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Who Represents Who

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Addleshaw Goddard’s team ‘makes great use of technology, bringing significant savings and time efficiencies’. It has a blue-chip client base and a reputation for advising FTSE 100 companies and providing private equity structuring advice. Manchester-based Michael Hunter, who is the key partner, has a broad range of expertise covering VAT and indirect taxes, restructuring, fund establishments, tax disputes and acquisition finance, among other strengths. Hunter advised WSP Global on the tax aspects of the £75m acquisition of an international, infrastructure engineering and environment consultancy business, Mouchel, from Kier. He also handled a pre-sale reorganisation process for Lenlyn to transfer its ATM business out of its banking division into the international currency exchange division, ICE, which it then disposed of for £196m to China-based HNA Group. National group head Justine Delroy, who is also based in Manchester, is ‘a very safe pair of hands, and instils a high level of confidence with her advice’; she handles commercial tax issues for clients including Standard Life, The Co-operative Group, National Grid, Bruntwood, LDC and Sainsbury’s. Delroy recently assisted NorthEdge, and the management of Sumo Digital, with the tax aspects of the £50m sale of Sumo Digital to Perwyn, and also handled the £112m sale of Go Outdoors to JD Sports. Other clients include Müller, Skipton Building Society, Equitix and Shepherd Building Group.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s practice has particular strengths in real estate-related tax matters, including fund structures with an international element, VAT, and employee and pension-related tax matters, and acting for Middle Eastern clients investing in the UK. Team head David Jervis, who has expertise in tax structuring concerning renewable energy projects, acts for local plc’s through to multinational corporations. He, and associate Richard Johnson, advised on the tax aspects of the acquisition of a 200MW offshore and onshore wind farm for a consortium comprising the state-owned Green Investment Bank and BlackRock. The team is also advising Van Elle on its £80m AIM IPO, which involves pre-float tax structuring advice. Other work includes assisting Horizon Pharma with the European tax aspects of its $800m acquisition of Raptor Pharmaceutical, and advising on certain tax aspects of a not-for-profit scheme set up by the Association of British Insurers to make flood insurance available to UK homeowners. Tax litigation is another area of strength and the team is handling a dispute for N Brown Group against HMRC regarding VAT returns over a 10-year period.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s practice has a strong reputation for advising on tax structuring pertaining to property investments, property joint ventures and funds, and tax issues concerning the education, energy and healthcare sectors. Recent work includes handling tax issues relating to the disposal of transmission assets for a high-profile energy company. Practice head John Christian advised the trustees of a pension fund on restructuring £200m of indirect property investments regarding a scheme merger, which involved complex regulatory issues. Suzannah Crookes typically advises on employee share and incentive plans, including tax-advantaged and non-tax-advantaged plans, managing grants and maturities under existing plans and handling cross-border issues; she recently advised a British plc on its new executive performance share plan across various jurisdictions. Jon Robinson stands out for his advice on the tax structuring of corporate transactions, real estate projects and employment taxes and associate Andrew McCarthy has expertise in build-to-rent tax issues, and is often involved in high-value cross-border transactions.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team handles corporate and finance tax matters, real estate-related tax issues, employee share incentives, employment and pensions matters, VAT, and tax issues for private clients. Leeds-based Mark Simpson heads the national real estate tax group, and typically acts for developers, investors, public sector bodies and funders, among others. Simpson advised Stem Marketing on its £84m purchase by UDG Healthcare, which included advising shareholders and employee option-holders on non-UK tax issues. Tim Jarvis is a key name for private equity, banking and corporate finance transactions, VAT planning, and stamp duty land tax (SDLT) planning. Jarvis recently handled the tax aspects of a UK disposal and two acquisitions for Fore Partnership. Peter Morley handles the tax elements of domestic and international M&A transactions, private equity, IPOs, takeovers and restructurings, and acts for a client base including owner-managed businesses, private equity houses and institutional investors. Morley advised telecoms service provider Six Degrees on three acquisitions during 2016, and assisted new client Imperial Logistics, which is based in South Africa, on the tax structuring elements of its £160m acquisition Palletways Group. Other new clients include H2 Equity Partners, Tenzing Private Equity and Reiss.

