Baker & McKenzie strengthened its tax team in Yangon with the appointment of Ola Nicolai Borge as partner. He joined the Firm last week from Grant Thornton Myanmar, where he was the managing partner.
Ola has 15 years of experience in international tax as a tax and legal advisor. He has an extensive track record of advising clients on tax, legal and business issues in relation to investments in Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Myanmar, where he has been based for a number of years. Prior to his role at Grant Thornton, he established and managed the tax practice of a Big Four accounting firm in Myanmar.
Ola commented: “I’m excited to be joining Baker & McKenzie and be part of its strong team in Yangon, which has established itself as a trusted adviser for companies doing business with Myanmar. The Firm has a longstanding presence in Southeast Asia and across Asia Pacific, and I look forward to working with my colleagues from Baker & McKenzie’s global network of offices to help companies structure their investments in Myanmar and take advantage of the many investment opportunities on offer.”
Ola started his tax career in Bergen in Norway, working with EY and DLA Piper. He then moved to PwC in New York where he worked for 2 years before returning with the Firm to Norway, where he co-lead the TP practice. In 2010 he moved to Cambodia to join DFDL and in 2012 joined KPMG in Yangon as Exec Director providing tax & legal advice. In 2014 he joined Grant Thornton as a parter.
Simmons & Simmons has promoted Nick Skerrett to the partnership.
This is no great surprise as Nick was already leading the Firm’s Contentious Tax practice, since joining in 2013. Prior to that he had been a tax partner at PwC London where he lead the Indirect Tax Litigation team.
Nick advises clients on the management and resolution of tax disputes with HMRC and with commercial parties. He advises clients on all aspects of contentious tax practice, from initial advice on liability and filing positions through negotiation with HMRC to litigation before the Tax Tribunals, the English courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union. He specialises in litigating high value complex tax cases and matters concerning tax avoidance and is dual qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser and Solicitor. As an accredited mediator he also assists clients with the resolution of disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has deep expertise in tax restitution claims, indirect tax matters, particularly VAT and financial services, compound interest, abuse of rights cases, international and domestic fund structures, pension funds, unjust enrichment, telecoms and environmental taxes.
DLA Piper has promoted Christian Montinari to tax partner in the Italian firm.
Christian has 12 years experience in domestic and international taxation, restructuring and business planning including transfer pricing issues, M&A transactions, assistance during acquisition in terms of tax due diligence and tax optimisation. He specialises in advising international clients wishing to invest into Italy as well as in advising Italian -based multinationals doing business outside Italy.
Christian is the only tax lawyer to be promoted globally in this year’s round of promotions.
Jane Parry, Head of Tax at North West accountancy firm P M + M, has been tasked with the Managing Partner role.
She succeeds Stephen Anderson who has announced he will be retiring from the Firm next year. Jane joined in 2009, having previously been Tax Director with Tenon plc in Preston.
P M + M is based from office in Blackburn and Burnley, but is a member of Praxity, a global alliance of independent accounting and advisory firms.
Swiss tax/legal boutique MME has hired two new tax partners: Thomas Linder and Christoph Rechsteiner, both certified tax experts with long-standing professional experience, supplement the existing tax team of Dr. Samuel Bussmann and Andreas Müller.
They will offer a high-level of expertise in advising mid-sized companies, multinational groups, business owners and family offices in tax matters.
Thomas joins from KPMG Switzerland where he was a Tax Director. He has broad experience in advising Swiss and foreign companies in international tax matters. He is particularly specialized in leading inter-disciplinary projects in the context of acquisitions, corporate restructurings and migrations and has in-depth knowledge in cross-border transactions and tax accounting. During his tenure with KPMG he spent over 2 years in the New York office.
He is a member of the Tax Chapter of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Thomas is part of the working groups with regard to the current Swiss Corporate Tax Reform III and, in this context, actively postulates the introduction of R&D incentives in Switzerland.
Christoph joins from Deloitte where he was a Corporate Tax Director.
MME is a business law and tax firm with offices in Zurich and Zug.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has announced the addition of two highly regarded tax attorneys, Shareholder Susan E. Seabrook and Counsel Caroline C. Setliffe, to the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Both join from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Seabrook and Setliffe will round out Buchanan’s Tax Group, focusing their practices on tax controversy and tax planning with regard to the financial, insurance and health care industries.
“We’re thrilled to have attorneys of Susan and Carol’s caliber joining the firm’s Tax Practice. Susan’s impressive background combined with Carol’s keen perspective will bring a depth of experience to our clients,” stated Bruce I. Booken, chair of the firm’s Tax Section.
“Carol and I were initially drawn to Buchanan by the passionate people and enthusiasm to invest in the future of the firm. Their highly-regarded Tax team continues to impress us with their evident business sense in the industry and continual commitment to client service.” Seabrook commented. “Buchanan’s presence and profile in Washington, D.C. was a critical factor for us and we are eager to hit the ground running.”
Seabrook advises clients in connection with mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and restructurings, and represents clients at all levels of tax administration and in litigation. She has experience resolving matters involving complex technical and procedural issues, high profile IRS initiatives, and those involving the IRS’s invocation of judicial doctrines and anti-abuse provisions.
She previously served as a trial attorney for the IRS and as an attorney advisor in the National Office of Chief Counsel, Financial Institutions and Products. Seabrook is a three-time recipient of the IRS’s Special Act Award, once for significant issue litigation, and twice was honored for her superior performance with the IRS’s Performance Award. She served as acting assistant district counsel and was designated a special assistant U.S. attorney by the United States Attorney General. She earned her Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Denver College of Law, her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law and her bachelor of arts degree from University of Colorado at Boulder.
Setliffe’s Tax Controversy Practice includes advising clients in connection with IRS examinations, technical advice requests, protests, IRS Appeals proceedings and refund claims, as well as representing insurance companies in tax litigation in various forums.
She has experience in both domestic and international tax planning and offers advice in connection with insurance company mergers and acquisitions, cross border transactions, offshore insurance arrangements and the tax implications of creating or operating captive insurance companies. She earned her Master of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree from Syracuse and her B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Of the 51 new partners announced at Norton Rose Fulbright, just two are tax lawyers:
Robert Morris (Houston)
Rob Morris represents clients in all phases of tax controversies; during examinations, in administrative appeals, and in litigation. He also routinely represents clients before the U.S. Competent Authority and has handled matters involving allegations of tax fraud and potential criminal tax charges.
Morris was described in the Legal 500 (2014) as ‘technically excellent’ and praised for his ‘common-sense approach.’ Morris is a certified public accountant and previously worked for a “Big Four” accounting firm
Ron Scharnberg (Houston)
Ron Scharnberg’s practice focuses on advising clients on a wide range of tax matters, with particular emphasis on the federal tax planning and structuring of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, tax-free reorganizations, spin-offs and divestitures, joint ventures, restructurings, financial instruments, and financing transactions. Ron is also involved in advising on equity and debt offerings, as well as the formation and operation of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies and certain tax controversy matters.