Firms To Watch: Tax

Bolstered by the June 2022 arrival of new team leader Harry Giannakidis – who joined from Mills Oakley – the tax practice at Melbourne-based firm KHQ Lawyers advises corporate clients, private family businesses and high-net-worth individuals on a broad range of tax, commercial and estate planning matters.

Tax in Australia

Allens

Appreciated for its ‘deep intellectual knowledge‘, the tax practice at Allens is frequently instructed on large cross-border M&A transactions and significant tax litigation before the Federal and High Courts of Australia. In particular, the practice has expertise in disputes between taxpayers and the ATO on transfer pricing and avoidance. Martin Fry leads the team from Melbourne and is a key advisor to clients within the mining and oil and gas sectors. Also in Melbourne, Toby Knight is active in representing clients in tax disputes with the ATO. In Sydney, Craig Milner handles transactions and projects for clients in the funds, real estate, finance and energy sectors; Joseph Power is a stamp duty expert; Ellen Thomas is well versed in advising on the tax aspects of M&A, finance transactions and audits; and Jay Prasad is also a notable member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Martin Fry


Other key lawyers:

Craig Milner; Joseph Power; Toby Knight; Jay Prasad; Ellen Thomas


Testimonials

‘The Allens Tax Team brings deep intellectual knowledge and thinking in the advice they provide us. They provide excellent advice in the drafting of contractual arrangements to reflect the tax advice. In mergers and acquisitions, they excel at negotiating and advocating on our behalf. The quality of the Allens Tax Team is exceptional.’

‘Joseph Power has deep intellectual knowledge in all areas of taxation, including state taxes. He is innovative in his solutions and he is a genuine “tax lawyer” as he is able to draft legal documentation to reflect his solutions and advice. He is a “one-stop-shop” for me on tax advice – I feel very confident in talking to Joe knowing that I will be receiving the best tax and legal advice on all areas. Joe is supported by a very strong team of Managing Associates and Lawyers.’

‘We work with the Allens Tax team primarily in disputes. They bring extensive experience and expertise, including working closely with experienced litigators where necessary. They are client focused, always looking for settlement options. Collaboration between Allens and our in-house team is excellent and inputs from our in-house team actively encouraged. For detailed litigation they have excellent IT capabilities which enable efficient management of vast numbers of documents.’

Key clients

Shell


Sunsuper


AusNet Services


Vocus


Australian Super


Cerberus


ALE Property


Commonwealth Bank of Australia


Evolution Mining


Work highlights


  • Advising Shell Energy Holdings Australia in proceedings against the Commissioner of Taxation concerning tax deductions claimed by Shell in relation its acquisition from Chevron of an increased interest in the Browse joint venture.
  • Provided advice and assistance to Sunsuper on the tax aspects of the complex merger between Sunsuper and QSuper.
  • Advised ASX-listed Australian energy company AusNet in relation to the proposed cash acquisition by a Brookfield-led consortium of 100% of AusNet shares via a scheme of arrangement.

Ashurst

Praised by clients for its ‘exceptionally sharp, well-rounded team, which provides full advisory services‘, the tax practice at Ashurst is a popular choice among corporate multinationals seeking advice on a range of matters. The team has particular strength advising on the tax aspects of projects and M&A. Costa Koutsis leads the team and ‘provides an exceptional and pragmatic service‘, with notable expertise in indirect tax. Vivian Chang is skilled in corporate and financial services transactions, while Sanjay Wavde provides the team with M&A, international tax and funds management expertise. Steve Whittington has real estate, infrastructure and funds expertise, and Melbourne-based partner Ian Kellock is a key name for transactional work. Bronwyn Kirkwood is also a key member of the Melbourne office. Geoff Mann departed in January 2023. All lawyers mentioned are based in Sydney unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Costa Koutsis


Other key lawyers:

Vivian Chang; Sanjay Wavde; Ian Kellock; Bronwyn Kirkwood; Steve Whittington;


Testimonials

‘Highly skilled technical professionals with understanding of market practice.’

‘Costa Koutsis provides exceptional and pragmatic service. Costa is a trusted tax and business advisor. His advice is always considered and practical which makes achieving commercial outcomes easier.’

