Parisi Tax LLP, which has a standout reputation nationally, generates a significant amount of work from law firms and accountancy firms. It also attracts work from direct clients. Lisa Stevenson and Becky Rees co-head the team, whose diverse practice covers the tax aspects of corporate transactions, share schemes, SEIS/EIS fundraisings and real estate transactions. Its tax expertise also comes to the fore in reorganisations, demergers and refinancings. In 2019, Stevenson and Jon Robinson acted for the founder shareholders and remaining management shareholders of Mediatonic Limited on an investment by Synova. Jamie Chambers joined Shoosmiths LLP.
Corporate tax in West Midlands
Other key lawyers:
‘Technical excellence, availability and competitive pricing.’
‘Becky Rees is an established tax partner, who has a strong grasp of technical issues. Jon Robinson is also well regarded for his support on real estate tax, and has an open/approachable manner.’
‘We use Parisi Tax on all our deals as they deliver pragmatic, commercial, quick turnaround and sensible advice. They are very responsive and we trust them to deliver for our clients, which they always do.’
‘I have worked with Jon Robinson on a number of transactions and, based on these experiences, he is always my first port of call when input is need in respect of acquisition and disposal-related tax warranties and indemnities. He is flexible, knowledgeable, user-friendly and highly commercial, never taking positions for the sake of it and always mindful of the client’s underlying goals. He can always be relied upon to come up with the goods, even when the time frame is tight.’
‘The depth of technical experience and ability to communicate complicated advice to clients is excellent.’
‘Lisa and Becky are knowledgeable, commercial and responsive.’
‘A very friendly, client-facing team which delivers advice in a way that clients can understand and act upon. The team is also very responsive and prepared to go the extra mile to meet transaction deadlines.’
Sapphire Systems Limited shareholders
Off Piste Wines Limited
Darkstorm Trading/ Interr Security
- Advising John Lyttle, the new CEO of boohoo group plc, on his share incentive award.
- Advising Visasset Limited on pre-sale restructuring.
- Worked with PwC’s tax teams in the UK and India to handle the tax aspects of Ebro Foods’ $342m acquisition of Tilda from a major US food company.
Browne Jacobson LLP has a diverse tax practice, which is active in UK and cross-border M&A, real estate transactions, employee and management share incentives, and EIS and SEIS. Its team also represents clients in tax disputes arising from corporate transactions. In 2019, practice head Andrew Noble (who is dual-qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser) worked with the corporate team to advise the selling shareholders of TCL Holdings (Parent) Limited on the disposal of the business to Idverde, and also the re-investment of certain managers in the buying entity.
- Advised individual sellers and management team of CARE Fertility Holdings Limited on the tertiary buyout of CARE Fertility by Silverfleet Capital from mid-market private equity firm Bowmark Capital.
- Acted for Sunrise Records and Entertainment Limited on their acquisition of HMV Retail Limited (In Administration) and HMV E-Commerce.
- Advised Barking and Dagenham Trading Partnership, a trading subsidiary of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, on its acquisition of Londoneast-uk Ltd, with its business and technical park.
At DLA Piper, practice head Mark Burgess is particularly well-known for his expertise in the tax aspects of real estate transactions. In addition, Burgess and his Birmingham team handle tax issues associated with multinational corporate reorganisations and transactions. Equally strong acting for UK and overseas-based entities, the firm's clients include listed and unlisted companies, and public sector organisations. Senior associate Nick Hinton is another key figure.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team provides a reliable, calm and technically sound tax service. Legal drafting is good, and tax opinions cover the required areas simply and without reams of boilerplate.’
‘I rate Mark Burgess as an exceptional property tax expert, and his team, including Nick Hinton, continue to grow and learn from his leadership and expertise.’
‘Mark Burgess has solid technical abilities and a takes a calm and patient approach to problems, allowing a measured discussion of issues. He is a very good communicator, particularly when issues arise.’
Universities Superannuation Scheme
St James’s Place
MKS Instruments, Inc
Unilever Pension Fund
- Advised East End Foods and its shareholders on its sale to an Exponent-backed entity.
- Advised a US multinational company on the application of the UK’s “anti-hybrid”, “diverted profits tax” and “ORIP” rules to a large S&P 500 multinational.
- Advised a large UK pension fund on its UK property investment ownership, including the winding up of a property holding structure.
As part of a larger UK team, DWF's group in Birmingham assists national and international clients with a wide range of tax matters. Its work covers domestic and cross-border M&A, the incorporation of tax-efficient funds, private equity deals, share schemes and real estate transactions, among other areas. Tax litigation is another area of strength; a highlight involved Jon Stevens and others representing London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP at the First-tier Tribunal over business premises renovation allowances claimed on a large-scale property renovation.
‘Jon Stevens is a hugely impressive lawyer – commercial, technical and responsive.’
‘Thorough, considered and (most of all) commercial advice.’
‘A pleasure to work with and trusted advice on a wide variety of complex issues.’
Whitbread Group plc
West Midlands Combined Authority
London Luton Hotel BPRA Property Fund LLP
LXi REIT Plc
Birmingham City Council
Lidl Great Britain Limited
Alumno Group Limited
- Advised LXi REIT plc on the tax aspects of a number of complex, high-value real estate acquisitions. One highlight involved advising the client on a very high-value acquisition and development forward-funding deal concerning a new hanger at Biggin Hill Airport.
- Acted for Copthorne Hotel on its relocation within the Argent and Birmingham City Council’s Paradise Circus regeneration.
- Advised PepsiCo on its acquisition of Pipers Crisps Limited.
