Irwin Mitchell, has boosted its commercial practice with the announcement that it has appointed leading tax investigations partner, Phil Berwick, from Pinsent Masons.
Based in the firm’s London office, Phil is the 19th new partner to be announced by Irwin Mitchell’s commercial practice this since the start of 2012 and follows other recent lateral hires including new head of commercial litigation, Nigel Kissack, and intellectual property specialists Alex Newman and Georgie Collins.
A former inspector of taxes, Phil left the Inland Revenue 18 years ago and worked in the investigation teams of various accountancy and consultancy firms, spending four years as head of tax investigations at Tenon. He joined McGrigors, the law firm which subsequently merged with Pinsent Masons, in 2009, as head of their tax investigations team.
Phil deals with a range of HMRC’s specialist units, but is principally involved in investigations instigated by HMRC’s Specialist Investigations and Local Compliance Fraud teams. He is a recognised expert and innovator in relation to advising clients on international disclosure facilities. His clients includecorporate entities, individuals, sole traders and partnerships, and he frequently assists professional advisers who seek his specialist expertise.
Commenting on his appointment, Phil Berwick said: “Irwin Mitchell is a very attractive proposition and it presents me with an exciting opportunity to build a market-leading tax investigations and disputes team.
“I firmly believe that there is enormous potential for growth. HMRC continues to take an increasingly tougher stance on avoidance as well as evasion, and clients need to take specialist advice. Another growth area is international disclose facility work, and I believe Irwin Mitchell is ideally positioned in this fast-changing market to ensure that it can capitalise on the opportunities which will present themselves.”
Niall Baker, partner and chief executive of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services (BLS) division, said: “This appointment speaks volumes for our determination to keep expanding and is a further sign that senior advisers, not just lawyers, are excited about what we are doing and want to be part of it.
“Phil is an important strategic hire and exactly the type of person we are looking to bring into Irwin Mitchell. He is a vastly experienced operator, an innovator, a market leading expert in his field, and someone who enhances the range of services that we can offer to the business legal market.”
Kinetic Partners, a leading global advisor to the financial services industry, has today announced that Gary Ashford has joined the London office as a Member within the global tax team. This new appointment further enhances Kinetic Partners’ capabilities across the alternative investment tax spectrum, while also creating a new area of expertise within the practice.
As a leading expert in offshore tax risk and investigation matters, Gary will assist clients, financial institutions and fiduciary companies in relation to the various FATCA intergovernmental agreements, global transparency and voluntary tax disclosure facility industry, the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, the Swiss/UK tax agreement and general asset preservation.
Gary joins Kinetic Partners from RSM Tenon, where he was a Partner and national head of Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution, building his reputation as a leading offshore tax risk and investigation expert. With more than 25 years experience in the tax industry, gained through roles with Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young and HM Revenue & Customs, Gary brings with him a wealth of knowledge.
Gary is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and sits on the CIOT council in addition to being a member of the CIOT Professional Standards Committee. Gary also represents the CIOT on the General Assembly of the Confederation Fiscale Europeenne, the umbrella body for tax advisers throughout Europe.
Gary Ashford, Member, tax commented: “I have watched the developments at Kinetic Partners for some time and have been very impressed with the progress being made, and the sheer quality of the people here.
“Global Transparency is now at the top of the list of priorities for OECD member countries, with the increasing trend in Tax Information Exchange Agreements and FACTA type agreements. We are seeing fiscal authorities around the developed world become ever more sophisticated in the way they tackle cross border activity. That trend will only continue and I am pleased that Kinetic Partners are well placed to help clients face up to those challenges. Tax is becoming a major focus in Anti-Money Laundering regulations and so I am seeing a significant interest in businesses with offshore structures seeking clarity to ensure they are tax compliant in the new world ahead.”
Julian Korek, CEO, Kinetic Partners, commented: “Gary’s standing within the tax industry and level of specialist expertise will ensure he is a highly valuable addition to the team. We are excited to be expanding our global tax offering to meet the needs of our clients in an ever changing global financial services marketplace.”
Smith & Williamson has announced that partner Andrew McKenna has been appointed head of its Manchester office.
Andrew is a well-known expert in tax investigations, specialising in HMRC’s information powers, particularly bank information notices and information exchange.
