Kirkland & Ellis has announced that Michael Beinus has joined the Firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner in the Tax Practice Group. Mr. Beinus focuses his practice on a range of tax matters, including complex partnership transactions, real estate investment trusts (REITs), debt and equity offerings, restructurings, investment fund formations, and mergers and acquisitions.
“Michael has a great reputation and significant experience with complex tax work in a wide range of transactions,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “Our Los Angeles corporate practice has experienced steady growth over the last several years, and adding an energetic and talented tax professional like Michael to our team will enhance our full-service transactional offering in Los Angeles as well as the Bay Area.”
Mr. Beinus joins Kirkland from the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he was a partner. He has represented various prominent public and private REITs, real estate and private equity funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
“I was impressed by Kirkland’s trajectory, and the Firm’s vibrant, entrepreneurial culture was appealing to me,” said Mr. Beinus. “The Firm has a great platform for my clients and the types of complex, challenging transactions that are most interesting to me, and I’m excited to join the Kirkland team.”
“Michael is the total package; bright, creative and dedicated to great client service,” said Todd F. Maynes, partner in Kirkland’s Tax Practice Group. “He’s an excellent addition to our global tax, private equity, real estate and REIT practices as well as the Los Angeles office. With Michael on board, our Los Angeles transactional practices are ready to rock ‘n’ roll.”
Mr. Beinus, 41, has been listed among the “Bankruptcy Tax Specialists in the Nation’s Major Law Firms” by Turnarounds & Workouts and is included in The Legal 500 U.S. He was a member of the team that was named “Los Angeles – Tax Firm of the Year” at the 2013 International Tax Review Americas Awards.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Michael represented clients in several noteworthy transactions, including:
Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. in its $7.4 billion acquisition by Ventas, Inc., a transaction that created one of the largest publicly traded REITs and the leading health care REIT by equity value;
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and affiliated entities (MGM) in a prepackaged bankruptcy that was named 2011 “Media, Entertainment or Telecom Deal of the Year” by The M&A Advisor;
Youku Inc. in its $1.1 billion merger with Tudou Holdings Limited, a transaction recognized as 2012 “M&A Deal of the Year” at the China Law & Practice Awards;
Centro Properties Group in several acquisitions, as well as the $9.4 billion sale of its U.S. shopping centers to The Blackstone Group L.P. — the second-largest retail real estate acquisition ever — and its $4 billion debt restructuring, a transaction that won the “2008 Cross-Border Deal of the Year Award” at The M&A Advisor Turnaround Awards;
Thomas Properties Group Inc. in its $1.2 billion merger with Parkway Properties Inc.;
The Ensign Group, Inc. in the spin-off of its health care and real estate businesses into separate, publicly traded companies: The Ensign Group, Inc. and CareTrust REIT, Inc.;
Recruit Co., Ltd. in its acquisition of Indeed Inc.;
OPI Products, Inc. and its owners in the sale of the company to Coty Inc.;
BlackRock Realty Advisors in connection with the formation of and advice to two open-ended private REITs;
Apollo Investment Corporation, an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Management, L.P., in its $1.5 billion leveraged buyout of Innkeepers USA Trust in a going-private transaction;
QIC Global Real Estate in its joint venture with Forest City Enterprises Inc. to invest in a portfolio of eight regional shopping malls valued at $2.05 billion;
The Walt Disney Company in its $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios; and
Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group and DLJ Merchant Banking as part of a consortium of buyers in connection with the acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
DLA Piper has appointed Geoffrey Scardoni as a partner in the Tax team. Geoffrey will be based in the firm’s Luxembourg office and will be joined by two associates, Magdalena Mozdzierz and Kim Ngo.
Geoffrey joins the firm from King & Wood Mallesons, where he was a founding partner of the Luxembourg office. Prior to that, he worked in the tax department of Loyens & Loeff.
Specialising in international tax law, Geoffrey’s practice focuses on international corporate structuring, cross-border financial products and fund formation. His broad spectrum of clients include corporates, private equity firms, investment houses and high net worth individuals across the corporate, real estate, private equity and finance sectors. Geoffrey is also an assistant lecturer at the University of Luxembourg.
Geoffrey will work alongside funds and corporate partners Catherine Pogorzelski and Jean-Michel Detry.
Roderik Bouwman, International Head of Tax at DLA Piper, said: “We expect significant demand for high end tax services in Luxembourg to continue and the appointment of Geoffrey enables us to offer current and prospective clients first-rate tax advice locally. As part of the firm’s international tax team, Geoffrey will also work alongside colleagues across the world to advise clients both nationally and internationally.”
Juan Picon and Barbara van Hussen, Managing Directors of Europe and Middle East at DLA Piper, said: “As a result of the firm’s commitment to increasing our presence in Luxembourg, the team continues to grow and we are very pleased to welcome Geoffrey. Geoffrey is a very experienced and highly regarded tax lawyer who will play an instrumental role in our Funds practice as well as providing transactional support to our corporate and finance lawyers.”
Andersen Tax has announced the addition of Bob McDonald as a Managing Director in the Alternative Investment Funds Practice in the Chicago office.
Bob has extensive experience in the real estate industry and in the private equity industry including tax due diligence, acquisition and disposition structuring, fund structuring, structuring complex partnership and joint venture arrangements, planning for debt workouts and restructurings, partnership allocation issues and planning, as well as general federal tax consulting for various operating companies.
Prior to joining Andersen Tax, Bob was with KPMG for 21 years, where he served as a Partner in the Federal Income Tax Group and as the Midwest Area Tax Services Leader for the real estate, construction, and the hospitality industries. After KPMG, Bob served as a Managing Director at True Partners.
