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  1. Corporate tax
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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The team at Brodies LLP provides 'very measured, constructive advice - nothing flash, just pragmatic and reliable'. Isobel D’Inverno and Alan Barr lead the team, which provides tax support on M&A and real estate transactions, advises on tax issues in the oil and gas sector and handles investment funds-related tax matters, among many other areas. D'Inverno is particularly sought after to advise on issues associated with Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Heather Thompson, who is a recent hire from Turcan Connell, is experienced in advising family and owner-managed businesses on a broad cross-section of personal, corporate and real estate tax issues. Heather Gibson is 'a very intelligent and industrious person, with an eye for detail'. Nigel Watson is a share scheme and employee remuneration tax expert. Associate Bob Langridge is also recommended. A highlight for the team in 2017 involved advising Axis Capital Holdings Limited on the tax aspects of its £477m offer to acquire Novae Plc. Another matter involved assisting a joint venture between Moda Living and Apache Capital with tax issues related its acquisition from Grosvenor of a build to rent site at Springfield, Edinburgh.

Dentons' first-rate credentials in the corporate tax arena are underlined by its ability to deliver advice through a combination of chartered tax advisers, accountants and lawyers. Gwen Souter, who has previous experience of serving as a director at Deloitte, is knowledgeable about international taxation and she assists clients with M&A-related tax issues, among other matters. Lorna McCaa, who is both a senior lawyer and chartered tax adviser, is a go-to for advice on employee incentives. Alastair MacLeod is primarily based in London, but spends a significant portion of time in Edinburgh. In 2017, Souter and MacLeod were among the advisers to PRS REIT Plc on its admission to the specialist fund segment of the London Stock Exchange, and also worked with the corporate team on the launch of Downing Strategic Micro-Cap Investment Trust Plc. Another highlight saw McCaa assist Highland Distillers with the tax aspects of its acquisition of the Glenrothes premium Scotch single malt whisky brand and stocks of Glenrothes whisky from Berry Bros & Rudd.

Ronnie Brown heads up Burness Paull LLP's practice, which plays a crucial role on corporate and real estate transactions for clients such as BUPA, James Fisher and Sons Plc and AMG Group. The firm's market profile in relation to tax matters has been enhanced since Brown joined from DWF in 2016. Brown recently advised on the tax aspects (which including VAT and capital allowances issues) of Great Western Unit Trust's circa £60m sale of Great Western Retail Park to a London-based family trust. Brown also provided transactional tax support to Standard Life Aberdeen Plc (through its subsidiary 1825) on its acquisition of Crewe-based financial advisory firm Jones Sheridan Holdings Limited from a number of sellers. Another significant matter involved Brown working with the corporate team to advise The Weir Group Plc on its $114m acquisition of Singapore-headquartered KOP Surface Products from Norway-based Akastor.

Chartered tax adviser Ainsley MacLaren is the key contact at MacRoberts LLP. In addition to providing corporate support, MacLaren advises on LBTT/SDLT and VAT issues in property transactions, employee share schemes, venture capital reliefs and tax planning, among other areas. In 2017, MacLaren assisted the shareholders of Boyd Insurance with Boyd's sale to Broker Network. Another highlight involved acting for the shareholders of CLCB Holdings (trading as CORGI HomePlan) in the sale of the business to OVO Energy. MacLaren is particularly sought-after by charities; areas of expertise include the tax aspects of charitable trading, sponsorship arrangements and mergers between charities.

Shepherd and Wedderburn's practice is jointly led by Stephen Miller and employee share incentives expert Rodger Cairns. Another notable individual is senior associate Douglas Sinclair who, like Miller, is a chartered tax adviser. The team plays a key role in high-profile and groundbreaking corporate and real estate transactions, as demonstrated by its recent work advising Hermes Investment Management/Britel Fund on the tax issues related to the Capital Square office development in Edinburgh, and assisting Wheatley Housing Group with the LBTT aspects of a joint venture agreement with Glasgow City Council. The team also advises clients on various other issues, such as SDLT, Pay as You Earn and national insurance, among others. Miller Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Scottish high-growth company TVSquared are among the firm's key clients.

At DWF, director Caroline Colliston (who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser) covers a broad spread of matters, including transactional support on M&A and private equity deals, as well as share schemes, HMRC inquiries and investigations, and LBTT advice. Colliston was part of a cross-practice team which advised Edwin James Holdings Limited on its £24m acquisition of WT Parker Holdings Limited, and she also assisted Dundee City Council with the sale of Dundee Energy Recycling Limited to MVV Environment. In addition to supporting members of other departments (such as corporate and real estate) in Scotland, Colliston also works closely with Leeds-based UK commercial tax head John Toon.

Pinsent Masons LLP's main contact in Scotland is Christine Yuill, who made partner in May 2017, and advises on tax, share plans and incentives. Areas of strength for the firm include acting for clients in the energy and real estate sectors, such as Ithaca Energy and CALA Group. A notable highlight involved Yuill advising Abstract Securities Limited on the tax aspects of the sale of the entire share capital of Abstract (Glasgow) Limited, as the owner of the St Vincent Plaza Building in Glasgow, to a company within the Starwood Capital group. Yuill also assisted Baker Hughes with its acquisition of Caledyne Limited. Elsewhere, Yuill also has a strong client following of private equity investors; clients include Lyceum Capital, Sovereign Capital and Nevis Capital. 

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