Corporate tax in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

The team at Burges Salmon LLP is 'proactive and able to think creatively to find the best solution'. It is most noted for providing clients with tax planning advice on inbound investments, fund formation, real estate transactions and corporate restructurings, assisting a variety of national and international clients from the Bristol office. Jointly leading the department are transactional tax specialist Sarah Lane, who has 'tax knowledge that goes way beyond any legal tax issue', and Ian Carnochan. After joining from Stephenson Harwood in November 2020, consultant Hilary Barclay provides additional expertise in tax issues related to corporate transactions and restructuring, while senior associate Jessica Chesterfield is building a strong real estate tax practice.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Lane; Ian Carnochan

Other key lawyers:

Hilary Barclay; Jessica Chesterfield

Testimonials

The team is very responsive, effective and willing to engage in in-depth negotiations with counterparties. They have a very good knowledge on tax issues that may arise for renewable assets and were able to work very effectively with the external tax advisers.’

The team has always been very responsive. They are easy to work with and show a great approach to client service.’

The team’s main strengths are finding practical solutions to complex problems, and explaining the law in a way that is easy to understand. They are proactive and able to think creatively to find the best solution.’

Sara Lane has tax knowledge that goes way beyond any legal tax issue as she has a background as a tax adviser at a Big 4 firm. This makes her role absolutely unique as she is able to work independently with tax advisers, and grasp, explain, negotiate and draft extremely complex tax issues.’

Sarah Lane responds quickly to queries and provides practical advice. She is proactive and commercially aware, and she always looks for a better solution even after we think we have found the best answer. She is reliable and I never have to chase her for a response. Sarah is professional and approachable, and I like working with her.

Sarah Lane is incredibly knowledgeable on the tax aspects of M&A activities, financing, restructuring and cross-border transactions. She always gives a very thorough and well-reasoned analysis with a clear recommendation.’

Key clients

Bluefield Capital Partners

First Trenitalia

Louis Capital Markets

Yeo Valley

The Crown Estate

Forsa Energy

Bank Leumi

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Gresham House

Virgin Group

BSW plc

Work highlights

  • Advising a South Africa-headquartered fund group on the tax issues in relation to the set up of a further £100m fund to invest in UK knowledge-intensive companies.
  • Advised Bluefield Solar on the tax aspects of its acquisition and financing of a portfolio of 15 operational solar photovoltaic plants with a total installed capacity of 64.2 megawatt peak.
  • Advised the joint administrators of Côte Restaurants Group on the tax aspects of the administration sale of the business and operating assets of the Côte Restaurants Group Holdings Limited (and other group companies).

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke LLP's tax team in Bristol has a solid reputation for being 'extremely focused, proactive, agile and hands on'. It advises clients on tax structuring and transactional issues, with expertise in cross-border taxation. The group has particular knowledge in the real estate, infrastructure, energy and utilities sectors, and it also has a strength in tax issues facing funds clients. Another area of focus is share incentives, for which there is a dedicated team. Jointly taking the lead are corporate tax expert Tracey Wright, who is 'an excellent communicator, with up-to-the-second knowledge', and the 'knowledgeable and skilledErika Jupe, who specialises in international tax. Associate director Elizabeth Shanahan's practice is focused on tax issues concerning financial services and funds.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Wright; Erika Jupe

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Shanahan

Testimonials

‘Tracey Wright is an excellent communicator, with up-to-the-second knowledge, and quick to respond.’

‘Very knowledgeable on UK tax issues, which has been of great value to me and my clients.’

‘Not only is Erika Jupe very knowledgeable and skilled in the area of tax, but she is great to work with. She is responsive and smart. I would recommend Erika to anyone looking for UK tax counsel.’

‘We regard the Osborne Clarke team very highly and rely on them for all of our fund and joint venture structuring advice. They are responsive, commercial and solution focused.’

‘Tracey Wright is our go-to partner. She is incredibly responsive and solution focused, and is able to explain complex areas of tax law in a simple, easy-to-understand way.’

‘Tracey Wright is good with the detail of a transaction. Unlike some other firms,  there is no silo mentality – people within the firm who may be acting on different things for us do speak to each other and know what’s going on across the wider business.’

‘The OC team which works with us is extremely focused, proactive, agile and hands on. They work as part of the in-house team, always doing their best.’

‘The team has long provided high-quality advice to our business, which has worked exceptionally well with the transactional advice provided to us by the firm’s other departments.’

