Faculty member to head new Scottish Tax Tribunals

09 Mar

A senior member of Faculty has been appointed the first President of the Scottish Tax Tribunals.

Andrew Stewart, QC, will lead the new tribunals, which are being created to deal with devolved taxes.

In announcing the appointment by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, the Scottish Government said the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Act (RSTPA) established Revenue Scotland as the tax authority responsible for the collection and management of devolved taxes.

The Act also contained provisions for two new Tax Tribunals - the First-tier and the Upper Tax Tribunals for Scotland - to hear appeals against Revenue Scotland decisions.

Two taxes are currently devolved - Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax - and are due to come into force on 1 April 2015. The intention is also to have the Scottish Tax Tribunals ready to hear appeals against these devolved taxes from that date.

"Mr Stewart's role as President will provide leadership to the Scottish Tax Tribunals," added the Scottish Government.

"The Minister congratulated Mr Stewart on his appointment, trusting that he will find the office of President both interesting and rewarding."

The appointment is part-time, and Mr Stewart will continue at the Bar, where he practises mainly in commercial and public law.

After time as a solicitor and legal assistant to the Lord President, Mr Stewart was admitted to Faculty in 1996. He held a number of positions, including Clerk of Faculty (2003-2009) and standing junior counsel to the Department of Trade and Industry (2000-2009). He is editor of Session Cases, an advocate member of the Scottish Civil Justice Council and Chairman of ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) Appeal Tribunal.

Mr Stewart took silk in 2009, and served four years as an advocate-depute (2009-2013), during which he appeared in many high profile and complex cases, and represented the Crown in the Supreme Court and regularly in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Last year, after returning to civil practice, Mr Stewart was chosen as one of five new experts who determine major enforcement cases of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.