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Corporate tax in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Following the retirement of Nigel Poppelwell, the tax team at Burges Salmon LLP is jointly led by Sarah Lane and Ian Carnochan, both of whom have substantial expertise in transactional tax and advisory matters. The group as a whole is instructed by major UK and international corporates on work including tax planning advice for property transactions, tax-led corporate restructurings and standalone tax advice. Furthermore, Lane is also able to handle tax disputes before UK tax authorities. John Barnett is another name to note, with experience providing tax advice to owner-managed businesses and arising from private equity investments.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Lane; Ian Carnochan

Other key lawyers:

John Barnett; Jessica Chesterfield

Key clients

Yeo Valley Group

The Crown Estate

Local Pensions Partnership Investments

Causeway Capital Partners

Affinity Water

Cibus Fund

Church Commissioners

Bridges Fund Management


Work highlights

  • Advised Local Pensions Partnership Investments (LLPI) on setting up its first pooled Local Government Pension Scheme Real Estate Fund. The Fund is expected to reach around £2 billion assets under management.
  • The firm advised Dublin-headquartered private equity firm Causeway Capital on its acquisition of U.K. café chain Patisserie Valerie, which went into administration in January 2019.
  • Advised Cibus on the acquisition of a UK and Portugal based business.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Osborne Clarke's tax group stands out for transactional and advisory tax work, assisting clients with domestic and cross-border issues. The group has particular expertise in tax advisory and structuring matters in the real estate and infrastructure sectors, as well as advising on  issues relating to funds and private equity. Tracey Wright leads on corporate tax and heads the firm-wide UK tax practice, while Erika Jupe leads the international tax group, and has experience providing standalone tax advice and transactional support to overseas clients investing in the UK and EU. Associate director Elizabeth Shanahan is another key name specialising in tax issues in the financial services and funds space.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Wright; Erika Jupe

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Shanahan


I am particularly impressed by OC’s punctuality in resolving issues. They are happy to take a call at any time and are very efficient in dealing with issues as they arise rather than making a problem out of it.’

Everyone we have dealt with is very attentive and it feels like they take on board all the details from any conversation.’

Key clients

Arlington Investors

BAE Systems Pension Fund

University of Bristol



Palmer Capital

BDW Trading

Pension Protection Fund



Student Castle Group

Barwood Capital

Work highlights

  • Handling all tax structuring aspects of the University of Bristol’s £300m plus Temple Quarter development, including complex advice on both VAT and SDLT.
  • Acting for Palmer Capital and development partner Cubex on the tax elements of the redevelopment of the Old Fire Station site in Bristol.
  • Advising BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees on tax aspects of the £1bn consolidation of BAE pension scheme investments.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP has developed a strong tax reorganisation practice, with the team also advising on demergers of  high-value property investment businesses to mitigate tax liabilities. Clients include corporate groups and standalone entities, with the practice advising on the full spectrum of tax work, from employment  and cross-border issues, through to  corporation, VAT and property tax matters. Tax structuring expert Angus Bauer heads the department, which includes Nicola Manclark, who often supports the firm's corporate and real estate teams.

Practice head(s):

Angus Bauer

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Manclark

Key clients

Brand Architekts Group plc

Oxygen House

Pittards plc

Pennon Group plc

Centrax Industries

Schlumberger plc

Clarke International & Machine Mart


Torbay Council

Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Foot Anstey

Foot Anstey's team is noted for its tax advisory offering, regularly handling the tax aspects of corporate and private equity transactions for the firm's clients, as well as standalone tax disputes before HMRC. The group also works alongside the private client department to assist high-net-worth individuals with their investments. Co-leading the team, John Pindard has a strong transactional tax practice, while Anna Parker is noted for structuring advice, real estate and employment tax matters.

Practice head(s):

John Pindard; Anna Parker


John Pindard has a good manner and is able to explain really technical tax issues in a language that is easily understood by the clients – he gives sound advice and options, but is always willing to give his a view on the solution.’

