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

Shoosmiths LLP

Work Department

Corporate / Tax


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.


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.


Chartered Institute of Taxation.


Downing College, Cambridge; Nottingham Law School.


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

Considered ‘go-to specialists for any venture capital trust or enterprise investment scheme advice’, Shoosmiths LLP’s tax team in Thames Valley offers ‘unparalleled market knowledge‘. The ‘excellentTom Wilde heads up the department, and is also well versed in one-off business transactions, as well as ongoing compliance issues. The department’s dedicated real estate tax practice is led by Daniel Kennedy and is equipped to handle tax advisory work in relation to real estate acquisitions and disposals, as well as work relating to the development of commercial and residential properties. Kennedy is also experienced in providing transactional corporate tax advice.

London > Employment > Employee share schemes

Often assisting serial investors and private company clients, Shoosmiths LLP advises on the design and implementation equity incentive arrangements and management incentive plans. The practice is jointly led by tax expert Tom Wilde and Dan Sharman, who is praised for his ‘superb practical and legal knowledge in the area of employee share schemes’. Marie Mann is well versed in matters concerning company share option plans.

London > Corporate and commercial > Venture capital

Led from Birmingham by the ‘excellent’ Alastair Peet but operating very much as a unified national practice with other key resources in Reading and London, Shoosmiths LLP provides ‘sensible, actionable and practical advice’ to an increasingly balanced mix of investors and investees. Peet remains a popular choice among prominent fund clients, including Octopus Ventures, which benefit from his ‘very collaborative and consensual approach’ to transactional work as well as his intimate knowledge of the underlying documentation, having himself played a key role drafting and updating the model documents for the BVCA. Along with the ‘knowledgeable and commercial’ Alastair Hammerton, who heads the Midlands corporate team, Peet has also been at the forefront of utilising document automation, AI review, and data analytics to deliver efficiencies and insights for clients. In London, the ‘very knowledgeable’ Steve Barnett is ‘well connected in the venture capital market in Europe’, providing ‘very practical’ advice to his core company side roster, as well as a growing number of institutional investors on early stage funding. Other key members of the national team include Thames Valley-based corporate partner Sanjeev Sharma, whose work encompasses a significant amount of venture capital mandates; Reading-based tax partner Tom Wilde, who is a key resource on the crucial tax aspects associated with the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT); and the ‘excellent’ Helen Burnell, who leads the firm’s spHERe initiative to support female founders and venture capitalists. All named practitioners are based in Birmingham, unless otherwise noted.