Tax in Australia

Allens

Allens enjoys a market-leading reputation in business-critical tax litigation, transfer pricing, audits, indirect taxes, anti-avoidance provisions and the tax matters arising from M&A. In Melbourne, Toby Knight heads the practice alongside Martin Fry, a market leader, with extensive expertise in corporation and international tax in the mining, oil and gas, banking and infrastructure sectors. He recently acted for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on the sale of its wealth management business to Zurich and IOOF, advising the client on the income and capital gains tax issues arising from the transaction. The wider team demonstrates strength in the funds, real estate, finance, energy, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Senior tax counsel Jennee Chan, who is recommended for her stamp duty and GST expertise, moved to Corrs Chambers Westgarth in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Martin Fry; Toby Knight;

Other key lawyers:

Craig Milner; Larry Magid; Adrian Chek

Key clients

ANZ

Unibail-Rodamco

Westpac Banking Corporation

Goldman Sachs

News Limited

REST Superannuation

Mirvac

HESTA Superannuation

Evolve Housing

ExxonMobil Australia Pty Ltd

Total S.A

UBS

Work highlights

  • Advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd on the sale of its wealth management business to Zurich and IOOF.
  • Advised UBS on its issue of NAB Capital Notes 3, especially the tax consequences for UBS as nominated purchaser of the CPS and the indemnity for UBS from NAB as the issuer.
  • Advised McGrath Nicol as receivers and managers for Quintis Ltd in relation to the structuring of a recapitalisation effected pursuant to a creditors scheme of arrangement.
  • Advised CAF on the tax implications of its equity participation in the successful bid for the A$2.8bn NSW Regional Rail PPP.
  • Advised Investa Office Fund on the income tax implications of the takeover of Investa Office Fund by Oxford Properties.

Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Specialist tax firm Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills are ‘knowledge leaders’ with a response rate that is ‘second to none’. Across a range of sectors, the practice holds specific expertise in relation to the corporate and M&A, projects and infrastructure, financial services and real estate sectors. Its first-rate offering includes transactions, transfer pricing, advisory and tax compliance services in addition to tax disputes and stamp duty matters handled by the closely integrated practice at Herbert Smith Freehills. Manuel Makas heads the team following the retirement of Tony Frost and is a specialist in real estate taxation, specifically the creation of managed investment trust structures and listed property trusts. His team recently acted for Fairfax Media in relation to the tax considerations arising from its merger with Nine Entertainment under a Scheme of Arrangement.Named lawyers are based in Sydney though the firm also has offices in Perth and Melbourne. Some other key team members include Richard Hendriks; Aldrin De Zilva; Andrew Hirst and Nick Heggart.

Practice head(s):

Manuel Makas

Testimonials

‘They provide practical advice and are able to explain technical advice to non tax clients.’

‘They are knowledge leaders on the application of taxation to the property industry. A key strength is their ability to advise on complex tax matters in a concise manner. Their knowledge of the tax issues relevant to property transactions is second to none.’

‘Responsiveness to issues is second to none.’

‘Chris Neil is technically astute and an extremely good communicator.’

‘Specialist financial services tax knowledge on major transactions and capital initiatives. Other firms do not have that in-depth knowledge.’

‘Andy Hirst is a leader in the Australian financial services tax industry’

‘Recommended for their depth of knowledge of the tax issues affecting the property industry and breadth of knowledge on other specialities (financial services)’.

‘Andrew White and Andrew Howe provide exceptional service.’

 

Key clients

Alinta Energy

Dexus

Fairfax Media

GPT

Investa Property Group

Lendlease

National Australia Bank

Santos

Vicinity

Wesfarmers

Westfield Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Wesfarmers on all aspects of the demerger including obtaining ATO approvals for Wesfarmers and class rulings for shareholders and employee share scheme participants (see Class Rulings 2018/59 and 60). Also acted for Wesfarmers on all stamp duty aspects of the transaction.
  • Acted for Fairfax in relation to the merger of Fairfax and Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings  under a Scheme of Arrangement.
  • Acted for Australian listed REIT, Dexus, and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC, in relation to the establishment of a $2bn industrial fund joint venture.
  • Assisted Adelaide-based Santos, Australia’s second-largest independent oil and gas producer, on the tax aspects of their $2.9bn acquisition of Quadrant Energy from a consortium including Macquarie Capital, Brookfield Business Partners, Wesfarmers and the Bennett family.
  • Acting for TPG in relation to the proposed merger of TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited under a Scheme of Arrangement.

