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Judith Freedman

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Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law*

Judith Freedman is Professor of Taxation Law and a Fellow of Worcester College. She worked in the corporate tax department of Freshfields before joining the University of Surrey as a lecturer in law in 1980. She then moved to the London School of Economics (LSE) with a secondment to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies as Senior Research Fellow in Company and Commercial Law from 1989-92. Whilst at the LSE, she lectured and researched on tax and company law. At Oxford, her focus is taxation, particularly corporate and business taxation, but she has a continuing interest in related areas of corporate law, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, the interaction between law and accounting and small businesses. She participated in the establishment of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and is now its Director of Legal Research and a member of its Steering Committee and Advisory Board.  She has served on a number of Law Society, DTI and Inland Revenue Committees and advisory groups and was a member of the Company Law Review's working party on small companies . She was a member of the Office of Tax Simplification Consultative Committee on Small Business Taxation and the Tax Avoidance Study Group appointed to report to the Exchequer Secretary on the question of a General Anti-avoidance Rule. She has held the Anton Philips Visiting Chair at the University of Tilburg and is an Adjunct  Professor in the Australian School of Taxation and Business Law, University of New South Wales. She is the general editor of the British Tax Review and is on the editorial boards of the Modern Law Review, the eJournal of Tax Research, The Canadian Tax Journal, The Australian Tax Review and The Tax Journal. She is a member of the Council and the Tax Law Review Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Sutudies, and was one of the few lawyers contributing to the Mirrlees report 'Reforming the Tax System for the 21st Century. Judith was appointed a CBE in the 2013 New Year's Honours List for her services to tax research.

Judith is currently Development Co-ordinator for the Law Faculty.

 Further information about tax at Oxford can be found on the tax pages of the Faculty of Law website and the  website of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation


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Journal Articles


J Freedman, 'Designing a General Anti-Abuse Rule: Striking a Balance ' (2014) IBFD Asia- Pacific Tax Bulletin 165


J Freedman, 'Creating new UK institutions for tax governance and policy making: progress or confusion?' [2013] British Tax Review 373


J Freedman, 'GAAR as a process and the process of discussing the GAAR' [2012] British Tax Review

J Freedman and John Vella, 'Revenue Guidance: The Limits of Discretion and Legitimate Expectations' (2012) Sweet and Maxwell Ltd. Law Quarterly Review.This material is reproduced by agreement with the Publishers


J Freedman, 'Responsive Regulation, Risk and Rules: Applying the Theory to Tax Practice' (2011) 44 UBC Law Review


J Freedman, 'GAAR: challenging assumptions' (2010) Tax Journal [...]

The current `informal engagement' to explore whether there is a case for the GAAR may very well result in no action and this would be a relief for many in the tax community. But before dismiss ing the idea, it is worth considering what the alternatives might be and whether a carefully crafted GAAR resulting from thorough consultation and with appropriate safeguards might not be preferable.

J Freedman, 'Improving (Not Perfecting) Tax Legislation: Rules and Principles Revisited' [2010] British Tax Review [...]

This article revisits the arguments made by John Avery Jones in 1996 for “less detailed legislation interpreted in accordance with principles.” His plea has been influential but perhaps not completely understood. Recent developments in the UK, particularly in the area of so-called “principles-based drafting” may not have assisted in promoting this cause. It is frequently argued that real improvements in tax law require a coherent underlying policy, not just drafting changes. Obviously, drafting techniques will not cure a poorly structured tax and so ideally the starting point would be improved policy. But we cannot afford to wait for a total policy overhaul. A different approach to the way we legislate could both improve the way we think about policy and result in better implementation, application and legitimacy in decision making. Principles-based drafting is not a solution to all ills. Nevertheless, it could offer one route, in appropriate cases, to improvement as well as, in other cases, highlighting the need for more fundamental reform. We should not give up this experiment simply because it has not yet delivered total success. No new drafting technique can deliver a perfect tax system, but it is worth persevering with principles-based legislation.

ISBN: 0007-1870


J Freedman, 'A GANTIP. Was it really such a bad idea?' (2009) The Tax Journal

J Freedman, G Loomer and J Vella, 'Corporate Tax Risk and Tax Avoidance: New Approaches' [2009] British Tax Review 74 [...]

The relationship between tax authorities and large corporate taxpayers is a concern world-wide as can be seen from the 2008 OECD Study into the Role of Tax Intermediaries. In the United Kingdom, HMRC have been developing a risk rating approach to tax risk management as part of their Review of Links with Large Business. The approach is designed to promote an enhanced relationship between HMRC and the taxpayer, based on trust and transparency. The objectives include the improvement of resource allocation and the encouragement of companies to consider their position so as to achieve the benefits of low risk rating, which may involve altering their tax planning strategy. In addition, new approaches to tax avoidance legislation such as targeted anti-avoidance rules and principles-based legislation are being introduced or considered. This article discusses a survey of tax directors in which the authors used detailed tax planning scenarios to investigate the views of tax directors on the impact and success or otherwise of these new approaches. The views of tax directors are only one factor in judging the success of these developments, but given that one aim of current tax policy is an enhanced relationship with corporate taxpayers, directors’ views are significant in assessing the progress being made.

