de la Feria is a new entry this year
Rita de la Feria was the chair in tax law at Durham Law
School until January 1 and has been at the forefront of efforts
to bring together a community of current experts and budding
talents in the study of international tax. The Portuguese
native specialises in tax policy, VAT and EU constitutional
law, juggling her academic commitments with involvements in a
multitude of other areas.
And 'juggling' is definitely the right word; de la Feria
kept a number of balls in the air during 2015, hosting events
at Durham – including May's well-attended VAT
conference – and contributing to research papers (for
example in connection with the Economic and Social Research
Council, the UK's largest research-funding organisation; and in
collaboration with Oxford University's Michael Devereux, with
whom she proposed the destination-based corporate tax
principle) as well as travelling the world to ensure her voice
was being heard and her expertise was being shared as widely as
As part of this, and further testament to her influence, de
la Feria announced in November that she had taken on an
additional role as a tax adviser to the government of East
Timor, helping capacity building efforts in the country as part
of a team responsible for drafting a new VAT law.
"A stable source of revenue for the country. Very excited,"
she said on Twitter.
De la Feria has also played an active role in helping to
eradicate the gender imbalance in tax, including criticising
previous editions of the Global Tax 50 for being too
She has now called time on her three and a half year stint
at Durham, taking up a similar role as chair in tax law at the
University of Leeds School of Law on January 1. Though she may
be in slightly different surroundings, de la Feria will surely
remain a vocal and influential academic figure in the tax world
throughout 2016 and beyond.
She tweets using the handle @delaFeriaR.