Andrew commented, “I am excited to be leading Smith & Williamson’s Manchester office during this time of growth and expansion; we already have a strong tax investigations offering and we plan to expand our private client tax services to an equal level.”
Joss Dalrymple, national head of private client tax services, said: “Our Manchester office has been going from strength to strength, and we are delighted that Andrew will be leading the team.”
Crowe Clark Whitehill has increased its number of partners working on tax investigations by 100%, welcoming investigations specialist John Cassidy to the team on 2 April.
John, who joins the firm from PKF, is a high profile figure in tax investigations, with wide-ranging experience in the field covering offshore evasion, fraud investigations, the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, disputes with HMRC, professional negligence claims and expert witness work. A regular writer and lecturer, he wrote chapters on tax investigations in the Zurich Tax Handbook and ICAEW’s TAXLine Tax Planning, and sits on a number of tax committees.
John joins Crowe Clark Whitehill partner Sean Wakeman, whose team won last year’s Lexis Nexis Best Tax Investigations team award – with John’s team at PKF coming in as hotly-contested runners up.
John says: “I am very pleased to be joining Crowe Clark Whitehill at what is clearly a great time in the firm’s development. I hope that my experience will complement the sterling work done by the tax investigations team, and that my appointment will be beneficial for both the firm and its clients. The Crowe Clark Whitehill team is already of the highest quality as demonstrated by them winning the Lexis Nexis tax award last year, and I hope to add to that.”
Sean Wakeman says: “I am delighted that John and his team are joining us. Their arrival marks another step in our strategy to build on our success by recruiting the very best tax investigations talent. John is at the very top of the tree in terms of his knowledge, experience and ability to deliver first class solutions to clients”.
“John’s recruitment to jointly head the team will help us to continue our positive trajectory. John is a well-known industry figure and a first class tax partner with whom I am looking forward to working for many years to come.”
DLA Piper today announced the appointment of Jayne Newton as a Tax Investigations Director in its Litigation & Regulatory Group. Jayne joins DLA Piper from Lloyds Banking Group where she was Head of Operational and Employee Taxes.
Jayne spent the last 21 years at Lloyds Banking Group where she led the team responsible for managing the financial and reputational risks facing the Group relating to compliance with HMRC regulations on all operational and employee tax issues. This involved influencing regulatory developments through chairing the BBA Operational Tax Issues Working party and also being a pro-active member of the BBA US Tax Issues Working Group
During her career, Jayne has acquired considerable experience in the banking business. This has resulted in a deep understanding of product development and the commercial benefits of effective operational tax risk management. Additionally, Jayne has extensive expertise in the mitigation of the practical impact of UK, European and US regulations on global financial institutions, the management of operational and employee tax risks on mergers, acquisitions, business restructuring, divestments, and market changes/challenges, as well as media management relating to operational tax risks.
Stephen Sly, DLA Piper International Head of Litigation & Regulatory, said: “Jayne has an insight into the banking community that will prove invaluable to our clients in this sector. Her appointment will enable us to combine the legal expertise of a global law firm with the operational tax, commercial and risk management experience she brings. At a time when regulation is on the rise, and changes are being made to tax law at a local and global level, Jayne will be an asset to our market leading Tax Investigations and Disputes team.”
Jayne Newton, added: “I am delighted to be joining the Litigation & Regulatory Group at DLA Piper. During my career at Lloyd’s I have gained a thorough understanding of the practical impact of compliance obligations and am adept at providing solutions that are commercial, achievable and risk focussed. The Tax Investigations & Disputes team has an excellent reputation in the market and I look forward to putting my expertise to good use advising the firm’s local and global clients on compliance.”
Maurice Martin joined Withers from Irwin Mitchell on 1 December to launch a tax investigations practice.
Maurice’s work focuses on business and personal tax investigations on behalf of high profile individuals as well as corporations. He often works in conjunction with leading accountancy firms to minimise the client’s risk of prosecution and the amount of tax properly payable.
Known for his contacts and experience, he has been involved in many of the major cases of the past 30 years. These began with the famous nationwide Richmond Rendezvous group of Chinese restaurants in 1981, at the time the largest tax prosecution ever and the first combined operation by Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise (before they merged in 2005).