Contentious Tax

Our Contentious Tax team consists of tax advisors, chartered accountants, barristers and solicitors who work extensively in the tax controversy area. We act for individuals and corporates and assist our clients in resolving contentious tax matters before any court proceedings commence.

Our Contentious Tax service offering includes:

  • confidential reviews of tax filing positions taken and legacy tax matters;
  • advising on voluntary tax disclosures and tax settlements with tax authorities;
  • advocating on behalf of and representing clients at Tax Appeals Commission and High Court levels;
  • provision of expert witness tax reports;
  • tax risk management; 
  • tax warranty and tax indemnity claims;
  • assisting clients prior to and during tax investigations and audits; and
  • assisting with mutual assistance procedures (MAPs).

We concentrate on tax law and therefore have no accounting, audit or attest issues. We can therefore focus entirely on advising and supporting clients to adopt best practices, become more cost-efficient and reduce the burden that tax issues bring.

Click on the image below to download our Contentious Tax brochure.

Contentious Tax Brochure - July 20191













Our Contentious Tax team is composed of tax advisors (AITI/CTA), chartered accountants, barristers and solicitors. The team has gained considerable experience in dealing with Revenue audits and investigations, MAPs, and settlement negotiations with tax authorities.

Concerning tax litigation we have, in the past, advocated on behalf of and represented clients at Appeal Commissioner/Tax Appeals Commission, Circuit Court and High Court levels on matters relating to, inter alia, DIRT, income tax, capital gains tax, stamp duty, VRT, corporation tax, VAT and international tax matters. 


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  • There's a real broadness, a client states "You can talk to one person who has a legal, tax and international perspective all in one".  Other sources appreciate the client-centric service provided by team members: "We've got a great relationship with the team and we find them to be very effective. They really demonstrate their commitment to client service". ​Chamber Europe 2019  
  • "William Fry's commitment to client service is excellent", says one source, who also praises "their real breadth of knowledge and willingness to allocate the people required when there is a need for a quick turnaround." Another reports that the "technical depth, exposure and experience of the senior team set them apart." Chambers Europe 2018
  • "Sources assert that "from a technical perspective they are clear and direct." Interviewees also value the team's "responsiveness to client needs and commercial awareness." Chambers Europe 2017
  • William Fry’s practice includes Sonya Manzor, who ‘devises well-thought-out tax strategies’ for clients such as King Digital Entertainment. International tax specialist Shane Wallace recently handled various real estate tax structuring and transfer pricing issues. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • "The firm is very responsive and has great resources, including access to a global network of tax advisers, which benefits us internationally and is a fantastic asset. The firm's ability to provide both legal and tax advice really ensures everything fits together.Chambers Europe 2016
  • Martin Phelan leads a ‘highly professional’ team at William Fry. It advised the Department of Finance on the potential capital restructuring and sale of its 99% investment in Allied Irish Bank, and also assisted IAG and EirGen Pharma. The group also has a significant private client practice and notable property expertise. . Legal 500 EMEA 2016
  • "The lawyers are technically and commercially the best I have dealt with. I have always been very impressed with their well-thought-out and thorough advice. You can always get through to the partners and their brilliant associates." "This team is fantastic – always available and really responsive." Chambers Europe, 2015
  • "Martin Phelan's controversy practice is at the forefront of domestic contentious tax work and boasts an enviable client list." Who's Who Legal - Corporate Tax 2015 
  • William Fry’s ‘hands-on, straight-talking and practical approach’ finds favour with clients. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • "One of the most conscientious firms I have dealt with." "The team is knowledgeable and integrates well with other departments, which is very helpful." Chambers Europe, 2014 


  • Martin Phelan
    • Martin Phelan International tax specialist Martin Phelan is described as a "top guy" and "very switched-on." Chambers Europe 2017
    • Leading consultant Martin Phelan is praised for "cutting to the chase" and being "technically very good."  Chambers Global, 2015 
    • Martin Phelan is 'extremely efficient and effective'.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
    • Martin Phelan is widely agreed to be one of the leading tax practitioners in Ireland. Clients appreciate that "he has his eye on the ball. He works with you one-on-one and has an ability to react very quickly." Chambers Global, 2014 
  • Brian Duffy
    • Brian has been listed as a Tax Controversy Leader in Ireland in the International Tax Review's Tax Controversy Leaders Guides for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
    • Legal 500 2016 states that Brian is "recommended".
    • Brian was listed as a 'notable and trusted' Tax Controversy Leader in Ireland by the International Tax Review 2015.

Key Contacts

Brian Duffy Partner

Martin Phelan Tax Partner with William Fry Tax Advisors Ltd

Fergus Doorly Partner