ISBN: 0007-1870

J Freedman, 'Section 93 and Schedule 46 - duties of senior accounting officers of large companies' [2009] British Tax Review 620


J Freedman, 'Small Business Tax- Where do we go from here?' (2008) Tax Adviser


J Freedman, 'Interpreting Tax Statutes: Tax Avoidance and the Intention of Parliament' (2007) 123 (Jan) Law Quarterly Review Sweet & Maxwell and reproduced here with permission 53

J Freedman and C. Crawford, 'Small Companies Again - Section 3 Finance Act 2007' (2007)


J Freedman, 'Why Taxing the Micro-business is not simple - A Cautionary Tale from the 'Old World' (2006) 2 Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association 58


J Freedman, 'Converging Tracks? Recent Developments in Canadian and UK Approaches to Tax Avoidance' (2005) 53 Canadian Tax Journal 1038 [...]

Analysis of the Canadian and UK courts' approaches to general principles of tax avoidance

ISBN: 0008-5111


J Freedman, 'Accounting Standards: A Panacea?' (2004) 38278 The Tax Journal 9 [...]

Draws on an earlier article, Aligning Taxable Profits and Accounting Profits: Accounting standards, legislators and judges, and refers to a paper delivered by Professor Wolfgang Shoen.

J Freedman, 'Defining Taxpayer Responsibility: In Support of a General Anti-Avoidance Principle' [2004] British Tax Review 332


J Freedman, 'One Size Fits All - Small Business and Competitive Legal Forms' (2003) Vol 3 part I The Journal of Corporate Law Studies 123 [...]

Analysis of proposals of Company Law Review on small business law reform: based on paper presented to conference on corporate law reform at Cambridge Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law July 2002.

ISBN: 1473-5970

J Freedman, 'Tax and Corporate Responsibility' (2003) 37774 The Tax Journal [...]

Brief summary of inaugural lecture delivered May 2003 analysing the need for a general anti-avoidance principle in tax law and discussing the significance of certainty in tax law.

ISBN: 0954-7274


J Freedman and others, 'The Limited Liability Partnership: Pick and Mix or Mix up?' [2002] 37500 Journal of Business Law 475 [...]

Comment on new Limited Liability Partnership Legislation- policy and technical content. An update and development of article written for Journal of Corporation Law in 2001.

ISBN: 0021-9460


J Freedman, 'Limited Liability Partnerships in the UK - Do They Have A Role For Small Firms?' (2001) 26 Journal of Corporation Law 897 [...]

Contribution to special issue based on international symposium on unincorporated business entities in Tilburg 2001.

ISBN: 0360-795X

J Freedman, 'Personal Service Companies-' [2001] British Tax Review [...]

Current Note

ISBN: 0007-1870



J Freedman, Employed or Self-Employed? Tax Classification and the Changing Labour Market. (The Institute for Fiscal Studies 2001)



J Freedman, 'Lord Hoffmann, Tax Law and Principles' in PS Davies and J Pila (eds), The Jurisprudence of Lord Hoffmann (Hart Publishing 2015) (forthcoming)


J Freedman, G.Loomer and J.Vella, 'Analysing the enhanced relationship between corporate taxpayers and revenue authorities: a UK case study' in Lynne Oats (ed), Taxation. A Fieldwork Research Handbook (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 2012)


J Freedman and John Vella, 'HMRC’s Management of the U.K. Tax System: The Boundaries of Legitimate Discretion ' in Chris Evans, Judith Freedman, Richard Krever (eds), The Delicate Balance - Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 2011)

J Freedman, 'The Anatomy of Tax Avoidance Counteraction: Abuse of Law in a Tax Context at Member State and European Union Level' in Rita de la Feria and Stefan Vogenauer (eds), Prohibition of Abuse of Law - A New General Principle of EU Law? (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation/Hart Publishing 2011)

J Freedman and Graeme Macdonald, 'The Nature of the Directive: Rules or Principles? ' in The KPMG Guide to CCCTB (KPMG International Cooperative in collaboration with KPMG's EU Tax Centre 2011)


J Freedman, G.Loomer and J.Vella, 'Analyzing the Enhanced Relationship Between Corporate Taxpayers and Revenue Authorities: A U.K. Case Study' in (The IRS Research Bulletin, Proceedings of the 2009 IRS Research Conference (The Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service, Washington DC, 2010 ) 2010)

J Freedman and C.Crawford, 'Small Business Taxation' in J Mirrlees, S Adam, T Besley, R Blundell, S Bond, R Chote, M Gammie, P Johnson, G Myles, J Poterba (eds), Dimensions of Tax Design: The Mirrlees Review ( Oxford University Press for Institute for Fiscal Studies 2010)

J Freedman, 'Tax Risk Management and Corporate Taxpayers - International Tax Administration Developments' in Bakker A and Kloosterhof S. (eds), Tax Risk Management - From Risk to Opportunity (IBFD 2010)