Key clients

Pension Protection Fund

BAE Systems Pension Fund

PGIM

Fiera Capital

Foresight

Newcore Capital

BDW Trading

BMO Real Estate Partners

M&G Residential Property Fund

Warehouse REIT

Barwood Capital

Bridges Capital

firstminute capital

Work highlights

  • Providing tax structuring advice and transaction support for Global Student Accommodation on the acquisition of two purpose-built student accommodation assets in Bristol.
  • Advising Foresight Group LLP in respect of complex tax issues arising in connection with its tax affairs and those of many of its private equity and venture funds.
  • Advised Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund on the tax aspects of a cross-border transaction resulting in the acquisition of a majority interest in Fore Freedom Holdings B.V., a fibre-to-the-premises network business in the Netherlands, from funds managed by Ancala Partners.

Ashfords LLP

At Ashfords LLP, the 'smart' team is known for its expertise in the tax aspects of reorganisations. Tax structuring is a core specialism for the group, which advises corporates and high-net-worth individuals alike. Other areas of expertise include the establishment of property funds, M&A taxation, capital gains tax, and VAT issues. Exeter-based practice head Angus Bauer is the name to note for reorganisations and complex tax structuring. Nicola Manclark in Bristol is praised by clients as 'an outstanding professional who delivers high-quality advice', with corporate and commercial tax experience.

Practice head(s):

Angus Bauer

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Manclark

Testimonials

‘Competent, friendly advice, quickly available when you need it. Good value for money. Excellent team.’

‘Fantastic, well-thought-through advice delivered calmly and effectively. Answers to complex issues given in simple, easy-to-understand language. Calm under the pressure of an M&A event.’

‘Nicola Manclark was a pleasure to work with throughout our M&A process. She has detailed knowledge but with the ability to summarise in clear language what needed to be done and when. She was always available when needed, and calm under pressure but with a forensic eye for detail.’

‘The entire team is very responsive and collaborative. In all of our engagements the team delivered great, high-quality output and was fast to respond and find solutions to any queries and issues along the way.’

‘Nicola Manclark is an outstanding professional who delivers high-quality advice and often goes the extra mile in helping, explaining and exploring in great detail complex topics to find the best solution.’

‘Ashfords has assembled a smart team that consistently goes above and beyond to ensure well-considered advice is delivered in a timely fashion. They’ll keep your deadlines in mind, and are happy to adjust conversations and project work to suit as needs evolve. That kind of fast-paced flexibility is just what you need when you’re in the midst of a complex transaction with hard deadlines. Ashfords also gracefully adapted technology to whatever communication channels we were most comfortable with.’

‘Nicola Manclark tackled all of the many complexities involved in our matter with a calmness and professionalism that put us all at ease and gave us comfort that all bases were being covered. In a situation where tax considerations spanned multiple countries, Nicola went above and beyond by linking us up with appropriate tax experts in the countries outside the UK. She was also happy to jump on a call with us at very short notice.’

Key clients

Curtis Banks Group plc

GoMedia Services Ltd

Brand Architekts plc

Swallowfield plc

Pittards plc

Schlumberger plc

City & Counties REIT plc

Nordson Corporation plc

Pennon Group plc

LiveWest Holmes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Curtis Banks Group plc on tax matters in connection with the simultaneous acquisition of Talbot and Muir, a specialist SIPP and SASS provider, and Dunstan Thomas Limited, a fintech business.
  • Advising City & Counties REIT plc on establishing a tax-efficient and tax-transparent REIT.
  • Advised Altinity Limited on the tax issues related to its reorganisation.

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's tax team is appreciated by clients for providing 'specialist tax advice in areas such as stamp duty land tax and share schemes as well as VAT'. The group also works closely with the firm's corporate lawyers on corporate transactions, as well as providing tax advice to private equity houses in relation to their portfolio building programmes. On the contentious front, the team's lawyers have experience in HMRC investigations for corporates and individuals. John Pindard leads the team in Plymouth, focusing on corporate tax issues, including restructurings. In Bristol, practice head Anna Parker's practice spans real estate and employment taxation, as well as SDLT issues.

Practice head(s):

John Pindard; Anna Parker

Testimonials

‘Very good technical knowledge. One of few legal teams who I would look to for specialist tax advice in areas such as stamp duty land tax and share schemes as well as VAT.’

‘In particular, John Pindard stands out from the other lawyers I deal with, mainly because of his technical skills. He is very commercial and deals with matters promptly. On SDLT there is nobody else I think who is as good technically in this area.’

‘John Pindard in particular is most helpful: articulating solutions in both a positive and constructive manner and, importantly, always looking at the long-term impact of any implementation.’

‘The team stand out for their availability and approachability. They are experts, yet make the subject understandable.’