King & Wood Mallesons

At King & Wood Mallesons, there is ‘great tax expertise, connections with the ATO and a top tier service’. The full-service, national practice is routinely engaged for AMIT implementation projects, private equity acquisitions and restructures, disputes, avoidance, transfer pricing and tax issues arising from capital markets transactions. Specific sector expertise includes  telecommunications, energy and resources, real estate and financial services with the practice headed by Sydney-based Justin Cherrington. In Melbourne, Michael Clough is reputed for income tax issues, M&A and capital markets with Michael Perez handling audits and litigation in addition to precautionary advice. Clough is currently acted for Crown Resorts in a Federal Court of Australia dispute with the ATO which concerns novel arguments pertaining to the deductibility of interest payable on funds borrowed to make foreign acquisitions. Senior associate Greg Protektor is a name to note at the junior end.

Practice head(s):

Justin Cherrington

Other key lawyers:

Greg Protektor; Michael Perez; Michael Clough; Richard Snowden; Scott Heezen; David Wood; Tim Sherman

Testimonials

‘King & Wood Mallesons has great tax expertise and connections with the Australian Tax Office. It is a top tier firm in Australia. Service is excellent.’

‘Richard Snowden is cool, calm and collected.  He always has an answer to every issue.’

‘KWM is the market leader in stamp duty advice’.

‘Leah Ranie is a safe pair of hands – very responsive and thoughtful.’

Key clients

Telstra Corporation Limited

National Australia Bank

Glencore

BHP Billiton

Caltex

Chevron

Rio-Tinto

Vanguard

Work highlights

  • Acted for AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd and Hillross Financial Services Ltd in relation to a payroll tax dispute in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
  • Advised DAIL on the development of the TraCR product, which is a new product in the Australian market.
  • Advised Vanguard on all Australian tax aspects associated with the creation of new funds, and undertook a tax review of the documentation for these funds.
  • Advising Dexus on the stamp duty implications of the creation of an A$2bn unlisted logistics property fund.
  • Acting for BESIX Group SA in the takeover of Watpac Limited.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Home to an ‘experienced team of practical problem solvers’, Arnold Bloch Leibler counts high-net-worth individuals, domestic and international corporations, entrepreneurs, family businesses and non-for-profit organisations on a range of tax issues. These include disputes, ATO audits, mergers and acquisitions, employee share schemes, cross-border investments, trusts, charitable giving and international taxation. Mark Leibler, hailed for his ‘experience and respect by the ATO’ heads the practice from Melbourne alongside federal tax expert Paul Sokolowski.

Practice head(s):

Mark Leibler; Paul Sokolowski

Other key lawyers:

Clint Harding; Joey Borensztajn

Testimonials

Experienced team that are practical problem solvers rather than theoretical lawyers‘.

Mark Leibler has experience and respect by the ATO. Paul Sokolowski is experienced and pragmatic‘.

The partnership has some of the best tax minds in Australia‘.

Mark Leibler, Clint Hardinf and Jonathan Ortner are very highly regarded.

