Sarabjit (Sab) Singh KC specialises in tax, including the interface between tax and public law, and clinical negligence. He is ranked as a leading silk by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, and has been described in those directories as “very persuasive”, “very insightful and can articulate complex concepts in an easy to digest way” and “a very compelling advocate”, whose “drafting is fantastic” and whose “performances in conference impress”. Sab also specialises in public law in its own right, and frequently appears in public law and tax cases in the highest courts, including regular appearances in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Prior to becoming a silk, Sab was appointed to each of the Attorney General’s A, B and C panels, and it was through his work on the panels that Sab represented government departments and others in the most complex and high-profile cases in his areas of practice. His excellence in advocacy in the higher courts was recognised by his appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 2018, whilst still in his thirties.
Sab has appeared in some of the most heavyweight cases in tax and public law in the last few decades, as outlined in the description of his practice in each of those areas below. He continues to act both for and against the government in high-profile tax and public law matters.
Unusually for someone who practices in tax and public law, Sab also specialises in clinical negligence, and as a silk has acted in a number of catastrophic birth injury and other cases. He is valued for his careful and high-quality pleadings and advocacy, as well as his tactful manner with clients.
Outside of his practice, Sab is heavily involved in work promoting access to the Bar and retention in the profession of those from underrepresented groups. Being from an underrepresented group himself, he feels strongly that barriers to access should be broken down, and encourages those from working class, state school backgrounds to see the Bar as an option for them. He is also a member of the Bar Council’s Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee, with a particular interest in ensuring the fair allocation of publicly funded work.
Sab accepts instructions from HMRC and taxpayers and has acted in numerous landmark cases over the last few years. These include successfully representing HMRC in the British Film Institute litigation on the VAT cultural exemption that went to the European Court of Justice, appearing as sole counsel in the Amoena appeal which is the only ever customs case to have gone to the House of Lords or Supreme Court, acting as lead counsel in the seminal rating case of Newbigin v Monk in the Supreme Court and appearing again for the Revenue in the Supreme Court in the major VAT case of SAE Education Ltd.
In public law, Sab appears in first-instance judicial reviews for both claimants and public bodies and also has vast appellate experience in the Court of Appeal, having appeared there dozens of times as sole counsel. He has acted in a number of complex cases, particularly where they interact with other areas he practices in. For example, he appeared as amicus in the Court of Appeal in the AR (Pakistan) case on immigration bail powers and has had numerous successful appearances in the Court of Appeal in human rights and immigration cases.
Sab has a thriving advisory and court practice in clinical negligence, where he regularly acts for claimants, doctors and hospitals in cases involving complex medical evidence and profound and high-value injuries. His work spans all areas of clinical negligence, such as delayed diagnosis of cancer and birth injury cases and also cases raising more unusual medical issues, one example being a trial on whether the rare disease of necrotising fasciitis should have been detected earlier in an intravenous drug user.
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