‘We work with Steve Whittington, Vivian Chan and Costa Koutsis. All these individuals have a deep tax knowledge and a good understanding of the client and what is important to the client. They are commercial in approach; their advice is well thought out and they explore multiple paths to address issues. ’

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)


Macquarie


Woolworths


Oxford Properties Group


Uber


Ivanhoé Cambridge


Mirvac


Brookfield


Downer EDI


La Mancha


Judo Bank


HSBC


Latitude Financial


Northwest Healthcare


Amazon


JP Morgan


UBS


Scape


TPG


Barrenjoey


Work highlights


  • Advising Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on the tax aspects of its acquisition of 100% of Suncorp Bank from Suncorp Group, via the acquisition of 100% of the shares in SBGH.
  • Advised Mirvac in relation to the proposed replacement of AMP Capital Investors (AMPCI) as trustee of AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF).
  • Advised Woolworths Group on its acquisition of a 55% interest in the Petspiration Group for cash consideration of $586m.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons is highlighted for its ‘strong commercial focus' and 'great delivery’. The practice is instructed by clients on a range of matters, including indirect tax issues, large cross-border M&A transactions and tax disputes. The team has particular expertise in the financial services, energy and real estate sectors. Leading from Melbourne, managing partner and practice head Darren McClafferty specialises in income tax, international tax and employment taxes. The Melbourne team is also supported by Michael Perez, who has expertise in the energy, banking and gaming sectors, and Michael Clough, who is well versed in income tax matters related to capital markets and M&A transactions. In Sydney, Richard Snowden focuses his practice on the financial services, funds management and property sectors. Also in Sydney, Jerome Tse is a key contact for tax disputes and litigation strategy; Justin Rosseto is a go-to advisor for income tax; Greg Protektor specialises in M&A, transactional work and property-based deals; and Judith Taylor is a name to note for income tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Darren McClafferty


Other key lawyers:

Michael Clough; Michael Perez; Richard Snowden; Greg Protektor; Justin Rosseto; Judith Taylor; Jerome Tse; Tim Sherman


Testimonials

‘Strong commercial focus, very good technically and great delivery.’

‘The team is very motivated to provide high-quality advice with exceptional dedication to client service. KWM tax excels in difficult issues and provides innovative thinking tailored to the client’s risk profile.’

‘Hugely knowledgeable and personable team. They are also able to draw from the broader KWM team for issues outside of tax. They are very collaborative with our team, which I think comes from our longstanding and trusting relationship.’

Key clients

Altium


AMP


ANZ


Australian Payments Plus (AP+)


Aurizon


Australian Retirement Trust


BHP


Brookfield Asset Management


BioPak


BUPA


CBA


CK William Australia


Dexus


Frasers


Endeavour Group


Envato


GenesisCare


Glencore


Investment company of HNW Australian family


Here, There & Everywhere


IAG


ICD Aspire


IOOF Holdings


Lendlease


Marsh Mercer Holdings


NAB


Police & Nurses Limited


QIC Property Fund


REA


Regal Funds Management


Shell Australia


Stockland


Tabcorp


Telstra


The Product Makers International Pte Ltd


Vanguard Investments Australia


Woodside Energy


Work highlights


  • Advised Woodside on the tax aspects of its merger with BHP’s petroleum business.
  • Acted for Aurizon on tax litigation in the Federal Court of Australia, which achieved a declaration that approximately $3.4bn shown as a capital distribution account was share capital for Australian income tax purposes.
  • Advised Mercer on all of the Australian tax and duty aspects of Mercer’s acquisition of BT Funds Management’s corporate and personal superannuation funds, valued at $38bn.

Minter Ellison

The tax practice at Minter Ellison fields ‘professional experts' and is a popular choice among multinational corporations seeking advice on a range of cross-border tax matters. The team has particular expertise in the infrastructure, government, real estate, health, educational, energy and financial services sectors. At practice head level, Adrian Varrasso leads from Melbourne and is well regarded for his corporate tax expertise. Also leading from Melbourne is tax controversy expert Carmen McElwain, and in Sydney, Rhys Guild is the lead on indirect tax. The team in Sydney also features land tax expert Nathan Deveson and Rimma Miller, who is well versed in tax litigation at both the state and federal level. Corporate tax expert Elissa Romanin is based in Melbourne. Special counsel Craig Bowie in Brisbane is a key contact for clients in the infrastructure, energy and financial services sectors.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Varrasso; Rhys Guild; Carmen McElwain


Other key lawyers:

Rimma Miller; Nathan Deveson; Elissa Romanin; Craig Bowie


Testimonials

‘The team is very strong in tax transaction-related services and tax controversy services. They are technically strong and provide good insights. Their fees are also very reasonable. The people are their key differentiator. They are friendly, helpful and work collaboratively with clients.

‘The team are absolute professional experts, whilst still being friendly and approachable. They provided timely advice, asked lots of questions so it catered to our unique situation and were great at explanations from providing formal tax advice to helping write explanatory notes in layman’s terms, without being too technical.’

‘The team offers two unique value propositions: (i) they routinely do work for the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and are therefore able to bring a depth of insight into the ATO’s views and practices when advising private sector clients; and (ii) Craig Silverwood’s experience as an economist complements Carmen McElwain’s experience in tax litigation, enabling them to provide a holistic service. ’

‘Charlotte Breekveldt and Cynthia Vasanthanathan are particularly excellent. They understand our business in great detail, are very responsive and approachable and work extremely hard to achieve a good outcome for us.’