Walker Morris LLP’s team ‘provides a very good service, is approachable, knowledgeable and pragmatic, and doesn’t evade the difficult questions’. Practice head Simon Concannon is ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’, Nicola Parkinson is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’ and Sarah Bruce is an expert on property taxation. Recent highlights include advising on the tax aspects of PAW Structures’ private equity-backed MBO, assisting Produce Investments on its new chairman’s share option agreement, acting for the shareholders of Bradford City FC on its sale to ER Sports Group, and designing a bespoke employee incentive share scheme. Other areas of strengths include advising on HMRC-approved share-option schemes, SDLT and VAT, REITS, demergers, fund raisings and M&A restructurings.

Best known for her expertise in the area of employee incentives, Lynda Finan leads DLA Piper UK LLP’s practice alongside David Thompson, who is highly regarded for his private equity and corporate tax strengths and divides his time between the firm’s Manchester and Leeds offices. Chartered tax adviser James Graham-Brown specialises in advising UK and overseas clients on the tax aspects of structuring acquisitions and disposals, financings, investments and joint ventures; he has a particular focus on inward investment by non-UK clients in high-value commercial and residential UK-based property. Recent highlights include acting for ARM, prior to its takeover, on the $350m acquisition of technology business Apical, which included advising on employee incentives and pre-sale reorganisation. Other work includes assisting US-based private equity fund Sun Capital Partners with the tax aspects of its acquisition of UK food supplier, Fresh-pak Chilled Foods.

At DWF, John Toon heads the commercial tax and private capital group; he acts for clients ranging from individuals to corporates and funds on a broad range of tax issues. Toon and James Cashman were part of a team advising Lone Star on the UK and cross-border tax issues pertaining to the disposal of Velocity Village in Sheffield, which involved the sale of shares by a Luxembourg company and the transfer of related real estate assets. On the contentious side, the group represented Northwards Housing, a subsidiary of Manchester City Council, in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal concerning overpaid VAT, which resulted in a settlement. Other clients include Capita Group, Countrywide, Lambert Smith Hampton, Oaktree Capital, Trak Global Solutions, and Palmer Capital. Vector Property Management and Bibby Line Group are new clients.

At Freeths LLP, key partner Adrian Hackett advises on tax efficient legal structures for investments, including the availability of Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme relief, assists with real estate, private equity, and M&A tax issues, and also acts for the tax payer in HMRC investigations. Senior associate Claire Boyce, who is a chartered tax adviser, has particular expertise in corporate structuring, exit planning, structuring private equity investment funds, HMRC investigations and disputes, and individual corporate tax planning. In one recent highlight, the group advised a local council on tax structuring issues regarding a property joint venture involving the transfer of land between three land owners, in order to reduce VAT and SDLT charges.

Julian Moran heads Lupton Fawcett LLP’s practice following his arrival from Gordons LLP in January 2017; he has extensive experience in corporate tax, VAT and stamp duty tax matters and his practice spans the York, Leeds and Sheffield offices. The group has niche expertise in the charity sector, and frequently works with the firm’s ecclesiastical and charities director Caroline Mockford, advising on tax issues for charities and social enterprises; its work in this area includes restructuring charities, handling the tax issues pertaining to the incorporation of clubs, including zero-rating availability, and assisting with VAT grouping. Other highlights include its advice to Silbury Foods on warranty and price adjustment mechanisms concerning its merger with Oxfordshire-based Portal Foods, which created a business with a £45m turnover.

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Legal Developments in Yorkshire and the Humber for Corporate tax

  • US rules regarding offshore accounts

    The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act 2010, enacted on 18 March 2010, imposes a new US withholding tax and reporting regime, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The FATCA regime applies generally to payments made after 31 December 2012, except on obligations (to be defined in future guidance) outstanding on 18 March 2012. Substantial effort is required by foreign entities to bring their worldwide operations and policies into compliance with the FATCA rules as of the effective date.

    - Jones Day

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