Tax in Australia

Allens

Allens routinely acts as lead tax adviser on the largest deals on the market for high-profile multinationals operating in Australia. Equally impressive is the department's handling of complex, high-profile and financially significant tax litigation, including a number of ongoing transfer pricing disputes related to financing transactions and commodity sales. Martin Fry and Toby Knight, both based in Melbourne, head up the team. Fry combines specialisms in corporate and international tax in the resources, banking and infrastructure sectors with standout expertise in the mining and oil and gas sectors; Knight regularly handles the largest tax disputes in Australia and is a leading adviser on complex transfer pricing issues. Other notable team members include Sydney-based Craig Milner, whose practice often involves transactional and project work in the funds, real estate, finance and energy sectors; and junior partner Joseph Power, an expert on income tax and stamp duty matters.

Practice head(s):

Martin Fry; Toby Knight

Testimonials

High quality, experienced tax partners who take a commercial proactive approach to problem solving.’

Small Tax team but leaders in Tax. Excellent understanding of the oil and gas industry and of the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. Very experienced with revenue disputes and supplement their Tax specialist partners with Litigation partners to provide more cost effective dispute management. Very experienced with Transfer Pricing disputes.

Martin Fry is a leader in the corporate tax advisory space and provides clear, commercial, targeted advice. He works efficiently with his colleagues and provides excellent value for money. He has strong industry knowledge and has developed an outstanding reputation.’

Martin Fry (Partner – Tax)is a balanced advisor with deep understanding of revenue law and the practical application to transactions. Toby Knight (Partner – Tax) also has a deep understanding of revenue law and can be relied upon for balanced advise. He also brings to the table a deep understanding of administrative law. Tony Kuhn (Partner – Litigation)is very experienced in managing fact heavy tax disputes. Anfeng He (Senior Associate – Tax)is an up and coming star in the Tax industry.

Key clients

ANZ

Unibail-Rodamco

Westpac Banking Corporation

Northwest Rapid Transit (NRT) (Plenary Group, MTR Corporation, John Holland, CPB Contractors)

Goldman Sachs

News Limited

REST Superannuation

Mirvac

HESTA Superannuation

Evolve Housing

ExxonMobil Australia Pty Ltd

Total S.A

UBS

Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills and Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills is a leading force in Australian tax law, with the two parts of the joint enterprise fielding highly experienced teams in tax advisory work, and tax investigations and disputes respectively. This full-service offering attracts the highest calibre of clients, who often entrust to the firm everything from day-to-day advice, including handling compliance issues, right up to the most complex and highest value transactions and disputes. The team is jointly headed by the Greenwoods managing partner Manuel Makas, the HSF head of tax disputes Hugh Paynter, and stamp duty specialist Jinny Chaimungkalanont. Other key names include head of corporate and M&A at Greenwoods Richard Hendriks and Perth-based Nick Heggart, whose expertise lies in the energy and resources sector. 

Key clients

Alinta Energy

CBA

Compass

Dexus

Lendlease

Origin Energy

Oxford Properties

Scape

Wesfarmers

Westfield Corporation

Work highlights

  • Greenwoods acted as taxation adviser to Scape Australia on the creation of the AUD$4bn Scape Core Fund (SCF) including the acquisition of its seed investments being AUD$2.1bn Urbanest portfolio and the AUD$700m Atira portfolio. Scape’s AUD$2.1bn acquisition of Urbanest was the largest single property transaction of the year and the creation of the Scape Core Fund (SCF) brought Australia’s first wholesale, open-ended core real estate fund specific to student accommodation.
  • Greenwoods are acting for TPG Telecom in relation to the proposed $15bn merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited (VHA) under a Scheme of Arrangement (Scheme) under the Corporations Act. Prior to the merger, TPG Telecom intends to demerge a subsidiary which will hold its Singapore operations, via an in specie distribution of the shares in the subsidiary to TPG Telecom shareholders.
  • HSF advised CBA, Australia’s largest bank, on its disputes with Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over the eligibility of CBA’s extensive software development programmes for the Commonwealth’s R&D Tax Incentive.

