Simon Skinner TaxTravers Smith has announced that Simon Skinner has been appointed as new head of the firm’s tax practice with effect from 1 January 2017.

Simon Skinner joined Travers Smith in 2006 and became tax partner in 2007. He specialises in corporate and management taxation, in particular focusing on the private equity sector.  In addition to public and private M&A, he advises on debt and equity restructuring, public-to-privates, demergers, IPOs and joint ventures. He also regularly advises founders and management teams, in addition to institutional investors.

As head of tax, Simon leads the team of nine tax partners and 38 tax fee-earners in total. In his new role, he has succeeded Travers Smith’s senior practitioner Kathleen Russ, who has led the tax practice for the past 9 years, developing it into one of the largest and most diverse tax practices in the City, numbering nine partners in total, including four female partners.

Going forward, Kathleen will remain a partner in the tax team and also continue with her existing responsibilities at the firm including the membership of the firm’s Partnership Board. She will also dedicate time to the Board of the Office of Tax Simplification following her appointment as a non-executive director by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Office of Tax Simplification was established in 2010 to provide advice to the Chancellor on simplifying the UK tax system and was made a permanent, independent office of HM Treasury. Kathleen is one of only three new appointments to the board chaired by Angela Knight CBE, along with Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and John Cullinane, Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

Travers Smith’s Managing Partner David Patient commented: “Over the years Travers Smith’s tax department has not only grown into one of our firm’s key business areas, but also carved a strong reputation in the market for excellence and diversity of its team members. This is largely due to Kathleen’s dedication and excellent leadership skills and I would like to thank her for her contribution to the success of our tax practice to date. Many congratulations to Simon Skinner on his new appointment. I have no doubt that under his capable leadership our tax practice will continue to go from strength to strength.”  

Simon Skinner commented: ”It is a privilege to take over the leadership of this vibrant department from Kathleen Russ, who has made an enormous contribution to the cohesion and success of our team. I very much look forward to working alongside my talented colleagues on taking our practice to the next stage of development going forward.“

The practice is divided into four groups including transactional tax, asset management and investment funds, corporate finance and the employee incentives group.  The team works for a broad range of clients across industry sectors, from established global brands to start-ups and entrepreneurs, including Bridgepoint, Peel Group, Exponent, Melrose Industries plc and The Carlyle Group, amongst others.  Most recently the team advised Micro Focus International plc on its $8.8 billion merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprises software business; Bridgepoint and management on the tax implications of the sale of Oasis Dental Care, the UK’s leading private dental services provider to BUPA, in a transaction valuing the business at £835m and Pret A Manger on a refinancing and significant upsizing of its existing senior debt facilities.

Eugene Gay Head of TaxMarsh & McLennan has hired Eugene Gay as Head of Tax for the Asia Pac region, with effect from August 2016.

Mr Gay has extensive commercial tax experience in Asia and for the past 6 years has been Head of Tax (Asia) at GlaxoSmithKline, leading a team of 20 tax specialists across all areas of tax.

His personal specialism is in international tax issues (direct taxes, GST/VAT/Service Taxes, customs duties, withholding taxes, individual income taxes, transfer pricing, M&A, income flows tax planning, organisational restructuring, investments involving equity and debt financing, planning for investment locations, US GAAP & IFRS tax provisioning/FIN48, tax incentive planning and management of effective tax rates, etc.) involving various countries in and outside the Asia Pacific region.

He will report to Dina Shapiro, Chief Tax Officer, who joined Marsh & McLennan in March 2015 from American Express.

Lloyds Banking Group Tax JobsLloyds Banking Group has hired financial services tax guru, Saibh Young, as Group Tax Director.

Ms Young has significant FS tax experience. She initially worked with KPMG in Dublin from 1989 to 1995, progressing to Tax Manager.

In 1996 she joined Bear Stearns where she held several roles: Deputy Head of Tax for EMEA, Head of Tax for Ireland and latterly Head of Tax for Front Office/Business Support for EMEA and Asia regions.

In 2007 she joined Nomura as MD and Head of Tax for the EMEA region.

Ms Young replaces Sarah Prior who left Lloyds Banking Group in December 2015. Ms Prior returned to PwC London and is a tax partner in the financial services group.

