Dr Michael Blackwell on tax avoidance and the SRA

28 March 2019


Dr Michael Blackwell published an opinion piece in The Times on Tuesday 26 March discussing his recent British Tax Review Article,  'Conduct Unbefitting: Solicitors, the SRA and Tax Avoidance'.The article discusses how the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have issued a warning notice which suggests that solicitors who facilitate tax avoidance are necessarily breaching the SRA Code of Conduct. This article shows that to be false. While there are risks associated with facilitating tax avoidance, both with regard to breaching professional ethics and negligence, the concept of and the facilitation of tax avoidance in and of itself does not necessarily entail such breaches or negligence. By seeking to restrict the availability of legal advice the SRA have probably breached their own regulatory objective of supporting the constitutional principle of the rule of law.

Click here for The Times article [paywall]