King & Spalding has established a Paris tax practice with the addition of partner Aurélia de Viry, an expert in French real estate and corporate tax law, as the firm expands its tax offerings throughout Europe. De Viry joins King & Spalding from Clifford Chance, where she was a counsel.
“Aurélia has built a strong reputation in the marketplace over the past decade, and we are pleased to welcome her to the firm,” said Ken Fleuriet, managing partner of King & Spalding’s Paris office. “Her expertise in French tax law will be a great benefit to our international clients, especially those in Europe. We expect Aurélia to work closely with our offices in London, Frankfurt and the Middle East, as well as some of our U.S.-based international real estate fund clients, on a broad array of tax advice.”
De Viry advises in all areas of tax, including international taxation and the tax aspects of real estate investments, acquisition finance, structured finance, group restructuring and acquisitions. She is also an expert on VAT matters, particularly in relation to real estate and financial transactions. She received a Masters I degree in Management and Business Law from the Université Pantheon Assas Paris II, a Masters I degree in International Tax and Business Law from the Université Paris IX Dauphine and a Masters II degree in International Tax and Business Law from the Université Pantheon Assas Paris II.
King & Spalding’s tax practice covers the full range of tax issues presented in planning and executing complex business transactions in both domestic and cross-border settings, including acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, financings, restructurings and investment fund formations. In addition to advising on corporate, partnership, and international tax matters, the firm’s tax practice provides advice on the employee benefits and executive compensation aspects of business transactions and post-transaction integration. Lawyers in the tax practice also work with the firm’s global real estate team — in Paris led by Benoît Marcilhacy, Pascal Schmitz and Alexandre Couturier — which has earned an international reputation for its creative structuring of clients’ transactions, from property acquisitions and development to mergers and acquisitions and complex equity and debt financing.
“King & Spalding’s growing real estate market share offers an attractive long-term platform for my tax practice, as does the firm’s strong European real estate finance practice,” said de Viry. “I am delighted to join a talented team of lawyers in Paris, and I look forward to contributing to the firm’s continued success in Europe.”
David H. Kirk, former tax attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), joined Ernst & Young LLP’s Washington, DC office as an Executive Director in the Personal Financial Services practice. While at the IRS, Kirk was one of the principal authors of the net investment income tax (NIIT) regulations under Section 1411 of the Internal Revenue Code and also with respect to guidance addressing S corporation issues.
As part of the firm’s National Tax Department, Kirk will lead efforts to assist clients in addressing the new net investment income tax from both a planning and compliance perspective. In addition to his role relative to Section 1411, Kirk will serve as a key subject matter professional in the EY Global Personal Tax Planning network and work more broadly on matters related to S corporation, trust and personal taxation.
“David’s 15 years of experience and his role at the IRS on key new tax regulations will help our clients gain valuable insights into planning and reporting considerations,” said Michael Mundaca, Co-Director of National Tax for Ernst & Young LLP and Co-Director of the EY Americas Tax Center. “His knowledge and experience will be especially valuable to clients and colleagues as they understand and address the new NIIT in particular.”
In the Passthroughs and Special Industries division since 2008, Kirk served as a technical resource to regional IRS attorneys and examiners and the US Department of Justice (Tax Division) in civil and criminal tax matters.
Throughout his career, Kirk has focused on the taxation of individuals, trusts, S corporations, partnerships and financial planning for high-net-worth family groups. Prior to joining the IRS, he was a tax attorney at Arnold & Porter LLP, where he provided tax and legal structuring advice to individuals, businesses and investors.
From 1998 to 2007, he worked at Deloitte Tax LLP and assisted private clients on domestic and international income and pass-through taxation issues. In 2005, he joined Deloitte’s National Tax Private Client Advisors practice in Washington, DC.
Kirk has spoken at industry conferences and participated on panels for universities, personal finance institutes and bar associations.
Kirk earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Syracuse University. He received a J.D. from University of Pittsburgh, where he was the co-founder of The Pittsburgh Tax Review. He also earned a LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, and has served as an adjunct professor in the same program since 2009. Kirk is the author of forthcoming tax treatise on the Section 1411 tax expected to be published later this year.
Kirk is licensed as a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant in the District of Columbia and New York. He is a Bar Member for District of Columbia and Pennsylvania
Alex Pankratz has joined Baker & McKenzie’s Global Tax Practice in Toronto as a partner, further strengthening the Firm’s capabilities advising global, US and Canadian companies on Canadian tax planning and transactional matters.
“Alex’s tax planning and transactional capabilities will provide our clients with valuable insight as they pursue business opportunities in Canada,” said Len Terr, Chair of the Firm’s North America Tax Practice. “We are pleased to welcome him to the Firm.”
