Withers continues its global expansion with the hiring of an Asian corporate tax head and the launch of Tokyo tax practice (which will operate as ‘Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin’).
The firm has recruited Eric Roose from Morrison & Foerster, who will head Withers’ International Corporate Tax practice in Asia. Corporate tax advisers (‘Zeirishi’) Chizuko Tomita and Takeo Mizutani will head Withers Japan, continuing a longstanding relationship with Eric as historic members of the top ranked Tokyo corporate tax team at Morrison & Foerster.
“Eric is one of the leading corporate tax lawyers practicing in Asia and his hire is a significant step in building on our commercial services in Asia. His experience of establishing teams across Asia will be a huge asset as we continue to add to our capabilities,” says Withers’ Managing Director Margaret Robertson.
Margaret adds: “Our family office and entrepreneurial clients frequently require us to handle their corporate transactions as well as personal legal matters, and Eric and the Zeirishi team add significant strengths to our existing corporate tax team in the US and Europe. We are also very excited to add an affiliate office in Japan to our network, and anticipate that it will result in new ways of working with clients across Asia and the US west coast, where we are also investing in substantial growth.”
Eric is qualified to practice in the US, is certified by the Singapore Institute of Accredited Tax Practitioners and has worked in Asia for over fifteen years, including over a decade with White & Case in Tokyo. He will be based in Withers’ newly enlarged Singapore office and will lead the firm’s cross-border transactional tax services across Asia.
Chizuko Tomita has worked as tax partner at E&Y and also as head of tax for Vodafone Japan.
Takeo Mizutani has also worked at White & Case and an international accountancy firm.
Moneta Group has announced that Donald Poling has joined the firm as a Principal and Family CFO. Poling will join Gene Diederich’s team as a full partner, effectively transitioning the team to being called the Diederich Poling Team.
Poling was a Deloitte Tax Partner for 35 years (until 2006) and brings a wealth of experience to the firm in financial analysis, corporate and individual income tax planning, estate planning, business succession consulting, family and board governance, and strategic financial planning.
“I have dedicated my career to bringing creative solutions to complex families’ financial advisory needs and I am excited about the opportunity of delivering this service from a platform dedicated to serving as the ‘Family CFO,’” said Poling.
Poling holds a BSBA and MBA from Bowling Green State University and was part of Stanford University’s Executive Management Program. He is very active in the St. Louis community serving on boards for organizations such as the St. Louis Community Foundation, Cultural Festival, Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, and Bowling Green University Foundation.
“I am delighted to have a partner with Don’s background and experience on my team” said Diederich, who serves as both a Principal and the firm’s CEO. The addition of Poling as a principal raises Moneta’s number of partners to 42.
Prior to joining Moneta Group Don was a Principal at Matter Family Office, where he has worked since 2006.
Thomas Eggar LLP has appointed Ursula Danagher as head of their award winning Private Client practice.
Ursula, who is based in the firm’s London office, has been a leading Partner in the Family team of Mischon de Reya. Prior to Mishcon de Reya, Ursula was the head of the family team at Memery Crystal; a team she was recruited to specifically start up and build.
Ursula is heading the 100 strong private practice at Thomas Eggar with a view to capitalising on the firm’s top rankings in the South and her own reputation in the market in order to grow the practice as a whole but specifically to create a strong family practice, build the firm’s international tax teams and extend their reputation in the City of London.
Richard Jordan, who has chosen to stand down as the head of practice to help with the growth of the firm’s International Tax practice, said “This is an exciting move for the firm confirming our commitment to providing high quality private client services both in the UK and internationally”.
Managing Partner, Vicky Brackett, commented that “this appointment comes during a time of growth and investment in both our private wealth and our business teams. The calibre of people we are attracting confirms our success in promoting our brand and building our reputation in the market; we’re delighted to welcome Ursula on board.”
Ursula joined the firm on 2nd February 2015.
David McLellan will be joining Withers in Zurich with effect from January 2015.
David is an English / Australian qualified lawyer specialising in private client, fiduciary and international tax advisory. He assists global financial institutions, trustees and wealth owning families with international taxation, estate planning, asset protection and succession planning. He is well versed in the complex international taxation, legal and regulatory issues faced by global wealth owning families and has a special interest in cross-generational succession planning & risk management.
David also has significant business leadership experience in relation to strategy, change & operational management.
Talking to Tax Grotto about his new role, David commented:
“I am absolutely delighted to join Withers and look forward to helping them further build up their Zurich wealth planning operation as well as to use their Zurich office to champion Withers’ global expertise and work with colleagues around the world on complex international mandates.
While I have had over 20 years of experience in various roles in the private banking and wealth management sphere and have always worked closely with wealth owning families, I am very excited to get back into legal practice and once again become the independent and trusted advisor to clients. Switzerland still has its challenges but it will always remain a key global financial centre – risks have simply moved to the individual with an ever higher need for advice. So an extremely interesting time to join Withers.”
