Tax: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Housing a widely respected tax practice in Greater China for over 25 years, Baker McKenzie FenXun fields a sizeable team of tax lawyers (and other professionals) who are based in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Representative work includes advising multinational companies on tax planning for M&A, the establishment of new business presences, supply chain structuring and management, and tax-efficient financing, along with tax compliance, tax audits and other tax controversies. Clients further benefit from the team’s extensive expertise in direct tax, transfer pricing, indirect taxes, customs and personal tax. In Shanghai, China tax practice head Brendan Kelly advises on the tax implications of investments in China; and Nancy Lai‘s practice involves tax services for international and domestic companies. Further support in mainland China is provided on the FenXun Partners side to the joint operation by Beijing-based senior tax consulting directors Jason Wen and Abe Zhao, senior tax counsel Jinghua Liu, and Shanghai’s experienced counsel Luis Zhang. In Hong Kong, Amy Ling is also a key PRC tax expert.

Practice head(s):

Brendan Kelly

Testimonials

Members of the team have longstanding experience with the taxing authorities and understand Western business, enabling them to bridge the West and East.

Abe Zhou and his local team, augmented by client relationship partner Brendan Kelly, delivered exceptional and practical advice in addressing a compliance matter with local tax authorities.

‘Deeply grounded in technical tax law but also very knowledgeable about local practice and practical consideratons.’

The tax team and its M&A team work together to provide seamless services so that the problems encountered in the project can be considered in an all-round way and bring higher value to customers.’

Jason Wen has a unique perspective on China’s tax issues, and he cooperates well with the lawyers of the M&A team in which he works, so that taxation and related legal issues, as well as the tax clauses in legal documents, can more accurately and effectively express the customer’s demands and deliver better solutions‘.

DLA Piper

Showcasing one of the largest tax teams in Greater China, DLA Piper‘s practice covers international and domestic tax issues, from corporate and individual tax planning to dispute resolution; and the China transfer pricing team is part of a global operation that (in addition to lawyers) fields economists, certified accountants and tax advisers, who regularly work alongside the firm’s US and European tax teams on domestic and cross-border transactions. Beijing-based China tax head Windson Li also co-heads the Asia tax group alongside Hong Kong tax leader Anderson Lam. Li is experienced in advising international group companies and HNW clients on cross-border tax matters; and he is particularly focused on M&A, company formation, joint ventures, tax structures, business model transitions and transfer pricing. Providing additional partner support from Hong Kong, Daniel Chan focuses on investment and taxation matters in China, and Doris Ho is an international tax and wealth planning expert.

Practice head(s):

Windson Li

Other key lawyers:

Daniel ChanDoris Ho; Tina Xia;

Testimonials

A very professional team of lawyers.’

‘Always tries to meet clients’ requirements.’

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.

Acting for a multinational client base of Fortune 500 and brand-name European companies, Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a strong track record in providing tax-related advice on a wide range of transactions. The China tax practice of the France-headquartered firm regularly advises on group reorganisations, M&A tax planning and structuring, joint ventures, project financing, and business establishment and operation matters. Other areas of notable strength range from tax-efficient financing, tax compliance and transfer pricing to tax audits and disputes, subsidies and preferential treatments, tax treaties and tax reform issues. Clients additionally benefit from the group’s specialists in individual income taxation, customs, and foreign exchange controls. The China tax practice is headed by Beijing office head Min Guo, who specialises in PRC taxation and accounting. Guo is also heavily involved in tax working groups in China, and is the tax working group co-ordinator at the French Chamber of Commerce in Beijing.

Practice head(s):

Min Guo

Testimonials

The Gide team is China is absolutely fantastic. Always available, with very strong skills and the ability to consider the client’s constraints.

Min Guo is absolutely fantastic.

Key clients

Aluminum Corporation of China

BioMérieux

Clarins

Framatome

Gant

Ipsen

Renault

Sopexa

Total

Valloure

Work highlights

  • Advised Gant, an American-Swedish fashion brand, on the tax implications (including tax planning and structuring) of the acquisition of a distribution network from its distributor and long-term partner, Longgoal.

CMS

With several German-qualified team members and French-speaking experienced lawyers, CMS‘ Shanghai-based China tax practice is well known for representing European companies in China; and it has extensive experience in cross-border transactions involving clients from the automotive, manufacturing, TMC, life sciences, finance and energy sectors. Counsel and China tax head Gilbert Shen is experienced in advising on the tax aspects of the establishment of efficient holding structures, mergers and restructurings, profit repatriation schemes, investment exit strategies, cross-border transactions and tax due diligence; and the broad practice of experienced partner Nicolas Zhu includes tax planning and transfer pricing matters.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Zhu; Gilbert Shen

Testimonials

This team is able to provide long-term collaborations, the makeup of the team is stable with many years’ experience, and it has very high levels of professionalism.

Gilbert Shen has a thorough understanding of client’s company and its business operations – he provides extremely professional consulting services and has great communication skills.

K&L Gates

In April 2021, K&L Gates recruited Shanghai-based partner Roberta Chang as China tax practice head from Hogan Lovells International LLP, where she was China tax leader and from where associate Anita Zhou also joined. Chang consistently handles tax advisory work, including advising multinational companies on cross-border tax aspects related to acquisitions and joint ventures, corporate restructurings, financings, and disputes; she also assists with direct and indirect tax, transfer pricing, and compliance, as well as the tax considerations surrounding administrative law controversies and appeals. Providing further partner-level support from Sydney, Betsy-Ann Howe is a co-practice group ordinator for the firm’s global tax group.

Practice head(s):

Roberta ChangBetsy-Ann Howe

Other key lawyers:

Anita Zhou

Cuatrecasas

Cuatrecasas‘ well-established China tax practice focuses on a range of tax advice for both companies based in China and foreign companies engaging in transactions in China; and it fields sector specialists in automotive, industrial engineering, chemicals and life sciences. Experienced Shanghai senior associate and China tax practice head, Grace Lin, has been providing tax advice to multinational company groups, in relation to domestic, international and cross-border transactions for over a decade, as well as assisting expatriates working in China on tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Grace Lin

Key clients

Iberia

Genomica

Isdin

Tecam Solucinoes

Doga Gestio

Grupo F Segura

Fermax Electronica

Elay

Boix Maquinaria

Bella Aurora

Work highlights

  • Advises Iberia on its business operations in China, including tax matters.
  • Advised Genomica on the tax issues surrounidng the general operation of its subsidiary in Wuhu, as well as individual income tax issues involving a general manager.
  • Advised Isdin on tax matters surrounding its business operations in China, including Covid-19-related issues.

Garrigues

Working across the Beijing and Shanghai offices of Iberian law firm Garrigues, China tax head and international taxation expert Diego D’Alma specialises in the internationalisation of companies, executives and entrepreneurs’ international mobility, and the international tax implications of foreign investments in China. Cynthia Zhou is a rising star in Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Diego D’Alma

Other key lawyers:

Cynthia Zhou

Jones Day

With longstanding experience, the international tax practice of Jones Day‘s Beijing-based of counsel Fuli Cao's is particularly focused on the tax aspects of cross-border matters involving China (along with several other countries and regions). Examples include inbound and outbound China investments, M&A, tax disputes, and reorganisations and restructuring.

Practice head(s):

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Other key lawyers:

Fuli Cao

Testimonials

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