Freedman is a new entry this year
Judith Freedman is another Global Tax 50 entrant from the
world of academia. She is the legal director at what fellow
academic entrant, Rita de la Feria, describes as "probably the
world's most influential centre on tax policy" – the
Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation (CBT).
A regular speaker and event organiser, Freedman is primarily
an academic but works with law firm Pinsent Masons through her
work at Oxford, where she helped to set up the CBT.
The CBT celebrated its 10th anniversary in summer 2015 and
will break new ground in the year ahead, after it announced a
new MSc master's course in taxation which will welcome its
first students during 2016.
Freedman is also a research fellow at the Institute for
Fiscal Studies and a member of the Tax Law Review Committee and
Tax Research Network steering group, as well as holding
editorial or editorial board positions at numerous tax
publications and journals.
Freedman was also involved in the setting up, in summer
2015, of a network for women working across the tax profession,
bringing together 'women in tax' from advisory, in-house,
academic and tax authority backgrounds. The group had its
official launch event in November – at which Freedman
spoke on the topic 'What do we mean by a fair tax system'
– and organises monthly breakfasts, skills development
workshops and more. The establishment of such an organisation
is long overdue.
From a wider angle, her importance – and the
importance of tax academics in general – to the market
should not be understated. Academia is an opportunity to
provide a broad, external perspective on important tax issues
and give impartial, critical analysis to issues, legislation
and trends which active practitioners can be too ingrained in,
or too busy, to provide an objective view on.