Speaker Biographies


Valentina Sloane QC

Barrister, Monckton Tax Chambers

Valentina’s taxation expertise includes all aspects of indirect taxation.

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019 recommends her as a leading silk in the field of taxation: “Valentina Sloane QC is “a highly persuasive advocate” say peers who commend her impressive practice. She appears in domestic and international courts on high value tax disputes”.

The directories have consistently recommended Valentina as an outstanding practitioner. She has been described as “extraordinarily bright”, “incredibly compelling”, “a formidable opponent” and “a tough tenacious and brilliant advocate”. She is also “extremely user-friendly and responsive” and “has great client-facing skills”.

Prior to taking silk, Valentina was named Tax Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2018.


Jaspal Pachu

Partner, Freeths LLP

Jaspal is a Partner in the tax and incentives practice at Freeths.

He has extensive experience of advising on a range of corporate tax issues, including capital markets transactions, mergers & acquisitions, corporate structuring, company reorganisations, real estate transactions and disputes with HM Revenue and Customs.

Jaspal also has significant experience in advising both employers and senior management on employee share schemes and management incentive arrangements and is a member of the Share Plan Lawyers Group.

Jaspal advises UK and overseas clients including listed companies, large and mid-tier corporates, owner managed businesses, partnerships and LLP’s and individuals in a wide range of industry sectors.

He has written a number of articles on tax and has taken part in Government consultations on tax and share schemes.

180129 GD Photo

Graham Davies

Senior Policy Adviser, HMRC

Graham Davies is a senior policy adviser in the Centre for Offshore Strategy (COeS) in HMRC.  He joined COeS and HMRC in September 2017 and since then has been the policy lead on the Requirement to Correct. Graham has worked in the civil service for 28 years, having joined the Cabinet Office in 1991.

He is a policy professional and has worked in a number of different Whitehall departments over the last 28 years, including the Cabinet Office, Home Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (in a previous incarnation). He has worked on a variety of policies including Freedom of Information, civil service reform, Devolution and local government performance. He also spent a number of years at the Civil Service College where he trained other civil servants.

DS Photo

David Smith

Senior Policy Adviser, HMRC

David Smith has worked for HMRC and its predecessor, the Inland Revenue, since 1985. He has worked in the field of international exchange of information for the last 15 years, taking on various roles in the Compliance and Business Tax areas of HMRC. David is now in the International Collaboration and Transparency Team in HMRC’s Business, Assets and International Directorate, with particular responsibility for automatic exchange of information as embodied in the OECD Common Reporting Standard. David is currently working on implementation of DAC6 and MDR.


Rebecca Sheldon

Barrister, Old Square Tax Chambers

Rebecca was called in 2017 and practises in all areas of tax law. She accepts instructions to advise or to act alone or as junior counsel in any area of tax. Rebecca writes for the British Tax Review, including “Finance (No.2) Act 2017 Notes: Section 68: penalty for transaction connected with VAT fraud etc” and “Italmoda: the birth of the principle of third-party liability for VAT fraud”. She has a first class honours Masters degree in Law from Cambridge University, winning a number of awards during her time there. Rebecca also obtained an Outstanding grade for her Bar Professional Training Course.


Lucy Choi

Founder, Lucy Choi London

Lucy Choi is the founder of eponymous shoe brand Lucy Choi London.

As the niece of the legendary Jimmy Choo and sister to Sandra Choi, Creative Director of Jimmy Choo, Choi grew up surrounded by fashion and the shoe-making industry, watching in awe and learning about the importance of craftsmanship as her uncle handmade couture shoes in his small workshop in Hackney, East London; the humble birthplace of Jimmy Choo, the brand.

After completing a business degree at the University of Birmingham she became a financial analyst in the city, developing a solid foundation and commercial acumen over eight years. She then went on to become Managing Director for footwear brand French Sole and was instrumental in its expansion in the UK and internationally, establishing the ballet-flats brand in Asia, the Middle East and in the US market.

Lucy is unique in that she combines her heritage, her fashion credentials and design expertise with the commercial experience she gained from working in the City. A wife, a mother, a shoe designer and a business powerhouse; Lucy believes a woman can make a difference and achieve anything with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and a fabulous pair of shoes on her feet!