King & Wood Mallesons

With a top-tier capability in the full range of tax law and advice, King & Wood Mallesons is distinguished by its market-leading clients. The practice retains an especially strong client base in the telecommunications, energy and resources, real estate and infrastructure, financial services and health services sectors. Other areas of strength include advising private equity clients on acquisitions and restructures, handling tax aspects of capital markets transactions, and defending tax disputes. Justin Cherrington is global coordinator for the tax practice, operating out of Hong Kong while retaining an Australian practice, while Darren McClafferty heads up the national tax practice and Matthew Swinn is managing partner of dispute resolution and tax. Key names in the team include Michael Clough, Michael Perez, and the Sydney-based Richard Snowden, who leads the firm's Australian Federal Budget reporting. Senior associate Greg Protektor is a junior lawyer to watch. All named lawyers are Melbourne-based unless otherwise mentioned.

Testimonials

‘Their knowledge/expertise, technical skills, deep experience, commercial acumen, extremely hard-working, personable, and on time all the time, relatability to all stakeholders, respect and contacts/networks.’

 

Key clients

Telstra Corporation Limited

National Australia bank

Google Inc.

Glencore

BHP Billiton

Crown Resorts Ltd.

Chevron

Rio Tinto

Goldman Sachs

Vanguard

Work highlights

  • Acting for Google Inc. in settling their well-publicised dispute with the ATO in relation to the amount of Australian tax which should be payable on the billions of dollars earned annually from Australian based customers.
  • Advising their billion-dollar private equity investment arm, and the proposed sale of their Wealth business.
  • Acting on the establishment and part sale of an unlisted property trust that owns 37 of Telstra’s existing exchange properties.

Minter Ellison

With a sizeable team operating across Australia, Minter Ellison handles the full range of work in tax, including complex international tax issues, transfer pricing, capital gains tax, stamp duty and GST. The practice notably acts both for and against the ATO on disputes. Adrian Varrasso leads the practice from Melbourne and acts as head of corporate tax. His expertise is regularly called on for major transactions by a wide client base of domestic and international companies. The Melbourne-based Carmen McElwain is the firm's head of tax controversy, and maintains a longstanding relationship with the ATO. Sydney-based Indirect tax practice head Rhys Guild has recently been active on high-profile GST matters across the public and private sectors, with a recognised specialism in the social housing industry. On the junior end of the team, Brisbane-based special counsel Craig Bowie maintains a strong client base in the infrastructure, energy and resources and financial services industries.

Testimonials

‘Strong stamp duty team with more depth in that field than competitors.’

‘Practical, with relevant industry and regulatory experience and responsive.’

 

Key clients

Albemarle

Australian Commissioner of Taxation, ATO – Resource Capital Fund No IV & V v Commissioner of Taxation (2015-2019)

NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC)

Investec Group

Klarna Bank

Arrow Pharmaceuticals

Crown Melbourne Limited

John Holland

Salter Brothers

Australian Commissioner of Taxation, ATO – Burton v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCAFC 141

Work highlights

  • Acting for the NYSE-listed Albemarle Corporation on its US$1.3 billion acquisition of a 60% interest in Mineral Resource Limited’s Wodgina Lithium Project in Western Australia, sale of a 40% interest in part of the Kemerton lithium hydroxide facility and formation of the MARBL Lithium joint venture with Mineral Resources.
  • Acting for the Commissioner of Taxation in this landmark case – Resource Capital Fund No IV & V v Commissioner of Taxation (2015-2019) – that has generated debate about the application of Australia’s income tax law to corporate limited partnerships, particularly private equity and venture capital funds.
  • Acting as the GST adviser for two major development sites in Sydney, including Telopea and Arncliffe, which is part of LAHC’s AUD$2.2 billion redevelopment of Ivanhoe Estate.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler retains its excellent reputation as a tax adviser to major corporates and high-net-worth individuals across the full range of tax work. Expert at dealing with the ATO, the practice regularly assists on high-profile tax audits and disputes, and is also known for its commercial tax advice on complex transactions, including M&A and restructuring transactions, and inbound and outbound investment. It has a strong profile nationally acting for high-wealth families and their businesses, major Australian and international corporations, top senior executives and not-for-profit organisations. Senior partner Mark Leibler heads up the practice and Paul Sokolowski leads the national taxation practice. Other key team members include Joey Borensztajn, an expert in private client work; Clint Harding, whose practice focuses on corporate and international tax law; and Jonathan Ortner, a specialist in the taxation of trusts and corporate income tax.

Practice head(s):

Mark Leibler; Paul Sokolowski

Testimonials

‘The tax practice of Arnold Bloch Leibler has had outstanding leadership for decades. It continues to be lead by outstanding tax practitioners.’