Matt Ellis Tax PartnerDeloitte has announced that Matt Ellis is the new managing partner for tax in the UK and Switzerland. He assumes the role from Andy Hodge, who has led the practice for the past five years and is retiring from the firm.

Matt Ellis has held a variety of positions in Deloitte, including in regional offices in Southampton and Reading as well as London. Most recently he led Deloitte UK’s global employer services business (GES) and served as talent leader for tax.

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte, said:
“I am delighted to announce Matt as our new managing partner for tax. Matt has been a great leader of our global employer services practice and I am sure that he will bring the same leadership and focus to his new role as head of our tax practice.

“I also want to thank Andy Hodge for the great leadership he provided as managing partner for tax over the past five years.”

Matt Ellis said:
“I am thrilled to be taking on this role and feel extremely privileged and humbled to lead such a tremendous business at this crucial time. The tax environment has changed rapidly over the past few years. Technology and data analytics are playing an ever greater part in taxation, as compliance is now digital and HMRC continues to develop new systems. The UK is also at the forefront of legislating the agreed actions from the G20/ OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project and there are major changes for employers and individuals too.

“I look forward to working with our talented teams across the country as we help clients understand, navigate and comply with these complex changes and build and grow our practice.”


Head of Tax JobsThe National Bank of Abu Dhabi has hired Mahesh Lakhani as Head of Tax Management for the MENA, Europe and Americas regions. He starts this new role on Monday 1st February and will split his time between London and Abu Dhabi.

Mahesh is a highly-regarded financial services tax specialist in the UK. Most recently he was London Head of Tax at National Australia Bank, but he has held leadership roles at KBC, Credit Suisse and Commerzbank.

Vp Tax JobsBjorn Schuurmans has joined NNS Capital as VP Corporate Affairs, Tax and Structuring. He sits within NNS Capital ( a London-based financial advisory firm) but is also General Manager of NNS Luxembourg, which is where he is based.

Mr Schuurmans is a tax lawyer by training, having started his career with KPMG in Rotterdam. He worked in-house with Kuwait Petroleum from 2008 to 2013 and was Head of Tax of the international group when he left. For the past 2 years he has been Global Head of Tax at OCI NV, operating between Amsterdam, London and Houston.

OCI NV tax jobsHe is replaced at OCI NV by Diederik de Jonge van Ellemeet, who has been promoted from his previous position as Tax manager Europe.

Mr de Jonge van Ellemeet spent his earlier tax career with EY, working in London, Tokyo and Amsterdam, before joining OCI NV in November 2014.


RSM UK Tax JobsAccountancy firm RSM has promoted Melanie Reed to national head of corporate tax. Her base will continue to be Bury St Edmunds. This is impressive stuff from Ms Reed, who was still a senior tax manager at Grant Thornton in 2012.

Jim Meakin, RSM’s UK head of tax commented:

‘I would like to welcome Melanie into her new role as our UK head of corporate tax where she will have a crucially important role as part of our tax leadership team. She has a great deal of experience of advising businesses both in the UK and internationally, and I have no doubt her leadership will increase and further develop our existing corporate tax offering at this exciting time for RSM.’

Ms Reed has over 15 years’ experience advising companies and their shareholders on various taxation matters with clients ranging across all sectors and all sizes. She has always worked in the East Anglia region, training with Grant Thornton and then Ernst & Young before returning to Grant Thornton in 2004. In 2012 she joined an independent firm, Scrutton Bland, as Tax Partner, before joining Baker Tilly in 2014.

In her new role she will lead and further develop RSM’s national corporate tax offering.

Tax Grotto has had a look at Ms Reed’s linkedin profile, and it appears that she was ahead of her time. In the current climate there is much discussion about whether Firms should be hiring straight from school instead of looking purely at graduates. Ms Reed left school in 1997. She joined Grant Thornton in 1997. No mention of a degree. Well played.

To explore your tax career at RSM, please visit this link:


EY Tax Leadership JobsEY has announced that Lucia Hlongwane will be joining the Firm as Africa Tax Leader. She will also become a member of the Africa Executive.

Lucia joins from the Barclays Africa Group where she has been Group Head of Tax since 2013. Prior to this she worked at Shell as Africa Head of Tax.

She is joint president of the South African Institute of Tax Professionals and is a Tax Committee Member of Business Unity South Africa.

The current Africa Tax Leader, Jim Deiotte, will retire from the US firm at the end of the year.