Keith Gordon

Barrister, Temple Tax Chambers

Keith previously practised as a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser before starting to practise at the Bar in 2006. His practice covers all areas of tax as well as related areas including partnership disputes and professional negligence. Keith also lectures and writes extensively and won the Tax Writer of the Year category in the 2013 LexisNexis Taxation Awards. He was also the Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year in the 2009 awards.

Keith’s cases include Jones v Garnett (the ‘Arctic Systems’ case) where he was the junior barrister for the successful taxpayer in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. More recently, he was instructed by the taxpayers in the discovery cases of Charlton, Sanderson and Pattullo, in the Supreme Court in Cotter v HMRC (meaning of tax return), Thomson v HMRC (meaning of trade) and the residence cases of Grace and Tuczka.

Keith is a member of the ICAEW Tax Faculty’s Technical Committee.  He is also an active member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, where he has been a Council member since 2009, sits on a number of technical sub-committees and is joint honorary President of the London Branch.


John Lovell

Managing Director, Lovell Consulting

John has 25 years’ experience as a capital allowances specialist. He trained with Arthur Andersen and helped found the capital allowances team. At the time, Andersen’s were the first accounting firm to set up a capital allowances specialist team and employ chartered surveyors and train them in taxation.  John later formed Lovell Consulting, which for the last 21 years specialises in capital allowances. John qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor at McBains Cooper.

John won a scholarship to Oxford University Green Templeton College and attained a Master of Philosophy degree in Management Studies. He gained a First Class honours degree in Quantity Surveying from Reading University and is a Chartered Surveyor.

Director, Dixon Wilson

Paul Howard

Paul Howard is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He focuses on tax issues relevant to wealthy entrepreneurs, including corporate structuring, personal and estate planning and business transactions. He frequently lectures on a range of issues and contributes articles to the professional press.

Chris Barker smaller

Chris Barker

Business Development Manager, Jumpstart UK

Chris represents Jumpstart, one of the UK’s leading R&D tax relief specialists. Since their foundation in 2008 they have recovered over £100m in tax relief for their clients through their expertise. Innovation has been at the heart of Chris’s career to date, carrying out roles in business development, operations, education and training.

He has specialised in renewable energy funding when it was in its nascence, and as a senior operational manager at a technology-focused JV set up by Sky and its investors to create the set top box functionality that most of us now use on a daily basis. He has also taught Systems Thinking at the Australian RMIT University in Vietnam. Having worked for both rapidly growing start-ups and large multi-nationals, Chris understands the challenges that each can face. He is keen to apply this blend of finance expertise and experience from his work within a number of innovation-focused sectors to help his clients benefit from R&D tax relief.

His interests include sustainable development in which he holds a Masters, trying to learn Japanese and remembering it the next day, following Ipswich Town (which can be challenging), and motorcycling in nice weather only!


Ken Almand

Partner, BDO

Ken has 22 years’ of experience specialising in transfer pricing gained at HM Revenue & Customs, EY and mid-market firms. He leads the global transfer pricing service at Moore Stephens and is highly experienced at leading teams of specialists and delivering collaborative solutions to multinational corporations. He works across industry sectors and specialises in helping businesses to optimise their transfer pricing strategies and fulfil compliance obligations.

His experience includes:

Global transfer pricing leader in mid market firms/networks;

Development of international transfer pricing and cross selling teams;

Advising the UK government on transfer pricing policy issues;

Formulating UK transfer pricing legislation and anti-avoidance rules;

A track record of implementing successful transfer pricing strategies across business sectors;

Adviser to businesses in countries around the world on all aspects of transfer pricing and related topics;

Successful negotiation of over 100 transfer pricing settlements in various countries since 1995;

Teaching transfer pricing to students from around the world sitting the Advance Diploma in International Taxation;

Speaking at international conferences and contributing to respected publications such as the Financial Times, Tax Journal and the Daily Telegraph;

Co-author of Tolley’s International Tax Planning 2018-19.