‘The individuals with whom I have worked are dedicated, knowledgeable, and diligent. They are keenly aware of their responsibilities and the need to maintain up to date technical competency. The team includes an outstanding group at every level of seniority including, for example, Mark Leibler AC, Paul Sokolowski, and Mark Macrae.’

The Partners’ commerciality combined with their technical knowledge makes them unique in tax problem-solving. They also are highly experienced in dealing with the ATO. They are well respected by the ATO which results in a much higher chance of a satisfactory outcome with the ATO.’

‘The Partners are more commercial and seem to be more respected by the ATO than other firms. There is more Partner involvement than other firms.’

‘Peter Scott is excellent, very knowledgeable about his sector.’

‘Team has exposure and relationships to various levels within ATO. Very practical rather than theoretical.’

‘Principals have an excellent relationship with ATO. Can have off-record conversations to understand how they are thinking.’

Key clients

MYOB

Assetic founders

Spotlight Group

Charter Hall

Fortius Debt Capital

Qualitas

AsheMorgan

Starwood Capital Partners

Tokio Marine HCC

Work highlights

  • Advising MYOB on KKR’s takeover of MYOB.
  • Acting for the founders of Assetic in relation to the sale of Assetic to Dude Solutions, a US company backed by private equity.
  • Acting for Spotlight Group on its acquisition of department store Harris Scarfe, which entered into voluntary administration and then receivership in December 2019.

Ashurst

Ashurst provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of tax law, including in the context of major transactions, tax litigation, general advisory work through to specialist advice on major construction projects. Although the practice generates work from a wide range of industries, the real estate, transport and infrastructure, energy, banking and finance and funds sectors are areas of strength. Key clients include the big four Australian banks, major investment banks, corporations and government entities. The practice is also known for its tax dispute capabilities. Vivian Chang, an expert on Australian and international tax aspects of corporate and financial services transactions, heads up the APAC tax practice from Sydney. Other key names include indirect tax specialist Barbara Phair in Sydney and the Melbourne-based Ian Kellock, who has recenlty been involved in a major M&A transactions in the resources, financial services and manufacturing industries. A junior partner to note is corporate tax specialist Sanjay Wavde in Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Vivian Chang

Testimonials

‘The Ashurst tax team is a stand out in the tax market, for transactional/advisory work and increasingly for disputes.’

‘Vivian Chang is very able technically and has real commercial savvy.’

‘Sanjay Wavde is careful and considered, and very knowledgeable.’

‘Barbara Pair is a market leader in GST.’

‘Deep tax expertise and expert understanding of industry issues and tax risk management and management of the ATO.’

‘Ian Kellock and Geoff Mann are leading tax experts in Australia and we can move forward with confidence in complex transactions with their advice as we know their tax advice is sound and defendable against the ATO. WE have also been well supported by Bronwyn Kirkwood, Senior Associate at Ashurst. She is responsive to questions and is considered a tax expert in her own right.’

Key clients

AMP Capital

ANZ Group Limited

Assembly Funds Management

Australian Unity Office Fund

The Bell Group (in Liq)

Brookfield Property Group

Downer EDI

Fletcher Building Limited

Macquarie Group

Mirvac Limited

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT

Oxford Properties Limited

PIMCO Australia Management Limited

Riversdale Resources Limited

Sydney Metro

Uber

Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Woolworths Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Oxford Properties Group on Direct and Indirect tax matters in relation to the acquisition of 100% of the units in Investa Office Fund by trust scheme for a deal size of A$3.35bn.
  • Representing Woolworths Group Limited, the owner and operator of Endeavour Drinks and the 75% majority shareholder of ALH Group, on the restructure and merger of those businesses into the combined Endeavour Group – creating Australia’s largest integrated drinks and hospitality business.
  • Advising NorthWest, a listed REIT on the Toronto Stock Exchange, on its acquisition of a 13.3% interest in ASX-listed Healthscope Limited via a derivative forward contract with Deutsche Bank in a deal worth approximately A$4.4 bn.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie's Sydney-based Australian tax department is integrated into the firm's wider international network, making it well placed to handle multi-jurisdictional matters. It is known in particular for its indirect tax practice, and offers specialist advice on areas including tax planning, income tax, MAAL, diverted profits tax and transfer pricing. Other areas of strength include fund structuring, infrastructure projects (with an emphasis on renewable energy) and the property sector. The technology and health tech industries are also major sources of work; the team regularly advises major multinational clients in this space on all aspects of tax structuring and on the defence of large-scale tax audits. John Walker heads up the team, with support from highly-regarded stamp duty and GST specialist Amrit MacIntyre. Other key lawyers include Miles Hurst, a respected adviser to foreign funds, and Simone Bridges, who is active in the development of tax policy.