Prior to joining Withers, David was Executive Director & Head of the UK Family Office at Stonehage. He is also the former Group Chief Executive Officer of the Rothschild Trust Group and member of the Executive Board of Rothschild Private Bank & Trust (where he responsible for 200 plus staff & 10 offices). Prior to that, David had worked as an international tax & trust lawyer with Baker & McKenzie and Ernst & Young; and was also involved with the launch and establishment of LawInContext (Baker & McKenzie’s online legal knowledge management arm) as General Counsel & Chief Operating Officer.
David has worked in each of London, Zurich and Melbourne and is a dual Swiss Australian national.
Deloitte will acquire leading family enterprise business, Peter Leach & Partners, with effect from January 2015.
Since its establishment in 2008, Peter Leach & Partners have built a strong global reputation, offering family business consultancy services to entrepreneurial families. They have supported successful family businesses with succession planning, the development of family constitutions, and philanthropy services. The acquisition will make it easier for these family businesses to access Deloitte’s other services including corporate finance and real estate services.
Claire Webster, head of Deloitte’s Private Client Services team said: “I am delighted to announce that we will be welcoming two new partners to our firm, Peter Leach and Alexandra Sharpe. With over 30 years of experience, Peter is considered the ‘founding father’ of family business thinking in the UK. Alex is recognised as a leading authority on family business and specialises in succession planning and governance issues. We believe that this acquisition gives Deloitte the leading family business consulting team.”
Government research shows there are 858,000 family businesses in the UK*, highlighting the important role they play in the British economy. Peter Leach & Partners’ expertise will ensure family businesses continue to be successful and harmonious through the generations.
Webster adds: “In addition to the challenges faced by established family businesses, globally we are also seeing many entrepreneurial family businesses face the prospect of generational change for the first time. Many family businesses were created following the widespread economic and political change of the last 30 years. Now the sons and daughters will take over the business and this highlights the importance of succession planning to ensure this process goes smoothly.”
Peter Leach said: “I am excited to be joining Deloitte. This is a new adventure which will allow us to share our specialist expertise in family businesses, family offices and family philanthropy with a broader audience. This is a great opportunity to integrate with a leading business advisory firm. Considering the enormous growth potential of this market, combining our forces will enable us to provide our clients with a broader range of services, which will benefit them.”
Peter Leach & Partners have established a strong market position internationally, in particular in the UK, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to launching his own practice Peter was a Partner at BDO in London, where he worked for 37 years.
Matthew Sperry and Matthew McKim have joined McDermott as partners, operating from the Firm’s offices in New York and Chicago. Previously, the two practised at DLA Piper.
At McDermott, Sperry and McKim will be part of the Firm’s Direct Investing practice, a distinctive offering that brings together practitioners from the Firm’s highly ranked Corporate, Tax and Private Client practices to provide High Net Worth clients with a broad spectrum of sophisticated legal services as they invest in and operate businesses globally. With their international focus, Sperry and McKim will help to expand the Firm’s work on behalf of wealthy families in Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as the financial institutions that cater to such families.
McDermott is one of the few law firms that has constructed a global platform of tax and wealth planning professionals across the United States, Europe and Asia that addresses the international tax and wealth planning challenges of an increasingly complicated, cross-border network of often uncoordinated rules and regulations. The McDermott Direct Investing practice broadens the Firm’s top-ranked global practices to integrate the investing activities of High Net Worth families across the globe with McDermott’s existing complex wealth planning and wealth transfer capabilities. McDermott recognizes that global wealth is becoming concentrated among individuals and families who are increasingly making their own investment decisions. Such wealth may be of the first or several generations, but its scale, and the scale of their investing, require a broad range of international tax, estate planning and family succession expertise.
