Corporate tax in North West

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard advises on complex, high-value tax issues for national and international corporate clients, private equity sponsors, and investment funds, with strong capabilities across property SPV structuring, international joint ventures, and tax transparency work. Practice head Justine Delroy leads the tax team nationally, and is a specialist in private equity transactions, as well as regularly advising on stamp duty and VAT matters in the property sector. Michael Hunter has a strong record in tax matters for property SPVs, particularly complex cross-border issues, alongside advising on tax aspects of M&A. Managing associate Catherine Concannon handles a wide range of commercial tax issues, particularly those relating to transactions and structuring.

Practice head(s):

Justine Delroy

Other key lawyers:

Michael Hunter; Catherine Cocannon; Chris Fox


‘What makes Addleshaw Goddard unique is the blend of expertise and thinking outside the box. I find the people I work with from AG are very experienced with exceptional skills and knowledge to solve any tax issues.’

‘My specialism is VAT; I have worked with both Michael Hunter and Chris Fox and was impressed with both. Michael Hunter in particular has been extremely helpful; with impressive depth of tax knowledge.’

‘This Team is great at explaining the complex world of Corporate Tax into easily digestible/understandable terms, usually with the assistance of diagrams. Their advice notes are invaluable not only at understanding the issues at the time but also referring back to them at a later date.’

‘We have largely worked with Michael Hunter and he has proved both very approachable and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Phoenix Equity Partners

Aviva Investors


Federated Hermes

Elysian Capital

Aberdeen Standard Investments





Work highlights

  • Advised Alinda Capital Partners on its acquisition of Glide.
  • Advising Federated Hermes on the forward-funded development of a number of build-to-rent developments with a combined value of over £400m.
  • Advising Ted Baker on the disposal of its head office building to the British Airways Pension Fund.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a strong choice for private equity work, advising funds, portfolio companies, and investment managers on tax aspects of acquisitions, disposals, and investments, including complex cross-border arrangements. The team also acts for local and national listed and private companies. Practice head David Thompson specialises in VAT planning, and has acted in tax litigation up to the European level, and advises a broad range of clients on complex international transactional tax issues. Director Stephen Jones has strong capabilities in EU and US-domiciled work, and has broad expertise across corporate and business tax, including multinational business taxation.

Practice head(s):

David Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Jones


‘The team gave timely and clear advice on complex taxation and legal matters’

‘David Thompson was our contact and provided quick and easy to understand advice on complex tax matters.’

‘We are very happy with the service and advice provided by this DLA team. They have a commercial focus and understand our business and what we are trying to achieve. Advice is helpful and concise and difficult concepts are presented well.’

‘David Thompson is great and easy to talk to, available and commercial in approach. ’


Key clients

Beechtree Private Equity

Lloyds Development Capital

Flowtech Fluidpower plc

YM&U Group Limited (formerly James Grant Group)

LCM Partners Limited

Trupanion Inc

Talk Talk Telecom Group PLC

Work highlights

  • Advising TalkTalk on tax aspects of its sale of FibreNation to CityFibre.
  • Advising management of IFS on the sale from one EQT Fund to another plus TA as minority investor.
  • Advising Cube Infrastucture Managers alongside Deloitte on the recent refinancing of G.Network Communications Limited.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP continues to provide strategic tax support to an array of major national businesses and high-net-worth individuals, advising on transactional tax issues, share plans, governance, and executive renumeration matters for clients, with particular strength in the retail and consumer space. The firm has expanded its share of FTSE-listed clients during the past year. Practice head Lynette Jacobs is a 'highly respected' specialist in incentive schemes, employee trusts, and transactional tax, regularly contributing to thought leadership on corporate tax, while Steven Porter is noted for his expertise in tax investigations, employment specific tax, and residency issues.

Practice head(s):

Lynette Jacobs

Other key lawyers:

Steven Porter


‘Pinsent Masons have such a brilliant client care approach – speed of response stands out and the team are incredibly personable and focused. The billing is always accurate and the team are highly responsive.’

‘ Lynette Jacobs is outstanding -a true subject matter expert always focused on the outcome and highly commercial. She’s a great asset to the firm.’

‘The team are always very responsive, proactive and knowledgeable.’

