Eclipse Film Partnerships

HMRC’s decision on 8 March 2018 to charge ‘dry tax’ to Eclipse investors will come as devastating news to investors, many of whom will now be facing bankruptcy or years of litigation with HMRC.

Our specialist tax negligence team has acted for investors in the Eclipse schemes, and other very similar schemes, since the first Eclipse 35 decision in April 2012. We have recovered millions of pounds from financial and tax advisers who failed to warn investors of the risks associated with these schemes.

The Court of Appeal ruling on Eclipse 35, in favour of HMRC, came as a significant blow to investors in this partnership, and similar film schemes, which have been under investigation by HMRC. Eclipse 35 was seen very much as a ‘test’ case, the outcome of which would dictate whether investors would be pursued for massive tax liabilities by HMRC.

We act for some well known and high profile city figures and sports personalities against both small financial advisory firms and much larger advisers including those in the ‘big four’ firms. We also work closely with expert tax advisers who can represent our clients in negotiations with HMRC in order to mitigate their exposure as far as possible.

FS Legal have successfully used the Judicial Review process to prevent HMRC from issuing bankruptcy proceedings against participants in tax mitigation schemes.

Unlike many commercial firms, we do not act for banks, insurers or other large institutions. This allows us to represent clients with disputes against well known high street banks. We act solely on our clients’ behalf with transparency and without the restraints caused by conflicts of interest.

Our team lead cutting-edge and high profile litigation including reported cases which go on to change the case law in this country. In particular FS Legal acted in a £6M claim against tax advisers and accountants arising out of failed tax mitigation schemes which was one of the very first such cases to be brought before the Courts.

To discuss your specific circumstances and potential claim in more detail please call Kit Sorrell or Julia Norris at our Manchester office.

We provide expert lawyers recommended and recognised as ‘Leading Individuals’ by Chambers & Partners who note the firm’s “pragmatic, practical and efficient approach and “determined litigators with a very good sector knowledge” Legal 500 notes “FS Legal is a firm that punches well above its weight and is particularly strong in the areas of financial services, pensions and tax schemes” adding that the team has “a deservedly good reputation for providing a top-quality, commercial service.

To view the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Directory Rankings please click here for Chambers & Partners and click here for Legal 500.


We understand that, whether it’s a personal or business matter, funding is a key concern. We have a variety of funding options available to seek to remove the risk and cost from our clients. Unlike most firms, we are able to operate around 90% of our cases on a contingent basis.

Because professional negligence cases are intricate and require specialist knowledge, we offer a free, no obligation, and confidential advice service to all our new clients.

To discuss your specific circumstances and potential claim in more detail please call Kit Sorrell or Julia Norris at our Manchester office.


Our firm and lawyers have been quoted on the front page of the Financial Times on the subject on several occasions. We have also been interviewed by and quoted in The Times and other financial press.

To view our press coverage including commentary in the Financial Times, please follow the below links:

FT – ‘Tsunami’ of claims after crackdown creates £5bn tax bill

FT – Taxmen challenge film fund partners

FT – Stars face big bill as tax plan backfires

FT – Film backers face unhappy tax ending

Mail on Sunday – Some of Britains biggest celebrities urged claim failed tax avoidance schemes

FT – Tax avoidance compensation could hit advisers

FS Legal Solicitors LLP Chambers Ranked in UK 2024
The Legal 500 United Kingdom Top Tier 2024