Mr. Pankratz has significant experience advising Canadian, US and global companies in the heavy manufacturing and sales, energy, real estate, private equity, pharmaceutical and retail industries. He frequently counsels clients on Canadian tax matters involving:
- public M&A, including public company takeovers, going public transactions, significant asset purchases and Canadian aspects of foreign reorganizations;
- private M&A, including private equity investments into Canada, joint venture structuring, asset and share purchases, renewable energy projects and real estate portfolio investments;
- reorganizations, including loss consolidations, business unit transfers, divisive reorganizations and partnership reorganizations; and
- tax advisory services, including doing business in Canada, ceasing to carry on business, tax disputes and advance tax rulings with the Canada Revenue Agency and lobbying for legislative change with the Department of Finance.
“Given the growing significance of the Canadian marketplace and economy for multinationals, we are focused on building a robust corporate and tax practice that offers the integrated and comprehensive support companies need to successfully expand in Canada and around the world,” said Kevin Coon, Managing Partner of the Firm’s Toronto office. “Alex’s joining greatly complements the team of corporate and tax partners we have in Toronto and we look forward to working with him.”
Mr. Pankratz is the latest in a series of partners to join the Tax Practice in North America. Earlier this month, Marc Kushner joined the Firm in Chicago. In addition, James Wilson relocated from the Firm’s London office to New York. The Toronto office has also recently added corporate and securities partner,Michael Smith.
“Baker & McKenzie’s unmatched global platform offers clients in Canada a unique perspective, and its tax practice is among the very best,” said Mr. Pankratz. “I am pleased to join such a dynamic Firm.”
Prior to joining Baker & McKenzie, Mr. Pankratz was a partner at Osler in Toronto. He received his LL.B. from the University of Western Ontario in 1994 and his Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo in 1987. Mr. Pankratz has been admitted to practice law in Ontario since 1996. He is also a Chartered Accountant, and received his CA designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1989.
Global law firm Proskauer has announced that Robert Gaut has joined as partner and head of the firm’s Tax practice in London.
Mr. Gaut has represented many of the world’s preeminent multinational corporations, investment banks and private equity funds on a full range of UK and international tax strategies relating to inbound and outbound transactions, capital market offerings and financing matters. He has advised on transactions with an aggregate value exceeding US$26 billion in the past 12 months alone. He also counsels clients on timely issues such as the UK’s proposed changes to the treatment of partnerships and LLPs structures, and tax considerations for technology companies investing in the U.S.
“Our clients come from a broad spectrum of industries and require a sophisticated understanding of the evolving tax environment and how to address challenges that can arise when operating on a global basis,” said Proskauer Chairman Joseph M. Leccese. “Robert’s extensive cross-border M&A and private equity experience and in-depth knowledge of UK tax schemes will be a great complement to our expanding Corporate and Private Investment Funds practices.”
Thomas W. Dollinger, head of Proskauer’s London office, stated “We have a robust corporate platform and Robert’s arrival is an important step forward in the continued development of our London office as we replicate the firm’s strengths globally. Having experienced and respected tax expertise is a critical component as we increase our presence in the UK and Europe.”
“Tax issues play an integral role in the successful execution of a deal, particularly in cross-border matters,” said Ira G. Bogner, Chair of Proskauer’s Tax department. “The international scope of Robert’s practice will be a valuable resource for clients and greatly enhance our continued efforts to broaden the reach of our tax practice across multiple jurisdictions.”
Mr. Gaut joins Proskauer from Fried Frank, where he was a partner since 2005.
Jones Day has announced partner promotions across the Firm. Only one new tax partner is to be made up, Patrick O’Brien, who is based in New York. His new role takes effect 1 January.
Patrick’s practice focuses on providing U.S. federal income tax advice to U.S. and non-U.S. clients in connection with a variety of corporate and partnership transactions. His experience includes taxable and tax-free acquisitions and dispositions, complex capital restructurings, partnership formations and capitalizations, joint ventures, debt instruments and derivatives, foreign currencies, energy tax credits, real estate transactions, and foreign investments in the United States.
Patrick is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
Olaf van der Donk, former Head of Tax at A&O in Amsterdam, is joining Clifford Chance as Counsel to the tax group.
Mr van der Donk has worked with the Dutch Revenue as a Tax Inspector before joining EY in 1991, where he later made partner. In 2002 he joined A&O and was with them for 10 years. Since leaving he has developed a property rental business in Piemonte, where he is also Head Gardener.
