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.
Lucy Lee has rejoined EY as a Partner with the Personal Client Services team of the National Tax Department.
Located in Washington, DC, she will lead the Individual Global Tax Planning group and will serve as the liaison with the International Tax Services team for cross-border client collaboration. Lee returns to EY after two years with General Electric and five years with Caplin & Drysdale where her experiences included inbound and outbound issues relative to individuals and families, particularly in the Asian and European markets. Lucy is fluent in Korean.
Michele Randall returns to EY Chicago’s Indirect Tax practice from Deloitte. She spent 14 years in Deloitte’s Multistate Tax group, becoming a Director in 2006. Building on her recent role as the lead of Deloitte’s multistate real estate industry group, she brings a focus on the real estate sector, including both asset management and REITs.
Whilst at EY from 1995 to 1998, Randall had been a member of the SALT Value Analysis restructuring group. She began her career at TTX, Company, where she managed tax in the payroll department.
Farrer & Co has re-hired Marianne Kafena, formerly Head of Wealth Planning at Kleinwort Benson.
Marianne joins Farrer & Co as a partner practising in the private client team as of 29 September 2014.
She qualified as a solicitor at Farrer & Co in 2000. Since then, she has held roles at Lombard Odier in Bermuda and London and then Kleinwort Benson in London. She has specific experience in international private client work, particularly around the establishment, management and structuring of trusts.
Marianne speaks fluent French and Arabic and will be focusing on European and Middle Eastern clients, cross-border estate planning and working with wealthy families based outside the UK and their non-UK trustees. During her time away from Farrers, Marianne has worked as a professional trustee in Bermuda and London and as a wealth planner in two private banks in London.
The changing and increasingly complex legal and regulatory environment over recent years has meant that Marianne often found herself helping international families and their trustees find practical solutions in short time frames, while maintaining a healthy sense of the complexities of private international law. This experience will add to the existing team’s range of skills.
Nick Dunnell, partner in the team said, “We are very pleased that Marianne has re-joined the firm. She brings with her significant practical experience gathered from a range of environments, which will have real benefits for our international private clients, particularly those in Europe and the Middle East.”
The Chicago office of Arnstein & Lehr has recruited Kristin G. Bagull as a partner in the Estate Planning & Probate Administration practice group. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Bagull was senior counsel at a mid-size law firm, Tressler LLP.
Ms. Bagull dedicates her practice to helping clients with estate planning, asset protection, wealth transfers and taxation. She regularly works with business owners and families to formulate succession plans, advise in wealth preservation and counsel regarding income, gift and estate taxation. Additionally, Ms. Bagull assists with individual, estate and business audits at both the state and federal level.
Her experience extends to representing clients in the formation and reformation of legal entities and drafting buy-sell, employment and partnership agreements as well as complex operating agreements and phantom stock plans.
In addition to participating in multiple presentations and events, Ms. Bagull has published articles about tax and estate planning. She earned a degree of master of laws (LL.M) in tax from Northwestern University School of Law.
McDermott Will & Emery announced today that William R. Burford has rejoined the Firm as a partner in the Private Client Practice Group, resident in the Los Angeles office. Mr. Buford’s arrival marks the second to the Firm’s West Coast Private Client team this year, following the arrival of Laurelle Gutierrez in the Firm’s Silicon Valley office in January.
Mr. Burford, who served as counsel and partner with McDermott from 2006 to 2011, rejoins the Firm from J.P. Morgan Private Bank where he was a Managing Director for Wealth Advisory. In that role, he worked with clients and their advisors to identify estate and tax planning opportunities and implement comprehensive strategies to meet their personal, financial and charitable objectives.
At McDermott, Mr. Burford will focus his practice on advising clients and their families on matters related to tax and estate planning, probate and trust administration, and estate and trust controversies.
“We are delighted to welcome Bill back to McDermott,” said Carol Harrington, partner and head of McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group. “He is a seasoned and highly experienced practitioner who will be of tremendous value to our West Coast clients, which includes affluent families and highly successful high tech entrepreneurs and business owners. Bill is well acquainted with the unique and often complex needs of high net worth individuals, their families and business concerns.”
“I’m very pleased to be back at McDermott and to have the opportunity to return to the practice of law, serving the Firm’s very sophisticated clients,” said Mr. Burford. “McDermott‘s Private Client Practice Group is recognized as one of the premiere T&E practices in the nation, and I am honored to work with this outstanding team of lawyers.”
Bill’s articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Trusts & Estates, Estate Planning, the Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, the California Trusts & Estates Quarterly, the Los Angeles Lawyer, the Los Angeles Business Journal and the California Family Law News. He has been an instructor in State Bar of California CEB programs and speaks regularly to both legal and non-legal audiences on estate planning, trust administration and related topics.
Mr. Burford received his LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law. While at the New York University School of Law, he served as a graduate editor of the Tax Law Review. He earned his J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School, and his B.A. in economics with high distinction from the University of Michigan.
McDermott Will & Emery’s Private Client Practice Group represents high net worth individuals, families and closely held businesses with an extraordinary focus on clients’ specific, unique objectives. The Firm’s team of nearly 70 lawyers and 30 non-lawyer professionals is recognized by prestigious organizations as the top private client practice in the United States and among the top practices worldwide. In 2011, U.S. News–Best Lawyers named McDermott “Law Firm of the Year” in Trusts & Estates Law. Chambers USA ranked McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group in the top tier nationwide from 2006 to 2014, and three times McDermott was the only firm ranked in the top tier.