Sperry’s experience includes:
- A Fortune Global 100 company in its disposition of a global manufacturing division conducting business in over 25 countries, leading a crossborder legal team of over 20 lawyers
- The family office of an ultra-high–net-worth family in its investment in global oil and gas properties, including the negotiation of a long-term development arrangement
- A Fortune Global 100 company in its acquisition of a water treatment business conducted in 15 countries
- The family office of an ultra-high–net-worth family in its acquisition of a Manhattan hotel and its redevelopment into a mixed-use project
- An ultra-high–net-worth family in its acquisition of a global hotel management company
- The family office of an ultra-high–net-worth family in its acquisition of a German-based manufacturer of precision industrial equipment
- The family office of an ultra-high–net-worth family in its acquisition in a Section 363 bankruptcy proceeding of a leading developer of road and paving technologies
- A Fortune Global 500 company in its disposition of its coffee business to a strategic buyer
- An ultra-high–net-worth family in its acquisition of numerous private aircraft, including developing and implementing a tax efficient structure for the aircraft and registering the aircraft with the FAA
McKim’s experienced includes:
- Representation of private equity and hedge funds organized in the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands in connection with acquisitions of US businesses and various other business issues, including the acquisition of multimillion-dollar funds and other restructurings
- Representation of a private equity fund in connection with planning for an allocation of US$1 billion of cancellation of debt income and tax characterization issues regarding hedging transactions related to more than US$1 billion in allocable trading losses
- Representation on tax structuring matters related to the formation of a German-based private equity fund anticipated to raise US$1 billion to invest in seagoing cargo vessels having operational connections with US ports, specifically structured to utilize US tax laws to prevent the imposition of US tax on foreign investors
- Representation of high-net-worth US and non-US (e.g., German, Brazilian, Dutch and Mexican) families in their worldwide organizational and tax structures designed to reduce the incidence of worldwide income, capital, gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes, including the establishment of foreign trusts for the benefit of US family members and counseling with respect to the new US expatriation taxes imposed upon such families
- Representation of a large privately held multinational group of foreign corporations in connection with the investment by US persons of US$100 million in shares of its stock, including the development of a structure designed to avoid classification as a “passive foreign investment company”
- Representation of billionaire families with respect to “institutionalization” of their wealth over multiple generations and jurisdictions, including establishment of licensed trust companies, family banks, and related structures facilitating the clients’ needs
- Representation related to tax matters of one of the world’s largest cement and concrete companies, in its US$600 million acquisition of a US-based cement and concrete company
- Representation of a private equity fund in a convertible debt–financed acquisition of a US-based business
- Planning and implementation of complicated “like kind” exchange programs
“Our sophisticated High Net Worth clients think multi-generationally and globally, and more and more they have concluded that an integrated direct investing model works best for them,” said McDermott Private Client partner Henry Christensen III. “Matthew and Matthew are two of the best Direct Investing lawyers in the world and we are delighted to bring them on board as we focus on the fast-changing needs of our clients.”
“Increasingly, wealthy families are turning away from more traditional investment strategies and hiring professional managers to oversee their investments on a direct basis,” added David Goldman, head of McDermott’s global Corporate Advisory Practice Group. “Our two new partners are joining our distinct Direct Investing practice; McDermott’s international approach to direct investing gives our clients premier tax and wealth planning experience that other firms do not provide.”
“There is quite simply no other law firm capable of serving the unique investing needs of High Net Worth individuals in this way,” said McDermott co-chair Peter J. Sacripanti. “We are strategically committed to having the best wealth management, corporate and tax lawyers in our U.S. and international offices. Adding Matthew Sperry and Matthew McKim to the Direct Investing team allows us to build upon our experience, and project our strength in new directions, as we seek to deliver the world’s finest client service.”
McDermott’s Direct Investing practice capitalizes on the Firm’s premier capabilities in three areas: private client/wealth management, tax, and corporate advisory. In the 2014 edition of Chambers USA, McDermott’s Private Client capabilities were honored with a national Tier 1 ranking in the Wealth Management category for the eighth consecutive year. McDermott was named “Law Firm of the Year” in Tax Law in the 2013 ”Best Law Firms” rankings published by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers. McDermott is among the few, if any, law firms capable of offering the vital blend of in-depth, global wealth management, corporate and tax experience and highly-focused industry knowledge. The Firm was also named the 2014 “Team of the Year for M&A Mid-Market” in the inaugural Legal 500 US Awards.
McDermott’s Direct Investing practice is led by McDermott Corporate Advisory Practice Group Leader David Goldman. In addition to Mr. Sperry and Mr. McKim, other senior team members include Corporate Advisory partners Mark Selinger and Jake Townsend; Private Client partners Henry Christensen III, Carlyn McCaffrey, Richard Lang, William Butler, and Andrew Vergunst; and Tax partners Gary Karch and Daniel Zucker.
Charles (Charlie) Carr has joined EY’s National Tax Department in Dallas as an executive director focused on Private Client Services in the Business Tax Services practice.
Carr had been a Senior Vice President, Family Office Advisor at the US Trust Family Office within Bank of America since 1994.
Mishcon de Reya has announced (via an interview with Legal Business) that it is set to launch an independent, private client advisory business entitled ‘Mayfair Private’ to provide ‘discreet professional solutions’ to wealthy individuals, families and private offices.
The joint venture with offshore fiduciary firm Opus Private will create a single point of access for co-ordinating legal, fiduciary and family office services from offices in London, Guernsey and Dubai. Advice on offer will include family governance; family office advisory; wealth protection; philanthropic structuring; sourcing and protecting lifestyle assets; and bespoke concierge services.
Opus Private has has worked with Mishcon for many years. Opus’ Dubai-based director, Andrew Young (pictured), was formerly head of private client at Lawrence Graham.
Mishcon’s managing partner Kevin Gold said: ‘It became clear that there was a pressing need for the family and private office-related services – that traditionally fall outside of the remit of a law firm – to be professionalised. Consolidating the specialist private experience of Mishcon de Reya and Opus Private to create Mayfair Private enables us to fulfill this need. Clients of Mayfair Private will also enjoy access to an exclusive network of best in class professionals who will help them to achieve their goals.’