Key clients

CrownBet’s founders

Dial-a-Dump Industries

Nufarm Limited

Merricks Capital Pty Ltd

Specialty Fashion Group / City Chic Collective

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation

Votiro Cybersec

Barana Group

AsheMorgan

Jundu Pty Ltd and Mogul Stud Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for CrownBet’s founders, including Matt Tripp, Grant Griffiths and Nick Tyshing, on a series of milestone transactions, including the sale of an 18 per cent stake of CrownBet to Canadian listed company The Stars Group, Inc.
  • Advised privately owned group Dial-a-Dump Industries (DADI) in relation to the sale of the group to ASX-listed Bingo Industries for $577.5m.
  • Advised Australia’s largest manufacturer of crop protection products, Nufarm Limited, on its offering of Senior Unsecured Notes to qualified institutional buyers in the United States.
  • Acted for Merricks Capital in relation to the issue of notes to Broad Peak and DK. The notes funded a development facility made available by Merricks Capital to fund a residential development in Perth.
  • Advised ASX-listed Specialty Fashion Group Limited in relation to the strategic sale of its Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers portfolio of businesses to Noni B Limited.

Ashurst

Ashurst fields an ‘experienced team with detailed knowledge of various state tax legislation’ and a ‘commercial understanding of what works’. It provides a comprehensive range of direct and indirect services including income, corporate and international tax along with stamp duty, GST and land tax. Practice head Vivian Chang is based in Sydney and handles the domestic and international tax components of corporate and financial services transactions. Sanjay Wavde provides a 'professional, knowledgeable and friendly service'. Other key names are located in Melbourne.

Practice head(s):

Vivian Chang

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Phair; Peter McCullough; Sanjay Wavde; Paul Glover

Testimonials

‘The team takes a pragmatic and engaging approach to all issues, and brings a good understanding of the parameters of what can be and cannot be done.’

‘Detailed knowledge of various state tax legislation. Pragmatic business partners.’

‘Ability to identify potential tax risks associated with complex transactions. Barbara Phair has a detailed knowledge of industry segment and associated tax issues.’

‘Experienced team with commercial understanding of what works.’

‘Peter McCullough and Barbara Phair have a wealth of knowledge and experience and combine it with commercial realities.’

‘Innovative, practical and pragmatic approach focused on achieving clients objectives.  Has the ability to work with other firms seamlessly where required. Proactively considers the issues and provides constructive recommendations.’

‘Geoff Mann, in particular, is consistently a go-to person. Level of indirect tax real estate understanding is second to none and the amount of money his advice has saved my organisation has been substantial. He remains focused on the big picture and developing quality partnerships with clients.’

‘Paul Glover and Sanjay Wadve provide a professional, knowledgeable and friendly service that just about makes tax issues enjoyable to deal with.’

Key clients

ANZ

BHP

Brookfield

Downer EDI

Fletcher Building

General Electric Company

Macquarie Group

NBN

NSW Government

Tronox

UBER

Work highlights

  • Advising on income tax, GST and stamp duty aspects of the over the station development projects and responding to bidder queries and requests in relation to the Sydney Metro Project.
  • Advising on all stamp duty aspects in relation to its proposed merger with TPG Telecom Limited to become the third largest telecommunications provider in Australia.
  • Advising NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT on the acquisition and leaseback of A$1.3bn of hospital property assets from Healthscope Limited as part of the proposed A$4.5bn takeover of Healthscope Limited by Brookfield.
  • Advising Oxford Properties Group in relation to the acquisition of 100% of the units in Investa Office Fund by trust scheme.
  • Advising Navitas Limited in relation to the revised non-binding and conditional proposal received from the BGH consortium to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in Navitas by way of a scheme of arrangement for A$2.1bn.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is home to a very highly-rated indirect tax practice and is also engaged domestically and internationally on planning, income, stamp duty, land, GST, transfer pricing, restructuring and takeovers, disputes, wealth management and employment tax matters. Headed by John Walker, the team includes Amrit MacIntyre who has a particular focus on the property and energy sectors including the renewable and alternative energy spaces. Simone Bridges is a standout name for cross-border GST and duty matters while Miles Hurst regularly advises offshore funds on their inbound Australian investments. Healthcare and finance are also industries of focus for the team. Named lawyers are based in Sydney.    

Practice head(s):

Amrit MacIntyre; John Walker;

Other key lawyers:

Simone Bridges; Miles Hurst; Amrit MacIntyre; Dixon Hearder;

Testimonials

‘They work well with their M&A team and litigation team.’

