Burges Salmon LLP is well-known in the South West market for the strength of its corporate practice, with the firm’s corporate tax team forming a key element of this offering. The group regularly assists prominent UK clients, including plcs, with the tax aspects of high-value transactions involving companies and capital assets. The team also frequently receives instructions from international clients looking to invest in UK assets. Ian Carnochan leads the practice and has expertise in complex, cross-border tax matters, while John Barnett heads the firm’s private client team and also handles corporate tax. Hilary Barclay was promoted to partner in March 2022 and offers clients experience across M&A, reorganisations and equity fundraisings, and senior associate Jessica Chesterfield is developing a practice spanning the financial services, real estate and charity sectors. Former practice head Sarah Lane departed the firm in July 2021 to join Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
Corporate tax in South West
Other key lawyers:
John Barnett; Hilary Barclay; Jessica Chesterfield
‘They work very efficiently with the corporate and commercial teams.’
The Crown Estate
UK Atomic Energy Authority
Element Solutions Inc
Embark Group Limited
Fern Fibre Limited
Octopus Investments Limited
- Acted for John Lewis on the purchase of a 1 million sq ft distribution centre at Fenny Lock in Milton Keynes, from Tesco.
- Advised the Embark Group on its conditional sale to Lloyds Banking Group for £390 million.
- Advised Element Solutions Inc. on all aspects of its US$60 million acquisition of H.K. Wentworth Group, a leading UK-based manufacturer of electro-chemicals.
Osborne Clarke LLP has 'good breadth and depth of expertise' in the corporate tax space, with partners in the team working alongside the market-leading corporate and funds practices to handle complex tax issues. The group’s work in transactional tax includes providing advice to both the buy and sell-sides of deals, and it is adept at handling cross-border transactions. The practice also has deep expertise in advising on matters involving investment funds, including the establishment, restructuring and closure of funds; it also handles investments by and into funds. Share incentives are another notable area of expertise for the practice. The team is jointly led by Tracey Wright, who also heads the overall UK tax group, and Erika Jupe, who serves as head of international tax. Associate director Elizabeth Shanahan is another key figure to note in the team and frequently takes a leading role on matters involving investment funds.
Tracey Wright; Erika Jupe
Other key lawyers:
‘Good depth and breadth of expertise in the team.’
‘Key partner is Tracey Wright; quick to respond, highly commercial and brilliant at explaining complexities.’
Pension Protection Fund
BAE Systems Pension Fund
Bridges Fund Management
BDW Trading Limited
BMO Real Estate Partners
M&G Residential Property Fund
Infra Red Capital Partners
Edmond de Rothschild Residential Property Fund
- Advised InfraRed Capital Partners on the sale of a portfolio of last-mile logistics assets in the UK and France to Blackstone real estate funds.
- Providing full tax advisory mandate for a joint venture between Equitix and Equans (the services-led activities of Engie UK & Ireland) on a £120m student accommodation project for at University of Birmingham.
- Acting for Amber Infrastructure on the establishment of the Green New Deal Fund.
The corporate tax team at Ashfords LLP is continuing to develop a reputation for advising on the tax aspects of reorganisations, including demergers. The group is also regularly instructed on M&A deals, where it acts for both buy and sell-side clients, as well as providing tax advice relating to the establishment of investment funds. Angus Bauer leads the team from the firm’s Exeter office, with Nicola Manclark another name to note; Manclark’s expertise includes advising on corporate and real estate transactions as well as on employee incentive plans.
Other key lawyers:
Centrax Industries Ltd
Holland and Barrett Retail Ltd
Brand Architekts plc
City & Counties REIT plc
Nordson Corporation plc
Pennon Group plc
Northbridge Industrial Services Plc
- Providing tax advice to Pennon plc and negotiating tax provisos in the share purchase agreement for the purchase of Bristol Water plc.
- Advising the selling shareholders on the sale of Loaf Limited to CoCo Holdings company including advice on capital gains tax rollover treatment, entrepreneurs’ relief and employment related securities risks, and negotiating the sale contracts. Consideration of £70m (confidential)
- Advising City & Counties REIT plc on establishing a tax efficient and tax transparent £200M REIT. The company is registered in Gibraltar. It is tax resident in the UK for tax purposes and will be listed on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange main market. We gave tax advice on which property investment entity is the most tax efficient structure to use to invest in UK sited residential property.
