Corporate tax in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard represents clients on the tax elements of M&A, joint ventures, fund establishments and real estate projects. On the contentious side, the firm deals with disputes with HMRC and the firm also advises on stamp duty land tax, pensions tax, VAT and customs duty matters. Justine Delroy heads the team and specialises in the tax aspects of structuring private equity transactions and property-based projects. Michael Hunter, who is based in Manchester and Leeds is also recommended, alongside managing associate Catherine Concannon.

Practice head(s):

Justine Delroy

Other key lawyers:

Michael Hunter; Catherine Concannon

Key clients

Co-Operative Group

J Murphy & Sons

Aberdeen Standard Investments

WBHO Construction


PZ Cussons


Car Finance 247

National Grid

Many private equity houses in the North West including ECI,  Inflexion, Livingbridge, LDC, Literary Capital, Phoenix Equity Partners (and portfolio companies)

Work highlights

  • Provided bespoke tax advice to the individual shareholders of Concept Life Sciences as well as tax transactional support to Equistone in a buyout of the market leading life sciences business.
  • Advising Bruntwood on the tax structuring of a pre-sale reorganisation, as well as the disposal of a 50% interest in its SciTech business and portfolio to Legal & General, and on the joint venture and ongoing services arraignments for Bruntwood SciTech.
  • Advising Aberdeen Standard Investments on the tax aspects of a number of transactions which are at the cutting edge of the investment real estate sector involving alternative asset classes such as serviced offices, residential property, caravan parks and hotels, which bring particular property tax issues.
  • Advising the UK subsidiary of South African headquartered Wilson Balyly Homes-Ovcon on its acquisition of 60% of the issued share capital of Russells Limited for £32.8m and of 31.7% of Russell Homes for £3.25m.
  • Acting for shareholders on the sale of Deep Sea Electronics to a purchaser majority-owned by Caledonia Investments. The deal  involved a rapid auction process and negotiating key issues of tax cover with numerous bidders in a very condensed timescale.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper UK LLP 's Manchester tax team regularly advises private equity funds, portfolio funds and management teams on private-equity related tax work. It also advises local, national and international companies on tax matters ranging from employee equity schemes, real estate finance, VAT planning and outsourcing arrangements. David Thompson heads the team with support from legal director Stephen Jones.

Practice head(s):

David Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Jones;

Key clients

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

James Grant Group (now YM&U Group)

Thomas International Limited (Management)

Tangerine Confectionery Limited (Management)

Two Sisters Food Group/ Boparan Holdings

Payzone UK Limited

Crawford Healthcare (acted for owners on sale)

Sandton Capital Partners

Shareholders in Richard Wellock & Sons Limited

Carlyle European Technology Partners III Sarl

Work highlights

  • Advised the management team at Tangerine Confectionary on tax aspects of its acquisition from Blackstone by multiple brand business Valeo of Ireland.
  • Acted for Boparan Holdings Limited and its subsidiary Green Isle Food Group Limited on the sale of the Goodfellas Pizza Business.
  • Advised on the sale by Payzone UK Limited of its bill payments system to the Post Office.
  • Advised the Wellock family on tax aspects relating to the sale of Richard Wellock & Sons Limited to William Jackson Food Group Limited.
  • Advised Carlyle European Technology on tax matters relating to its acquisition of Livingstone Technologies Limited.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP advises on general tax issues, disputes and interventions, share plans and incentives, M&A-related tax, compliance, criminal tax offences and cross-border tax issues. Clients include major corporates, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Lynette Jacobs heads the team from Manchester with support from Steven Porter who advises on both contentious and non-contentious tax matters, specialising in tax investigations. The team also works with Pinsents' network of offices across the UK.

Practice head(s):

Lynette Jacobs

Other key lawyers:

Steve Porter

Key clients

Imperial Brands plc

Halfords Group plc

Rightmove plc

River and Mercantile Group plc

AMC Theatres

Portmeirion Group plc

Carr’s Group plc

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Norcros plc

Janus Henderson Investors


Work highlights

  • Advised Manchester based AJ Bell, one of the largest UK investment platform providers, on its IPO to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advised on the drafting and implementation of an Irish tax-advantaged all-employee SharesaveScheme to enable Merlyn’s employees to participate in Sharesave in the same way as Norcros’s UK employees.
  • Advised Begbies Traynor on the adoption of its new tax-advantaged all employee Sharesave Plan
  • Advised AMC Theatres on the operation of its Equity Incentive Plan in the UK and across Italy, Spain, Germany, Finland, Norway and Sweden

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs caters to small and local clients, as well as large multinationals requiring tax advice on cross-border matters. Areas of expertise include the tax aspects of corporate acquisitions, private equity transactions, tax-related employment advice, employee share incentive and pensions-related tax work. Many of its clients are household names in sectors including renewable energy, technology, recruitment, chemicals, real estate and sport/leisure. Patrick Ford heads the team. Victoria Carpenter was promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ford

