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Who Represents Who

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Brodies LLP’s practice, which is jointly led by Isobel d’Inverno and Alan Barr, covers tax issues associated with M&A, reorganisations and private equity or venture capital deals, as well as insolvency-related transactions. D’Inverno handled the tax aspects of Aberdeen City Council’s £370m index-linked bond issuance on the London Stock Exchange. The team also has experience in corporate real estate deals – for example, D’Inverno advised fund manager Brookfield Student Real Estate on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) issues and other matters associated with its investment in two student accommodation schemes in Glasgow. Fund-related tax work is a growing area of practice. Director Neil Ritchie specialises in assisting high-net-worth individuals (including owners of owner-managed businesses and company directors) with various matters, such as capital gains and employment remuneration, as well as trusts and estate planning. Heather Thompson, who recently joined from Turcan Connell, has more than 25 years’ experience in the tax arena. Senior solicitor Bob Langridge is another key individual.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s highly regarded group includes chartered accountants, and also solicitors who are either qualified chartered tax advisers or members of the Association of Tax Technicians; ‘it means that the team is able to get stuck fully into the issues’. The group’s wide-ranging expertise spans, among other areas: VAT, employment taxation (including share schemes), real estate taxes and tax planning/structuring in corporate deals and reorganisations. Practice head Gwen Souter acts for a broad client base, which includes high-net-worth individuals, privately owned and listed companies, and multinational corporates. Lorna McCaa, who is experienced in tax structuring corporate and commercial property transactions, also heads up the firm’s employee incentives practice; she provides ‘focused and pragmatic advice, even in the most complex of situations’. McCaa led on the tax aspects of Superglass Holdings’ proposed £9m takeover by Inflection Management Corporation. Alastair MacLeod is a key contact in London for matters combining English and Scottish law.

Burness Paull LLP’s team provides transactional support to large corporates, investors and fund managers in multimillion-pound M&A and private equity deals. It also provides tax advice to start-ups at every stage of their business lifecycle. In 2016, the tema advised Bluegem Capital Partners on the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Jack Wills fashion chain. Other clients include charities, public bodies and – in the real estate sector – the group advises large developer clients on the tax structuring of major development projects in Scotland and England. In 2016, Ronnie Brown, who has significant tax experience in corporate and property transactions, was hired from DWF to lead the practice; his recent work includes advice to housebuilder clients on the potential introduction of a levy on vacant and derelict land in Scotland. Corporate tax manager John Finnick, who is another notable individual in the team, worked with Brown in the advice to Brown-Forman Corporation on tax issues associated with its £285m acquisition of BenRiach Distillery Company.

MacRoberts LLP handles tax aspects of corporate and property transactions (including LBTT/SDLT) and advises on venture capital reliefs, among various other areas. Experienced tax partner Ainsley MacLaren, who is also a chartered tax adviser, recently acted for Breedon Northern Limited in the tax aspects of its £15.7m acquisition of Sherburn Minerals Group. MacLaren also advises Beatson Cancer Charity on VAT and direct tax issues associated with sponsorship and other fundraising activities. Other clients of the practice include Idox Plc, the Scottish government and BAM Properties Limited. Martyn Shaw is knowledgeable about tax issues associated with retirement benefit schemes, employee ownership arrangements and share incentive schemes.

Shepherd and Wedderburn handles complex tax matters for clients such as start-up enterprises, FTSE 100 companies and charities. It covers all issues arising from corporate transactions, shareholder-related matters (including entrepreneurs’ relief from capital gains tax), advises on all types of real estate taxes, and assists with share schemes and employee benefits, among many other areas. Practice head Stephen Miller, who has 20 years’ experience, led the advice to Comet Solutions Holdings on the tax aspects of its sale to Merkle. Miller and senior associate Douglas Sinclair are handling numerous tax issues for Taylor Wimpey Plc concerning various site acquisitions and disposals in Scotland; recent advice related to VAT and the LBTT. Other clients include BlackRock, Iomart Group Plc and FanDuel. Rodger Cairns heads up the firm’s employee share incentives practice, and is particularly knowledgeable about executive compensation. The firm’s recent acquisition of The Commercial Law Practice LLP has bolstered its reach in Aberdeen and surrounding areas.

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