‘Hamish Wallace is across remuneration trends and insights globally. This is quite rare I think for a tax partner.’

Key clients

Mylan Australia Holdings


Landcom


Albemarle Corporation


Department of Planning and Environment and NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC)


Commissioner of Taxation


Slater and Gordon


Dexus Property Group


Kudu Investment Management


Salter Brothers Hotel Group


Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)


Work highlights


  • Advises and represents Mylan Australia Holding in relation to a dispute with the ATO regarding denial of interest deductions in relation to loans incurred to fund the acquisition of Alphapharm.
  • Advised Albemarle on the tax aspects of its agreements with Mineral Resources (MinRes) to restructure the parties’ MARBL lithium joint venture in Australia, and separately for MinRes to invest in two of Albemarle’s lithium conversion assets in China.
  • Advised Slater & Gordon  in relation to a proposed partnership between Slater & Gordon and Allegro Funds.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

The tax group at Arnold Bloch Leibler is ‘highly capable' and 'extremely component'. The practice is a popular choice among high-net-worth individuals, family groups, large corporates and not-for-profit organisations. The team is regularly instructed on a range of matters, including advice on tax audits and disputes, M&A transactions and large-scale corporate restructurings. At practice head level, Mark Leibler leads from Melbourne and draws on more than 40 years of experience; Paul Sokolowski, also leading from Melbourne, is an expert in federal tax matters; and well-regarded corporate and international tax expert Clint Harding leads from Sydney. Jonathan Ortner is a key contact for the taxation of trusts in Sydney, and Shaun Cartoon is a key contact for employee share schemes in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Mark Leibler AC; Paul Sokolowski; Clint Harding


Other key lawyers:

Jonathon Ortner; Shaun Cartoon


Testimonials

‘A small but intellectually powerful tax team, with partners who are easily able to spot key tax issues and risks and delegate them to appropriate members in the team.’

‘Shaun Cartoon stands out for having an uncommon combination of deep technical expertise (he is particularly peerless in the area of employee share schemes) and excellent interpersonal skills.’

‘Jonathan Ortner – incredible mind, well balanced and strategic. ’

Key clients

Superhero


Zip Co


Netflix Inc


Bayley Stuart Investment Management


Market Eye


Cashrewards Limited


AGL Energy


Octopus Capital Australia Pty Ltd


StarRez


Work highlights


  • Acted for Superhero in relation to its $1.5bn merger with Australian-based crypto exchange platform Swyftx.
  • Advised ASX-listed Zip Co on the tax aspects of its agreement to acquire US-based buy-now-pay-later provider Sezzle.
  • Advised Netflix on the acquisition of visual effects and animation studio Animal Logic.

Baker McKenzie

Specialists in the technology, health tech and digital economy industries, Baker McKenzie is a popular choice for large domestic and multinational companies seeking tax advice. The team is particularly well regarded for its expertise in tax disputes and the defence of large-scale tax audits. Practice head John Walker draws on almost 20 years of experience and is a key name for M&A transactions. Amrit MacIntyre focuses his practice on stamp duty, GST and other indirect taxes, while Simone Bridges is a key name for tax controversy matters. Miles Hurst is well versed in income tax, specifically in the renewable energy, property and healthcare industries. Special counsel Janet Cho is also a key member of the department.

Practice head(s):

John Walker


Other key lawyers:

Simone Bridges; Miles Hurst; Amrit MacIntrye; Janet Cho


Testimonials

‘It is a highly professional and personable team that I trust and rely on.’

‘Full confidence they are experts in their field. ’

‘Miles Hurst and Leo Vellis are amazing!’

Key clients

Home Consortium


Origin Energy Limited


Real Asset Management


5E Advanced Materials


1Komma5


AECOM


Fortress/Vannin


DoorDash


ANZ


Spotify


Block


Natura


ResMed


Work highlights


  • Advised HMC Funds Management on the income tax and indirect tax aspects of a rollout of solar investment across all of its property assets.
  • Advised Origin Energy on various income tax considerations relating to its Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec.
  • Advised on the creation and offering of the RAM Australia Diversified Property Fund, RAM Australia Credit Fund and RAM Australia Diversified Fixed Income Fund.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz possesses ‘an excellent indirect tax practice with depth of knowledge and experience’. The team’s multi-sector focus gives it a broad range of expertise, covering the property, financial services, technology, retail and healthcare industries. The team takes a collaborative approach to its matters, regularly working alongside the firm's corporate, real estate, restructuring, banking and construction teams. Sydney-based practice head Andrew Sommer has ‘great industry knowledge’ and expertise in GST-related matters. The Sydney office is also supported by Peter Feros, whose expertise lies in M&A transactions and fund structuring, and Jonathan Donald, who is a key contact for corporate tax matters. In the Melbourne office, Angela Wood is a name to note for tax controversy advice, and in Brisbane, Brendon Lamers is a go-to advisor for local and foreign funds and developers seeking deal tax advisory. Keshni Maharaj is another key practitioner.

