Timothy Brennan KC - A Tribute

We are all saddened by the death of Timothy Brennan KC, former Head of Devereux Chambers. He died peacefully on 22 September 2023 from cancer.

Timothy Brennan KC’s extraordinary career took him to the House of Lords, the Supreme Court, Strasbourg and Hong Kong. He was fiercely proud of his Welsh roots and schooling in Swansea and his trajectory to Balliol College, Oxford and then to the Bar. He joined Devereux Chambers in 1982 after a pupillage at Fountain Court.

Following his appointment as Junior Counsel to the Inland Revenue (Common Law) in 1997 Tim practised mainly in tax litigation and tax-related judicial review. He was one of the leading litigators at the tax bar appearing in courts and statutory tribunals at all levels including numerous leading cases such as Pepper v Hart and Autoclenz v Belcher. He also wrote and updated the employment tax chapter in Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law for many years. His tireless work and impressive reputation helped us to become one of the leading tax sets in the country.

Tim was a Deputy High Court Judge in the King's Bench Division, the Administrative Court and the Chancery Division and sat as a Recorder in the Crown Court. For several years he sat as a part-time Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. His dedication to ethics and professional conduct at the Bar was exemplary. After a term as Vice-Chairman of the BSB Complaints Committee, he served 4 years as a member and Vice-Chairman of the Bar’s Ethics Committee. He was an active bencher of Gray's Inn and member of various specialist Bar associations.

Tim’s razor-sharp intellect and encyclopaedic knowledge of law made him the first choice for a wide range of business, financial and employment clients. Few could match him in technical questions of statutory construction and he was relentless in cross examination. Ex-members and colleagues have already commented that he was someone who could be tough and tenacious, generous and inspiring, and pushed people to be their best. He was always a vocal member of Chambers with a tremendous work ethic and many colleagues have said how they benefitted from his support and encouragement including his successor as Revenue Junior – now Lady Justice Simler.

Chambers owes a huge debt of gratitude to Tim and he will be much missed by all his friends here. We offer our deepest condolences to Emma and to all Tim’s family.

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