Dentons has appointed Michael Graf as co-head of the European Tax practice. Graf is partner in the Frankfurt office and advises clients around the world mainly on international tax law. He will lead the practice together with Sandra Hazan, partner in the Paris office.
Michael Graf is an MBA (Diplomkaufmann) a qualified lawyer and tax consultant. He specializes in international tax law with a particular focus on multinationals. His advice comprises tax optimized structuring, monitoring tax audits, administrative appeals as well as representation before tax courts and the Federal Tax Court. Graf started his career with KPMG and Allen & Overy before joining HAARMANN Partnerschaftsgesellschaft as a partner in 2008. Since 2013, he has been a tax partner in Dentons’ Frankfurt office. Under his leadership the tax team in Frankfurt has grown to four professionals – the most recent hire was Marcus Seiboth who joined Dentons as a counsel in September this year.
Commenting on his appointment, Michael Graf said, “Dentons’ Tax practice is among the most powerful tax teams on the market, with almost 80 professionals across 10 countries in Europe and more than 200 tax experts worldwide. I look forward to leading and expanding our European Tax group together with Sandra Hazan. Due to our excellent global integration, we are continuously setting new standards for our clients.”
Sandra Hazan added, “Michael is the perfect match to accelerate the implementation of our strategic development plan. I am very happy to collaborate with Michael and we will work hand in hand to promote our European Tax team.”
With this appointment, Dentons has once again emphasized the strategic global importance of the German market. Six German partners are now leading practice or sector groups on a European or global level. Andreas Ziegenhagen, Germany Managing Partner and Member of the Board of Dentons Europe, leads the European Restructuring and Insolvency practice. Dr. Jörg Karenfort leads the European Competition practice and is co-head of the global practice. Robert Michels, Office Managing Partner in Frankfurt, heads the European and global Capital Markets practice. Dr. Bernd Geier is co-head of the European Financial Institutions sector group.
White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Tax Practice with the addition of market leading lawyer Michael Wistow as a new partner in London and co-head of the Firm’s tax practice in EMEA.
“Few other law firms can match the cross-border and European tax capabilities, both transactional and advisory, that White & Case has built in key markets across the region,” said partner Kim Boylan, Head of the Global Tax Practice. “Michael is a leading tax lawyer, and his arrival is of clear strategic importance as we look to continue expanding our role advising clients on all aspects of corporate taxation from both a transactional and a tax advisory and restructuring perspective.”
The addition of Wistow, who joins the Global Tax Practice, supports the Firm’s strategic focus on profitable growth in London and in M&A. His practice is focused on corporate, finance and real estate industry-based transactions and clients, including real estate finance, property and debt funds, securitisation, leasing and structured financings and corporate acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and restructurings. With more than 28 years of experience, he joins White & Case from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he was Head of the Tax Department from 2007 and also a member of the board and executive committee. Wistow started his career at Clifford Chance, where he spent ten years as a tax partner before joining Berwin Leighton Paisner.
“Michael is a highly regarded, top ranked lawyer and proven leader who is widely recognised as one of the most imaginative and technically capable tax advisers in the market,” said partner Jan Matejcek, Regional Section Head, EMEA M&A/Corporate. “As well as strengthening our cross-border tax capabilities, Michael’s wealth of real estate and finance industry knowledge and experience will be a valuable asset as we continue to develop our leading EMEA real estate, corporate and finance practices.”
Oliver Brettle, member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and London Office Executive Partner, said: “With our recent expansion across our practices in London, and continued focus on profitable growth, we believe a larger tax team is appropriate and necessary here in London. The team will continue to focus on both high value tax advice-driven mandates and supporting our transactional practices. Our tax lawyers will play a particularly strategic role in the ongoing development of our real estate, private equity, finance and infrastructure industry practices. I imagine Michael will be working especially closely with our real estate team, including recent addition Jeffrey Rubinoff.”
The White & Case tax team provides cross-border tax advice and, in EMEA, local tax law advice in the UK, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Turkey. The team supports all types of corporate transactions as well as providing tax advisory and restructuring advice to a broad range of clients including corporations, funds, financial institutions, individuals, closely held companies, government entities and sovereigns.
Stijn Janssen has joined Withers to set up their Middle East tax advisory office in Dubai (DIFC). The Dubai office will focus on international tax advisory services and private client tax services.
Commenting on his new role to Chris Bale, Editor of Tax Grotto, Stijn said:
“I believe the time is right for a firm of Withers’ calibre to make an entrance to the Middle Eastern market. I very much look forward to developing the Withers brand in the region and to build an international tax practice of the highest standards, serving corporates, private clients and governments, and be part of the reputable and fast expanding international tax practice of the firm.”
Stijn joins from EY Dubai where he was a Tax Partner and MENA Leader for Private Client Services since 2013. Prior to this his career was spent with Loyens & Loeff in Amsterdam, Tokyo and Dubai. From 2008 to 2013 he was the Local Managing Partner for Loyens & Loeff’s Dubai office.
Timothy Ryan will be the new chairman of PwC US with effect from 1 July and he recently announced on Linkedin his new leadership team.
Roy Weathers will be PwC’s new tax leader for the US Firm.
Mr Weathers is currently the NY Metro Regional Tax Partner and is a member of the PwC Extended US Tax leadership team. He has more than 23 years’ experience serving multinational clients in the Financial Services industry, providing a full range of tax services, focused principally on money center and investment banks.
