O’Melveny & Myers LLP has named Jan Birtwell as Head of the Firm’s London office.
Jan is already the Firm’s Regional Head of Transactions in Europe and the partner responsible for O’Melveny’s graduate recruitment program in London. She also is the founder of the TransAtlantic Tax Group, an association of more than 100 tax practitioners at US law firms in London. As a partner in O’Melveny’s Tax Practice, Birtwell advises on the UK and international tax aspects of corporate finance and merger and acquisition transactions and on the tax structuring of investment funds—particularly those focusing on private equity, infrastructure, and mezzanine finance/debt (including distressed debt situations).
“Jan is a sought-after resource for clients involved in any cross-border business and a valued leader of the Firm,” said Firm Chair Bradley J. Butwin. “Since joining O’Melveny 10 years ago, Jan has embodied the core values of O’Melveny and is a natural fit for this role.”
Illustrative Professional Experience
- designing fund structures to suit a spectrum of investor types in various jurisdictions, including the US and Europe and underlying investment structures to suit specific investment strategies based on private equity or hedge or a mix of such models
- advising a large private banking group on appropriate feeder fund structures to invest into private equity and distressed debt funds raised by leading fund managers/houses
- advising private equity houses on leveraged buy-outs, secondary transactions and on sales and IPO’s of portfolio companies
- advising on spin-out transactions and concurrent fund raisings by private equity management teams exiting from large financial institutions to form independent private equity houses
- advising fund investors on direct participations in large take-private bids for publicly listed companies
President Barack Obama’s has nominated Caplin & Drysdale’s Cono R. Namorato to the top spot in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division.
He would replace Tamara W. Ashford, who was confirmed to the U.S. Tax Court in November.
If confirmed, Mr. Namorato would be returning to the DOJ, where he has held numerous positions, including chief of the criminal section and deputy assistant attorney general in charge of criminal tax enforcement in the 1970s. As head of the DOJ tax division, Mr. Namorato would oversee more than 350 attorneys and the enforcement of the nation’s tax laws, including the government’s efforts to crack down on international tax evasion.
Mr. Namorato’s legal experience has been wide-ranging. He has represented corporations and individuals, including corporate executives and senior public officials, in potential or ongoing criminal tax investigations, sensitive civil IRS examinations, and complex voluntary disclosures. He has counseled companies, including Fortune 500 corporations and worldwide professional firms, in resolving sensitive legal and ethical problems and has directed complex internal investigations into financial frauds. Mr. Namorato has also assisted tax lawyers and accountants in tax, ethics, and compliance issues.
Mr. Namorato had been a Member of Caplin & Drysdale for 25 years previously, joining the firm in 1978 after ten years in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as Chief of the Criminal Section and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of criminal tax enforcement nationwide. During his most recent term at the IRS, Mr. Namorato supervised the Service’s increasing efforts toward achieving compliance nationwide among tax practitioners with newly enhanced standards of conduct. He also served as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on complex enforcement matters.
Mr. Namorato has held prominent positions in the American Bar Association’s Sections of Taxation and Litigation, and is a frequent speaker on matters relating to professional ethics, criminal tax, and other white collar criminal enforcement issues. He received his law degree from the Brooklyn Law School, after beginning his career at the IRS, where he served as a Special Agent in the Intelligence Division (now the Criminal Investigation Division).
Walkers’ Dublin office has recruited high-flyer Jonathan Sheehan as Head of Tax for Ireland.
He advises across tax heads in a wide range of areas including structured finance and capital markets, financial services, investment funds, private equity, corporate, banking and real estate. Jonathan also has extensive experience in advising on corporate migrations, cross-border mergers and loan portfolio sales and acquisitions.
Jonathan has acted for a number of domestic and international clients, including publicly listed companies, financial institutions, private equity investors, hedge funds, high net worth individuals, fund managers, charities and Irish State bodies.
Before joining this month he was a partner at Arthur Cox, where he has worked since 2000. Jonathan graduated from Trinity College and went on to do a Master of Laws at Cambridge.