Key clients

United Business Media


Mole Valley Farmers


B&Q Plc

China Fleet Country Club

Devon Waste Management

Business Growth Fund

Maybank UK

TIGL Holdings

Work highlights

  • Assisted Business Growth Fund with negotiations regarding the tax documentation referable to a second round of investment in a target company.
  • Acted for TIGL Holdings in an acquisition.


TLT's corporate tax and incentives team combines expertise in corporate, real estate and employee tax with knowledge in employment-related securities, IR35, personal and international tax and trusts. Ben Watson heads the department, with particular expertise in employment tax.

Practice head(s):

Ben Watson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Braude; Vicki Carr; Lizzie Stone

Key clients

boohoo group plc

WHSmith plc

Molson Construction Equipment

ExamWorks UK

Aardman Animations

Swan Housing Group

Endless LLP


Francis Flower

Encore Capital

Work highlights

  • Acting for Macquarie in relation to its investment into a £30m pioneering anaerobic digestion and processing facility involving a large agricultural and farming business across several land holdings.
  • Advised on tax aspects of a £3.6m private equity investment for global manufacturing pioneer, Dymag, including applying for and successfully obtaining clearance from HMRC. The deal sees the Wiltshire-based company partner with Puma Private Equity, a division of Puma Investments, to expand its operations and fast-track product development.
  • Advising Open Bionics on EIS aspects of a significant Series A investment (including successfully obtaining advance assurance from HMRC for the company).


At VWV, practice head Emma Bradley handles contentious and non-contentious tax issues, including HMRC investigations and employment tax matters. The group is regularly instructed on SDLT and VAT planning, as well as cross-border transactions.

Practice head(s):

Emma Bradley


Although a relatively small team compared to some of the other firms in the Bristol/South West marketplace, you would never know this from the speed of response or the quality of the advice provided by the VWV tax team.’

Cater to the specific needs of in-house counsel, which are unique in nature. Many firms are not adapting well to the specific reality of an in-house counsel. VWV has a winning formula and are adaptable.’

Having not worked with Emma Bradley previously, I was really impressed not only with her knowledge on the subject but also how clearly and concisely she communicated.


Key clients

Bellevue Education Group

Broadway family (Broadway Education)

University of Bristol

Morgan Lloyd Administration

Work highlights

  • Advised shareholders of Broadway Education on tax aspects of the sale of Bosworth International College and St. Michael’s School to Bright Scholar.
  • Advising certain shareholders of Specialist Waste Recycling Group, on tax aspects of the sale of the business to Biffa plc, including various complexities of the exercise of share options by a large pool of employees and former employees.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

The Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP tax department has notable energy sector expertise, and regularly advises on the restructuring and sale of wind farm and biomass projects. Drawing on the firm's transatlantic presence, it also has experience assisting international clients with their investments in the UK. Finance and private equity investment-related tax is another area where the group excels. Managing associate Ronan Lowney takes the lead.

Practice head(s):

Ronan Lowney


‘We regularly deal with Ronan Lowney on tax matters and he is always great to deal with, providing sensible commercial advice.’

Key clients

Piper Private Equity

RES UK & Ireland



Arch Insurance

Third energy





Work highlights

  • Advised Bermuda-based Arch Reinsurance Ltd on its agreement to purchase Barbican Group Holdings from funds managed by Carlson Capital, a U.S.-based alternative asset management firm.
  • Advised HQW Holding (UK), a UK affiliate of HQW Precision, a German supplier of precision rolling bearings and assembles, on its acquisition of Barden Corporation (UK), located in Plymouth, from the Schaeffler Group. The acquisition involved cross border negotiation of tax aspects of the transaction and dealing with international tax issues such as transfer pricing.
  • Advised Chrysaor on a pioneering structure involving the forward funding of a North Sea infrastructural development.