Peter Ball TaxPeter Ball has joined Smith & Williamson in Cheltenham where he will be helping private clients, particularly business owners, with all aspects of their private tax affairs. Mr Ball was previously a senior tax manager with EY in Bristol.

Commenting on his appointment, Peter said: “I am excited to have joined Smith & Williamson. The emphasis in my career has been on working for active and entrepreneurial individuals.  It is great to be joining Smith & Williamson, where we are able to deliver the full range of tax services to private clients and their business interests. This focus, combined with the firm’s investment management proposition, gives Smith & Williamson a unique position in the market – which was a key attraction for me in joining the growing team here.”

Louise Somerset, lead partner in the Cheltenham office of Smith & Williamson, added: “We are delighted to welcome Peter to our team. His experience and expertise will add further depth to the range of specialist private client tax services we offer to individuals and business owners.”

Peter works with entrepreneurs, family groups, companies seeking venture capital investment and management teams, working with them so that their tax profiles are aligned with and complement their personal, family and business plans.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Peter will work from Smith & Williamson’s London and Cheltenham offices.

International law firm Bird & Bird is entering into a new cooperation agreement with Questro International, a boutique Transfer Pricing (TP) firm.

Bird & Bird’s TP offering, so far managed by dedicated TP teams within the Tax department, has grown continuously and significantly over the last few years.

The co-op agreement – which is the first to be made by Bird & Bird with a firm on a practice area basis – allows the two firms to collaborate in serving multinational clients and to offer strong and coordinated pan-European transfer pricing services. The agreement is non-exclusive.

Questro International is a specialist firm which provides a full range of TP solutions across the entire TP lifecycle. The firm works with independent law and accountancy firms to handle the tax, legal, valuation and accounting implications of multi-jurisdiction projects and has TP network coverage in 40+ countries globally.

Founded in 2013, the firm is led by three experienced partners with Big Four backgrounds, and has grown from one office in Zurich in 2013 to three offices across Europe in the past three years (Zurich, Amsterdam, and Mannheim).

In addition to liaising closely with the Tax team, Questro International will add a new dimension to the firm’s world-class IP advisory capabilities by offering bespoke TP solutions to help businesses protect, manage, and exploit the value of their intangible assets.

The firms will also explore further synergies across Bird & Bird’s Corporate, Commercial, Real Estate, Litigation, Financial Services, Competition and Employment practice areas.

Sabine Sardou, Transfer Pricing partner at international law firm Bird & Bird says:

“The association with Questro is a clear opportunity for Bird & Bird to accelerate its Transfer Pricing offering across Europe and beyond.

“Our many years’ experience working with Questro’s knowledgeable and respected partners makes us confident that this cooperation should be the first step to an increasing success for Bird & Bird’s Transfer Pricing offering.”

Mat Oliver, co-head of International Tax at international law firm Bird & Bird says:

“Questro is the perfect fit for Bird & Bird because it combines classical transfer pricing advisory work with innovative technology based solutions to create efficiencies for clients – an approach mirroring our own focus on technology.

“Our clients know that with the arrival of BEPS they need to put serious effort and resource into their global tax strategies but the solutions needed cut across legal, tax, valuation, economic and practical considerations. Our collaboration with Questro will allow us to provide all of this in a one-stop shop – giving clients a holistic and cost-effective service.”

Morag Macdonald, co-head of International IP at Bird & Bird added:

Some of the world’s biggest companies today have intangibles as their most valuable assets whether in the digital space or life sciences or elsewhere – their brands, designs, patents, copyright, know how etc.  How they handle their business, based on these assets, for tax purposes and how they value them has become critical for the financial well being and profitability of these companies – so we are very excited to be working with Questro to aid our clients with these issues.”

Stephen Alleway, co-founder of Questro International says:

We are very pleased to be working with Bird & Bird which has a preeminent reputation in the IP space. Over the course of my career, transfer pricing has shot up the corporate agenda and now consistently ranks as the number one issue in international tax and is an increasing area of boardroom concern. New compliance requirements and increased transparency and scrutiny makes the operation of a sustainable TP model more complex and increasingly cross functional within a corporation involving tax, finance, and legal functions. I am excited that our two firms can collaborate in such a way as to provide the ground-breaking end-to-end services that companies grappling with these issues now require.”

Heather Corben taxForsters LLP, one of London’s leading private client and real estate firms, has appointed Heather Corben as a partner in its Tax practice.