Ropes & Gray today announced that Brenda Coleman has joined the firm as a partner in its tax & benefits department. Ms. Coleman’s experience with a wide range of complex tax matters complements the private equity, restructuring, funds and finance capabilities of the firm’s London office, expanding its ability to serve clients on the execution of their global transactions.
Ms. Coleman joins Ropes & Gray from Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP in London. A highly regarded, and tier 1 Chambers ranked, tax lawyer, she brings to the firm’s clients comprehensive experience in corporate and restructuring matters, including advising on cross-border M&A transactions, private equity matters and tax litigation.
Maurice Allen, co-head of the London office said, “The London office has now grown to over 80 lawyers and the need for additional tax capability is a function of that growth and our commitment to developing our international tax capability.”
“We’re delighted that Brenda will be joining our outstanding London team,” said Christopher Leich, leader of the firm’s tax & benefits department. “Clients will benefit enormously from her sophisticated counsel and knowledge developed over more than 25 years of tax practice.”
Ms. Coleman’s arrival marks the latest high-profile hire at Ropes & Gray’s London office, with investment management partner Michelle Moran joining the firm in August this year. This latest addition brings the London team to over 80 lawyers, including a senior team of 23 partners and counsel, and top-tier capabilities in debt finance, funds and investment management, high yield, restructuring, special situations, financial services regulatory, tax, corporate and private equity.
Ropes & Gray, a global law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers and professionals, provides clients with execution of their transactions from offices in the world’s major centers of business, finance, technology and government—London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The firm is highly and consistently ranked for its practices in private equity, M&A, finance, investment management, hedge funds, life sciences, health care, intellectual property, litigation, securities litigation and government enforcement.
Mark Schwed has been promoted to parter at Weil. He is part of Weil’s Tax, Benefits, and Executive Compensation Department and is based in the New York office and will join the partnership effective 1 Jan 2014.
His tax practice covers a broad range of international and domestic transactions, including the structuring and negotiation of complex acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and financings on behalf of private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies as well as for public companies. He regularly advises sponsors on tax matters involved in the structuring and negotiating of complex real estate transactions, including the formation of REITs.
Mark has advised General Electric on the tax aspects of its investment in Mubadala GE Capital PJSC, a multi-billion dollar global partnership with the UAE’s Mubadala Development Company. He also provided tax advice to Thomas H. Lee Partners on its multi-billion dollar bid to recapitalize and take control of Party City from a group of private investors, and was a member of the team that represented Lehman Brothers in its acquisition, restructuring and disposition of Archstone.
Notable transactions include:
- Lindsay Goldberg - Initial public offering of Aviv REIT Inc. (March 2013)
- Lehman Brothers - Sale of the assets of Archstone to Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc. (February 2013)
- Comverse Technologies Inc. - Distribution of Comverse Inc. and its merger with Verint Systems Inc. (February 2013)
- American Securities - Acquisition of Metaldyne, a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered metal-based components (December 2012)
- Lindsay Goldberg - Acquisition of a controlling interest in Value Place Holdings LLC (December 2012)
- CVC Capital Partners - Acquisition of a majority interest in Cunningham Lindsey (December 2012)
- Berkshire Partners - Formation of Torres Unidas, an owner and operator of Cell Towers in the Andean region of South America (November 2012)
- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan - Acquisition of a majority interest in Heartland Dental Care (November 2012)
- Decision Resources Group (Providence Equity Partners portfolio company) - Sale to Piramal Healthcare (July 2012)
- Thomas H. Lee Capital Partners - Acquisition of a majority stake in party goods retailer Party City (June 2012)
- HiT Entertainment (Apax Partners portfolio company) - $680M sale to Mattel (October 2011)
- Archstone - In connection with claims that it breached various tax protection agreements in its take-private transaction (August 2011)
- Verizon Communications - Acquisition of Cloudswitch, a cloud computing company (August 2011)
- INC Research (Avista Capital Partners portfolio company) - Acquisition of clinical research firm Kendle International (May 2011)
- American Securities - Acquisition of SpecialtyCare (May 2011)
- Thomas H. Lee Capital Partners - Acquisition of Acosta (January 2011)
- Avista Capital Partners - Acquisition of INC Research (August 2010)
- Uno Restaurant Holdings - Chapter 11 reorganization (July 2010)
- General Electric - Formation of Mubadala GE Capital PJSC, a multi-billion dollar global partnership with the UAE’s Mubadala Development Company (May 2010)
- NBC Universal - Acquisition of the Weather Channel (July 2008)
- Lehman Brother Holdings Inc. - $22B acquisition, with Tishman Speyer, of Archstone-Smith Trust (October 2007)