Practice head(s):

Angela Wood


Other key lawyers:

Peter Feros; Brendon Lamers; Jonathon Donald; Keshni Maharaj; Seema Sandhu


Testimonials

‘An excellent Indirect Tax practice with depth of knowledge and experience. Very client-responsive. Trusted and well-reasoned advice.’

‘Andrew Sommer provides excellent GST advice, makes himself readily available to clients, has great industry knowledge, delivers advice in a form well-tailored to our needs in each case, and his willingness to provide a clear answer with an assessment of risks. His assessment of likely outcomes and risks is well-balanced, which provides a reliable measure yardstick for decision making.’

‘Fantastic support for an extremely complex deal, great interaction with regulators, and a supportive and responsive team.’

Key clients

Queensland Investment


First Sentier Investors and Palisade Investment Partners


Palisade Investment Partner, HESTA and AWARE Super


Plenary Group


Wyloo Metals


Precision Aviation Group


Pallion Group


AMP Services


Simplot Australia


The Blackstone Group


Atmos Renewables


Work highlights


  • Acted for Pallion Group in support of its former subsidiary, known as EBS & Associates, in a GST dispute matter in the Full Federal Court.
  • Acted for SG Fleet Group as the originator (and acquiror of LeasePlan) and drafted the securitisation transaction documents.
  • Advised the consortium of First Sentier Investors and Palisade Investment Partners on the tax aspects of the acquisition of MacArthur wind farm.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The tax practice at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is regularly instructed on transactional work, including inbound and outbound cross-border investment, M&A projects and private equity investment. The practice has expertise in a range of sectors, including energy and natural resources, banking and finance, real estate and technology. Melbourne-based partner Rhys Jewell is experienced in global M&A transactions, specifically inbound investment into Australia by private equity firms and funds. Also based in Melbourne, the team is supported by indirect tax expert Jennee Chan. Based in Sydney, Mark Payne is a key name for premium domestic and inbound investments, and Simon Mifsud is well versed in employee incentive options. Michael Carroll is also a key member of the Sydney practice.

Practice head(s):

Rhys Jewell


Other key lawyers:

Jenee Chan; Mark Payne; Simon Mifsud; Michael Carroll


Testimonials

‘Strong knowledge of the issues. Great pro-bono support. Very responsive.’

‘Responsive, professional and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Dedication to their clients. Poise and balance in all matters of support. Wide spread of expert partners across many fields of law.’

‘Expertise. Responsiveness. Courteousy. Patience.’

Key clients

Coles Group


WA Water Corporation


Heartland


Bunzl


OMERS


JM Family Enterprises


Accor


Accenture


Hancock Prospecting


Olbalt


Aurizon Holdings


Hall & Prior Aged Care


Wesfarmers


ESR Funds Management


National Australia Bank (NAB)


Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)


BP Australia


Macquarie Bank


Federation Asset Management


Victorian Government


St George Community Housing


Bolton Clarke


Oxford Properties


CCMP Capital Advisors, LP (CCMP)


Work highlights


  • Advised Coles Group on the sale of the Coles Express fuel and convenience business to its current alliance partner Viva Energy Group.
  • Advised OMERS Private Equity on the Australian tax aspects of its proposed sale of a majority interest in Trescal group to EQT Infrastructure V, a fund controlled by EQT.
  • Advised Hancock Energy, Hancock Prospecting bid vehicle, on its competitive off-market takeover bid for Warrego Energy.

Johnson Winter Slattery

The tax practice at Johnson Winter Slattery is commended for its ‘technical knowledge, responsiveness and quality of work'. The team has particular expertise in the energy and natural resources, infrastructure, technology and life sciences sectors. The firm’s impressive roster of clients features domestic and multinational groups, investment funds and high-net-worth individuals. The team is frequently instructed to advise on cross-border M&A deals. Melbourne-based practice head Stewart Grieve specialises in tax audits and disputes. Supporting the team is tax disputes expert Annemarie Wilmore in Sydney, alongside Prashanth Kainthaje, who is well versed in international tax and private equity. Also operating from the Sydney office, Andy Milidoni is a key name for advice on the taxation of trusts, and Richard Gelski focuses his practice on corporate structuring, cross-border investment and M&A. Melbourne-based partner Kathryn Bertram is a key contact for state taxes. Special counsel Don Spirason joined the team in June 2023.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Grieve


Other key lawyers:

Annemarie Wilmore; Prashanth Kainthaje; Andy Milidoni; Richard Gelski; Kathryn Bertram


Testimonials

‘The firm combines superb technical understanding of legislation with good business/economic reasoning to fully understand transactions in order to provide advice on how to achieve the best (and correct) outcomes.’

‘Complete understanding of our business requirements and ability to provide high-quality concise advise.’

