Contact Iain MacWhannell

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Iain MacWhannell is a barrister and his practice focuses on disputes that arise out of the energy and financial services sectors.  Iain has particular experience in insolvency, contractual disputes, commercial fraud (especially in relation to injunctive relief), financial products and tax.

Before pupillage, Iain worked for HMRC in both excise and VAT. He has also acted as counsel both for and against HMRC in VAT and excise cases in the tax Tribunal and High Court.

Both at the Bar and in private practice, Iain has acted in cases involving breach of fiduciary duty and applications for the appointment of provisional liquidators, worldwide freezing orders, receivership orders, search orders, passport orders and various disclosure orders.

Iain recently contributed a chapter to the World Petroleum Council’s Arctic Oil & Gas publication and he is the co-author of the Civil Fraud chapter in Sutherland-Williams on The Proceeds of Crime (Fourth Edition, OUP).

"They are always one step ahead; they are great at anticipating problems and having a solution already in place."

Chambers UK & Europe - 2016

In detail

Recent experience

  • Representing a Lichtenstein commodities trader in a dispute arising out of the international sale of goods and the appointment of a liquidator.
  • Arrowhead Capital Finance v. KPMG [2012] 1801 (Comm) – Advising a Bermuda mutual fund (in liquidation) on recovery of failed investments via an action in professional negligence.
  • JSC BTA Bank v. Shalabayev [2011] EWHC 3594 (Comm) – Representing a CIS client in respect of compliance with Worldwide Freezing Orders and a Receivership Order.
  • Eatough v. HMRC [2011] UKFTT 335 (TC) – Representing a director in an appeal against assessments raised against him based on the tax liabilities of a company.
  • MSL v. HMRC [2011] UKUT B2 (TCC) – Admissibility of evidence obtained from the First Curacao International Bank in Tax Tribunal proceedings.
  • Defending a claim for breach of fiduciary made by a liquidator, including applications in relation to Freezing Orders, Disclosure Orders and Search Orders.
  • Defending a claim for conspiracy and breach of trust made by a credit card company against an alleged shadow director.
  • Acting as part of a team of Counsel for a taxpayer in the case of Mobilx Limited and others v. HMRC [2010] EWCA Civ 517 regarding the transposition and interpretation of the Kittel test (and involving over £8 billion of VAT).
  • Representing an Australian foreign exchange broker in connection with a dispute arising out of the announcement made by the Swiss National Bank that it would no longer hold the Swiss Franc at a fixed exchange rate with the Euro.

Career history

  • Called to the Bar on 9 March 2006
  • 2006 – 2015: Door Tenant at 3PB Chambers
  • 2015 – 2017: Director at Memery Crystal
  • 2017 – Present: Partner at Memery Crystal

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