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Carpenter

Key clients

EDF Energy

The Co-op Group

Lucite International



Watkin Jones plc

GB Group plc




Greggs plc

LMAX Exchange

Cleveland Clinic

SmartStream Technologies

PZ Cussons Pension Scheme

BT Pension Scheme

Molson Coors

Omnio/Chronos Investments




Stobart Group

H2 Equity Partners


Grafton Group plc

Babylon Health

ICI Pension Scheme

Assetz Capital

Shield Safety Group

Work highlights

  • Advising EDF on tax aspects of the £701m sale of a 49% stake in 24 of its UK wind farms to Dalmore Capital.
  • Acting for Lucite International on the £92m sale of the client’s European acrylic and composites business to Swiss-based Schweiter Technologies.
  • Advising International Entertainment Corporation, based in Hong Kong, on its £22m acquisition of Wigan Athletic Football Club.
  • Acting on the £180m sale and development of four large student accommodation sites to a Luxembourg fund advised by Round Hill Capital/KKR.
  • Advising GB Group on the implementation of a new long term incentive plan and the granting of share awards to its senior management.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP provides a range of tax advice to clients including VAT, real estate tax advice, tax advice for entrepreneurs, start-up companies and owner managed businesses. The firm offers transactional tax advice on fundraisings, acquisitions, restructurings and disposals. On the contentious tax side it advises on tax litigation, disputes with HMRC and claims under tax warranties/tax covenants in share sale agreements. Chartered tax adviser Mark Whiteside heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Mark Whiteside

Key clients

Peel Ports Group

NWF Group

Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited



Rhenus Logistics

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Mersten Limited

Chase de Vere

ION Developments

UK Land and Property

Peel Land and Property

Liver Buildingco Limited (The Royal Liver Building)


Crosslane Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Begbies Traynor on tax aspects of the £3.7m acquisition of Springboard Corporate Finance Limited, a mid-market corporate finance practice operating from offices in Birmingham, London and Nottingham.
  • Advised Peel Land and Property on VAT and SDLT aspects of the £25m development of a new ferry terminal in Liverpool to serve the Isle of Man.
  • Acted for the in-house M&A and tax teams at Suez Group in Paris in relation to the disposal of Suez Water Conditioning Services Limited.
  • Advised Vista Engineering on tax aspects of the acquisition of BPC Buildings Products Limited (BPC).
  • Acted for PBSI Group Limited on the sale of its specialist earthing and safety equipment subsidiary, P&B Weir Electrical, to the French electrical business, Novarc Groupe SA.


DWF 's 'proactive team'  is adept at handling all aspects of employee incentives and share schemes, as well as providing transactional tax advice to corporates and private equity houses on investments, restructurings, disposals and management incentives. Other areas of expertise including drafting and negotiating tax schedules. The firm also advises on real estate-related tax such as stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and advises on the construction industry scheme (CIS). Newly promoted partner James Cashman heads the team.

Practice head(s):

James Cashman


The team are extremely proactive’.

James Cashman is extremely supportive and responsive; he is easy to work with, is technically strong in his subject matter and represents the firm very well in client meetings’.

There are not many tax professionals in the legal market in the North West, James Cashman is therefore uniquely placed to provide both tax and legal advice to clients’.

Key clients

Inflexion Private Equity

Pepsico Inc

Redx Pharma PLC

Equiniti Group PLC

LPW Technology Limited

Argon Groupe

North Edge Capital

Adidas (UK) Limited

Keywords UK Holdings Limited (Keywords Studios PLC)

Work highlights

  • Advised Inflexion private equity on the simultaneous buyout and merger of UK Web Media Limited and Energy Helpline Limited to create an independent price comparison site through Comparison Technologies Limited.
  • Advising Redx Pharma Plc on employee incentives.
  • Advising and assisting on the tax aspects on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Aquilia Group Holdings Limited.
  • Advised LPW Technology Limited and shareholders on tax aspects relating to the exercise of US and UK share options and the subsequent disposal of the entire issued share capital of LPW Technology Limited to Carpenter Technology Corporation.
  • Advising Argon Groupe on the tax aspects of the acquisition of Crimson Consulting (UK) Limited.

MSA Law Limited

Boutique corporate tax specialist MSA Law Limited acts for corporates, owner managed businesses (OMBs) and individuals. Areas of expertise include direct tax, M&A-related tax, exit planning, reconstructions and reorganisations, succession planning and employee incentivisation. The firm also advises on property-related tax such as stamp duty land tax. The team comprises Bernard McIlroy and Fiona Sutherland .

Practice head(s):

Bernard McIlroy; Fiona Sutherland


Excellent communication about technically difficult matters’.

Quick service and excellent advice’.

Fiona is top class and is the best tax lawyer I have ever worked with’.

Fiona Sutherland is a different class; fast, efficient, commercial and with a great attitude to make it happen’.

My first choice for tax law – there is no competition’.

Key clients

Morston Palatine Limited

Microgen plc

Work highlights

  • Provided tax advice to Microgen plc on its disposal of Microgen Banking Systems Limited to Bottomline Technologies Limited

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP handles the tax aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals, restructurings, demergers and capital reductions. The firm focuses on the SME and owner-managed business markets where it designs and implements employee incentive schemes, in particular enterprise management incentive (EMI) schemes. Other clients include professionals, which it provides legal tax support to, developers, investors and public sector bodies, which it advises on UK real estate transactions. Haydn Rogan heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Haydn Rogan

Key clients

Playground Games Limited

Greif US Holdings Inc

Caunce O’Hara & Company Limited

Goonhilly Earth Station Limited

Planixs GRP Limited

ANS Group

Bestway Group

PHD Equity Partners LLP

Al-Mubarakia Limited

Novel Technologies Holdings Limited

Salford University

Work highlights

  • Acting for Goonhilly Earth Station Limited (GES) and its shareholders on its secondary buy out via the acquisition of a majority stake by billionaire Peter Hargreaves. The deal provided additional investment capital was used to buy out the first round debt and equity provided by Downing Ventures.
  • Provided tax advice to shareholders of the leading independent British game developer, Playground Games Limited on the  sale of the company to Microsoft for $100m.
  • Provided structuring advice on setting up the ‘DSW Angels’ network. This included the constitutional documents governing the network, the tax structuring of how shares in investee companies would be held and the  investment documents themselves.