‘Matthew Shanahan’s understanding of the issues and legislation as well as existing ATO relationships/contacts were key in helping us achieve a fantastic outcome.’

Key clients

The GEO Group (GEO)


Capella Capital


Marubeni


MTR Corporation (Sydney) SMCSW


Plenary Funds Management


RATP Dev


Godolphin Australia


Work highlights


  • Advised the GEO Group on tax matters in relation to the Ravenhall Correctional Centre project across all stages of the project’s life cycle.
  • Advised MTR Corporation on all aspects of its Australian business, including in relation to the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Project.
  • Advising a client on a dispute with the New South Wales Chief Commissioner of State Revenue in the Court of Appeal.

White & Case LLP

The team at White & Case is appreciated for its ‘deep technical expertise in the infrastructure space married together with deep technical expertise in Australian income tax law‘. The practice is regularly seen advising its clients on large-scale complex transactions, as well as on tax disputes before the Federal and High Courts of Australia. Tax dispute expert and practice head Aldrin De Zilva is praised for his ‘outstanding technical and commercial perspectives’ while Tim Neilson is well versed in assisting with acquisitions and Cameron Rider is a seasoned tax litigator.

Practice head(s):

Aldrin De Zilva


Other key lawyers:

Tim Neilson; Cameron Rider


Testimonials

‘Talented professionals that have achieved a lot in their careers. Strengths include technical capability and results focused.’

‘Aldrin is an extremely valued advisor with outstanding technical and commercial perspectives.’

‘Aldrin knows the key issues to focus on and handles client sensitivities and time pressures.’

Key clients

Sydney Transport Partners (WestConnex)


AusNet Services


Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v State Grid International Australia Development Company & AusNet FCA (2022)


Perdaman Group


IOOF Holdings


Transurban


NorthConnex


AusNet Services v Commissioner of Taxation (VID 389/2022)


UniSuper


Work highlights


  • Advised AusNet on the on-market acquisition by Australian Energy Holdings No 4 (a company controlled by Brookfield Asset Management, Inc.) by way of a scheme of arrangement.
  • Acting as ongoing legal taxation counsel to WCX and advising the STP Consortium in respect of the successful acquisition of the remaining 49% equity stake in WCX.
  • Acted as IOOF’s legal tax counsel to assist it in its successful acquisition of the MLC wealth management business from National Australia Bank for A$1.4bn.

Gilbert + Tobin

The ‘high-quality associates and partners‘ at Gilbert + Tobin regularly advise on large-scale corporate transactions, including M&A, schemes of arrangement and fund establishment. With significant expertise in the private equity market, the team has been busy advising private equity houses on the tax aspects of major deals. Leading the team is Muhunthan Kanagaratnam, who handles contentious and non-contentious matters, including M&A transactions. Hanh Chau leads the indirect tax practice, with a focus on GST and stamp duty-related matters. Mark Goldsmith draws on more than 30 years of experience and has significant expertise in M&A matters. Melbourne-based partner Julian Cheng is a key name for M&A and fund structuring.

Practice head(s):

Muhunthan Kanagaratnam


Other key lawyers:

Mark Goldsmith; Hanh Chau; Julian Cheng


Testimonials

‘Great people who understand client needs. Legal and commercial understanding and expertise. Willing to work with clients to correctly scope (and therefore correctly cost) projects. Able to clearly communicate with clients to explain complex topics, without sounding condescending. High-quality associates as well as partners.’

‘Julian Cheng is brilliant. He quickly grasps the key commercial considerations and is able to target his tax advice appropriately.’

‘Hanh Chau is outstanding when it comes to understanding the commercial drivers behind each transaction, which enables her to assess the situation holistically, and provide the appropriate GST and stamps input. Her ability to think laterally, and outside the square is first class.’

Key clients

Telstra Corporation Limited (Digicel transaction)


Virtus Health Limited


OzMinerals Limited


Calvary Health Care (Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd)


Vulcan Steel Limited


KKR


Flutter Entertainment (including Australian entities Sportsbet and BetEasy)


Adamantem Capital


Morpheus Advisors


Barclays Bank


Walker


Vitol Asia


Crescent Capital Partners


Work highlights


  • Advised Telstra on the tax aspects of the purchase of the Digicel Pacific group from Digicel Global.
  • Advised BHP Group on the  purchase of OzMinerals, a large Australian miner producing gold, silver and copper.
  • Advised Virtus on two competing private equity bidders, BGH and CapVest.

Hall & Wilcox

The tax practice at ‘fresh, innovative and progressive law firmHall & Wilcox regularly assists clients with tax structuring, advisory, dispute management and compliance matters. The team has specific expertise in the banking, funds, insurance, property, construction, health and media industries, to name a few. Frank Hinoporos focuses his practice on cross-border tax and succession planning for high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Anthony Bradica is well versed in advising corporate clients on the tax aspects of business transactions, while Sydney-based partner Jim Koutsokostas has expertise in the banking, government and construction sectors. Jacqueline McGrath is a tax litigation expert who regularly acts for a range of clients, including large multinational companies and individuals in disputes with the ATO. Special counsel Adam Dimac is also a key name to note. All lawyers are based in Sydney unless otherwise stated.