Heather is a senior tax lawyer, with many years’ experience advising clients on complex tax issues arising from corporate and real estate transactions and structures. She has advised a range of major property companies and funds including British Land, Axa REIM, Brockton Capital, LaSalle Investment Management, British Airways Pension Fund and Heron.

Heather was a partner for 19 years at King & Wood Mallesons (formerly SJ Berwin) and for 10 years was Head of Tax in the London office. She is ranked as a leading individual in The Legal 500.

Forsters has also announced the appointment of another new partner, Ben Barrison, who is joining the firm’s Property Litigation team from DLA Piper. Both appointments will strengthen the firm’s capability to advise a growing corporate
and real estate client base.

Paul Roberts, Managing Partner at Forsters said: “We are delighted that Heather has agreed to join Forsters. Heather’s experience and abilities are clear to see. She has a strong track record of advising on the structuring of major corporate and real estate transactions. She will strengthen our already excellent tax team which can only benefit from Heather’s experience.”

Heather Corben commented: “I am excited to be joining the tax team at Forsters. The firm has a great reputation for providing quality advice to a fantastic client base and I look forward to being part of the firm’s continued growth.”

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FTI Consulting has announced the appointment of three Senior Managing Directors to the Company’s European Tax Advisory practice within its Corporate Finance & Restructuring segment. The expansion of the practice includes the addition of Sarah Lane, Peter Scholes and Ben Tausig, who all join FTI Consulting from KPMG. They join a team of 65 professionals in London.

Sarah Lane TaxMs. Lane has nearly 20 years of experience in banking, international tax, and advising on the interaction between tax and regulation. She brings considerable M&A experience on both the buy- and sell-side as well as experience in cross-border taxation issues, including diverted profits, and resolving tax controversies. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Ms. Lane served as a financial services and international tax partner at KPMG. She is a qualified solicitor and started her career in tax with Linklaters. In her new role at FTI Consulting, she will lead the Tax team’s financial services group.

Mr. Scholes has more than 25 years of experience in UK and international tax. Prior to FTI Consulting, he served as the Head of Financing and Treasury Tax in KPMG’s International Tax and Treasury practice, where he advised inbound and UK outbound clients on all aspects of group financing and international structuring. From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Scholes managed the UK and international tax teams at BNP Paribas. Mr. Scholes has extensive experience in international tax and spent four years in Paris working for banks and other multinationals on all aspects of UK taxation. In his new role at FTI Consulting, Mr. Scholes will lead the team’s treasury tax services.

Ben Tausig TaxMr. Tausig has 14 years of experience in advising multinational insurance groups on tax and capital efficient group structures, UK and U.S.-controlled foreign company rules, and overall tax strategy. He also has a wealth of experience advising private equity firms and insurance groups on acquisitions, providing tax due diligence and structuring advice. Mr. Tausig has significant international experience, having worked in both London and New York. Prior to FTI Consulting, Mr. Tausig held responsibility for KPMG’s Lloyd’s and London Market Tax practice. In his new role at FTI Consulting, Mr. Tausig will lead the firm’s insurance tax offering.

Commenting on these appointments, Marvin Rust, Head of the European Tax Advisory practice at FTI Consulting, said, “I am delighted to welcome such a highly regarded and experienced group of professionals to our firm. Their appointments reflect the significant growth and progress we have made in recent years as we position FTI Consulting as a leading independent provider of international tax services. With clients required to separate their advisory work from traditional audit services, Sarah, Peter and Ben’s arrival will ensure that we are fully able to offer clients the highest possible levels of expertise and advice.”


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Weaver has announced the promotion of two tax professionals to partner:

Brandon Drews, CPA, Partner, Tax and Strategic Business Services; Austin

Brandon Drews joined Weaver in 2009 as a senior associate and has more than a decade of experience in public accounting, with a focus on tax compliance and planning for individuals and privately held businesses. He is experienced in international, multistate and local tax compliance matters and has significant experience in the manufacturing, wholesale/retail, real estate and services industries. A certified public accountant, Drews is a member of the AICPA, the TSCPA and the Austin chapter, the Real Estate Council of Austin and Austin Young Chamber of Commerce. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University. 