J Freedman, 'Reforming the Business Tax System: Does Size Matter? Fundamental Issues in Small Business Taxation.' in Chris Evans and Richard Krever (eds), Australian Business Tax Reform in Retrospect and Prospect (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Ltd 2009)


J Freedman, 'Epilogue: Establishing the foundations of tax law in UK universities' in Avery Jones, J., Harris,P., Oliver, D. (eds), Comparative Perspectives on Revenue Law: Essays in Honour of John Tiley (CUP 2008)

J Freedman, 'Financial and Tax Accounting: Transparency and Truth' in Schon (ed), Tax and Corporate Governance (Springer Science 2008)

J Freedman, 'Is Tax Avoidance Fair?' in C.Wales (ed), Fair Tax: Towards a Modern Tax System (Smith Institute 2008)

J Freedman, G.Loomer and J.Vella, 'Moving Beyond Avoidance? Tax Risk and the Relationship between large Business and HMRC' in J.Freedman (ed), Beyond Boundaries: Developing Approaches to Tax Avoidance and Tax Risk Management (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation 2008)

J Freedman and G.Macdonald, 'The Tax Base for CCCTB: The Role of Principles' in Lang/Pistone/Schuch/Staringer (ed), Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) (Linde 2008)


J Freedman, 'The Tax Avoidance Culture: Who is Responsible? Governmental Influences and Corporate Social Responsibility' in Jane Holder and Colm O'Cinneide (eds), Current Legal Problems 2006 (OUP 2007) [...]

Based on lecture delivered by invitation as part of UCL's Current Legal Problems series.

ISBN: 978-0-19-921211-8


J Freedman, 'Taxation Research as Legal Research' in Lamb, M, Lymer, A, Freedman, J and James, S (eds), Taxation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Research (OUP 2005) [...]

Chapter in book co-edited by author wth other members of the Tax Research Network.

J Freedman, 'Treatment of Capital Gains and Losses' in Peter Essers and Arie Rijkers (eds), The Notion of Income from Capital (IBFD 2005) [...]

Book chapter in European Association of Tax Law Professors tax Series Vol 1 published by International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation.

ISBN: 90-76078-81-5


J Freedman, 'Limited Liability Partnerships in the United Kingdom: Do They Have a Role for Small Firms?' in J. McCahery, T. Raaijmakers, E.Vermeulen (eds), The Governance of Close Corporations and Partnerships (OUP 2004) [...]

Reprinted from The Journal of Corporate Law, with postscript.

ISBN: 0-19-926435-X


J Freedman, 'Small Business Taxation: Policy Issues and the UK' in N. Warren (ed), Taxing Small Business: Developing Good Tax Policies (Australian Tax Research Foundation 2003) [...]

Paper from the ATAX SME Tax Symposium, Sydney 2003.

ISBN: 0 949482 79 X

Edited books


J Freedman and others (eds), The Delicate Balance - Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 2011)


J Freedman (ed), Beyond Boundaries - Developing Approaches to Tax Avoidance and Tax Risk Management. (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation 2008)


J Freedman and others (eds), Taxation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Research (ed. Lamb, Lymer, Freedman and James) (OUP 2005) [...]

Innovative approach to tax research- contributions from academics from many disciplines including JF

ISBN: 0-19-924293-3

Internet Publications


M. Devereux, J Freedman and J. Vella, 'Tax Avoidance ' (2012)


J Freedman, 'The ICAEW Tax Faculty Hardman Memorial Lecture Small Business Taxation - the Indefinable in Pursuit of the Unachievable? ' (2007)


J Freedman, 'Aligning Taxable Profits and Accounting profits: Accounting standards, legislators and judges' (2004) eJournal of Tax Research [...]

2004(1) 71-99

ISBN: 1448-2398

Case Notes


J Freedman and Glen Loutzenhiser, 'Samadian v HMRC: deductibility of travel expenses when working from home' [2014] British Tax Review 248

Working Papers


J Freedman and others, 'HMRC’S Management of the UK Tax System: the Boundaries of Legitimate Discretion' (2010) Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation



J Freedman and John Vella, 'HMRC's Relationship with Business' (2014)


Judith Freedman presents at Centre for Business Taxation summer conference

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the UK corporation tax […]

New MSc in Taxation at the Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law, in conjunction with the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation at the Saïd Business School, is pleased to announce that a new part-time Master’s degree (MSc) in Taxation has now been approved by the University for commencement in September 2016 […]

Judith Freedman appointed Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

Judith Freedman, Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law, has been appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) […]

Judith Freedman delivers talk on Business Tax: Public Debate and Future Trends

Judith Freedman, Pinsent Masons Professor of Taxation Law, visited Hong Kong in March for the Oxford Asia Alumni Weekend and whilst there also gave a talk at HK University’s Faculty of Law, organised by the Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP) and the Asian Institute of International Financial Law […]


Teaching: Taxation; Law and Finance

Research: Corporate and business taxation, taxation policy, small businesses, law and accounting, corporate social responsibility

Other details

Correspondence address:

Worcester College
Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HB, UK

Link to personal web site

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