Practice head(s):

Frank Hinoporos


Other key lawyers:

Anthony Bradica; Jim Koutsokostas; Jacqueline McGrath; Adam Dimac


Testimonials

‘Outstanding interpersonal skills. Exceptional and well versed knowledge base. Commitment to pro bono services. Always happy to go above and beyond. Fresh, innovative and progressive law firm. ’

‘Jim Koutsokostas is exceptional and needs recognition. Prompt to reply to emails. Extremely helpful. Willing to share knowledge and help develop skills. Outstanding and ongoing commitment to pro bono services. Rachel Law and Todd Bromwhich are very friendly, supportive, approachable and knowledgeable. ’

‘Jacqui McGrath is an outstanding advisor. She is astute; keeps herself informed of legal and economic conditions potentially affecting her clients; has experience of working with the revenue and private clients; and is strategic. To those qualities Jacqui adds remarkable dedication to getting across the detail of her cases.’

Key clients

Australian Taxation Office


Dandy Premix Concrete


Work highlights


  • Acted for a family on the $85m sale of their business to national player Maas Group Holdings.
  • Appointed to the Australian Tax Office’s Tax Technical Legal Services Panel to provide legal services in relation to the full range of tax technical areas.

Jones Day

The tax practice at Jones Dayexcels in large-scale litigation involving international tax issues’. The practice also assists clients with the tax aspects of major deals, including cross-border financing and M&A transactions. On the tax disputes front, the team is regularly instructed by multinational corporations across a range of industries. Highly regarded practice head Niv Tadmore is ‘very strong and successful in negotiations with authorities’. Benjamin Lancaster is well versed in international tax disputes, particularly on transfer pricing and anti-avoidance matters. Simon Bowden has expertise in the tax aspects of high-value, cross-border transactions. Lauren Moses has unique expertise in tax disputes from a taxpayer, commissioner and judiciary perspective, due to her experience representing the Commissioner of Taxation and as a judge’s associate.

Practice head(s):

Niv Tadmore


Other key lawyers:

Benjamin Lancaster; Simon Bowden; Lauren Moses


Testimonials

‘The Jones Day tax team is led by Dr Niv Tadmore, who is the pre-eminent international tax controversy lawyer in Australia. The team has depth and experience in dealing with, and is the go to firm for, international tax controversy issues for inbound and outbound multinationals.’

‘The standout partner and head of the practice is Dr Niv Tadmore. Niv’s knowledge, experience and passion are second to none. He leaves no stone unturned in protecting and advancing his clients’ interests. He is well connected with revenue officials, and practitioners globally given he is the chair of the global Supervisory Board of the International Fiscal Association and president of the Australian Branch.’

‘A key member of the Jones Day team is Lauren Moses, an excellent lawyer who brings critical analytical skills, judgement and dedication to any problem.’

‘Niv Tadmore is very experienced and very client orientated. Niv is knowledgeable and very strong and successful in negotiations with authorities. At the same time he maintains the relationships with the authorities is a professional way.’

‘Jones Day’s Australian tax team excels in large-scale litigation involving international tax issues. Along with Niv, the partner who leads the group, the team has a strong group of senior lawyers who are very experienced, knowledgeable and strategic thinkers. They are well supported in international tax work by their wider firm network.’

‘Niv Tadmore is a “hands on” leader, with a deep knowledge of international tax, who thinks strategically about how to engage with revenue authorities. His ability to reach settlements on excellent terms for his clients is second to none.;

‘Steven Small has wonderful attention to detail and a level head in even the most stressful situations. He’s a real asset to complex tax litigation.’

Work highlights


KPMG Law in Australia

With clients ranging from high-net-worth individuals and family groups to multinational corporations, the tax practice at KPMG Law in Australia is commended for its ‘depth of experience and deep skills’. The practice is equipped to provide a multi-disciplinary approach when assisting its clients with tax disputes. Melbourne-based practice head Angelina Lagana has significant experience in complex, large-scale tax disputes and is ‘a standout in her ability to coordinate large matters’. In Sydney, Keith Swan draws on more than 20 years of experience in tax controversy matters. Alexandra Patrick has broad expertise and can regularly be found assisting clients with income tax and transfer pricing audits.

Practice head(s):

Angelina Lagana


Other key lawyers:

Keith Swan; Alexandra Patrick; Luke Imbriano


Testimonials

‘Angelina Lagana as the national practice leader is a standout in her ability to co-ordinate large matters, whether they are advice based or dispute based matters. Alex Patrick has a depth of tax knowledge that stands out in the market, great relationships with the ATO, and a very good dose of common sense. Keith Swan in Sydney is a very good person to work with and has great relationships with tax barristers.’

