Judith Freedman is Emeritus Professor of Taxation Law and Policy, having been the inaugural Professor of Taxation Law in the University from 2001-2019.  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, with special interests in tax policy and design, small businesses,the interaction between law and accounting , tax avoidance, tax and corporate social responsibility,  and the use of discretion in the administration of taxation.  She participated in the establishment of the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation and was its Director of Legal Research.  She also particiapted in the setting up of the MSc in Taxation in Oxford and was one of its first directors. 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 on 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 eJournal of Tax Research, 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 Studies, 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 and as an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in January 2015 and in 2016 she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. 

She has now retired from employment in the University, but continues to contribute to the MSc in Taxation, is Chair of the Tax Law Review Committee of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and is a member of  the Board of the Office of Tax Simplification, an independent Office of the UK's HM Treasury. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College. 

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


Recent additions

Journal Article (36)

J Freedman, 'Tax and Brexit ' (2017) 33 OUP Oxford Review of Economic Policy S79
J Freedman, 'Restoring trust' (2016) Tax Adviser 22
Based on 2016 CTA Annual Address
ISBN: 1472-4502
J Freedman, 'Improving (Not Perfecting) TaxLegislation: Rules andPrinciples 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, '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, 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, '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, '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 V. Finch, '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

Chapter (23)

J Freedman, 'A Taxing Question ' in (ed), The Brexit Balance Sheet, Public Finance Perspectives (CIPFA 2017)
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)
ISBN: 978-0-415-57761-8
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)
ISBN: 9781841139388
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 (ed), Dimensions of Tax Design: The Mirrlees Review (Oxford University Press for Institute for Fiscal Studies 2010)
ISBN: 9780199553754
J Freedman, 'Is Tax Avoidance Fair?' in C.Wales (ed), Fair Tax: Towards a Modern Tax System (Smith Institute 2008)
J Freedman, 'Epilogue: Establishing the foundations of tax law in UK universities' in Avery Jones, J., Harris,P., Oliver, D. (ed), Comparative Perspectives on Revenue Law: Essays in Honour of John Tiley (CUP 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 (ed), 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

Other (3)

Internet Publication (4)

Report (1)

Case Note (1)

Edited Book (3)

J Freedman, Chris Evans and Richard Krever (eds), The Delicate Balance - Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation 2011)
ISBN: 978-90-8722-103-4

W (1)

Book (1)

Research programmes

Research Interests

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

Options taught

Taxation Law

Research projects