‘They are at the forefront of market best practice and across all types of equity incentives. Excellent knowledge. Practical, engaging, reliable and trustworthy. Great customer empathy. ’

‘Lynette Jacobs is a leader in the equity incentives industry. Combines excellent technical knowledge and experience and applies it in a way that is easily digestible and understood by clients. Only a few in this market can do this.

‘The Pinsent team is acknowledged as a leading firm in terms of the provision of high quality legal advice on employee share plans and incentive arrangements including tax. It has a settled and well established team and is highly respected by its clients, peers and other specialist professional service providers in this area.’

‘Lynette Jacobs is highly respected and brings both legal expertise and a pragmatic, commercial experience to any project. Always alive to a client’s needs and drivers, she is always quick to identify and address those needs.

‘Quick response and supportive.’


Key clients

Imperial Brands plc

Halfords Group plc

Rightmove plc

Gamesys Group plc

Portmeirion Group plc

St. Modwen Properties plc

Assura plc

Norcros plc

EMIS Group plc

Capgemini UK plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Imperial Brands plc on the operation of its six share plans globally, extending to 55 countries and drafted two share plans for renewal and a new plan for approval at its February 2021 AGM.
  • Advised on the share incentives aspects of the (subsequently) aborted £500m Takeover Code merger of LSL Property Services PLC with Countrywide PLC.
  • Advised on the Trust Deed and ancillary documents for the Halfords Group plc £1.5m “Halfords’ Here to Help Fund” hardship fund.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs advises major businesses and private equity funds on transactional tax, employment issues including share plans, and property taxation, handling complex, often cross-border tax structuring arrangements. The team is led by Patrick Ford, a tax specialist with a strong record across corporate taxation, and a particular focus on the high-level sports sector, as well as private equity. Ford is supported by senior associate Victoria Murphy, a dual-qualified CTA with broad expertise across transactional and employment tax.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Ford

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Murphy


‘Tax is quite a complex area and the SPB team are really good at explaining difficult concepts. All work is done to a high standard and extremely efficient. The tax team are friendly and engaging.’

‘Very pleased. I’ve been using them for many years and service delivery has been consistently excellent – which is why I keep coming back.’

‘Very strong team – hard working, commercial and personable. ’

‘We find the people at Squires highly commercial. They offer advice we can immediately action rather than advice which we have to then spend time working out how we are going to use it.’

Patrick Ford is excellent to work with. Like his colleagues, Patrick provides detailed but also commercial advice. He always provides options and detailed view on their relative risks so we can make informed decisions.’

‘Excellent sensible advice, calm and measured approach Very proactive’

‘Patrick Ford was excellent – great advice, sensible approach to issues, worked well with other advisers and other offices’

‘Patrick Ford has been extremely helpful and taken the time to understand our issues and give the appropriate advice. ’


Key clients

EDF Renewables

Watkin Jones plc

Greggs plc

Lucite International

Grafton Group plc

Co-operative Group

GB Group plc

Coventry Building Society

ECI Partners

H2 Equity Partners


Smiths Group





Jury’s Inn



University of Law

Work highlights

  • Advised EDF Renewables on the acquisition of Burwell Solar, a solar energy business.
  • Advised Watkin Jones plc on the development and sale of a number of student accommodation complexes to PBSA Unity Street.
  • Advised H2 Equity Partners on its PE-backed acquisition of FFX Group, including advising on the structuring of the transaction.

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP supports corporate and real estate clients in tax aspects of major transactions, development projects, and structuring, as well as representation in contentious tax matters. The practice is led by Mark Whiteside, who has broad expertise across corporate tax issues, with notable capabilities in specialist VAT and real estate taxation, transactional tax support, and  tax advisory services for entrepreneurs, start-up companies and owner-managed businesses.

Practice head(s):

Mark Whiteside


‘The team are always available to offer advice and guidance on dealing with governance and corporate matters. The approach taken is minimum fuss and direct/to the point without the need to have to expend time in dealing with numerous communications to provide instructions.’