He has managed a number of global tax teams around the world on engagements at large financial institutions. and Roy is currently the Tax lead partner on several of the firm’s larger clients.
Previously he served as the Chief Diversity Officer for the US with a focus on advising the Senior Partner on diversity strategy for the firm.
BDO USA has announced that it has entered into an agreement to expand its metro New York practice through the addition of 38 staff, including 6 partners, from Charles A. Barragato & Company, LLP (CAB).
Founded in 1998, CAB has offices in New York City and on Long Island. The firm has been a member of the BDO Alliance USA since 2009. It has a diversified client base with significant strength in high net-worth individuals, family offices, entertainers, healthcare providers and real estate investors and developers. The combination of BDO and CAB is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed on July 1, 2016.
Chuck Barragato, who has more than 35 years of experience in public accounting, will succeed Randy Schwartzman as the Office Managing Partner for BDO USA’s Long Island tax practice. This will allow Randy to focus his energies on his role as Regional Managing Partner for the Northeast Region tax practice, as well as serving his Long Island based clients. Chuck will also take on a leadership role in developing the Private Client Services practice in the Northeast region. Current BDO Partner, John Kyriakides, will continue to serve as the Office Managing Partner for the Long Island assurance practice.
Loyens & Loeff has announced the appointment of Marieke Bakker and Gert Wim van de Meent as members of the Executive Board, for a term of two years. Willem Jarigsma was reappointed as Managing Partner for a second term of two years. Fred van der Leije did not stand for reappointment.
Willem Jarigsma: “Two years ago, when we first started as the new Executive Board, we mapped out the changes that were required for our firm to meet our clients’ changing demands. Next, we implemented the first changes on the basis of those insights. For example, we grew internationally by adding Switzerland as a new home market, and we are now working with office-wide practice groups and sector teams from our four home markets. With the new Executive Board, the focus for the coming years will be on further expansion of our integrated services and innovations.”
Marieke Bakker explains: “The strength of Loyens & Loeff lies in the integrated services of lawyers, tax advisers and notaries. Since the merger in 2000, our firm has developed tremendously. We are now seeing that our clients’ world is changing more and more rapidly, because of technological developments. That is why we must keep making stronger connections with our clients, in order to really understand these changes and to offer distinctive solutions. It is an honour to work on that together.”
Marieke Bakker has been leading the Zurich office for the past four years and specialises in cross-border tax issues. She used to teach at the LLM tax programs of the Universities in Zurich and Lausanne, and at the Dutch Association for Tax Advisers, teaching on mergers and split-offs. She also worked as a research associate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is a member of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) and of the Dutch Tax Advisors Association (NOB).
Mr Attalla joins the Firm from General Electric, where he was most recently the MEA corporate tax director, spearheading GE’s tax strategy across the Middle East & Africa.
Before joining GE in 2009, he was senior tax partner at KPMG Egypt and also worked as Chief Operating Officer for KMPG’s tax practice across the whole Middle East region. Fluent in English and Arabic, Abdelhamid is both a US CPA and Egyptian Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (Cairo University 1981), Master of Accountancy (Texas A & I University 1984) and Master of Taxation (American University in Washington D.C. 1986).
Abdelhamid has spoken at numerous events over the years and attended various groups in the region including the Tax Executives Institute, International Fiscal Association, and the International Tax & Investment Centre. He has been published on numerous occasions; including International Tax Review, and he also appeared in their largest deals/acquisitions table whilst at KPMG. Abdelhamid has served and continues to serve as a leading figure in the region’s tax community.
He will work alongside the rest of the high-profile tax team at Cragus, namely: Mark Stevens, Dominic Treasys, Robert Peake, Matthew Moriarty, Reggie Mezu, Clarence Ellis and William Brown.
The Cragus Group is recognized as a leading independent tax advisor in the Arabian Gulf.
Reto Savoia has been appointed Deputy CEO of Deloitte in Switzerland. He has been part of the Swiss Leadership team since 2011 and is a member of the Board of Deloitte LLP. Under Reto’s leadership as Managing Partner for Tax, the practice has been awarded Swiss Tax Firm of the Year for the last three consecutive years.
His appointment coincides with Simon Owen becoming the CEO, effective 1 April.
“I believe we have a rare opportunity to claim absolute leadership in many of our core competencies, and to keep building the Deloitte brand in Switzerland through client impact and market presence. I am really looking forward to working with Reto and the Executive team to deliver on this potential,” states Simon Owen.
The new 10-strong Executive Team has Jackie Hess taking on responsibility for leading the tax practice.
Ms Hess formerly lead the international tax practice and has extensive cross-border tax planning experience, in particular with U.S. multinationals that have or are in the process of establishing business operations in Switzerland as well as serving Swiss multinationals on a global basis.
She holds an A.B. from the University of Chicago; J.D. from Cornell Law School; and a LL.M. from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. She is a Swiss Certified Tax Expert and is admitted to practice law in both D.C. and Illinois.
Here is a list of the full Exec Team:
Thierry Aubertin, Managing Partner, Audit
Bjørnar Jensen, Managing Partner, Consulting
Jean-François Lagassé, Managing Partner, Financial Advisory
Mark Carter, Managing Partner, Risk Advisory
Jackie Hess, Managing Partner, Tax
Anna Samanta, Managing Partner, Talent
Nick Davies, Managing Partner, Growth, Strategy & Performance
Anna Celner, Managing Partner, International
Reto Savoia, Managing Partner, Clients & Markets / Deputy CEO
Stuart Diack, Quality, Risk & Security Leader