‘The team are able to work seamlessly with my colleagues on tax-related matters and are always on hand to provide assistance when necessary. In addition, they are prepared to assist with ad hoc queries without starting the billing clock, recognising the importance of building sustainable relationships with clients.

Key clients

United Business Media

Kawasaki

Mole Valley Farmers Limited

Screwfix

B&Q Plc

China Fleet Country Club

The Mortgage Lender Limited

Business Growth Fund

Maybank UK

Hawksmoor Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised K2 Holdings on negotiating the tax documentation incorporated within its sales documentation.
  • Advised the directors of Beachdown on a phased demerger of the company with a view to creating a group structure, within which each shareholder could operate their own portfolio of investment properties.
  • Advised Air IT on its acquisition of an entire group of companies, a matter that involved research and development tax credits.

TLT

At TLT's Bristol office, the corporate tax and incentives group excels in transactional and advisory work. The group is particularly focused on real estate, corporate and incentives taxation, with the ability to draw on the expertise of private client-focused colleagues. The firm also has a niche in tax issues relating to clean energy, financial services and the public sector, and is additionally known for its specialism in tax issues arising from insolvencies. Ben Watson heads the department, with a strong advisory practice. Mark Braude, who was promoted to partner in 2021, is an expert in corporate tax structuring, while associate Lizzie Stone is making a name for herself in relation to share schemes and employment taxes.

Practice head(s):

Ben Watson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Braude; Lizzie Stone

Testimonials

‘Clear and concise advise provided.’

‘Mark Braude provided some excellent advice on personal and corporate taxation.’

‘The practice covers a range of expertise. Staff have built up considerable knowledge of our company over the years, which ensures that knowledge and appropriate advice is always available. The firm also has a strong charity sector arm.’

‘There are a number of lawyers who understand our business, have developed a long-term relationship and continue to provide sound advice.’

Key clients

Boohoo group plc

JD Sports

WH Smith

Inchcape Retail Limited

Aardman Animations Limited

Swan Housing Group

Ecotricity

Manchester Airport

Punch Pubs

Royal Museums Greenwich

Work highlights

  • Advising Boohoo on the VAT aspects (including structure and drafting) of its acquisition of the Debenhams brand and associated intellectual property assets from the joint administrators of the Debenhams retail group.
  • Advising Boohoo on the tax aspects of its acquisition of the remaining 34% stake in its PrettyLittleThing brand, valued at £324m.
  • Providing strategic advice to the directors of Go Outdoors Retail Limited on the tax issues relating to its sale to a newly incorporated subsidiary of JD Sports Fashion plc.

VWV

With 'high-level expertise in tax advisory work', the team in VWV's Bristol office is known for contentious tax matters relating to direct and indirect taxation, as well as advising on the structure of cross-border transactions for corporates and high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, the group has experience in tax issues in the charities and education sectors. 'Experienced corporate tax lawyerEmma Bradley leads the team. Associate Jonny Musty is increasingly active in the area of corporate tax, with experience in HMRC challenges.

Practice head(s):

Emma Bradley

Other key lawyers:

Jonny Musty

Testimonials

‘A substantial regional firm with a very strong following in Bristol and high-level expertise in tax advisory work.’

‘Emma Bradley is an experienced corporate tax lawyer.

‘The advice and communication from Emma Bradley was clear, professional and appropriate.’

Key clients

Morgan Lloyd Administration Limited

Ripjar Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for data intelligence business Ripjar on tax issues relating to securing $36.8m in series B funding from Long Ridge Equity Partners.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's tax group in Bristol supports the firm's key practices, with a strong focus on the renewable energy sector. Team head Ronan Lowney also has expertise in international taxation, particularly assisting the firm's Scandinavian, German, Japanese and North American clients with investments in the UK, as well as advising financial institutions on common reporting standards.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Lowney

Key clients

Piper Private Equity

RES UK & Ireland

E.S. Pipelines Limited

Resonance Fund

Moorfield

Work highlights

  • Advising Piper Private Equity on issues with regard to shareholder roll over, the tax treatment of finance and employee benefits and ratchet payments for consideration on the sale by Piper Private Equity of Forthglade Foods Limited, a large pet food manufacturer.
  • Advised Resonance on the drafting of the constitutional documents covering aspects of stamp duty land tax and other transactional taxes of the National Homelessness Property Fund 2.
  • Advised E.S Pipelines on tax issues related to the intra-group pre-purchase restructuring, capital allowances, VAT and SDLT of the phased acquisition of extensive gas utility assets and operations from Fulcrum.