Practice head(s):

John Walker

Testimonials

‘Very accessible and responsive, and practical advice.’

‘Amrit MacIntyre is great to deal with. He complements his deep knowledge of stamp duty law with a practical understanding of its application.’

 

Key clients

Active clients (over the last 12 months)

Resmed Priess GmbH Co Kg

Manildra Flour Mills Pty Ltd

Aurrum Holdings Pty Limited

Ontario Teachers Pension Plan OTPP

Morrison & Co

I Prosperity Hotel Fund Services Pty Ltd

Softbank Group Corp

YTL Corporation Berhad

SK Group

Simon and Kristina Oxenham

TCF National Bank

Elanor Funds Management Limited

Siemens AG

Varde Partners

RATCH-Australia Corporation

Prosegur

Aldi

GPT

Work highlights

  • Acted for Home Consortium on its highly successful AUD 325 million IPO.
  • Acted as lead tax counsel for Morrison & Co on their acquisition (on behalf of consortium investors) of Australia’s largest water utility service provider, Flow Systems.
  • Acted as sole indirect tax advisor to Elanor Commercial Property Fund, advising on all stamp duty aspects relating to the successful listing on the ASX of Elanor Commercial Property Fund I and Elanor Commercial Property Fund II.

Clayton Utz

The tax practice group at Clayton Utz regularly advises on large, complex and sensitive disputes, transactions and projects for prominent corporate clients, particularly in the financial services sector and private equity space. The scope of work spans international tax, tax disputes through to indirect and petroleum taxation. Andrew Sommer leads the practice from Sydney, and is a recognised expert in GST, especially for major projects and transactions. Other key practitioners include Philip Bisset, a specialist adviser to the energy and resources sector who splits his time between Brisbane and Perth, and the Sydney-based Peter Feros, who focuses on front-end strategic and income tax advice, especially in the context of M&A and fund structuring. In team news, stamp duty specialist Keshni Maharaj was promoted to partner in Sydney in January 2020, and Brendon Lamers joined the Brisbane team from KPMG in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Sommer

Key clients

Western Sydney University

ConocoPhilips

Salmat

BGH Capital

Charter Hall Group

Chevron

Barrick Gold

Saputo

Pacific Equity Partners

IPI Partners

Malakoff International Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for WSU in negotiating the Project Delivery Agreement between WSU and Mirvac for the redevelopment of WSU’s Bankstown campus at Milperra, NSW.
  • Acting as part of a team that advised NYSE listed ConocoPhillips on its arrangements with Santos Limited to acquire ConocoPhillips’ Australia West and East Timorese assets valued at $2.2 billion.
  • Advising ASX-listed Salmat Limited on the sale of its MicroSourcing business (to Five V Capital) and its catalogue distribution business (to IVE Group Limited).

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery stands out for its impressive client base of major Australian and multinational corporate groups, and in particular for its expertise in handling tax aspects of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. The practice is known for its capabilities across the spectrum of tax law, including international tax, income tax and capital gains tax, GST, payroll tax and stamp duty. Equally notable is the department's end-to-end experience in tax disputes. Practice head Stewart Grieve in Melbourne has a specialist focus on tax audits and disputes. Other key team members include the Sydney-based Prashanth Kainthaje, an expert in international tax (inbound and outbound) and private equity, and the veteran practitioner Richard Gelski.  In major team news, former practice head Reynah Tang departed for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in June 2019 and Kathryn Bertram promoted to partner in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Stewart Grieve

Testimonials

‘JWS provides high quality services, particularly since the firm has a low partner to staff ratio. JWS has a particular strength in cross-border tax advice.’

‘Prashanth Kainthaje is in my view one of Australia’s leading cross-border tax practitioners.’

‘Whilst JWS is viewed as a boutique legal practice they are very client-focused and have commercially driven lawyers who have our interests at heart.’

‘JWS provides a dedicated team and a personalized service in addressing our tax controversy and transfer pricing issues with the ATO. The JWS team provides a better fact based approach to addressing tax issues rather than a more confrontational approach taken by members of the Big 4.’

