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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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Who Represents Who

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Parisi Tax LLP is a ‘first-rate tax team providing a top level of service’; it ‘comes to clients with practical solutions to unusual issues that require creative thinking, and expresses them in a user-friendly and easy-to-understand way, which is often overlooked as a skill in tax law’. Lisa Stevenson is ‘great to work with – she has great technical expertise, coupled with an easy-going personality’; she acted alongside legal directors Jennie Newton and Elizabeth Morgan  for Pemberstone Industries on various tax matters. Becky Rees (who is ‘technically excellent and very creative’) and legal director Jon Robinson – an ‘extremely efficient and very user-friendly’ new hire from Pinsent Masons LLP – advised KPMG on the tax covenant and warranties aspects of the sale of Stowe Family Law LLP to a private equity buyer. Referrers of work include other law firms, including several well-known names from the US.

In DLA Piper UK LLP’s Birmingham office, Mark Burgess and senior associate Nick Hinton advised Webjet on the tax elements of its £200m purchase of JacTravelGroup, and advised Morgan Advanced Materials on the sale of its UK electro-ceramics business to CeramTec. Other clients include Oval Real Estate, which it advised on its purchase of The Custard Factory building in Birmingham, and RBS, which it advised on its sale of Premier Place in London. The practice is also active in major corporate restructurings.

DWF’s Jon Stevens ‘understands complex tax issues very quickly and uses a good balance giving strong legal advice in the context of the client’s wider commercial objectives’. He is particularly active in AIM related mandates; recent highlights include advising City of London Group on the tax elements of its £20m reverse takeover of Milton Homes, and advised Keyword Studios, which is listed on AIM, on various cross-border acquisitions. He also advised Hannover Re on the tax elements of purchasing Argenta Holdings, which owns a Lloyd’s of London managing agent, and assisted DF World of Spices on its purchase of Barts Ingredients from a private equity seller. Other work concerns tax disputes as well as real estate matters.

Gowling WLG's tax practice regularly handles deals with real estate elements. Lee Nuttall advised GCP Student Living on the tax elements of the financing and purchase of a site in Brighton, and assisted HSBC Alternative Investments with the purchase of Brindleyplace Properties. Other highlights included advising the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of the Province of Ontario on the tax aspects of its investment in Red Funnel. Directors Zoe Fatchen and Chris Nyland  are also key contacts. Other clients include a joint venture of St Modwen Properties and Vinci Construction, which it advised on the sale of the Nine Elms Square site to Dalian Wanda, which necessitated cross-border work with mainland China.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘timely, responsive and pragmatic’ team handles a mixture of tax work, including transactional tax matters, investment funds and share schemes. Kevin Lowe is ‘proactive and helpful, and able to explain the various clauses in the documents clearly for clients’ – he advised Richardson International Limited on its purchase of European Oat Millers and land it leased, and also advised PayPoint on the sale of its mobile payment services business to Volkswagen Financial Services for £26.5m. Lowe also advised the shareholders of Molecular Products Group on the company’s sale to Arlington Capital Partners, and Allinea Software on the tax elements of its sale to ARM. In the investment funds space, Neil Pearson advises Maven Capital Partners and Livingbridge VC on their portfolio investments – in particular, he advised Livingbridge on an investment into In the Style. Fund formation work includes advising Big Issue Invest on the formation of Big Issue Invest Outcomes Investment Fund, a £30m European Social Enterprise Fund with a significant commitment from Big Society Capital. Away from funds, Pearson advises The Funding Circle on employee share scheme matters.

Browne Jacobson LLP's Andrew Noble, who is dual-qualified as a chartered tax adviser, is praised for his ‘knowledge, responsiveness and ability to work with other advisers’. He advised Addo Food Group (owner of Pork Farms) on the tax aspects of a secondary buy-out, and he also advised Lloyds Development on the tax elements of its purchase of ENSEK. Other clients include the selling members of Catalyst Corporate Finance LLP, who he advised on the sale of the business to Alanatra Partners. Away from corporate tax, he also advised the London Borough of Enfield on VAT and SDLT issues concerning the regeneration of a former industrial site.

At Higgs & Sons Susheel Gupta heads a practice that has a particular niche in handling the tax elements of sales on behalf of shareholders. Gupta advised the shareholders of Domotec on the company’s sale to Fortune Brands, and the sellers of Westbridge Food Group to Chareon Popkhand Foods. Buy-side highlights included advice to SG International Holdings on the purchase of Bestodeck, and advice to Wavenet on the purchase of Talk Internet. The team also advised Aquapak Hydropolymers and Globe Locums on restructuring exercises. Associate Craig Thomas is a new hire from Squire Patton Boggs.

Shoosmiths LLP’s Kate Featherstone advised Holmes Place on the British tax aspects of the sale of Virgin Active health clubs in Iberia, which necessitated re-domiciling the target companies to Spain and Portugal. More locally, she also advised the sellers of the Hotel La Tour in Birmingham in a transaction which had complex VAT issues, and also advised the founders of SecurEnvoy on the company’s sale and reverse takeover onto AIM. Private equity clients include Inflexion, which she advised on the tax elements concerning its management buyout of Xtrac, which makes high-performance gearboxes such as those used by IndyCar.

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