Gowling WLG excels in handling cross-border reorganisations for multinational companies; its team's expertise in this space includes VAT, remuneration structuring, customs duties and payroll taxes. In addition, the group advises on tax issues connected with corporate and real estate transactions, management incentives and tax disputes. In 2019, practice head Lee Nuttall and recently promoted senior associate Michael Sweeney provided tax advice to Stamford Land on its acquisition of a Grade A office and retail investment property at 8 Finsbury Circus from Mitsubishi Estate London Ltd. Tom Rank made principal associate. Recently promoted partner Chris Nyland has real estate tax expertise.
‘The team is proactive and friendly. I can expect commercial and well-judged advice.’
‘Lee Nuttall always gives sound advice.’
‘The Gowlings tax team is great to work with as they are not only superb experts in property tax but also are able to work collaboratively with us to make sure all tax issues are covered off.’
‘Lee Nuttall is a superb tax lawyer, who really knows his stuff and is very easy to work with. I have learned a lot from his very patient explanations of complex tax issues. Lee has a huge amount of experience and uses this to good effect when providing solutions to tax problems.’
GCP Student Living Plc
The Office Group
Royal London Mutual Insurance
National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited
Triple Point Social Housing REIT Plc
Tameside/Greater Manchester Pension Fund
- Advised Queensgate Investments on tax issues associated with its acquisition of four central London luxury hotels through a corporate acquisition and restructure funded by Société Générale, Cheyne Capital Management and The Carlyle Group; and the future running of those hotels by the Fattal group.
- Provided GCP Student Living Plc with VAT, SDLT and direct tax structuring advice on the forward-funding of a 403-bed student accommodation project at Kernel Court in Guildford.
- Assisted U+I with tax issues associated with the forward-funded development of a 419-bed student accommodation scheme comprising part of a mixed-use ‘urban village’ regeneration of a three-acre brownfield site.
Mills & Reeve LLP's highly regarded team includes Neil Pearson, who has specialist expertise in venture capital schemes (VCT, EIS, SEIS) and social investment (SITR). Pearson is also the head of the share incentives practice. Elsewhere, the firm handles tax issues connected with fund structuring, finance transactions and M&A. Pearson advised social impact fund manager Resonance on establishing its West Midlands SITR fund. Property tax structuring is another area of strength. Head of the corporate and commercial group Kevin Lowe is dual qualified as a chartered tax adviser, with almost 30 years' corporate tax experience.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team brought relevant experience to bear, and were keen to use this to get to a solution without spending a lot of time opining on the technicalities. It was refreshing to work with a team that could cut out the noise and focus on solving the key challenges.’
‘An ability to get straight to the heart of the problem.’
‘Very solution driven. Delivered a solution on a very complex matter which the client was happy with.’
‘Excellent in-depth knowledge.’
Health Education England
Boparan Restaurant Group
Big Society Capital
Maven Capital Partners
- Advising businesses owned by Wilmington Plc on the implications of the reforms of the off-payroll working sector (IR35).
- Advised Global Graphics Plc on the mandatory public takeover bid by Congra Software Sarl of the client.
- Advised the shareholders of Home Support Group on its disposal.
Shoosmiths LLP's main contact for tax advice in Birmingham is Kate Featherstone, who has expertise in M&A, private equity transactions, restructurings and employee incentive schemes. As part of a cross-office team, Featherstone has been advising Octopus Investments on a sizeable number of VCT and EIS qualifying investments. Other clients include multinational corporates, high-growth companies, owner-managed businesses and commercial property investors.
Maven Capital Partners LLP
Triple Point Investment Management LLP
- Acted for the selling shareholders on the sale of Innervision Management Limited, a global provider of lease accounting software, lease management consultancy and services, to Iris Capital Limited.
- Acted for the shareholders of Phabrix Limited, a global manufacturer of video and audio broadcast test and measurement instruments, on the sale of the company to Leader Europe Limited.
- Acted on multiple acquisitions for Dukes Education Group. The firm’s role was expanded over the course of those acquisitions to provide both tax structuring and tax due diligence services – particularly in relation to PAYE, NIC and complex employment related securities issues.
Higgs & Sons acts for owner-managed businesses, high-net-worth individuals and large corporates. In 2019, corporate tax head Susheel Gupta and associate Johnathan Hunter handled a complex group reorganisation for Phil Jones Associates Limited. Other work for clients includes M&A-related tax structuring, employee incentive and other remuneration schemes, property tax issues and succession planning.
‘A good team which provides personal service and straightforward advice‘
‘Easy to contact and always available to provide clear, concise advice‘
‘They possess a great deal of skill and knowledge in this area and can help with the exceptionally difficult area of selling a business, including all the emotional challenges that a client faces‘
‘Susheel Gupta is down-to-earth and speaks the client’s language, providing top-quality advice in a clear and easy to understand manner. He makes the client feel like he’s on their side, understands their concerns and builds the right strategy to achieve their goals‘
La Maison Bleue SAS
Brian James Trailers Limited
Shareholders of Akkroo Solutions Limited
Technology Blueprint Limited
Phil Jones Associates Limited
Big Button Holdings Limited
Shareholders of Foodient Limited
Slake Holdings Limited
- Acted for La Maison Bleue on its acquisition of The Old Station Nursery Limited. The tax team assisted the client with structuring this transaction and continues to advise on its UK structuring issues.
- Assisted the shareholders of Brian James Trailers Limited with a corporate reorganisation.
- Provided tax support to the shareholders of Akkroo Solutions Limited on the sale of the entire share capital of the company to Phoenix (US) venture-backed company Integrate Inc.