clara Boyd

she/herLegal Director
Clara Boyd is a leader of the future with a profound knowledge of VAT, litigation experience which far surpasses her contemporaries and a staggering work ethic.
Legal 500, 2020
Clara Boyd is a Legal Director in the Tax Disputes and Controversy team who has a particular focus on acting for corporates on resolving VAT and other indirect tax disputes with HMRC. 

Clara was ranked in Legal 500 2023 as a “Next Generation” Partner and described in Chambers UK 2023 testimonials as “technically very good and a pleasure to deal with”.

Clara has significant experience of conducting complex internal investigations on behalf of clients; resolving matters outside of the litigation process; and also managing high value and high profile pieces of litigation before the First-tier Tax Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Administrative Court, Court of Appeal, Court of Justice of the European Union and Supreme Court.


  • Acting for one of the UK’s largest charity fund managers in a £multi-million dispute with HMRC regarding its entitlement to recover overpaid output VAT on the grounds that its services fall within the VAT exemption for management of special investment funds.
  • Acting for a leading UK financial institution in a £multi-million dispute concerning an alleged supply chain VAT fraud on purchases of emissions allowances (carbon credits) issued under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
  • Acting for a Northern Irish district council (as a lead case) in a £multi-million dispute with HMRC regarding entitlement to repayment of overpaid VAT charged on sports and leisure facilities.
  • Advising a US headquartered global e-commerce business on the applicability of a VAT exemption falling within the group of Health and Welfare.
  • Advising a US headquartered global securities business with regard to the conditions for SDRT intermediary relief and scope of HMRC’s discretion.
  • Lead solicitor who represented Raymond Tooth in challenging a discovery assessment issued by HMRC, from the First-tier Tax Tribunal through to the successful outcome before the Supreme Court (HMRC v Tooth [2021] UKSC 17).  Tooth is the leading authority on various issues related to the validity of discovery assessments.
  • Acted for various public sector bodies and their Union in an appeal against HMRC’s decision that arrangements in place for the release of staff were subject to VAT and successfully gaining resolution (with HMRC withdrawing their decision).
  • Acted for a leading global insurer, conducting a full investigation into serious tax non-compliance within a number of SPVs, engaging and negotiating with HMRC to avoid any resulting tax or penalty liability.
  • Successfully represented a leading specialist insurance group in a tax appeal concerning the group holding company’s entitlement to recover input VAT on professional services fees.
  • Cambridge University (Christ’s College), Law, MA (Cantab) - First Class (2004)

  • Nottingham Law School, Legal Practice Course – Distinction (2005)


  • Ranked in Legal 500 2023 as “Next Generation Partner” and in Chambers UK 2023 as “Up and Coming”.
  • In the Legal 500 / Chambers & Partners UK testimonials:

    "She is technically very good and she's a pleasure to deal with." [Chambers & Partners UK, 2023]
    "Clara Boyd is wise beyond her years – she is a ruthless and relentless litigator in pursuit of her client’s goals." [Legal 500, 2023]
    "Clara Boyd is a leader of the future with a profound knowledge of VAT, litigation experience which far surpasses her contemporaries and a staggering work ethic". [Legal 500, 2020]
  • Recommended in Legal 500 UK 2019 for her 'razor-sharp intellect' used to 'effortlessly analyse complex legal concepts'.

Publications and media

Prior Experience

2019 to 2022: Partner, London based international law firm

2005 to 2019: London based international law firm