Margaret Wallace, CPA, Partner, Tax and Strategic Business Services; San Antonio

Margaret Wallace joined Weaver in 2009 and has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, as well as industry experience.  She concentrates on federal taxation and wealth strategies consulting for individuals, closely held businesses and estates and trusts primarily for companies in the retail, oil and gas and real estate industries. Wallace is a member of the AICPA, the TSCPA and the San Antonio chapter and the Estate Planners Council of San Antonio. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University.


International law firm, Ashurst, has announced the appointment of Martin Bünning as partner in its tax practice in Frankfurt.

Martin joins from Jones Day where he has been a partner since 2011. His practice focuses on tax advice for investors in real estate and other alternative investments, as well as on tax structures for open-ended and closed funds. He also advises on private equity/venture capital matters and on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. Martin also assists German and international clients in relation to general corporate tax issues.

Tobias Krug, managing partner of Ashurst in Germany, commented:

“Martin Bünning is exceptionally experienced in advising on the tax aspects of national and cross-border real estate, private equity and corporate transactions. He is ideally suited to Ashurst given the firm’s strength in these areas and we are confident he will make a significant contribution to the team.”

Martin Bünning said:

“The firm has a very strong offering in Germany and internationally and I am looking forward to joining the team and helping to further develop the European and German tax practice.”

Mark Barrett has been appointed as the new President of the Irish Tax Institute.

A Chartered Tax Adviser and member of Ronan Daly Jermyn’s Tax Group, Mr. Barrett has over 20 years’ experience advising on all aspects of Irish direct and indirect taxes for companies and individuals.

Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Barrett commented “I am greatly honoured to have the opportunity to serve as President of the Irish Tax Institute.” He continued “The coming year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Institute which has historically played a significant role in Ireland’s tax community. While there are always a range of issues on the agenda, the importance of defending our corporate tax regime and our tax administration system has become evident following the European Commission’s opinion on state-aid last week. The Institute looks forward to bringing well-informed explanations and insights to the debate and discussions that lie ahead – discussions that will continue for some time, in parliament, on the airwaves, in Europe and in the US.”

The Irish Tax Institute is the leading representative and educational body for Ireland’s AITI Chartered Tax Advisers (CTA) and is the only professional body exclusively dedicated to tax. It has almost 5,000 members who provide tax expertise to businesses of all sizes.

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White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Tax Practice with the addition of market leading lawyer Michael Wistow as a new partner in London and co-head of the Firm’s tax practice in EMEA.

“Few other law firms can match the cross-border and European tax capabilities, both transactional and advisory, that White & Case has built in key markets across the region,” said partner Kim Boylan, Head of the Global Tax Practice. “Michael is a leading tax lawyer, and his arrival is of clear strategic importance as we look to continue expanding our role advising clients on all aspects of corporate taxation from both a transactional and a tax advisory and restructuring perspective.”

The addition of Wistow, who joins the Global Tax Practice, supports the Firm’s strategic focus on profitable growth in London and in M&A. His practice is focused on corporate, finance and real estate industry-based transactions and clients, including real estate finance, property and debt funds, securitisation, leasing and structured financings and corporate acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and restructurings. With more than 28 years of experience, he joins White & Case from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he was Head of the Tax Department from 2007 and also a member of the board and executive committee. Wistow started his career at Clifford Chance, where he spent ten years as a tax partner before joining Berwin Leighton Paisner.

“Michael is a highly regarded, top ranked lawyer and proven leader who is widely recognised as one of the most imaginative and technically capable tax advisers in the market,” said partner Jan Matejcek, Regional Section Head, EMEA M&A/Corporate. “As well as strengthening our cross-border tax capabilities, Michael’s wealth of real estate and finance industry knowledge and experience will be a valuable asset as we continue to develop our leading EMEA real estate, corporate and finance practices.”

Oliver Brettle, member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and London Office Executive Partner, said: “With our recent expansion across our practices in London, and continued focus on profitable growth, we believe a larger tax team is appropriate and necessary here in London. The team will continue to focus on both high value tax advice-driven mandates and supporting our transactional practices. Our tax lawyers will play a particularly strategic role in the ongoing development of our real estate, private equity, finance and infrastructure industry practices. I imagine Michael will be working especially closely with our real estate team, including recent addition Jeffrey Rubinoff.”

The White & Case tax team provides cross-border tax advice and, in EMEA, local tax law advice in the UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Turkey. The team supports all types of corporate transactions as well as providing tax advisory and restructuring advice to a broad range of clients including corporations, funds, financial institutions, individuals, closely held companies, government entities and sovereigns.