KPMG has four new tax partners as a result of the firm’s annual round of partner promotions. The promotions tax effect as of 1 October.
KPMG has announced the appointment of 52 partners: 29 promoted from within the firm and 23 external hires, appointed over the last financial year. Combined, this takes the total number of partners in the firm to 613. KPMG has a staff (including partners) of approximately 11,500.
The newly promoted tax partners are:
Jo Bateson – London Private Client advisory team
Jo trained in tax with Mercer & Hole, an independent firm, before joining KPMG in London in 2005.
Vicki Heard – FS tax team in Manchester
Vicki graduated from Manchester University in 2001 and immediately joined KPMG. She focuses on financial services clients and leads the treasury tax and funds taxation team for the Firm’s Northern tax practice.
In 2005 she wrote a paper on ‘The Philosophy of Tax”. This paper discussed the issue of tax and ethics, and reviewed the
academic research undertaken to date in several disciplines relating to the corporate taxpayer and their role in society. The paper led to several subsequent publications.
Naz Klendjian – London infrastructure tax team
Naz initially joined KPMG in 2000 and worked with the Firm for 5 years in the Banking & Finance group. He was a Senior Tax Manager when he left to join Babcock & Brown where he worked as their in-house tax director for the Australia and Asia-Pacific regions. He returned to KPMG in 2010 within the Global Infrastructure group.
Matt Whipp – London Transfer Pricing & Value Chain team
Matt joined KPMG fairly recently (2012) having worked in tax in industry for the previous 10 years. He was initially a Group Tax Accountant at BAA Plc, then joined Diageo in 2004 where he worked for 7 years. His last role was as Head of Business Risk and Transfer Pricing.
He now focuses on both mainstream transfer pricing services and value chain optimisation projects.
Jane McCormick, head of tax and pensions at KPMG in the UK, said:
“This year’s new partner intake reflects our optimism for growth over the coming months and years ahead. I am confident that this year’s partner appointments put us in a strong position to address the business issues and opportunities our clients want to tackle most.”
WeiserMazars LLP has announced that Lisa Osofsky, Partner-in-Charge, Private Client Services has been elected to the firm’s Executive Committee, effective January 1, 2015.
A founding member of WeiserMazars’ Tax Practice Board, Ms. Osofsky currently serves on several firm leadership teams including the firm’s Partner Performance Committee.
“Since joining WeiserMazars in 1987, Lisa has been an exemplary professional, focused on delivering exceptional client service. She is a champion of many firm initiatives and enhances our strategic positioning, both through her excellent work and market outreach,” said Douglas A. Phillips, WeiserMazars’ Chief Executive Officer. “As an Executive Committee member, Lisa will broaden the scope of her multi-faceted role in these critical areas at a firm-wide level and expand her already substantial contributions to our continued success.”
Ms. Osofsky has served as a Tax Partner for the past 17 years. She specializes in assisting with income taxation, estate and gift strategies, and collaborative wealth planning. As head of the Private Client Services group, Ms. Osofsky manages a unique practice offering coordinated and integrated tax, accounting, and financial planning services to the firm’s clients.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve WeiserMazars at a higher level,” said Ms. Osofsky. “As we continue to build our extraordinary firm, both domestically and globally, our tax services will be a principal driver of growth, and I am honored to be a key part of this expansion as well as to continue to bring our clients the resources they need.”
In addition to being a licensed CPA in New York and New Jersey, Ms. Osofsky holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is licensed as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Currently affiliated with The Financial Planning Association, Ms. Osofsky is also associated with New York Philanthropic Advisors Network, New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Saffron Tax Partners LLP has hired Nicholas Hughes as a new partner to the firm, with effect from 1 July.
Karen Spencer-Smith, Saffron’s Managing Partner, commented : “We are committed to providing the highest calibre specialist advice to our clients to enable them to make fully informed decisions. I am delighted that Nicholas has agreed to join us”.
Nicholas qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has advised private clients in relation to trust and estate planning matters ever since, in recent years as a non-practising solicitor. Nicholas was a Director at the Chiltern Group and more recently a Partner of BDO LLP. Nick is a member of STEP advises UK and international clients on a wide range of trust and tax issues.
Saffron Tax Partners is a boutique tax partnership, providing a proactive personal service to Private Clients. The Firm launched in 2009 and in 2011 announced the acquisition of the private client tax compliance business from Kleinwort Benson.
Although run by Karen Spencer-Smith, Saffron Tax Partners is backed by serial tax entrepreneur Ali Sarikhani. Mr Sarikhani is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having trained in practice with what is now Ernst & Young. He was made a Partner of the Tehran practice in 1976 at the age of 29 and subsequently, in 1980, set up his own practice in London. The business was acquired by UBS in 1986 and grew organically by the acquisitions of Williams Jeffery Barber Limited in 1987 and Chiltern Limited in 1997. In 1997, following a buy out from UBS, the group was re-launched as Chiltern Group plc and grew to 350 people servicing around 10,000 clients. In 2005 a divestment program was initiated which has resulted in the sale of the business via a series of disposals. Most of the senior team at Saffron come from Chiltern (via BDO).