‘Richard Gelski provides an on call sounding board for both my local Tax team and the needs of our Globally based Tax Planning team. Richard provides a better mix of sound commercial and practical advice, rather than the theoretical and non-committing advice from members of the Big 4.’

Key clients

Microsoft Corporation

Ab InBev / SABMiller / Carlton United Breweries

McDonald’s Australia Limited

South Australian Government (Crown Solicitor’s Office)

Coulson Aircrane Limited

Blackmores Limited

Cooper Energy Limited

Battery Ventures

Quanta Services

Institutional Venture Management XVI (IVP) and OpenView

Strike Energy

Real Energy

Work highlights

  • Leading on the entry into Advance Pricing Agreements for all business units of Johnson & Johnson operating in Australia.
  • Advising Gazal Corporation on the tax implications of its proposed scheme of arrangement with PVH Corp.
  • Assisting Cartula International Pty Ltd, an Australian “med—tech” company, in establishing an incorporated limited liability partnership in India for the purpose of carrying out business in India and advised on the Australian income tax consequences of the proposed investment.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The tax practice at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, headed up by Rhys Jewell, continues its trajectory of growth with the lateral hires of veteran tax expert Cameron Rider from Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills in August 2019 and stamp duty and GST specialist Jennee Chan from Allens in June 2020. Another key team development was the internal promotion of Sydney-based M&A specialist Simon Mifsud to partner in July 2020. The department is well known for its expertise in advising private equity firms, as well as clients in the real estate sector, especially in the social and affordable housing space. All lawyers are Melbourne-based unless otherwise mentioned.

Practice head(s):

Rhys Jewell

Testimonials

‘Corrs are an excellent outfit and our go-to counsel for M&A and tax advisory matters in Australia. The team never misses a deadline, which is particularly important given the difference in timezones, and provides clear, concise advice. Corrs’ ability to turn around complex tax advice in a compressed deadline is particularly impressive.’

‘Simon Mifsud is exactly what we look for in a tax adviser and has deservedly been made a partner. He is one of our favourite tax counsel globally. I have absolute faith in his advice, he is exceptionally reliable, always available, and very good at picking out the salient tax points whilst bearing in mind our wider commercial considerations.’

‘The tax group is focused on providing realistic advice in the context of the commercial realities facing the client. As such, where necessary, it either initiates the engagement of other commercial specialists or integrates its advice into the overall commercial resolution of the issue.’

Key clients

Wesfarmers Limited (ASX: WES)

REA Group (ASX:REA)

Accenture (NYSE: ACN)

Macquarie Capital

BP Australia (client for over 20 years)

Deliveroo

Serco

TNS, Inc

Southern Cross Austereo (ASX: SXL)

ENN Group

Silverlake Partners LLC

CCMP Capital Advisors, LP (CCMP)

EBOS Group (ASX:EBO; NZE:EBO)

Greenstone Resources

Latham Pool Products, Inc.

PayPal Giving Fund

Federation Asset Management Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for CCMP on the Australian tax aspects of its US$1 billion acquisition of BGIS, a leading integrated facilities management and real estate services company.
  • Advising Wesfarmers Limited on stamp duty aspects of its AUD230 million acquisition of online retailer Catch Group Holdings Limited.
  • Advising Silver Lake Partners on all the Australian tax aspects of their AUD1.3 billion acquisition of TEG from Affinity Equity Partners.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a standout reputation for providing tax advice to all of the major W&I insurers in Australia, both for underwriting and dispute resolution. Often in collaboration with partners in international offices of the firm, the team also advises on cross-border tax-related issues across the Asia-Pacific region. In a significant bolstering of the practice's strength in the cross-border space, tax controversy specialist Paul McNab joined from PwC in May 2020, bringing US clients and strong work in the TMT sector. Practice head Jock McCormack operates out of Sydney, and the name to note in Melbourne is James Newnham.

Practice head(s):

Jock McCormack

Other key lawyers:

James Newnham; Paul McNab

Testimonials

Very responsive. Pleasant to work with. Strong in explaining complex issues comprehensively and strong international tax presence.’