‘John Walker is a savvy, astute adviser across a broad range of topics.’

Key clients

YTL Corporation

Resonance Industrial Water Infrastructure Fund

Fortress

Medtronic

NSW Government

ResMed

Whitehelm Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting for funds managed/controlled by Whitehelm Capital on its acquisition of a collection of 17 small-scale energy generation assets, including landfill gas, bio generation, compressed natural gas refuelling and co-generation, by way of an asset sale from AGL Energy.
  • Acting for Fortress, a NY based investment fund, on the establishment of a new fund in Australian for the purposes of investment into a new property development in Homebush, near Olympic Park.
  • Advised Resonance on the tax due diligence, acquisition structure, tax modelling, review and drafting of the transaction documents pertaining to its purchase of a 70% stake in current and future Australian bioenergy assets with a total expected investment of around A$100m.

Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz is renowned for its ‘good commercial input and pragmatic advice’. The team provides counsel to clients on the full array of tax-related matters, including disputes, strategic income tax advice, corporate and capital gains tax in addition to international and indirect tax. The client roster includes financial companies, major corporates, industrial organisations and international entities. Practice head Andrew Sommer is based in Sydney and is considered a go-to name for complex GST issues.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Sommer

Other key lawyers:

Peter Feros; Jonathan Donald; Amber Agustin; Philip Bisset

Testimonials

‘Good commercial input and pragmatic advice’.

‘Mark Friezer and Louisa Wu provide attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond.’

‘Jonathan Donald is commercial, committed and flexible.’

Key clients

Saputo

Brookfield and Macquarie

Woolworths Group Limited

Sun Communities

Spookfish

EMR Capital

Pacific Equity Partners

Intermediate Capital Group

Pacific Equity Partners Equity Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised the consortium of sellers led by Brookfield and Macquarie on the $2.15bn sale of Quadrant Energy to Santos Limited.
  • Advised Woolworths on the sale of its petrol station business and 526 petrol station sites to EG Group, an overseas entrant to the Australian market.
  • Advising Sun Communities, a leading manufactured housing REIT in relation to their strategic partnership in Ingenia.
  • Advised ASX-listed geospatial imagery products and services company Spookfish Limited on its entry into a scheme implementation agreement for a merger with Eagle View Technologies Inc.
  • Clayton Utz advised EMR on structuring its recent acquisition (together with co-investors) of the Kestrel Coal Mine from Rio Tinto for $3.5bn.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Clients praise Johnson Winter & Slattery for its ‘banking and international tax capabilities’ along with its ‘active partner involvement’. The caseload spans direct and indirect, international, income, capital gains and payroll tax in addition to stamp duty and disputes. Sydney-based Richard Gelski is a renowned industry leader in corporate structuring, cross-border investments, property trust structures and mergers and acquisitions. In Melbourne Reynah Tang heads the department which counts multinational corporates, investment funds and high-net-worth individuals among its client roster.

Practice head(s):

Reynah Tang

Other key lawyers:

Stewart Grieve; Richard Gelski; Andy Milidoni

Testimonials

‘JWS’ comparatively low staff to partner ratio provides us with the benefit of the active involvement of partners in all their assignments’.

‘JWS’ key strengths include their banking and international tax capabilities’.

 

Key clients

Microsoft Corporation

Ab InBev / SABMiller / Carlton United Breweries

McDonald’s Australia Limited

South Australian Government (Crown Solicitor’s Office)

