Tom Wilde > Shoosmiths LLP > Reading, England > Lawyer Profile

Shoosmiths LLP
APEX PLAZA
FORBURY ROAD
READING
RG1 1SH
England

Work Department

Corporate / Tax

Position

Tom is a partner in the tax department and heads up the firm’s enterprise investment scheme (EIS) and venture capital trusts (VCT) tax practice, which recently won the “Best SEIS/EIS Tax Adviser” at the EIS Association Awards 2018. Tom is one of the UK’s leading experts in this field and has extensive experience advising a wide range of investors and investee companies on structuring and implementing tax efficient investments, reorganisations and exits in compliance with the EIS and VCT regimes.

In addition, Tom has substantial experience of providing tax advice to companies and individuals on both one-off business transactions and on-going compliance. Tom regularly implements share option schemes including EMI options, employee shareholder shares and company share option plans, as well as negotiating with HMRC on both contentious and non-contentious matters. He is also a member of the Shoosmiths Private Wealth team.

His recent experience includes:

  • advising a number of EIS and VCT investors including Octopus Investments and Oakfield Capital on the impact on their existing and proposed investments of recent and forthcoming changes to the EIS and VCT regime;
  • acting for Octopus Investments on over 40 EIS and VCT compliant transactions per year, including obtaining advance assurances from HMRC;
  • advising a number of investee companies on how to structure EIS-compliant offers to investors;
  • advising a VCT on how to implement a complex restructure of an existing investment so as to ensure continued compliance with the VCT regime whilst securing the future of the investee company, including negotiating with HMRC;
  • acting for the management team on the sale of a group of companies to a large trade buyer including drafting and negotiating tax warranties and covenant, and providing detailed advice on the effect of the transaction on the client’s company share option plan;
  • setting up a number of EMI option schemes including for a UK-based performance improvement company and an American corporation; and
  • advising an American group on its UK company share option plan and delivering an explanatory training session to its UK-based employees.

Career

Having graduated from Downing College, Cambridge University with an MA in Law, Tom trained at Linklaters and qualified into their tax department in 2006. Tom joined Shoosmiths in 2007 and qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 2009, before becoming a partner in 2015.

Memberships

Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Education

Downing College, Cambridge; Nottingham Law School.

Leisure

Member and trustee of Emmanuel Church, Oxford; music: playing piano and saxophone; watching (and playing poorly) sport.

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Corporate and commercial > Corporate tax

(Leading individuals)

Tom Wilde Shoosmiths LLP

The Thames Valley team at Shoosmiths LLPgives clear, commercial advice’, with expertise in advising investors and investee companies alike on enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trust compliant investments. Exemplifying this in particular is practice head Tom Wilde, who is a leading expert in this field nationally. The team benefits from the wider department’s real estate tax practice, led by Daniel Kennedy, who also has considerable experience in providing transactional corporate tax advice.

London > Employment > Employee share schemes

Shoosmiths LLP  is especially popular among private companies and startups seeking advice on the implementation of their incentive arrangements and share plans. Another area of notable strength within the team is private equity transactions, often working alongside target companies’ lawyers to improve existing schemes and remuneration packages. The group is led by Tom Wilde, who has extensive expertise in advising on tax efficient investments and share schemes such as EMI options. Anika Chandra departed the firm in May 2022 to join Osborne Clarke LLP.

London > Corporate and commercial > Venture capital

Able to provide ‘high-quality advice based on their comprehensive knowledge of market norms’, Shoosmiths LLP remains visible in the market among a slew of very active investors, including Gresham House Ventures and Octopus Ventures. Birmingham-based team head Alastair Peet has been pivotal to the success of the team as a whole, effectively knitting together expertise across key regions, including the Midlands, Thames Valley and London, as well as successfully implementing cost-efficient document automation, which has proved particularly useful for volume investors, including Octopus Ventures. Also based in Birmingham, Alistair Hammerton is gaining significant traction among an investor-focused client base and is appreciated for his ability to provide ‘concise and accurate advice‘Methodical and balanced’ in his approach, London-based partner Steve Barnett provides ‘commercial and pragmatic’ advice and continues to grow the firm’s company side credentials. Other key members of the national team include corporate partner Sanjeev Sharma, whose work encompasses a significant amount of venture capital mandates and tax partner Tom Wilde, who is ‘a standout individual for his knowledge of the EIS and VCT rules’. Helen Burnell, who leads the firm’s spHERe initiative to support female founders and venture capitalists, was recently promoted to partner.