Deacons, one of Hong Kong’s premier independent law firms, has appointed Travis Benjamin to lead its tax practice in Hong Kong and China. Mr. Benjamin, who has 12 years of experience in international tax planning and tax controversy work, will join the firm as a registered foreign lawyer.
Mr. Benjamin was previously with Baker & McKenzie’s tax practice in Hong Kong for seven and half years, and with KPMG’s tax departments in Hong Kong and Melbourne for four years. His clients include corporations, banks, investment funds, private client/ family groups and not-for-profit organisations.
Mr. Benjamin has broad experience in tax and stamp duty planning work in the context of fund formation, public and private company M&A and restructuring, capital markets transactions, financing and services arrangements, intellectual property exploitation and employee remuneration planning in Hong Kong and across Asia. Mr. Benjamin also handles tax controversy matters, including revenue authority audits and Board of Review appeals. He has instructed senior counsel in Hong Kong and London on a wide-range of tax disputes.
Travis has received numerous professional honours including recognition as a “leading tax controversy adviser” in Hong Kong by International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders guide and as a “leading lawyer” in tax in Hong Kong by Chambers Asia-Pacific. His tax advisory, transactional and disputes work has been recognised by International Tax Review’s World Tax publication in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
James Bertram, Deacons’ long-time tax and trust specialist said, “Travis is a top quality tax advisor. He leverages strong multi-jurisdictional tax technical skills to develop ideas and implement innovative solutions in contentious and non-contentious tax work.”
Travis Benjamin commented, “I am excited to be joining Hong Kong’s premier independent law firm. The strength and stability of their commercial, financial services and disputes departments, together with the tax capacity built by James Bertram, will be an excellent platform for my practice.”
David Kilshaw has joined EY, following his retirement from KPMG’s Private Client team.
He will work with John Cooney, Carolyn Steppler and Caspar Noble to strengthen the family office business in the UK.
Head of UK & Ireland Tax at EY, John Dixon, commented
“As well as growing our family office practice, he will take an active role in developing and mentoring new talent coming through the team. We have ambitions to grow the tax business significantly, and it’s imperative that we have the best people at the helm and coming through every level of the organisation.”
Clifford Chance announced today that Chris Davies has been elected the new global leader of the firm’s tax, pensions and employment (TPE) practice for a period of 4 years, from 1 January, 2014.
Chris has been a partner at Clifford Chance since 1999 and currently heads up the London TPE practice. He specialises in corporate and financial taxation with particular emphasis on structured finance and international taxation.
“I am delighted to take on this role. Our market leading practices in tax, employee benefits, pensions and employment provide a full range of services to our firm’s outstanding client base. The changing legal market across the world is creating many opportunities for us to win new business and clients and I am very much looking forward to working with the other TPE partners and lawyers to strengthen further our position as the advisor of choice to our clients.”
Chris will be taking over the global leadership role from David Harkness. David, who has held the position for the maximum time permitted under the firm’s constitution, will continue in his role as a full time tax partner in the TPE practice.
Mazars has promoted David Prestwich to Head of Tax for its London office.
Mr Prestwich joined Mazars in March 2013 as a tax partner and this promotion took effect from September this year.
Prior to joining Mazars he was a partner at KPMG where he held 2 management posts, UK Tax Head of Innovation and Head of Tax for Transport & Leisure. His focus is international tax, M&A tax, large corporate tax governance and tax strategy advice.
Safilo, one of the largest manufacturers of eyewear, has appointed a new Group Tax Director. He will be based in Padova and report to Vincenzo Giannelli, CFO since 2010.
Fabio Aramini joins from CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni where he was a tax partner. CMS in Italy is ranked as one of the Top 10 tax firms by Chambers and the Legal 500.
Mr Aramini started his career in 1995 with Coopers & Lybrand, before moving to EY where he was a Senior Manager within their international tax team. His specialities are International Tax, Transfer Pricing, EU Law, M&A, Corporate Tax and Litigation.
King & Wood Mallesons has named its global heads of practice, post merger. 3 partners from each legacy firm will make up the 9 practice leaders.
For tax, Justin Cherrington (legacy Mallesons) will take on the global leadership role. He was the Head of Tax for Mallesons, based from the Sydney office. He has been closely involved in all manner of tax work including corporate restructures, major acquisitions and international tax issues. His work specifically includes all aspects of corporate taxation, including the tax consolidation regime, dividend imputation, capital gains tax and capital distributions.
haysmacintyre appoints Katharine Arthur to head up the tax team. Katharine was formerly a partner at MacIntyre Hudson and has also worked in a Big 4 and a top 20 firm. She has a broad experience of all taxes, and advises individuals and businesses on all aspects of their compliance and advisory requirements.
Katharine is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser, and is a member of the Taxation Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).
Commenting on Katharine’s appointment, Managing Partner Ian Cliffe says, ““We are very pleased to welcome Katharine to haysmacintyre. She is a true expert in her field and brings a wealth of knowledge to our clients and the firm. We look forward to working with her to help us achieve our future growth strategy and to continue to develop our presence in the market.”
Katharine says, “I am delighted to be joining the tax team at haysmacintyre to help further strengthen client service and our tax offering. Building on the excellent skills, specialisms and experience of the Corporate Tax, Private Client, Employment Tax and VAT teams, I look forward to further developing our client-focused tax service.”
Katharine’s appointment brings the number of partners to 27. With more than 160 staff, this confirms haysmacintyre as one of the leading independent professional services firms in the UK. Its founding membership of MSI Global Alliance, an award winning international alliance of legal and accounting firms, enables members to work cooperatively to serve clients with cross border or international operations, wherever in the world they need assistance.
Equiom has announced the launch its new tax business – Equiom Solutions Limited.
The new service will provide tax and estate planning for Isle of Man resident individuals, their businesses and family arrangements. It will also be offering a specialist service providing an on Island tax compliance and consultancy function for fiduciary service providers.
Equiom’s Group Managing Director Sheila Dean commented: “I am delighted to be able to launch Equiom Solutions so swiftly following the successful completion of a Secondary Management Buyout in September 2013. Equiom offers a market leading proposition and has been successful in enjoying a period of steady growth. The addition of a tax services department to service the local market is an exciting development for us. Our team has a first class reputation amongst the clients and intermediaries they have built relationships with. We look forward to working with them to ensure that their clients receive a seamless service from a team they are familiar with”.
John Nugent, new Managing Director of Equiom Solutions added: “The tax team and I are very excited about this move. The result is a brand new venture for the Island; a tax and estate planning service that focuses on Isle of Man residents and the particular issues they face. The service will be provided by a group of 16 tax professionals plus support staff, enhanced by Equiom’s other specialist services. We will work closely with other professionals on the Island to ensure that our clients receive the most appropriate legal and accountancy services. I therefore believe that this is good for our existing clients and offers a one stop shop for the tax compliance and consultancy needs of Isle of Man residents”.
Equiom has also acquired Island fiduciary West Corporation Limited. This means that the Equiom Solutions tax advisers will continue to have access to its specialist executorship and estate services. John Nugent was formerly Chairman of West Corporation and BDO Isle of Man.
Equiom now employs over 160 people across three offices in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Malta. Its growth in recent years is as a result of its high quality service offering to customers, alongside considerable investment in its operational and sales drive. The transaction is part of Equiom’s growth strategy following the completion of a number of acquisitions in addition to the group’s expansion into Jersey and Malta.