Ernst & Young LLP announced today that Cathleen M. Koch will join as a principal and will serve as the EY Americas Tax Policy Leader. Koch joins from the Office of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, where she served as Chief Advisor on tax and economic policy.
In her new role, Koch will continue the development of the EY network of tax policy professionals across member firms in more than 30 countries in the Americas. The close coordination of these top tax policy professionals will help multinational clients stay informed and on the cutting edge of tax policy developments in the different countries in which they operate. Koch will also advise clients regarding US, Americas, and global tax policy matters.
“As we enter into a new phase of intensive action on tax reform, Cathy’s expertise and insight into the workings of Capitol Hill will be particularly valuable to our clients,” said Kate Barton, EY Americas Vice Chair of Tax Services. “The short window for US tax reform before the 2016 presidential election cycle, coupled with major tax changes in countries around the world, mean now is the time for companies to focus on how tax policy impacts their business.”
As Chief Advisor to the Office of the Senate Democratic Leader on tax and economic policy, Koch led all tax and economic policy initiatives in the 113th Congress from the Leader’s office and was central to strategy and communications on a broad spectrum of issues. She has been deeply involved in almost every Congressional tax and budget measure since January 2013, when she joined the Leader’s office.
Prior to joining Senator Reid’s office, she served as Tax Chief at the Senate Finance Committee, then led by Senator Max Baucus, where she led the Finance Committee’s tax team in developing the tax components of every bill during her tenure, including Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Koch was also Senior Tax Policy Advisor and Staff Director of the Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure.
In the private sector, she has served as Director of Tax Policy and Senior Tax Advisor for General Electric and as Director of Global Government Affairs for Amgen.
Koch earned a PhD in economics from Georgetown University and a BA in economics, magna cum laude, from Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
Steptoe & Johnson has announce that Lisa Zarlenga is returning to the firm as co-chair of Steptoe’s Tax Group and a member of the firm’s Government Affairs & Public Policy Group. For the past three years, she has served as tax legislative counsel in the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy. Ms. Zarlenga will reside in the firm’s Washington office, where she was first elected partner in 2003.
As tax legislative counsel, Ms. Zarlenga advised Treasury’s assistant secretary for tax policy on a broad range of tax policy issues, including individual, corporate, partnership, tax-exempt organizations, financial products, estate & gift, income tax accounting, energy, excise taxes, and procedure and administration. She supervised a staff of 16 lawyers in preparing administrative guidance, including regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and announcements to ensure that Treasury’s policies were incorporated into such guidance. She also oversaw the office’s development of the administration’s legislative proposals. In her role as tax legislative counsel, Ms. Zarlenga also gained extensive experience with Treasury’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Ms. Zarlenga joined the Office of Tax Policy in April 2011 as deputy tax legislative counsel for regulatory affairs. In 2011, she was awarded the Treasury Special Act Award in recognition of her leadership and commitment to coordinating the 2011-2012 Priority Guidance Plan, which sets forth more than 300 guidance projects annually that the government intends to prioritize its time.
Prior to joining Treasury in 2011, Ms. Zarlenga practiced at Steptoe for 15 years, handling a wide range of corporate tax planning and tax controversy matters. She assisted clients in structuring tax-free and taxable acquisitions and dispositions, and spin-offs, including providing opinion letters and seeking advance rulings from the IRS, and assisted clients in restructuring financially troubled businesses. She also advised clients with respect to special rules governing consolidated groups. With regard to tax controversy matters, Ms. Zarlenga assisted clients during the audit process, prepared protests, participated in IRS appeals conferences, responded to requests for technical advice, and assisted with litigation matters in various federal courts.
An active member of the tax community, Ms. Zarlenga has held many leadership positions, including chair of the DC Bar Tax Section and vice chair of the Corporate Tax Committee of the ABA Tax Section. In addition, at Steptoe, she co-chaired the firm’s Professional Training Committee.