The corporate team at Foot Anstey has experience across contentious and non-contentious tax, offering clients expertise in cross-border tax issues. The practice regularly assists on the tax aspects of M&A deals, acting for buyers and sellers and drawing on the wider firm’s strength in corporate transactions. The team also advises corporate clients on structuring the employee incentives in a tax efficient manner. John Pindard and Anna Parker jointly lead the team; Pindard has 'very good technical knowledge' and experience in handling the tax elements of a range of corporate transactions, while Parker is a private wealth specialist who is also highly active in corporate tax.
John Pindard; Anna Parker
‘I have found the depth and breadth of knowledge to be very useful and also a very commercial approach to advice.’
‘I would say that John Pindard is probably one of the best tax lawyers I have come across in the 30 years that I have been involved in giving tax advice. He has very good technical knowledge and communicates well with clients of all levels. Irrespective of how busy he may be he always finds time to return calls, which is not always the case with others.’
‘Foot Anstey has been a partner to our company for many years, they have been able to help our business with many legal aspects. They were supportive, knowledgable and worked as a partner over a near two year period and they provided excellent advice. We highly recommend FA.’
‘The team want to understand our business, they take time to create a partnership environment. Everyone I have worked with is of a high caliber and capability and if there is anything that is not known, they take the time find out or refer to someone else in the business that does.’
United Business Media
Kawasaki Precision Machinery Limited
Mole Valley Farmers
M Baker Foodservice Ltd
The Mortgage Lender Limited
Business Growth Fund
Hawksmoor Group Limited
- Advised Mohawk Investments on their corporate reorganisation, which involved the transfer of existing trading companies into the Mohawk Group as a preliminary step to realising substantial private equity investment into a newly incorporated company at the head of the enlarged Mohawk corporate group.
- Provided tax advice to a shareholder in connection with the removal of a company containing his property portfolio from the Beachdown group. The tax advice included advice on mitigating his liability to CGT, SDLT, VAT and also a potential de-grouping charge for his company.
- Advised the shareholders of Silverfish UK (Holdings) Limited on the personal and corporate taxation issues associated with the sale of their shareholdings in return for a mix of cash, loan notes and equity.
At TLT, the Bristol office provides broad advice to clients on the tax aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, joint ventures and commercial agreements. In addition to acting for companies, the group is instructed by private equity funds to advise on their investments and acquisitions. The team acts on matters involving sectors such as energy, leisure and retail. Ben Watson leads the corporate tax and incentives team, with Mark Braude also noted for his work for clients including real estate developers, companies, individual shareholders and PE funds.
Other key lawyers:
Mark Braude; Lizzie Stone
‘Mark Braude provided excellent support on complex SDLT matters throughout the final stages of commercial negotiations, and was always available when required.’
Boohoo group plc
Inchcape Retail Limited
Aardman Animations Limited
Swan Housing Group
Royal Museums Greenwich
- Advised long-standing client Ecotricity on the sale of the Electric Highway to sustainable energy company GRIDSERVE.
- Advised Roper Rhodes, a leading independent supplier of bathroom products, on its sale to Svedbergs, the market leader in bathroom furniture in the Nordic region.
- Advised affordable housing provider, Network Homes Limited, on the development and disposal of an element of its£140m residential property development in Southall, London to Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord.
VWV has a varied offering in the corporate tax space, with experience ranging from advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions to representing clients before the tax tribunal. The group has carved out a particular niche in the provision of tax advice to charities, such as advising charities on the VAT status of income streams as well as on tax relief. The team’s work in 2021 also included assisting clients with transitions to employee ownership trusts and with share option schemes. Emma Bradley leads the Bristol-based department and is 'knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to work with.'
‘The process was smooth. The lawyer responded to my questions and gave pertinent answers not just once but several times. Very patient.’
‘Emma Bradley is knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to work with.’
Morgan Lloyd Administration Limited
CleanTEC Services Limited
- Advised CleanTEC Services Limited in relation to the company becoming employee owned.
The tax team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP frequently acts alongside its corporate teams in Bristol and Southampton to handle the tax aspects of M&A transactions. Renewable energy is a key area of focus for the team; it advises on the acquisition and disposal of energy companies and SPVs as well as on joint ventures. The group is also regularly engaged on transactions involving private equity. Managing associate Ronan Lowney serves as practice head.
Piper Private Equity
RES UK & Ireland
LDC Private Equity
- Advised Niedax GmbH on its purchase of RM Electrical Holdings Limited and the related acquisition of minority interests in a subsidiary.
- Advised on the sale by the Sellers of the Company to Nactatome Group. Tax issues included a pre-sale re-organisation of company assets.
- Acted for the Seller (the Endless/Enact fund) on the sale of Redhall Solutions Holdings Limited. Tax issues included advising on the earn-out mechanics.