Unilever Australasia

Sentient Group Limited

Coulson Aircrane Limited

Total SA

Blackmores Limited

Cooper Energy Limited

Battery Ventures

Quanta Services

Institutional Venture Management XVI (IVP) and OpenView

Work highlights

  • Providing tax/stamp duty and corporate advice to AB InBev in relation to the restructuring and partial listing of their Asia Pacific operations on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (speculated to raise at least $5bn).
  • Tax advice to Battery Ventures on the majority acquisition of PageUp, an Australian based maker of cloud based, enterprise talent management software.
  • Advised Blackmores on the tax aspects of its agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Catalent Australia Holding Pty Ltd, which owns and operates a tablet and softgel manufacturing facility in Braeside, Victoria via its wholly owned subsidiary, Catalent Australia Pty Ltd.
  • Tax counsel on the sale by Hogg Robinson plc of its Fraedom fintech business to Via International.
  • Advised Korea Resources on stamp duty issues for the sale of Kores’ 4% interest in the Moolarben Coal Mine in New South Wales.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison provides its clients with assistance on all tax-related fronts. In Melbourne, Adrian Varrasso leads the corporate tax offering which is engaged by clients from a wide array of industries including financial services, industrial manufacturing, energy and resources, automotive and consumer goods. Based in Melbourne alongside Varrasso is Carmen McElwain, she heads the disputes practice and is a standout practitioner in the contentious space. Transfer pricing is a further keystone of the practice which also consists of an indirect tax group headed by Rhys Guild in Sydney. Brisbane-based special counsel Craig Bowie is a name to watch in the corporate tax space.  

Practice head(s):

Adrian Varrasso; Rhys Guild; Carmen McElwain

Other key lawyers:

Chris Kinsella; Peter Poulos; Craig Bowie

Key clients

Albemarle

American Industrial Partners

AMP Capital

Auckland International Airport

Brookfield Australia

CDH Investments,  China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited

Study Group

TAL

Wesfarmers

Wesfarmers

Work highlights

  • Acted for Albemarle Corporation (listed on the NYSE and an S&P 500 company) on its $1.15bn acquisition of a 50% interest in Mineral Resource Limited’s pit to Port Wodgina Lithium Project in Western Australia, and formation of an unincorporated joint venture for the operation of the project.
  • Provided complex cross-border tax advice in relation to US private equity firm American Industrial Partners’ acquisition of mining software and equipment business CQMS from Quadrant Private Equity.
  • Advised Auckland International Airport Limited, a NZX Top 10 company on the sale of its 24.5% interest in Cairns and Mackay Airports for a total of $370m.
  • Advised CDH Investments and China Grand Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Holdings Limited on their A$1.90bn joint takeover for ASX listed Sirtex Medical Limited.
  • Recently assisted the Australian management team at education provider, Study Group, with the acquisition of a A$900m majority stake in the business by the French buyout group, Ardian, from global asset manager, Providence Equity Partners.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Lawyers at Corrs Chambers Westgarth are ‘focused, capable and offer prompt advice’. The team is routinely engaged by clients from industries such as real estate, mining and natural resources, social and affordable housing, healthcare, technology and telecommunications to act on tax issues arising from major projects. Examples of the workload include high-value M&A transactions, GST issues and complex restructurings. In Melbourne, Rhys Jewell serves as team head and is a transactions expert, acting on matters including inbound and outbound investments, private equity and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Rhys Jewell

Other key lawyers:

Mark Payne

Testimonials

‘The team is focused, capable and offers prompt and effective advice.’

‘Mark Payne is really committed to his clients. He is 100% reliable and provides excellent advice. He is personable and lovely to work with.’

Key clients

EBOS Group

REA Group

Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria)

TNS Inc

BP Australia

Deliveroo

Serco

Wesfarmers

Macquarie Capital

ENN Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for REA Group on its acquisition of Hometrack Australia Pty Limited from Hometrack Data Systems Limited.
  • Acted for EBOS Group in relation to Lyppard Australia Pty Ltd’s acquisition of certain assets from Therapon Pty. Ltd., a veterinary product wholesaler.
  • Acted for EBOS Group in relation to EBOS Group’s acquisition of the Warner and Webster group of companies, a medical and surgical supplies group, by way of acquisition of 100% of the shares in Warner and Webster Pty. Limited.
  • Acted for EBOS Group in relation to Symbion Pty Ltd’s (Symbion) acquisition of the Ventura Health group of companies, a multi-brand pharmacy management group, by way of acquisition of 100% of the shares in Ventura Health Pty Ltd.
  • Acted for Coles Group in relation to the delivery of two new ambient automated distribution centres in Sydney and Brisbane.

