Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC, a founding member of the first global network of the world’s leading independent tax firms, announced that Jonathan Adelson and Kelly Peele have been promoted to the position of managing director in the New York and Seattle offices, respectively.

Stated Robert N. Lowe, CEO of Alvarez & Marsal Taxand: “Kelly and Jon are consummate tax professionals and we’re proud to welcome them to our A&M Taxand partner group, which consists of nearly 50 U.S. tax partners, all of whom were formerly associated with Big Four audit firms. What distinguishes our partners, including Kelly and Jon, is a relentless focus on and passion for serving clients first and foremost. That’s what it means to be a client’s trusted tax and business advisor, and what Jon’s and Kelly’s promotions represent. Our entrepreneurial culture, free from audit-based conflicts of interest, drives a client-first focus, and a commitment to excellence and responsiveness — this is at the core of who we are as a firm. At the end of the day, we put our attention into serving clients, not on auditing financial statements.”

“Jonathan raises the bar when it comes to being a trusted adviser for our clients and brings an impressively broad skill set across tax,” said Albert Liguori, managing director at A&M Taxand. “Jonathan has extensive experience working with the management of global organizations, working closely with Tax Directors and the C-suite in identifying tax risk, and developing practical approaches to mitigate risk based on a deep understanding of both his client’s business, and an understanding of corporate, consolidated group and international tax matters.”

“Kelly is an outstanding professional who brings a relentless focus on client service to her clients,” said Brian Pedersen, managing director at A&M Taxand. “Kelly has extensive experience in all aspects of state and local taxation and has worked in a variety of industries. She has the unique ability to gain the trust and confidence of her clients and is universally regarded by them as a partner in managing tax issues.”

Formerly a senior director, Mr. Adelson works closely with tax directors and CFOs of global companies to assist them in improving their organizations’ tax profile and functionality. With 13 years of international tax, federal tax, and tax controversy experience, he frequently serves as a member of the internal tax function, making him an invaluable resource to his clients by ensuring issues are identified, properly addressed, and resolved strategically and efficiently.

Similarly, Ms. Peele’s prior role as senior director entailed advising clients on state and local tax matters. As her expertise lies in multi-state income, franchise and sales / use taxes, she conducts modeling, planning and implementation for restructuring projects; technical research and writing for ruling requests and state notice responses; as well as multi-state tax return preparation and compliance review. Ms. Peele has extensive federal excise tax and state audit defense experience, as well as a deep working knowledge of the tax issues surrounding bankruptcy.

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has launched its new Tax Academy offering its trainee tax experts two professional degrees accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University.

As part of its drive towards increasing tax professionalism, HMRC staff will be able to work towards a certificate, foundation degree or an honours degree in Professional Studies in Taxation. The Association of Accounting Technicians will accredit the certificate course.

Dave Hartnett, HMRC Permanent Secretary for Tax, said:

“We know we have great people doing great work that deserves to be recognised. We want to be seen as a leader in tax, both in the UK and internationally, and the launch of the Tax Academy is a really important step towards that goal.”

The academy will offer bespoke training at various locations around the country. Staff on the courses will be expected to pass both exams and practical assessments, with hands on learning forming a core part of the tax profession degree. The Tax Academy will also support staff in maintaining and developing their skills throughout their career, making sure HMRC has the highly trained people it needs to combat tax avoidance, evasion and fraud.

There are currently 215 HMRC staff working towards a degree, which number will double in 2013 as more tax professionals are recruited.

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PwC US today announced that Matt Parrilli, a 28-year veteran of the firm, has been appointed to managing partner for PwC’s Rochester office. He will focus on growing PwC’s business in the Rochester market as well as supporting the growth and development of the people working in the Rochester office. He succeeds Ed Kay, who is retiring after 33 years with PwC.

“Matt’s long-term service to clients in the region coupled with his focus on developing our people and harnessing their talents to make a difference in the market, makes him an excellent choice to lead PwC Rochester into the future,” said Robert Saada, market managing partner for the Lake Erie Market. “Matt will continue to assist clients in complex business and tax issues, while focusing on people and community initiatives to strengthen the firm’s dedication to the region.”

“PwC is committed to delivering high quality services to help our clients in the region manage their growth,” said Parrilli. “I am pleased to be leading such a successful group, and I am excited to continue to grow our business.”

For the past 17 years, Parrilli has served a variety of public and private clients in the retail & consumer, healthcare, financial services and manufacturing sectors. He currently serves as PwC’s tax compliance leader for the Lake Erie market as well as a member of the retail & consumer sector market leadership team. He also previously served as the tax partner in charge of PwC’s Syracuse office.

Parrilli shares PwC’s commitment to corporate responsibility and is active with United Way of Rochester and formerly served as the vice-chairman of United Way of Central New York, as a board member of YMCA of Baldwinsville and president of Radisson Community Association. In addition, Parrilli is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of professional services leaders and is active in the firm’s extensive campus recruiting programs.