Key clients

Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Credible Labs

Jindal Steel and Power

Pengana Capital Group

Equillium Inc

Namoi Cotton Limited

Midnight Integrated Financial Inc

Fortive Corporation

Investa Commercial Property Fund

Dropbox

Gilbert + Tobin

Gilbert + Tobin is best known for its regular involvement in some of the largest corporate M&A transactions in the Australian market. The tax team has recently grown, with hires including retired KPMG and Deloitte partner and M&A tax specialist Mark Goldsmith in August 2019, followed by Julian Cheng to the Melbourne office from accounting firm Pitcher Partners in May 2020. Muhunthan Kanagaratnam heads up the practice from Sydney, with support from indirect tax specialist Hanh Chau.

Practice head(s):

Muhunthan Kanagaratnam

Other key lawyers:

Hanh Chau; Julian Cheng; Mark Goldsmith

Testimonials

‘The quality of lawyers who represent me makes this practice unique because I feel confident they have the ability to get me the best result possible from my dispute, which is incomparable to the last law firm I used. Compared to other firms my teams’ strengths are their communication skills, knowledge, and prompt responses. To me, they appear to work very well as a team and know who should be doing what and when.’

‘Muhunthan Kanatgaratnam’s communication skills are stand out and he is different from other lawyers because when he sends me correspondence he has received he will summarise in clear language and highlights the important points. Often he will interpret an underlining meaning. He seems to be able to anticipate my questions in advance.’

‘Crispian Lynch is most definitely the man I want in a meeting with other lawyers. His stand out ability is firstly, to totally comprehend what is being said, even when incoherently delivered, and secondly, is his ability to respond instantly and articulately. It is a pleasure to watch Crispian inconspicuously dominate a meeting.’

‘Harish Ekambareshwar is very polite and seems to be enthusiastic and efficient with his work.’

Key clients

Adani Mining

Anheuser-Busch InBev

Asahi Beverages

Australian Executor Trustees

BlueScope

Boardriders

Crescent Capital Partners

CVC Capital Partners

DuluxGroup

Ernst & Young

Ferrovial

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

P10 Holdings

QuadPay

Rockend

Telstra

Tellus Holdings

TH Properties

The Stars Group

Tilt Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advising ABI on its $16 billion sale of Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi Beverages, the largest M&A transaction in Australia.
  • Advising Dulux on its agreed $3.8 billion (equity value) takeover by Nippon Paint by scheme of arrangement – the largest trade/strategic takeover in Australia.
  • Advising The Stars Group on its $6 billion acquisition by Flutter Entertainment to create the world’s biggest online gaming group.

Allen & Overy LLP

The tax team at Allen & Overy LLP is integrated into the firm's global tax practice, making it ideally placed to handle complex cross-border work involving European, English and US tax law. The Sydney-based Ka Sen Wong heads up the practice and is an expert in advising across sectors including funds, property, infrastructure, private and public M&A, financial services, banking, and capital markets.

Practice head(s):

Ka Sen Wong

Testimonials

‘Very commercial practitioners. Technically proficient.’

‘Very personable and down to earth. No waffle.’

‘Ka Sen Wong’s extensive tax knowledge and experience, timely response, and down-to-earth personality make him the best Tax partner I ever dealt with in my 13-year tax career. He is brilliant in finding a practical solution to tax-related issues. He has supported our company to manage potential tax risks.’

 

Key clients

Equinix Australia Pty Ltd

A.P. Moller – Maersk

Saudi Arabian Oil Company

OZ Minerals

Macquarie Bank

ING Bank

National Australia Bank Limited

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Bank of Queensland

Fortescue Metals Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Equinix on the tax and duty implications of acquiring a site for development into a hyperscale data centre.
  • Providing tax advice to Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in connection with the extension of its C$30 billion Covered Bond Programme into Australia.
  • Advising EG Group on its tax consolidation arrangements in connection with its A$1.725bn acquisition of the Woolworths Petrol Business from Woolworths Group Limited.

Hall & Wilcox

Hall & Wilcox offers advice across the full spectrum of tax regimes, with capabilities handling tax disputes, M&A transactions and general advice on compliance. The team has particular expertise in a number of sectors, including banking, construction, health, manufacturing and agribusiness. Melbourne-based team head Peter Murray specialises in corporate tax issues involving listed and unlisted corporate groups and high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Peter Murray

Testimonials

‘Long term knowledge of and partner with our business. Good relationship with and stability of staff.’

‘Also they look for and raise opportunities for our business which we may not have otherwise seen. Ability to quickly answer specific questions regarding our tax situation and opportunities.’