Key clients

Appreciate Group plc (formerly Park Group)

Cityheart Developments

Crosslane Student Developments


ION Property Developments

James Hall & Co (trading as Spar in the North)

McColl’s Retail Group plc

The Merseyside Pension Fund (public sector)

NWF Group

Peel Land & Property

Peel Ports Group


Promenade Estates

NorthWest EHealth Ltd Limited

Bridgestone Tyres

Beaverbrooks The Jewellers

Begbies Traynor Group plc

Rhenus Logistics

Chase de Vere Group

Omni Partners LLP

Seddon Group Limited

Asertis Limited

Codeweavers Ltd

Suez Recycling and Recovery Limited

Appreciate Group plc

Work highlights

  • Advising Cityheart Limited, as the developer, on the SDLT and VAT aspects of a 198-bed student accommodation scheme in Gloucester.
  • Advised Galleries25 on tax aspects of its £130m transformation of The Galleries shopping centre.
  • Advised Ion Property Developments  on the SDLT and VAT aspects of a prominent £40m mixed use scheme on Lime Street in Liverpool.


DWF advises corporates and private equity funds on tax elements of major M&A and investments, including structuring and tax schedules, alongside regular advice on employee share schemes and senior incentives programs. The firm also works with household name retail clients on tax aspects of landlord and tenant issues, developments work, and acquisitions. The team, led by James Cashman, works on a regional and national basis, as well as regularly handling cross-border tax issues and matters on behalf of international investment funds.

Practice head(s):

James Cashman

Key clients

Inflexion Private Equity

Sovereign Capital

WPEF VII Holding Cooperatief W.A (Waterland Capital)

Velocity Composites PLC

Equiniti Group PLC

Adidas (UK) Limited

Airsweb Limited

James Halstead PLC

Digitalbox PLC

Horizonte Minerals PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Project Ophelia Bidco Limited on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Coveyancing Alliance Limited from ULS Technology PLC.
  • Advised Horizonte Minerals on the implementation and drafting of a new Long Term Incentive Plan for senior executives.
  • Advised the management team and other shareholders of Airsweb Limited on the disposal of their shares in Airsweb Limited and Safety Management Software Limited and roll over in to shares in Eco Online AS.

MSA Law Limited

Boutique corporate tax firm MSA Law Limited advises clients on a diverse range of matters, including tax elements of M&A transactions, employee incentivisations including EOTs, corporate restructuring and reorganisations, and succession planning. The team is led by experienced practitioners Fiona Sutherland and Bernard McIlroy, who have broad expertise in transactional tax issues, specialising particularly in employee share incentives and private equity transactions respectively.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Sutherland; Bernard McIlroy


‘I would say MSA Law offers a very personal service that is tailored to the individual needs of the client. In our case, a dispute within a family business with varying levels of subject knowledge I believe MSA Law were the ideal company for this. ’

‘We had a complex problem to solve which Bernard developed a solution which he could explain to all involved and made appropriate adaptations when other parties changed their mind.’

Key clients

Farrat Isolevel Limited

Tri-Fab Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the reorganisation and buy-out of Farrat Holdings Limited (the holding company of Farrat Isolevel Limited) by EOM Group Holdings Limited – a new group holding company.
  • Advised Tri-Fab Limited and its shareholders on the establishment of an employee ownership trust (EOT) and the sale of the company to the EOT and associated matters.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP combines transactional corporate tax advice with notable expertise in tax aspects of corporate re-organisations, employee issues within the public and private sector, and real estate transactions, alongside regular advice to local authorities on projects. The team is led by Haydn Rogan, an experienced tax practitioner with broad expertise, and particular capabilities in employee share schemes and equity incentive arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Haydn Rogan


‘Exceptional legal tax knowledge.’


Key clients

ANS Group



PHD Equity Partners LLP

Lucideon Group Limited

Liverpool University

East Hertfordshire District Council

Lockular Limited

Well pharmacy

Apadmi Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a district council on restructuring a redevelopment project that were both compliant from a procurement perspective and delivered a significant SDLT saving for the Council.
  • Advised an NHS Trust, providing training to senior management and key personnel on the reforms to the off payroll working rules (scheduled to be introduced in April 2020 but now deferred until April 2021) and their practical impact on the trusts processes and procedures and outsourcing arrangements.
  • Advised the shareholders of Pixology, the developer of a cloud-based content creation platform, on the sale of the company to multinational cloud computing giant, Oracle Corporation.