Parrilli is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York and is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Binghamton University.

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Joel W. Walters will join PwC US on April 1 as the tax leader of the Inbound tax practice, which advises non-U.S. based multinationals with U.S. investments, the firm announced today. Mr. Walters joins PwC from Vodafone Plc, where he most recently served as the group corporate finance director with responsibility for Vodafone’s global tax affairs. He will be based in PwC’s Washington, D.C. office.

“We are thrilled that an individual of Joel’s caliber is joining PwC to assist non-U.S. based clients who are seeking to invest in the U.S.,” notes Mark J. Mendola, PwC’s U.S. Tax leader and a vice chairman of the firm. “Our clients will soon reap the rewards of his deep cross-border tax experience as well as his extensive knowledge of both non-U.S. based multinationals and the U.S. market.”

In his new role as the Tax Inbound practice leader, Mr. Walters will work with a cross-industry and cross-border team to address the unique operational and tax issues facing non-U.S. companies operating in this country. He will work closely with Jay Oyer, who serves as PwC’s Inbound practice leader across all lines of service.

Prior to his seven year tenure with Vodafone, Mr. Walters spent eleven years with Diageo Plc (and its predecessor company Grand Metropolitan Plc) where his final role was group director of Global Business Support. He also previously held a number of senior finance and tax roles, including group tax director for Diageo, senior vice president, Tax, North America, and tax director of The Pillsbury Company and of Burger King Corporation. Earlier in his career he was with PwC’s Washington National Tax Services (WNTS) practice.

Mr. Walters holds a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota; a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School; and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a certified public accountant, licensed in both the state of Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

Latham & Watkins has announced that Miriam Fisher and Brian McManus have joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as partners in the Tax Department. Both Fisher and McManus have deep experience in federal tax controversy and litigation, representing clients in both civil and criminal matters.

Fisher and McManus join Latham from Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Washington D.C. Fisher, a recognized leader in the field, is active in the America Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, where she has served as chair of its Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee and is currently a member of its governing Council. She is a member of the American College of Tax Counsel, has taught in the Tax LL.M program at Georgetown University Law Center, and is a regular speaker at various national tax CLE programs.

“The Internal Revenue Service and US Department of Justice have become more aggressive in pursuing large corporations for significant matters,” said Alice Fisher, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. “We’re pleased to add these talented new partners to assist our clients as they work to resolve business-critical controversies on the most favorable terms.”

David Raab, Global Chair of the Tax Department, added: “The tax controversy lawyers at Latham have a long and successful history of counseling taxpayers who are anticipating or are involved in tax controversies and representing them in court if necessary on a broad array of US domestic and international issues. Miriam and Brian will be great additions to a team that has earned a reputation for excellence in favorably resolving controversies for clients at all levels – pre-filing, during the administrative process, in various alternative dispute resolutions and in litigation.”

“Latham has represented corporate clients in essentially every industry segment and individuals and other entities with significant tax concerns,” Miriam Fisher said. “Latham’s depth of experience will be a great complement to my legal practice, and I look forward to working with the firm’s talented partners and top tier clients.”

Miriam Fisher received a J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1985 after graduating first in her class from Loyola College in Maryland in 1982. After law school she was an associate at a series of tax boutiques before becoming a Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the US Department of Justice.

“I’m pleased to join a team that regularly advises on issues ranging from tax accounting disputes, to corporate and partnership transactional issues, international questions, employee benefits matters, and tax exempt controversies,” McManus said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to build my practice in Washington, D.C. by serving both the client base across the US, and Latham’s clients from around the globe.”

McManus received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1999, his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2002, and an LL.M in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2005. After law school, he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of General Counsel of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development, and after receiving his LL.M, he became an associate, then partner, at Morgan Lewis in Boston and Washington D.C.

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced today that the firm is significantly expanding its insurance and tax practices by adding six of the country’s leading insurance regulatory, tax and transactional attorneys. James R. Dwyer, Jeffrey H. Mace, John S. Pruitt, Linda A. Sciuto, Cynthia R. Shoss and P. Bruce Wright are joining the firm’s New York office as partners. All six attorneys were previously partners at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

This group brings with it the full spectrum of skills and experience for serving the insurance sector around the globe in the areas of property & casualty and life insurance regulation and transactions; insurance M&A and finance; reinsurance; insurance captives and alternative risk transfer mechanisms; and international insurance taxation.

“We couldn’t be more proud to have this talented group of industry leaders join our firm. Their combined broad experience in the insurance industry is a natural complement to our insurance and tax teams and strengthens our industry leading practice,” said Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “Our clients will immediately benefit from this added depth and breadth.”