DLA Piper

The ‘effective and efficient’ team at DLA Piper is ‘able to balance technical requirements with practical approaches’. Its full-service offering includes international and indirect tax, transfer pricing, controversy and disputes along with international corporate reorganisations. Active on both domestic and cross-border matters, the practice is headed by the ‘experienced’ and ‘knowledgeable’ Jock McCormack whose sector specialisms include financial services, funds management, consumer and retail, property development, construction and hotels.

Practice head(s):

Jock McCormack

Other key lawyers:

James Newnham; Eddie Ahn

Testimonials

‘DLA Tax provides the customised and always latest updates in the market for our benefit. They think through our request and provide the feedback from the clients’ perspective.’

‘Eddie Ahn  is extremely helpful’.

‘Good knowledge of the subject area and prompt responses to all work requests.’

‘Jock McCormack has strong knowledge of subject areas and prompt attention to work requests.’

‘DLA Piper Australia is effective and efficient. They provide great client services and are able to balance technical requirements with practical approaches.’

Jock McCormack is an experienced tax partner with in-depth tax expertise.  He is responsive, thorough and practical in his guidance. Au Jun is an Associate – she also provides great client services and manages project to timely completion.’

 

 

Work highlights

  • Advised Allianz on a 50% investment in a new student accommodation release worth circa A$500m.
  • Advised Pengana Capital Group in connection with an IPO for a Private Equity investment trust, the structure for which was a market first for Australia.
  • Advising Palisade Investment Partners Limited on behalf of funds that it manages, on the acquisition of a significant equity stake with board representation in the HCL group which owns and operates the Hawaiki Submarine Cable – a newly constructed 15,000 km submarine fibre optic cable running between Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and mainland USA.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Keystones of Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice include the charity, financial and insurance sectors with the team handling the full suite of direct and indirect tax advice including income, GST, duty and other state taxes. Sydney-based Greg Reinhardt oversees the department with a distinct focus on managed investment funds, derivative markets, insolvency and restructuring. In Melbourne, Adam Smith is developing a reputation as a ‘leading tax advisor’ in sectors such as banking and finance, property, telecommunications, retail and technology.

Practice head(s):

Greg Reinhardt

Other key lawyers:

Adam Smith

Testimonials

‘Adam Smith is a leading tax advisor in warranty and indemnity insurance in Australia. He is commercial, astute, driven and goes above and beyond for clients’ needs.  Adam is an incredible value-add to Norton Rose Fulbright’s offering in the M&A insurance space.’

 

Key clients

AIG

The Chappell Foundation

QBE Insurance

The Bond & Credit Company

Sacred Heart Mission

Airtrunk

National Australia Bank

Work highlights

  • Assisted AIG on providing a sell-side warranty and indemnity insurance policy to Woolworths Group Ltd in connection with the sale of its petrol business to EG Group for circa A$1.7bn.
  • Restructure as a result of the growth of The Chappell Foundation, a company established to tackle youth homelessness.
  • Provided GST advice to QBE on the sale of a travel insurance business.
  • Advised Sacred Heart Mission Inc  in relation to the State of Victoria’s first social impact bond.
  • Structuring advice to Airtrink in relation to landholdings and NSW land tax.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP is well regarded for its transactional work; it advised Equinix on the tax implications arising from its acquisition of Metronode. The practice handles the full spectrum of tax-related transactions and disputes and is active on both the domestic and cross-border fronts. Headed by Ka Sen Wong  in Sydney, the team’s specialist areas include stamp duty, GST and income tax with advice provided across a range of industries including funds, property, infrastructure, financial services, banking and capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Ka Sen Wong;

Key clients

Equinix Inc

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd

ING Bank (Australia) Limited

Property Exchange Australia Limited

Port of Melbourne

OZ Minerals Ltd

China CITIC Bank

Pentair plc

EFG International

DP World PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Equinix, Inc. on the tax implications of its acquisition of Metronode.
  • Advised Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (Fortescue) on its investment in Atlas Iron Limited.
  • Provided tax advice to ING Bank (Australia) Limited in connection with the establishment of its A$7.5bn Covered Bond Programme.
  • Advised Property Exchange Australia Limited (PEXA) on tax aspects of its successful A$1.6bn dual track IPO / Trade Sale process.
  • Advised the Port of Melbourne on the tax implications of the partial refinancing of its acquisition facilities.

