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The Minter Ellison Legal Group has announced the appointment of five partners, sixteen special counsel and twenty-eight senior associates effective 1 July 2012.

This list included Bastian Gasser in the Melbourne office.

He is a specialist GST advisor with almost a decade in dedicated practice. His expert advisory spans transaction structuring, GST compliance reviews, input tax credit recovery, GST audits, investigations and objections, and cross-border transactions.

Bastian’s clients include Australian and foreign corporates, government departments, statutory authorities, charitable entities and superannuation and infrastructure funds.

Recent matters include advising the Victorian Department of Justice on its Ararat Prison expansion, Places Victoria on the Docklands development, Singapore Power International’s acquisition and restructuring of Alinta, and Bank of Kuweit and Middle East on Federal Court GST proceedings.

Minter Ellison today announced that William (Bill) Thompson has been appointed the new Managing Partner of the firm’s Brisbane office. He takes over from Ross Landsberg, who returns to full-time practice as a major projects and construction lawyer.

Mr Thompson commenced with the firm as an Articled Clerk and was appointed a partner in 1982. He has led the Taxation practice in Brisbane for more than 20 years and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading tax advisers. He will continue to practise during his term as Managing Partner, retaining also the position of Queensland Tax practice head.

Commenting on the appointment, Chief Executive Partner John Weber said Bill Thompson was well qualified to take over the management of one of Minter Ellison’s key offices. “Bill is a Queenslander born and bred. He understands the local market and knows the business of the firm in Brisbane very well, having worked in his capacity as a tax advisor with clients across all practice areas of the firm.

“Importantly, he has an astute understanding of what clients want and how to deliver value. These skills will stand us in good stead. I look forward to working with him as part of Minter Ellison’s management team,” Mr Weber said.

Mr Thompson, who assumes his new position on 1 July 2012,said he was delighted to take the reins of a firm voted by clients this year as Queensland’s Best Professional Services Firm. “Our firm has been an integral part of the Queensland business community for almost 120 years. We’ve worked with clients in this market through the good times and the lean times, always innovating in those industry sectors that are key to Queensland’s strong economic growth – infrastructure, energy and resources, financial services, health and aged care, and property development, ” he said.

John Weber also paid tribute to Ross Landsberg’s significant contribution during his five-year term as Brisbane Managing Partner. “Ross steps down at a time of record performance in Brisbane. He has overseen a period of tremendous growth and development for the Brisbane office. The partnership acknowledges and thanks him for the very important role he has played and for his contribution to the firm more broadly through his membership of the Board and of the management team.”

Mr Thompson was educated at the University of Queensland and the London School of Economics – BCom (Queensland, 1976), LLB (Hons) (Queensland, 1979) , LLM (LSE, 1981). He is a past Chairman of the Taxation Institute of Australia (Queensland Division), a former National Chairman of the Law Council of Australia’s Tax Committee, a past member of the Executive of the International Bar Association’s Taxes Section, and a former member of the Minter Ellison Board.

He has been a trusted advisor to the Queensland coal industry since the late 1980s, advising on the creation of the Queensland Resources Council, the Queensland Coal Industry Super Fund, the Queensland Mines Rescue Service and, in recent years, the Coal 21 Fund.

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Michelle Redington has been appointed Partner in PwC’s Auckland Tax team.

Michelle specialises in providing international tax, cross-border structuring and mergers and acquisitions tax advice. She worked in PwC Australia’s Sydney office, as well as the New Zealand firm’s Wellington office, before settling in Auckland in 2006. She joined the New Zealand firm in 2001 from a major law firm. She was recently accepted into the Global Women in Leadership Breakthrough Leadership programme for emerging women leaders.

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After having successfully led Deloitte Luxembourg’s tax practice since 2008, Georges Deitz’s term as tax leader ended in May 2012.

Raymond Krawczykowski, tax partner and current tax co-leader, was appointed and officially took up the position as head of the tax practice on 1 June 2012.

Yves Francis, Managing Partner at Deloitte Luxembourg, states: “I am very pleased to have a talented Partner such as Raymond to lead our tax practice and further build on our leadership position in Luxembourg, as recently highlighted by our awards as ‘Best Tax firm of the Year’ in Luxembourg and ‘European Transfer Pricing firm of the Year’ by the International Tax Review.”

Raymond Krawczykowski joined Deloitte Luxembourg as a tax partner in 2004 and has since then played an instrumental role in the significant growth of the tax practice. He has been a member of the tax leadership team since 2008 and was appointed to the firm’s Executive Committee in 2009.

Colin Abrahams has joined CLB Coopers, and independent firm in the North West of the UK as a tax partner. He joined from Baker Tilly where he has worked for the past 6 years.

CLB Coopers has 3 offices in the North West, based in Bolton, Lancaster and Manchester. There are 14 partners 5 of whom specialise in tax.

