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Simmons & Simmons

Work +44 20 7628 2020
Fax +44 20 7628 2070

Darren Oswick

Work 020 7825 3546
Simmons & Simmons

Work Department

Corporate tax.


Darren advises on a wide range of corporate tax and VAT issues, with a focus on private equity and employment tax-related matters. He has extensive experience in the corporate and individual tax issues which arise in such areas. He has also acted for clients on a number of tax and VAT litigation matters. Recent work includes: advising a number of clients on the application of the disguised remuneration rules to their pension and share scheme arrangements; advising a major international listed life sciences business on the disposal of part of its UK operations and related tax structuring issues; advising a number of major investment banks on private equity and real estate fund structures; advising the UK government on a number of matters, including the establishment of the Energy Technology Institute and the sale of the Fire Services College.


Trained Simmons & Simmons; qualified 2001; partner 2010; member of the Law Society’s Tax Law Income Tax Sub Committee and the City of London Law Society Tax Law Committee.

London: Corporate and commercial

Corporate tax

Within: Corporate tax

The 'outstanding' team at Simmons & Simmons is both 'technically very good' and 'accessible', noted for its ability to 'work seamlessly with other departments within the firm'. 'Responsive and helpful' Darren Oswick leads the International and London Tax Groups and recently assisted the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority with amendments to and subsequent terminations of a set of procurement contracts. 'One of the smartest and most commercially astute tax lawyers in London', Nick Cronkshaw also stands out for his 'user-friendly approach'. His highlights included advising Orion Mine Finance and Fusion Capital on their joint venture and $402.5m acquisition of Lynx Resources from Solway Industries, in a transaction with a sizeable Macedonian tax component. Martin Shah advised Principal Financial Group on M&A tax and structuring, as well as warranty and indemnity (W&I) insurance tax matters in relation to the proposed acquisition of INTERNOS. Managing associate Candice Nichol is recommended for her work with financial institutions and asset management clients.

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VAT and indirect tax

Within: VAT and indirect tax

Simmons & Simmons' expertise covers the full spectrum of indirect tax matters, including VAT, SDLT, SDRT, insurance and premium tax and environmental taxes. The department is led by Darren Oswick who is noted for his expertise in asset management and investment funds related matters. Highlights for Nick Cronkshaw included advising Deka Immobilien on the VAT and SDLT aspects of its £435m acquisition from Great Portland Estates of a mixed-use development at Rathbone Square. Martin Shah continues to advise British Land on a range of tax and structuring matters pertaining to VAT and SDLT, including in relation to the disposal of seven superstores from its joint venture with Sainsbury's. 'Shrewd operator' Nick Skerrett leads on contentious matters.

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London: Dispute resolution

Tax litigation and investigations

Within: Tax litigation and investigations

Simmons & Simmons has a dedicated contentious tax practice which spans civil and criminal tax disputes and other contentious issues, including liability and quantum advice, disputes with revenue authorities and regulatory investigations. 'A shrewd operator', Nick Skerrett, who leads the team, is noted as 'an excellent tactician and strategist'; and  successfully represented BPP Holdings in HMRC's appeal to the supreme court against a non-compliance bar, a precedent-setting decision. Skerret is ably supported by Darren Oswick, who is currently representing a large institutional asset manager in multiple tax disputes relating to loan relationships, transfer pricing, VAT and the corporate tax treatment of dividends under EU law. Martin Shah is another key practitioner and leads the firm's financial services tax practice. Senior associate Heather Rowlands is also recommended.

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Legal Developments by:
Simmons & Simmons

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    In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.
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