Gilbert + Tobin

Key clients of Gilbert + Tobin include domestic and international corporates, banks and large private equity funds. Sydney-based duo Hanh Chau and Muhunthan Kanagaratnam head the practice which has expertise in income, capital gains and goods and services tax. Specific skills include transaction-related advice, M&A structuring, tax due-diligence, management of equity plans, fund establishment and structuring, disputes and employee share schemes.

Practice head(s):

Muhunthan Kanagaratnam; Hanh Chau

Key clients

The Brick Exchange Pty Ltd

Dulux

The Stars Group Inc.

Viva Energy REIT

Investment Management Corporation of Ontario

BIS Industries Limited

Wesfarmers

Investec

Jadestone Energy Inc

Essential Media & Entertainment

Work highlights

  • Advised BrickX on the replacement of its third-party responsible entity and trustee with a licensed BrickX entity.
  • Advising Dulux on its acquisition by Nippon Paint, valued at $3.8bn.
  • Advised TSX/NASDAQ-listed The Stars Group Inc. on its acquisition of 80% of CrownBet and on CrownBet’s successful bid to acquire William Hill Australia.
  • Advised Viva Energy Group Limited on its successful IPO and listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.
  • Provided tax advice to IMCO in respect of two inbound investments into Australia.

Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox supports clients on their tax structuring, advisory, dispute management and compliance schemes. Melbourne-based Peter Murray heads the team which is home to sector expertise in the banking, funds, property, insurance, construction, health, technology, agribusiness, charity and non-for-profit sectors. Core strengths include cross-border tax issues, tax consolidation, disputes, employee share schemes, funds management, small business tax concessions and trusts along with public and private philanthropy.

Practice head(s):

Peter Murray

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Bradica; Andrew O’Bryan; Michael Parker

Testimonials

‘A team of specialists with great technical expertise. As a firm, Hall & Wilcox display great cohesion and character.’

‘They are personable, take time to get to know clients referred to them and work closely with the referring practitioner. The advice given is typically clear and reliable, this is a great help to clients when complex matters are involved.’

Key clients

Australian Unity

Bluescope

Bucher Industries AG / Bucher Municipal

Elanor investors

Findex

Focus Financial Partners

HLB Mann Judd

Insurance Australia Group

Liberty Oil

McCloy Group of Companies

Placer Property Limited (now known as KM Property Funds)

Work highlights

  • Reviewing a large number of original trust deeds on behalf of an Institutional Fund Manager and amending the deeds so that a new deed of amendment could be drafted for each fund that would facilitate each fund’s entry into the Attribution Managed Investment Trust regime.
  • Advising a client who received a default assessment in respect of income tax and whose bank accounts had been subject to a garnishee notice.
  • Conducted tax due diligence where the team acted for the purchaser, in respect of the acquisition of a global group.
  • Engaged by a global group to analyse the tax section of the vendor’s due diligence report in respect of the proposed acquisition of the target.
  • Provided tax advice to the owners of the Liberty Oil wholesale business who sold their 50% interest to their joint venture partner, Viva Energy.

Jackson McDonald

Under the leadership of Jemal Zagami, Perth-based Jackson McDonald handles all forms of taxation advice though places specific emphasis on representing Western Australian private businesses and private clients. Key expertise encompasses state taxes, native title trusts and payments, charity and not-for-profit law and disputes in addition to goods and services, capital gains, indirect and general income tax. The tax-related implications of investments, both inbound and outbound, is also a core focus.

