Giselle McGowan

Overview and Core Expertise

Giselle joined 9 Stone Buildings in September 2013. Prior to joining 9 Stone Buildings she undertook pupillage and was an employed barrister at Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs’ Solicitor’s Office (“HMRC”) in HMRC’s Enforcement and Insolvency, Personal Tax and VAT teams.

Giselle has a broad commercial chancery practice which encompasses in particular:
• Personal and Corporate Insolvency;
• Real Property;
• Landlord and Tenant;
• Company and Partnerships;
• Tax;
• Commercial; and
• Chancery.

Reported cases

  • Coventry v Lawrence [2014] All ER (D) 226 (Jul) [2014] UKSC 46 – instructed as junior counsel for the successful respondent landlords in an appeal to the Supreme Court against a finding that the landlords were not liable for nuisance caused by their tenants.
  • Re Helen Irene Borodzicz [2015] All ER (D) 03 (Dec) – instructed for the applicant in an application for permission to bring proceedings against her former trustee in bankruptcy post his release pursuant to s304 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • TC04583: Medallion Europe Limited TC/2011/10238 [2015] SWTI 2643 – instructed as sole counsel for the taxpayer in a seven day appeal against a VAT assessment raised on the basis that the relevant transactions were connected to a fraudulent tax loss and/or that the transactions had not taken place.

Personal Insolvency

  • Giselle regularly appears in the High Court and County Court on a variety of personal insolvency matters including: petitions; public and private examinations; applications to set aside statutory demands, to annul, challenging IVAs, for income payment orders, for sale of property, for search and seizure warrants and for declarations that transactions are transactions at undervalue or preferences.

Recent work:

  • Currently instructed for a bankrupt and his wife in an application by his trustee in bankruptcy for sale of the family home involving allegations that a declaration of trust was a sham, alternatively a transaction at undervalue, alternatively a transaction defrauding creditors.
  • Successfully represented the respondent trustee in bankruptcy in an application to set aside a search and seizure warrant allegedly obtained by fraud and where ownership of the goods seized was disputed.
  • Successfully applied for a limited civil restraint order against a bankrupt who was repeatedly bringing applications to annul his bankruptcy.
  • Represented the applicant in a partially successful application for permission to bring proceedings against her former trustee in bankruptcy post his release pursuant to s304 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acted for the IVA supervisor in an application challenging the validity of an IVA.

Corporate Insolvency

  • Giselle regularly appears in the High Court and County Court on various matters including: petitions, injunctions to restrain presentation of/advertisement of petitions, validation orders, transactions at undervalue, preferences, wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, misfeasance and extension of administrations.

Recent work:

  • Currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of a liquidator in a claim against a former company director and third parties for misfeasance and/or fraudulent trading.
  • Currently acting for the liquidator in an application against a director and his wife claiming misfeasance and a proprietary interest in their family home.
  • Successfully applied for a declaration that a winding-up order was a nullity.
  • Successfully obtained a declaration on behalf of a liquidator that a former company director was guilty of misfeasance and/or breach of duty and that various payments were transactions at undervalue and an order that he compensate the company.

Property/Landlord and Tenant

  • Regularly instructed to advise on and/or appear in claims on a variety of matters including renewal of business tenancies, relief from forfeiture, enforceability of restrictive covenants, leasehold enfranchisement, possession proceedings on behalf of mortgagees, mortgagors, landlord and tenants, tenancy deposit claims, housing disrepair claims, charging order applications, orders for sale and TLATA claims.

Recent work:

  • Coventry v Lawrence [2014] UKSC 46 – instructed as junior counsel for the successful respondent landlords in an appeal to the Supreme Court against a finding that the landlords were not liable for nuisance caused by their tenants.
  • Successfully instructed on behalf of the long leaseholders in an application for a vesting order in a leasehold enfranchisement claim where one landlord could not be located and the other opposed the making of the vesting order.
  • Successfully represented the co-owner wife in a TLATA claim by an executor of her co-owner husband’s will seeking possession and sale of property where the claim was dismissed in its entirety.

Company/Partnerships

  • Regularly instructed on various company and partnership matters including: partnership disputes, claims against directors, claims for dissolution, applications to extend time for registration of charges, applications to restore companies to the register and disqualification proceedings.

Recent work:

  • Acted as junior counsel in a four day High Court trial successfully defending three directors against disqualification proceedings.
  • Currently acting for a partner in a claim for dissolution of the partnership and an account for profits made in competition with the partnership business.
  • Successfully represented the applicant in an unfair prejudice petition.

Tax

  • Prior to joining chambers Giselle worked for HMRC Solicitor’s Office in the Personal Tax Advisory and VAT Advisory teams advising on a wide range of matters such as the direction of a supply of services by intermediaries in the insurance industry for VAT purposes, the treatment of trust assets for Capital Gains Tax purposes, taxation of payments upon termination of employment, taxation of employer-financed retirement benefits schemes and compatibility of pensions legislation with EU treaty obligations.
  • Since joining Chambers Giselle has appeared in the FTTT and continues to advise on and draft pleadings in tax matters.

Recent work:

  • Instructed as sole counsel for the taxpayer in seven day appeal against a VAT assessment raised on the basis that the relevant transactions were connected to a fraudulent tax loss and/or that the transactions had not taken place.
  • Drafted statements of case in appeals against a refusal to refund import duties, a refusal to accept an error correction notice in respect of over declared output tax, a decision to cancel a VAT registration and a decision relating to the classification of services within a property development project for VAT purposes.
  • Advised on a prospective claim against HMRC for incorrectly refusing to register traders for VAT, wrongly stating that a supply of services was VATable and incorrectly pursuing VAT.
  • Settled a defence in a claim for the refund of VAT paid under a contract on the basis that the VAT was not due as the defendant had failed to exercise the option to tax.

Publications

The Law of Disclaimer
International Corporate Rescue Journal, Volume 11, Issue 4, 2014

Giselle regularly writes headnotes for the Wills and Trusts Law Reports.

Education and qualifications

2007 – BA Politics and Philosophy – University of Sheffield
2010 – GDL – The College of Law
2011 – BPTC – The College of Law
2011 – LLB – The College of Law

Prizes and Scholarships

Sunley Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn

Memberships

The Chancery Bar Association
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn


Giselle McGowan is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 13413); whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales which code can be found at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk; has full professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited (ref BM 2930/069) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 168 754 953 ); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at clerks@9stonebuildings.com.