‘The team has demonstrated prompt response and provided good quality legal advice in dealing with the tax matters.’

‘They have shown in-depth knowledge on the subject matter and exceptionally good advice and recommended solutions to handle the subject matters.’

 

Key clients

McCloy Group

Global financial services trading service

Bucher Municipal Pty Ltd

AirAsia X Services Pty Ltd

Professional personal financial services advisor

Private shareholders

Australian Unity

Work highlights

  • Advised on the design and implementation of a complex corporate restructure, and consolidation of this large, privately-owned, property development group.
  • Advised Australian Unity on the income tax, GST and duty aspects of the establishment of one of Australia’s first funds investing in specialist disability accommodation under Australia’s NDIS scheme.
  • Provided specialist tax advice to the plaintiffs in a $200 million estate dispute, involving arguments around equitable remedies. We continue to provide additional ‘downstream’ tax advice and support with respect to the dispute.

Jackson McDonald

A key player in the tax law market in Western Australia, Jackson McDonald has particular emphasis on serving private businesses and private clients. It is known especially for its expertise in WA state taxes, native title trusts and payments, and charity and not-for-profit tax law. Tax litigation is another area of strength; the team often acts for or against the ATO on disputes. Jemal Zagami heads up the team from Perth.

Practice head(s):

Jemal Zagami

Other key lawyers:

David Murphy

Key clients

Mineral Resources Limited

Foundation Housing Limited

K&L Gates

K&L Gates has a strong profile nationally acting for US clients and advising on inbound and outbound investment. The tax team advises on all aspects of corporate and international tax, with particular expertise in cross-border aircraft finance. Betsy-Ann Howe heads up the practice and is co-global head of the firm's tax practice, and Matthew Cridland is a key name in indirect taxes, including for GST, stamp duty, payroll tax, land tax, luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax.

Practice head(s):

Betsy-Ann Howe

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cridland

Testimonials

‘Tax legislation is voluminous, complicated, and often opaque. In spite of this, they always provide advice which is commercial and clearly explained.’

‘Betsy-Anne is skilled in taking unintelligible tax legislation and delivering clearly understood advice and positive commercial solutions. Betsy-Anne is always conscious of providing her advice in a cost-effective manner.’

‘K&L Gates has particular strength in the indirect tax practice, led by Matthew Cridland who is a renowned expert in GST and stamp duty. He has been able to find a solution to complex problems, where other advisers have not.’

‘Matthew Cridland is renowned as an indirect tax expert, who writes regularly for the Australian Financial Review, and has provided excellent and timely advice to our organisation for many years.’

 

Key clients

Alpha Investment Advisers/Keppel Capital

Benchwalk Advisers LLC

Emeco Pty Ltd

Employees Retirement System of Texas

Engage Marine Pty Ltd

Evoqua Water Technologies LLC

King River Capital Pty Ltd

Pioneer Credit Limited

Shalom LLC

Wingate Group Holdings Pty Ltd

13.9 Barton Pty Ltd and Barton Nine Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • K&L Gates advised Evoqua Water Technologies on an agreement to divest its Memcor® membrane product line to DuPont Safety & Construction
  • K&L Gates advised Pioneer Credit, a Perth-based debt collection agency, in relation to its AUD120 million acquisition by the Carlye Group, a US Private Equity Firm in which our tax team advised on the tax implications of a cash and scrip takeover of an Australian listed company by a foreign acquirer.
  • K&L Gates has acted for Texas ERS on a number of its investments in Australia, and has also assisted with confirming its status for Australian tax purposes (including in relation to the sovereign immunity legislation and also the specific exemptions for foreign superannuation funds).

McCullough Robertson

The Brisbane-based tax practice at McCullough Robertson acts for clients ranging from listed company groups through to high-net-worth individuals, accountants and financial planners. The team is also experienced at handling contentious tax cases before state and federal courts. Practice head David Hughes has a particular focus on resolving disputes with the Australian Tax Office.

Practice head(s):

David Hughes

Testimonials

‘Always available to provide knowledgeable and commercial advice and provide cross-links to colleagues in associated areas of the law, related to the subject work.’

‘Duncan Bedford understands our business and seeks to understand the bigger picture of the live subject activity, even beyond his subject area. He is always available, responds promptly, even sometimes out of hours. He has a proactive desire to help resolve/clarify the matter in hand in a commercial way and to provide sensible options to move forward with.’