In addition to enhancing Sutherland’s highly regarded insurance and tax practices, the addition of this group significantly expands the firm’s New York presence. “Our New York office has focused on the insurance and financial services sectors since we opened in late 2002,” said William H. Bradley, partner-in-charge of the New York office. “As a firm, our strategy is to expand our leading practices that serve clients in key industries, and the addition of our new partners clearly and emphatically advances that strategy.”

Prior to joining Sutherland, Mr. Mace led Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Lloyd’s of London and Lloyd’s Market practice. He has a multidisciplinary background in tax, regulatory and corporate matters related to insurers and reinsurers.

Mr. Pruitt and Ms. Shoss co-chaired Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Insurance Regulatory Department. Mr. Pruitt’s practice focuses on regulatory, transactional and compliance matters and investigations relating to property & casualty companies. Ms. Shoss focuses primarily on life insurance regulatory and legislative matters and transformative transactions, including demutualizations, mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Dwyer is widely recognized as a leading practitioner in insurance transactional, regulatory and financing matters. Throughout his more than 30-year career, he has represented market leading companies on all aspects of some of the largest mergers, acquisitions and divestitures in the insurance industry.

Mr. Wright, who was the head of LeBoeuf Lamb’s tax practice for many years, is internationally recognized for his advice with respect to captive insurers, risk retention groups, and various types of alternative risk financing mechanisms. Mr. Wright and Mr. Mace together bring extensive experience assisting clients in the U.S., U.K. and Bermuda with international insurance and tax matters.

Ms. Sciuto focuses on the taxation of Lloyd’s members and has extensive knowledge of the Lloyd’s of London market. She also represents non-US insurers doing business in the United States.

“Sutherland’s leadership in insurance product regulation, distribution and tax; investment company regulation; and SEC and FINRA regulation and enforcement expands the services we can offer our clients. Additionally, the firm’s robust insurance transactional, litigation and tax practices will provide the support in those areas our clients have been accustomed to at Dewey & LeBoeuf,” said Ms. Shoss. “Sutherland’s focus on insurance, with more than 100 lawyers already serving clients in the industry, is a perfect fit for us. It provides an outstanding, full service platform for serving our clients.”

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Grant Thornton LLP named Doreen Lilly Griffith, 43, as the firm’s new National Managing Partner of Tax Services effective August 1, 2012.

“Doreen’s passion for the firm and to serve the needs of our clients is palpable,” Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton LLP said. “She will provide inspirational leadership that will take us to even greater heights building on our significant tax practice accomplishments.”

Griffith is currently the firm’s Regional Tax Partner in the West region, a role she has held since August 2007, and is the Tax Practice Leader for San Francisco and San Jose. As part of the firm’s National Tax Practice Leadership team, she has played a key role in setting the firm’s tax strategy and developing talent for the practice. Since joining the firm in 2003, Griffith has served in a number of roles with increasing responsibility, including that of Office Managing Partner in Honolulu.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Griffith was a senior manager with PwC. In addition, she held roles with Anderson, Hunt & Co. and Moss Adams LLP.

Griffith holds a bachelor’s of science in professional accountancy from Louisiana Tech University.

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Ernst & Young LLP today announced that Brandon Carlton and George Blaine are joining the firm’s National Tax Department in Washington, DC. Carlton, returning as a principal, worked for the firm from 1999 to 2007 before moving to Treasury and becoming Associate Tax Legislative Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy. Blaine, who spent the last 35 years at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), most recently as Associate Chief Counsel, Income Tax and Accounting Division, will join the firm as an executive director. While in government, Carlton and Blaine worked cooperatively on the development of guidance.

“We’re excited about the strong capabilities both Brandon and George will bring to the firm’s tax clients,” said David Helmer, Americas Director of Business Tax Services. “Brandon brings tremendous experience with tax policy on various provisions of the tax code as well as legislative proposals for inclusion in the president’s budget. Impressively, he led the development and issuance of numerous pieces of guidance, including the recently released tangible property regulations, ushering in one of the most significant tax changes since the 1986 reform.”

Helmer added, “George distinguished himself as the leader of the Income Tax and Accounting Division, administering the major timing, recognition, costing and accounting provisions of the code. The firm looks forward to providing to our clients the benefit of George’s broad understanding of tax technical issues combined with his valuable institutional knowledge of the IRS and how best to work with the Service.”

Carlton first began working with Ernst & Young LLP in 1999. During his original employment with the firm, he coordinated its national retail and consumer products tax network. In 2007 he joined the US Department of Treasury. Carlton holds a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law, a Master’s degree from the University of Utah and a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. Carlton is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Blaine began his career with the IRS in 1975 with the Exempt Organizations Division and moved to the Office of Chief Counsel in 1983, becoming Executive Director of the Large Case Policy Board in 1993. He was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 2009 and he has been an adjunct professor with Georgetown University Law Center. He received his Master of Laws from George Washington University and earned his Juris Doctor and Bachelor’s degrees from Temple University.