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Birketts LLP is ‘exceptional – the quality of the personnel is excellent’. The practice provides transactional tax advice on corporate M&A transactions, notably for family and owner-managed businesses, and advises on the tax implications of strategic land development and employee incentive schemes. It has a large client base in the farming industry and is also known for its experience in contentious matters. Senior associate Karl Pocock leads the team and has 14 years’ experience as a specialist in corporate tax matters. The firm’s tax disputes practice draws on the extensive knowledge and experience of tax consultant Carol Bun; she has in-depth understanding of tax and VAT issues within the context of corporate finance, IPOs, private equity transactions, M&A, restructurings, real estate deals and employee remuneration. Senior associate Lisa Hayward, who leads the firm’s newly formed employee incentives practice, is also a key part of the corporate tax practice. Recent work includes advising the shareholders of Medisafe Holdings on the tax implications of the company’s sale to US-based company Steris.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, partner Christopher Townsend specialises in corporate tax matters and employee share schemes. He principally focuses on the tax implications of corporate finance transactions, M&A, corporate restructurings and investment funding. He is also active advising on property deals and investment funds from a tax perspective. Townsend played a key role in the firm’s advice to technology distributor Midwich Group on its £165m IPO on AIM and a related £75m fundraising round. He also acted on the acquisition of graduate recruitment website Milkround Online Limited by client StepStone UK Holding Limited, and assisted FactSet Research Systems with the acquisitions of Cymba Technologies Limited and Vermillion Holdings Limited, both of which were completed to very demanding timescales. Principal associate and corporate lawyer Vanessa Walton advises on complex M&A and real estate investment transactions, many of which involve overseas tax structures. Principal associate Matthew Short plays a vital role in the firm’s tax, benefits and charities team.


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