‘Good in-depth understanding of commercial drivers and can-do attitude.’

Key clients

N/A: all of our clients are confidential

Work highlights

  • Assisting a leading private property solution provider with industry experience across the retail, commercial, industrial and residential sectors with all tax, duty, commercial, financing and implementation aspects of a restructure.
  • Advising an Australian mining company on its internal restructure to consolidate recently acquired assets, including assisting with the design and implementation of the restructure, and the application for ruling from the NSW Office of State Revenue in relation to the availability of corporate reconstruction relief and change of trustee concession in section 54(3) of the Duties Act (NSW) in the appointment of a new manager to the joint venture projects.
  • Advising an Australian Financial Services Licensed investment manager on the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) obligations of various entities (this included a review of the nature of each entities business to determine whether there were any reporting obligations under CRS and FATCA, together with key recommendations on managing any identified compliance obligations going forward).

Mills Oakley

Mills Oakley’s tax practice is headed by Andrew Spalding, a specialist in GST and contentious and litigious stamp duty matters; his team also includes Marina Raulings, a fellow indirect tax specialist, who provides the team with land and payroll tax expertise. The group holds distinguished expertise in the insurance and digital assets spaces and demonstrates an extensive record of acting for high-net-worth individuals and private family groups in structuring and asset protection affairs.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Spalding

Key clients

Vocus Group Limited

Tokio Marine HCC

Quartile One

Mulpha

Equis Pte Ltd

GPT

Charter Hall

Work highlights

  • Lead advisors to Vocus in relation to the identification and classification (for income tax purposes) of intangible assets acquired as part of its $3.75bn merger with the M2 Group in February 2016.
  • Advised Tokio Marine HCC in relation to warranty and indemnity insurance policies on a number of M&A transactions over the last 12 months. The team reviewed the tax due diligence performed by the parties to the transactions and the tax provisions, including the tax indemnity and tax warranties, in the sale agreements.
  • Acted for software and data company Quartile One in the 2019 sale of its 70-person global asset management business to global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is known for its specialist support on M&A transactions, in addition to covering the spectrum of direct and indirect tax and revenue advice. Sydney-based team head Greg Reinhardt is highly reputed as a leading tax adviser to clients in the not-for-profit sector. In significant team news, Adam Smith was promoted to partner in Melbourne in July 2019. His area of specialism is in M&A and W&I insurance deals, especially for private equity clients; this is another area of work that the team continues to develop.

Practice head(s):

Greg Reinhardt

Other key lawyers:

Adam Smith

Testimonials

‘The NRF Tax team is extremely experienced with advising on Tax related matters in insuring mergers and acquisitions (i.e. Warranty and Indemnity Insurance). They display very strong technical skills, as well as appreciating the commercial overlay of our product. Their advice is timely, consistent, and dependable.’

‘Adam Smith is a technically strong, dependable and trustworthy adviser.’

‘The Norton Rose Fulbright tax practice in Australia is well-rounded, commercial and always delivers.’

‘Adam Smith is an exceptional tax advisor in Australian legal practice. He is not only highly technical and experienced in many areas of tax law (both direct and indirect), Adam is also commercial, thorough and responsive. You can always count on Adam to help you finalise the tax aspects of your deal or your tax advice, which is why he is highly well-regarded in our industry.’

‘Responsive and understand our business. Do not undertake unnecessary work.’

‘Right mix of technical and commercial advice.’

‘In addition to offering a full range of deal tax services, Norton Rose Fulbright is a market leading Tax Warranty & Indemnity practice which in turn informs their transactional practice. They also partner comprehensively with their litigation lawyers for dispute work.’

‘Adam Smith is a standout deal tax and TWI practitioner and partners with their litigation team effectively and comprehensively to deliver litigation (including strategic litigation).’

‘Ben Davis is a skilled and experienced litigator and is capable of partnering with the tax team on revenue tax litigation.’

Key clients

NSW Rural Fire Service

The Chappell Foundation

Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW

J2SI VIC SIB Limited (Sacred Heart Mission)

Work highlights

  • Advising the NSW Rural Fire Service on the drafting rules for establishment and operation of the NSW RFS Bushfire Disaster Relief Fund.
  • Advising Sacred Heart on its loan and guarantee model used to fund its Social Inclusion Program.
  • Assisting IPART with taxation advice on various operator groups that own and manage cemeteries.