‘Luke Imbriano is the individual that is our single point on contact. He brings strong technical expertise, critical thinking and commercial solutions. Luke is responsive and always delivers in advance of deadlines. He listens to our needs and is able to provide solutions that fit our needs. Overall, Luke has exceeded our expectations and has become our trusted tax advisor.’

‘The team has depth of experience and deep skills in both the tax analytical and in litigation. It is a diverse group of people with diverse skills, but they work very well with each other and also with the other tax professionals within the broader KPMG practice.’

‘Keith Swan is pragmatic, efficient and has good judgement.’

‘Solid team able to call upon deep expertise in the firm. Sensible approach to matters and appropriate and defensible positions taken.’

‘KPMG Law has a strong technical knowledge and a pragmatic approach to finding solutions with relevant tax authorities. Has a good working knowledge of how Tax authorities work, and has strong basis for recommendations. ’

‘For counsel, it is great that any lawyer working on the matter (from Partner, Director and Lawyer) make themselves promptly available to provide instructions and discuss matters. Angelina Lagana and Craig Boyle are fantastic at responding to counsel queries quickly and provide instructions that are exactly what counsel ask for (demonstrating that they understand the brief and the questions counsel are asking). I appreciate the efficiency of their practice. ’

Work highlights


Allen & Overy LLP

The tax team at Allen & Overy receives praise for being ‘technically excellent, but with a commercial mindset’. Handling a range of matters, the practice is regularly instructed by financial institutions and corporates on cross-border transactional matters. Ka Sen Wong has expertise in several industries, including funds, property and infrastructure; clients highlight that he ‘understands and unpacks the deep tax technical issues, with a commercial and pragmatic view’. Angela Melick has significant expertise in property transactions and vendor and purchaser due diligence. Senior associate Alice Morstyn focuses her practice on income tax, stamp duty and GST.

Practice head(s):

Ka Sen Wong


Other key lawyers:

Angela Melick; Alice Morstyn


Testimonials

‘Technically excellent, but with a commercial mindset.’

‘Very proactive. Easy to understand. Ka Sen Wong is very easy to work with.’

‘Ka Sen Wong understands and unpacks the deep tax technical issues, with a commercial and pragmatic view. He has a high awareness that tax law does not operate in a vacuum. He is consistently responsive, and keeps clients updated as to deliverables and timelines. ’

Key clients

Optus / Singtel


Roc Partners


Asahi Group Holdings (Asahi)


Animal Logic Entertainment


Wesfarmers


National Australia Bank (NAB)


Ventia


Iron Mountain


Pendal


Starwood


Work highlights


  • Advised Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) and the parent company of the Australian telecoms provider Singtel Optus on tax aspects of the sale of a 70% stake in Australia Tower Network.
  • Advised Maersk on tax aspects of its acquisition of LF Logistics, a Hong Kong-based contract logistics company.
  • Advising Starwood and BREDS on the tax aspects of its financing of the acquisition by entities owned by funds managed or advised by Blackstone.

DLA Piper

Underpinned by a significant global network, the tax team at DLA Piper is regularly instructed on cross-border matters. On the tax litigation front, the team advises domestic and international companies to prepare and engage with the ATO. The department also has expertise in advising warranty and indemnity insurers in respect of front-end underwriting on policies and back-end dispute resolution. Sydney-based practice head Jock McCormack focuses his practice on debt and equity structuring, M&A, transfer pricing and major project-related tax matters. In Melbourne, Adam Smith is a key name for insurance tax-related matters. Eddie Ahn brings expertise in tax structuring, cross-border transactions, tax consolidation and stamp duty. Jun Au and Kenny Mui are key names to note at the senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Jock McCormack


Other key lawyers:

Eddie Ahn; Adam Smith; Jun Au; Kenny Mui


Key clients

Ares Management


Flare HR


Launch Therapeutics


Leidos Holdings, (NYSE:LDOS)


PlayUp


Nearmap (ASX:NEA)


Reinventure Group


Shenhua Watermark Coal


Work highlights


  • Advising NYSE-listed Ares since August 2020 on its highly publicised A$6bn initial takeover proposal to acquire the whole of ASX- and NZX-listed company AMP.
  • Advised ASX-listed aerial imagery company Nearmap on its A$1.055bn scheme of arrangement with American private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
  • Acted for Shenhua Watermark Coal, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Shenhua Energy Company, a company listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Markets.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates receives plaudits for its ‘very experienced global tax practice', which is 'great for cross-border issues’. The team works closely with the firm's investment funds, real estate and corporate departments to advise on a wide range of matters, including cross-border asset financing investment, corporate tax and international tax. Sydney-based practice head Betsy-Ann Howe is well versed in cross-border international tax and corporate tax matters and is appreciated by clients for her ‘very commercial advice’. Matthew Cridland focuses his practice on indirect tax matters and is considered by a client as ‘one of the country's leading indirect tax and GST lawyers’. Special counsel Leslie Petro is active in tax matters related to inbound and outbound investment, cross-border financing and corporate tax. The team welcomed Stuart Broadfoot in April 2023 from King & Wood Mallesons.