Practice head(s):

Jemal Zagami

Testimonials

‘Thorough understanding of the Australian native title system as it relates to benefits management structures. Adam Levin is renowned for his expertise in Indigenous Benefits Management Structures.’

Key clients

Mineral Resources Limited (MRL)

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (FMG)

National Lifestyle Villages Ltd

Benara Nurseries

Westpac Bank

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd

Stockland WA Development Pty Ltd

Linfox Property Limited

K&L Gates

K&L Gates represents corporates, trusts, multinationals, accountants, private and public capital firms, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The ‘invaluable’ Betsy-Ann Howe  operates from Sydney and heads the department which is ‘very good on local, as well as international tax issues’, particularly those involving the United States. Corporate tax is a further strength, as is cross-border asset financing and investment from both an inbound and outbound perspective. Disputes pertaining to goods, services, state and local taxes are also an area where the group excels.

Practice head(s):

Betsy-Ann Howe

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cridland

Testimonials

‘Very good on local, as well international and cross border, tax issues.  Excellent for international groups establishing and operating businesses in Australia.’

‘Betsy-Anne Howe is your go-to tax adviser on any complicated or novel tax issue.  Her knowledge of the tax legislation is second to none, and her ability to provide tax advice in a commercial context is invaluable.’

‘A partner’s ability to advise on a broad range of taxes on a transaction, not just one type.’

‘Willing to invest time (ie not charge for having a chat about an issue) in the knowledge that if subsequent advice is needed, they will get the work. At the forefront of the technical issues as demonstrated by active participation at industry discussion groups / contributions to AFR.’

Key clients

Sydney Fish Markets

International Farming Corporation

Americold

RATCH

DRA Global

Bluestone Capital

Rox Resources

Enerfin

13.9 Barton

Karoon Gas

Work highlights

  • Structuring of an investment by a US fund manager into a number of Australian farming properties.
  • Engaged to provide tax and fund formation advice in relation to Americold’s Australian operations, and specifically, in relation to the establishment of a managed investment trust structure which was to acquire interests in certain underlying Australian real estate assets on which cold storage facilities were to be constructed.
  • Advising DRA Global on a number of tax matters arising from the acquisition of Minnovo Global – an engineering services provider based in Perth that is noted for mineral project collaborations with a series of high-profile mining companies.
  • Advising on alternative structures for a Spanish energy company investment via a joint venture with a local company, into Australian wind farm assets.
  • Conducting tax due diligence for Karoon Gas, in concert with the corporate team’s due diligence procedures, for the proposed acquisition of shares in an offshore company with Brazilian oil assets.

McCullough Robertson

The ‘proactive and commercial’ team at McCullough Robertson is recommended for its work on tax audits and related settlement negotiations in addition to mergers and acquisitions, restructures and debt and equity fundraisings. Disputes specialist David Hughes is a new arrival from Small Myers Hughes and heads the practice following the departure of Hayden Bentley to Deloitte. Industry expertise encompasses the resources, property and retirement village and private client sectors.

Practice head(s):

David Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Damien Clarke; Duncan Bedford;Melinda Peters

Testimonials

‘Good understanding of our business needs and timely advice’.

‘Melinda Peters is able to pick up on issues and get a good outcome’.

‘Proactive and Commercial’.

‘Duncan Bedford (Partner) provided through and commercial advice which was contextualised to our business needs, challenging where appropriate.  Duncan provides a great service and his a availability and responsiveness was strong.’

Key clients

DoseMe Holdings Pty Ltd

Toowoomba Premium Milk Pty Ltd

Hoyts Group

Work highlights

  • Advised DoseMe and its Australian shareholders with respect to the negotiation and sale of shares to Tabula Rasa Health Care.
  • Developed the investment mechanism for Toowoomba Premium Milk Pty Ltd to manage revenue issues, such as stamp duty, income tax, capital gains tax and GST.
  • Attended to the duty aspects of Hoyts Group corporate restructure and successfully obtained exemptions in all relevant jurisdictions.