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Watson, Farley & Williams, a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of nine lawyers to partner. The appointments include tax lawyer Richard Stephens in the London office.

Richard advises UK and multi-national companies on all aspects of UK corporation tax, and works closely with the firm’s employment group on UK employment tax issues. He has also been involved in a wide variety of lease finance transactions, and has assisted a large number of shipping companies wishing to join the UK’s tonnage tax regime.

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Ashurst has significantly enhanced its already strong international tax and M&A capabilities with Craig Saunders, formerly of Ernst & Young, joining the firm as a partner in the direct tax practice based in Melbourne.

According to Ashurst Managing Partner John Carrington: “Craig is a very experienced tax practitioner with extensive and widely recognised skills in M&A and international tax matters.

“His high-level technical advisory skills and extensive experience in advising on major transactions will be of enormous benefit to many of our clients. This is particularly the case given these capabilities will be enhanced by around the clock access to leading legal minds through Ashurst – with the capacity to provide a seamless service for all local, regional and cross-jurisdictional projects.

“Craig also has particularly deep industry knowledge around the issues facing investors in infrastructure and private equity, and has built strong relationships with key investment banks and private equity houses, predominantly working with them in M&A and refinancing transactions.”

New Ashurst partner Craig Saunders said he is excited about the opportunities that working for a premier global law firm like Ashurst will bring, with its elite client base, broad international footprint and coverage in the world’s major business sectors and financial centres.

“There is no doubt the inherently great culture at Ashurst was also an attraction. I have seen first-hand how well the firm operates over the years, having worked with a number of Ashurst tax practitioners during my time as a partner at Ernst & Young and before that, Deloitte.

“With the recent combination of Blake Dawson and Ashurst practices in Asia and the rebranding of Blake Dawson to Ashurst, it is certainly an exciting time to come on board.”

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PKF has appointed Peter Gouw as a tax partner in its Glasgow office.

Peter joins the firm from KPMG and has extensive experience in corporate and personal taxation issues with specialist knowledge of mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Peter is a specialist in valuations for a wide range of issues. He is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Society of Share and Business Valuers and HMRC’s Shares and Assets Valuation Fiscal Forum.

Peter said: “I am delighted to be joining the expanding PKF tax team in Scotland. This will afford me the opportunity to work with a broad range of SME clients across a wide range of sectors, as well as personal tax work with high net worth individuals. I am looking forward to working with the team to continue to provide the firm’s clients with exceptional service, assured advice, and a professional approach to tax issues.”

Martin Gill, Scottish managing partner of the firm, said: “Peter’s experience in corporate and personal tax will enhance and extend our growing tax advice service in Scotland. He has considerable abilities with extensive specialist knowledge which will ensure our clients continue to receive the best possible service from our experienced and knowledgeable practitioners.”

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Herbert Smith announced today the promotion of 10 lawyers to its partnership. Included in this list is Will Arrenberg within the London tax team.

Mr Arrenberg has been with the Firm since 2000.

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Ernst & Young LLP announced today that Stephen D. Fisher, former senior vice president and deputy general counsel of Fidelity Investments, has joined its Asset Management tax practice. Fisher will be based out of Ernst & Young LLP’s Boston office and will provide insight and perspective on issues relating to tax, regulation and compliance for the asset management industry.

“Stephen brings extensive experience advising clients to help them retain and grow assets, enhance investment performance, mitigate business and tax risk and respond to regulatory changes,” said Michael Serota, Global Hedge Fund co-leader and Global Asset Management tax leader for Ernst & Young. “His joining Ernst & Young LLP demonstrates our continuing investment and growth in the asset management industry practice in the New England region and across the United States. In addition, he brings a broad range of tax, mutual fund and alternative products acumen.”

Fisher spent 18 years with Fidelity Investments, where he led the Mutual Fund Tax Legal group. He was actively engaged in industry efforts to ensure the passage of the Regulated Investment Company Modernization Act, which involved considerable time working with congressional staff members and testifying before Congress. Fisher coordinated a coalition of mutual fund complexes to address the impact of certain aspects of Financial Accounting Standards Board guidance as well.

Fisher, a resident of Belmont, Mass., currently teaches Taxation of Financial Products and co-teaches Regulated Investment Companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts and Real Estate Mortgage Conduits at Boston University. He is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as well as before the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is also the author of a recent Journal of Taxation of Financial Products article, “A Method of Madness: The Secret Unified Theory Underlying the Tax Treatment of Noncontingent Nonperodic Swap Payments.”

Fisher earned his LL.M. in Taxation from the Boston University School of Law and received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from Swarthmore College.

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The Lawyer reported today that Fred Gander, a highly respected tax partner and the former head of legacy firm Dewey Ballantine, is joining KPMG as head of its US tax practice for Europe and the Middle East.

Gander has been resident at Dewey & LeBoeuf London since 1991 and is chairman of the firm’s European supervisory committee.

Full article here: http://www.thelawyer.com/former-dewey-ballantine-chief-quits-dewey-for-kpmg/1012296.article

Paul Hastings LLP announced today the opening of an office in Houston, Texas and the addition of three leading energy- focused transactional partners. The new lawyers all have prominent practices in the energy industry, which will advance the firm’s goal to build a leading energy practice. The launch of the office in Houston follows the recent announcement that the firm was the first U.S. law firm to submit preliminary applications to establish an office in South Korea.

Greg Nelson, a widely respected energy-focused tax lawyer, who will chair the new office, joins from Baker Botts LLP, where he was chair of the Tax department. And Paris Theofanidis, a prominent finance lawyer with energy expertise, joins from Vinson & Elkins LLP. Steven Tredennick, a highly regarded private equity and mergers and acquisitions lawyer with a focus in the energy space, also has joined the office from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

The firm also announced that Kevin Fisher, a finance and restructuring partner, with extensive experience advising clients in the energy sector, has relocated from the San Francisco office to help establish and build the Houston office.

“Our office opening in Houston is an important step in further building our team of energy-focused legal experts across diverse practice areas,” said Greg Nitzkowski, managing partner. “As our Houston office expands, the on-the-ground expertise will complement our existing global energy capabilities and allow us to better serve clients in this critical market,” he added.

“I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in Houston and with the talented energy-focused lawyers across Paul Hastings’ global network to build a top-tier energy practice,” said Greg Nelson, the office chair of the newly launched Houston office. “The wide-range of new and existing talent will be a huge advantage as we continue to expand in this extremely competitive industry,” he added.

Greg Nelson

Mr. Nelson concentrates on federal income taxation, with particular emphasis on the tax issues that relate to corporations and partnerships in the energy and real estate sectors. He regularly counsels clients on tax issues related to private equity transactions and publicly traded partnerships. He also works on the tax-efficient structuring of corporate mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, including taxable sales and tax-free reorganizations.

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