Practice head(s):

Betsy-Ann Howe


Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cridland; Leslie Petro


Testimonials

‘Matthew Cridland – Indirect tax and GST partner. Leading practitioner in this field. ’

‘Matt Cridland is approachable, knowledgeable and in my view one of the country’s leading indirect tax and GST lawyers ’

‘Very experienced global tax practice – great for cross-border issues.’

‘Betsy-Ann Howe is a leading tax expert. Always responsive and provides very commercial advice.’

Key clients

Birdeye


Braavos


Bridge Housing


Caleb & Brown


Cancer Council NSW


Energy Matrix Group


Five Elms Capital


Magnis Energy Technologies


The Sale of The Oaks Tavern


Security Matters


Sky and Space


Work highlights


  • Advised Birdeye on the tax aspects of a potential acquisition of an Australian company.
  • Advised Blackrock Inc in relation to its investment into Pacific Equity Partners Annex Fund II, an infrastructure fund focused on Australia and New Zealand.
  • Advised an Australian company on a de-SPAC transaction (a Special Purpose Acquisition Company) whereby the client combined with a Cayman SPAC.

Mills Oakley

Based in Melbourne, the ‘super responsive, reliable, helpful and pragmatic‘ practice at Mills Oakley is active in indirect tax, advising its clients on GST, stamp duty and connected issues. The firm’s broad roster of clients features property developers, property funds, private landholders, high-net-worth individuals and W&I insurers. Practice head Andrew Spalding is an ‘exceptional tax lawyer‘ and stands out for having strong expertise in M&A, warranty and indemnity insurance, and employee share and option schemes. Marina Raulings specialises in state taxes, including stamp duty, land tax and payroll tax. Craig Gibson is well versed in indirect tax and the taxation of charities and not-for-profits.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Spalding


Other key lawyers:

Craig Gibson; Marina Raulings


Testimonials

‘Advice tailored for the client’s operating environment. Concise but comprehensive, unambiguous advice. Advice was easy to understand from a layperson’s perspective.’

‘Andrew Spalding and Craig Gibson were extremely professional. They understood and responded precisely to our query, coordinating responses with other partners in the business to ensure our comprehensive needs were met.’

‘Super responsive, reliable, helpful, pragmatic.’

‘We are lucky to have had Mills Oakley’s counsel over the years and are particularly pleased with their recent performance during an acquisition.’

‘Andrew Spalding is an exceptional tax lawyer. He is able to distill complex tax questions clearly, providing advice where decisions need to be made, and focussing on areas that are material.’

Key clients

Fusion Specialty Insurance


Cooley (UK)


Golden Age Group


Vocus Group


Two Bulls Holdings


Ellume


Landchecker


Harvey Norman


Viburnum Funds


Work highlights


  • Advised Fusion in relation to the development of “io.insure” and on a number of warranty and indemnity insurance policies.
  • Advised Vocus Group on the identification and classification (for income tax purposes) of intangible assets acquired as part of its $3.75bn merger with the M2 Group.
  • Advised Harvey Norman on the GST and stamp duty implications of a number of major property acquisitions.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The Sydney-based tax team at Norton Rose Fulbright has particular expertise in advising on warranty and indemnity insurance and cross-border M&A transactions. The team benefits from the extensive experience of practice head Greg Reinhardt, who regularly advises clients on the tax aspects of corporate deals. Special counsel Seema Mishra brings additional expertise in the warranty and indemnity market.

Practice head(s):

Greg Reinhardt


Other key lawyers:

Seema Mishra


Key clients

AIG Australia Limited


Beazley Pte Limited


Braemac Pty Limited


Brookwell Capital Limited


CC Underwriting Limited


Chubb


Export Finance Australia


Fusion Speciality Insurance


HCCI Credit Services


Liberty Speciality Markets


Sandvik AG


Stanmore Resources Limited


Tokio Marine Insurance


Transport for NSW


Vale Insurance Partners


Zurich Insurance


Work highlights


  • Advised the shareholders on the tax aspects of the sale of 100 per cent of shares in technology company Braemac to Berkshire Hathaway’s Exponential Technology Group.
  • Advised EFA, a statutory corporation of the Commonwealth of Australia, and its export credit agency in relation to its Programme for the Issuance of Debt Instruments.
  • Advising Transport for NSW on the taxation implications associated with the implementation of the Point to Point Transport Financial Assistance Scheme for eligible NSW taxi licence owners.