“We are delighted to welcome Lisa back to Steptoe,” said firm Chair Phil West. “Having worked closely with Lisa, I have seen first-hand what a great talent she is, making me especially pleased she is returning. While at Treasury, she broadened her substantive knowledge and developed greater practical insight into how tax policy issues are developed and resolved through administrative guidance and legislation. This experience will be of tremendous value to clients as the pressure grows for tax reform and when proposals arise to increase tax on multinationals.”
Ms. Zarlenga commented: “Serving at Treasury has been the greatest privilege of my professional life. But I am looking forward to returning to Steptoe, a firm that has been my professional home for my entire private practice career. I am also looking forward to working with Bob Rizzi in my new role as co-chair one of the most acclaimed tax practices in the world.”
There has been a change in the management of the tax & legal practice at EY Romania. The new leader is Alex Milcev.
Alex has been with the firm since 2002 and focuses on international tax and transfer pricing. He trained in tax with Arthur Andersen.
He takes over from Venkatesh Srinivasan who is relocating with EY to India.
KPMG today announced that Jane McCormick, Head of Tax and Pensions at KPMG in the UK, has been promoted to Head of Tax for the firm’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA) region and a member of KPMG’s EMA board, together with becoming the Senior Tax Partner for KPMG in the UK.
In her new role as Head of Tax for KPMG’s EMA region which is effective as of 1 January 2015, Jane will drive KPMG’s strategy and response to EU audit reform, capitalising on the opportunity which this gives the firm for growth in the UK, across the region and the world. As the Senior Tax Partner in the UK, Jane will continue to take responsibility for KPMG’s professional conduct in tax and to lead the firm’s engagement with government, HMRC, professional bodies and clients.
Jane McCormick commented: “I am very excited to be taking on this new challenge and huge role. Our tax, pensions and legal service practice is passing through an intense period of change. On the one hand changing market conditions mean that we have to adapt our services and the way we deliver them, whilst EU audit reform, the change in regulation of legal services and the digital revolution are all causing significant market disruption. At the same time we face large scale operational change, increased interest in and scrutiny of the tax profession and a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape tax services in line with this rapidly evolving landscape.”
A fellow KPMG partner and current head of KPMG’s UK Risk Consulting Practice, Karen Briggs, takes on the role of Head of Tax, Pensions and Legal Services for KPMG in the UK as of 1 January 2015. Karen’s remit is to lead and accelerate the transformation of the practice and to foster and embed ever closer linkages between the UK firm’s tax and advisory practices in line with its ‘One Firm’ strategy.
Karen has led KPMG’s UK Risk Consulting practice for the last two and a half years, steering it through a period of significant regulatory change for both clients and the market. This has involved driving profitable growth in the business and broadening into new areas of risk and regulation with a strong emphasis on embedding technology, whilst maintaining a focus on the development of the firm’s partners and colleagues. Melissa Allen, UK partner and Head of Financial Services Consulting, becomes Head of KPMG’s UK Risk Consulting practice, effective as of 1 January 2015.
Simon Collins, Chairman and Senior Partner at KPMG in the UK, said: “Karen’s appointment helps to accelerate our ‘One Firm’ strategy, bringing together advisory and tax. Jane will work with Karen to ensure that we continue to be responsive to the tax market and build on our growing reputation for the quality and integrity of our tax services. I am confident that Jane, Karen and Melissa can ensure we continue to grow and develop successfully.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced the following appointment:
The Honourable Eugene Rossiter, Associate Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada since 2008, has been appointed Chief Justice of the Tax Court of Canada. He was first appointed to the Tax Court as a Judge in 2006 after a long and successful career in private practice. He replaces Chief Justice Gerald J. Rip.
Justice Rossiter received a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University in 1974 and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1978. He was called to the Bar of Prince Edward Island in 1978, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. Justice Rossiter has been President of the Prince Edward Island Law Society, member of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court Rules Committee, Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Governor of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Governor of the Prince Edward Island Junior Achievement, member of the Partnership Board of Stewart McKelvey, and Chairman of the Partnership Board of Stewart McKelvey.
Justice Rossiter is a founding Director and Secretary-General of the International Association of Tax Judges, and has served as its President since 2011.