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Ryan Law, a national firm specializing in corporate tax litigation, today announced that Mark W. Eidman has joined the Firm as a Senior Partner based in the Austin, Texas office. He will also maintain his position as Principal at Ryan, LLC, a leading global tax services firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Eidman is one of the leading tax attorneys in the United States and has built one of the most successful tax practices in the nation. He has represented corporate clients in hundreds of administrative appeals and court cases and has successfully litigated some of the largest state and local tax cases in the country. He has significant experience in franchise, income, insurance, motor fuel, motor vehicle, property, sales and use, and severance taxes. He has also advised numerous companies in the structuring of transactions and has worked to draft or implement legislation for the transportation, financial services, leasing, petrochemical, retail, semiconductor, and telecom industries. During his 35-year career, Mr. Eidman has been involved in administrative proceedings and court cases in more than 40 states and currently has the largest volume of pending tax cases before the State of Texas.

Prior to joining Ryan Law, Mr. Eidman was a Partner at an Austin, Texas trial law firm, where he led the Tax Practice. He also previously served as Director of the Hearings Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, supervising all of the contested tax assessments in Texas. Mr. Eidman has achieved industry recognition as a strategic thought leader and is a frequent speaker on a variety of tax topics for the Council On State Taxation (COST), the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT), the Tax Executives Institute (TEI), and many other tax-industry associations. He has served as Chairman of the Texas Comptroller’s Industry Liaison Group and has been honored as a Super Lawyer in the area of tax. Mr. Eidman is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas School of Law.

“Mark’s unparalleled success handling corporate tax disputes will be a tremendous asset to our clients,” said Kory L. Ryan, Managing Partner of Ryan Law. “Having the foremost tax attorney in Texas join our Firm represents a significant milestone in our strategy to acquire and retain the industry’s top legal talent.”

“I am proud to join Ryan Law’s impressive team of innovative tax lawyers in support of their mission to build the preeminent tax law firm in North America,” said Mr. Eidman. “I look forward to continuing to provide our clients first-rate legal services and unsurpassed results.”

About Ryan Law
Ryan Law is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in Dallas and Chicago. Founded by tax and trial lawyers from some of the top law firms in Texas and the nation, the Firm handles a variety of complex tax litigation matters, with an emphasis on all levels of tax recovery, audit defense, and tax appeals for many Fortune 500 companies.

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The board of DFDL has announce that Rolf Winand will join DFDL as a new Tax Partner, effective as of 1 July 2012.

Rolf will assume the role of Regional Partner in the Tax & Customs Practice Group, responsible for Cambodia and Vietnam, bringing with him his in-depth regional tax expertise which will complement the talented Tax & Customs team led by Jack Sheehan.

Prior to joining DFDL, Rolf has had 11 years of experience working as a Tax Partner, a Risk Management Partner and as the Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) with KPMG, in Vietnam.

In his position as COO, Rolf gained extensive and valuable experience in diverse aspects of business operations, including team management and emphasis on client relationship building procedures and management. His experience covers corporate, personal and value added tax advice to clients ranging from market entry participants, foreign and local investment funds and fund managers, sovereign wealth funds, banks and other financial institutions, insurance and manufacturers to major international corporations operating in Vietnam.

DFDL welcomes the level of experience and depth Rolf will bring to the team and looks forward to how this development will continue to strengthen our services for clients across the region.

Rolf is an Australian Chartered Accountant, and a Certified Public Accountant in both Cambodia and Vietnam, and holds a Bachelor of Business in Accounting from Monash University in Australia.

“Tax advisory services continue to be one of our core areas of expertise and are an essential component of our integrated practice. As DFDL continues its growth, we will continue to offer tax services in an increasing number of jurisdictions. This strategic hire reaffirms our commitment to this integrated tax and legal capabilities model which is quite unique throughout South-East Asia. We are very confident Rolf, with the help of Jack Sheehan, will continue to maintain the high level of tax advisory services that our clients have come to expect from DFDL over the past 18 years.” Martin Desautels, Managing Partner, DFDL.

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Changfeng Energy Inc. has announced the appointment of John Kutkevicius as a new board director.

Mr. Kutkevicius is currently a partner with the Toronto law firm of Wildeboer Dellelce, LLP where he practises in the area of income tax law. He has previously served as a Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Chariot Resources Limited from December, 2004 to June, 2010.

Mr. Richard Ling, who served as a Director of the Company since June 29, 2011, was not included in the slate of directors to be nominated to the Board due to his new job commitments. Mr. Huajun Lin, the Chairman and CEO of the Changfeng stated that, “we thank Richard, for his contribution to the Company and welcome Mr. Kutkevicius to our Board.”

About Changfeng Energy Inc.

Changfeng Energy Inc., is a natural gas service provider with operations located throughout the People’s Republic of China. The Company services industrial, commercial and residential customers, providing them with natural gas for heating purposes and fuel for transportation. The Company has developed a significant natural gas pipeline network as well as urban gas delivery networks, stations, substations and gas pressure regulating stations in Sanya City & Haitang Bay. Through its network of pipelines, the Company provides safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to both homes and businesses. The Company is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the trading symbol “CFY”. For more information, please visit the Company website at www.changfengenergy.com .

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