“Bob fills a critical gap in our Commercial Practice with his expertise in real estate transactions and acquisition due diligence,” said CEO, Mark Vorsatz. “We are looking forward to him joining our team; his strong commitment to excellence will make him a great asset to the firm.”
“Bob’s real estate and private equity fund expertise along with his commitment to providing outstanding client service reflects our commitment to build depth in the Alternative Investment Fund and Commercial practices of our firm,” said Joe Karczewski, Central Region Office Managing Director.
London law firm Hamlins has recruited Fionnuala Lynch as a tax partner.
Fionnuala Lynch, who joins from Cubism Law, will add a tax specialism to Hamlins corporate practice, enabling the firm to provide clients with a full service offering on corporate and real estate transasctions.
Fionnuala Lynch has over 15 years’ experience as a tax lawyer at two Magic Circle firms and Goldman Sachs. Before joining Cubism Law as a tax lawyer, she spent 6 years as Counsel in the Tax Department of international law firm, Reed Smith LLP. Fionnuala advises on all aspects of corporate and individual tax with clients ranging from house-hold names such as Microsoft and BBC to high-net worth individuals. She is also particularly adept at advising tech and other start-ups.
Fionnuala also has experience acting as General Counsel for MBI International & Partners, a global organisation with a combined asset value of over £9bn which operates in the hotel and leisure industry throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Gowlings has hired Paul Carenza as a tax partner in its Toronto office, and member of its Tax Practice Group.
Focused on domestic and cross-border corporate acquisitions, reorganizations, and financings, Carenza works with a range of Canadian and international clients in both the private and public sectors. He joins Gowlings from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, where he has been a tax partner for the past 4 years. Prior to that he held partner positions with Lang Michener and Ogilvy Renault.
“Paul is a highly skilled tax professional who delivers creative solutions to meet the business needs of his clients,” said Scott Jolliffe, Gowlings chair and CEO. “His particular expertise in executive compensation matters, including plan design and drafting, adds further depth to Gowlings’ award-winning practice. We are thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”
In addition to providing counsel on tax issues arising from transactions, Paul frequently advises on the following matters:
Tax-effective reorganizations of both private and public companiesIn-bound cross-border investments and service arrangements
Drafting tax disclosure for offering documents
Assisting clients in disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency
Advising on executive compensation matters, including plan design and drafting
Advising on the GST/HST implications of a variety of transactions
Fluent in both English and French, Paul has been called to the Ontario Bar. He is a regular writer, speaker and panellist at various conferences covering a variety of matters related to tax law.
Fluent in both English and French, Carenza is a regular writer, speaker and panelist at various conferences covering a range of tax-related matters.
Franck Lagorce joins Pinsent Masons’ Paris office from Winston & Strawn, where he was a partner.
He has nearly 30 years’ experience advising institutional investors, pension funds, investment funds and multinational corporations on a broad range of corporate tax matters. He has provided general tax advice on both direct and indirect tax matters and has a particular specialism relating to international taxation and the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) programme for change, in addition to extensive experience in the Real Estate investment arena. His arrival follows the appointment of fellow tax-specialist Eugenie Berthet, who specialises in advising Ultra High Net Worth and business owners, as partner to Pinsent Masons Paris office in 2013.
Arthur Lovitt, a Partner and Head of the Real Estate sector at Pinsent Masons commented “We are particularly glad to add Franck to the team. Tax structuring is critical to Funds investing in Real Estate. We have made significant headway in developing our credentials for real estate finance and structuring work across Pinsent Masons international network over the past 12 months, not least following the addition of Mark Leonard to our team in Munich as a partner towards the end of 2014.”
David Kitson has joined Armstrong Watson as a tax partner, with effect from December 2014. He is based in the Skipton office and will operate across the Yorkshire region.
David spent much of his career with RSM Tenon before joining Crowe Clark Whitehill in December 2012. He has over 20 years’ experience advising OMBs on tax and financial matters.
White & Case LLP has announced that Michael Lebovitz and Stephen Weerts have joined the Firm’s Global Tax Practice as partners in its Los Angeles office. The duo will work closely with the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice.
Lebovitz and Weerts have deep experience assisting clients on all international business and tax planning issues that arise in pre-transaction restructuring and post-acquisition integration. They will advise clients on the legal and tax aspects of international joint ventures, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and international corporate finance and capital markets transactions.
“Cross-border M&A deals provide substantial opportunities for effective tax planning,” said Kim Boylan, Head of White & Case’s Global Tax Practice. “Mike and Steve will add a new and important capability to our Global Tax Practice. They will help clients navigate international deals and adapt their corporate structures, as appropriate, to take advantage of transformational acquisitions.”
“From an M&A perspective, having Mike and Steve join the Firm will be a huge benefit to our clients,” said John Reiss, Head of White & Case’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. “Recent events in the M&A market underscore the substantial economic benefits that can be derived from sophisticated pre-acquisition tax planning combined with effective post-acquisition implementation. That is what Mike and Steve do.”
Lebovitz and Weerts both join from DLA Piper, where they were partners.
Steve Weerts’ practice focuses on the tax aspects of cross-border deals and multi-jurisdictional transactions. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, supply-chain and intellectual property planning, legal entity rationalization, transfer pricing, VAT/GST planning and capital markets transactions.
A frequent lecturer for tax and legal education providers such as Bloomberg/BNA, Tax Executives Institute, the Association of Corporate Counsel and Networking Seminars, Steve has also written extensively on US and international tax issues, and has been published in Thomson Reuters’ Practical International Tax Strategies. He has served as an adjunct professor in Loyola Law School’s Tax LLM program, where he has taught a course in advanced international taxation.
Michael Lebovitz’s practice focuses on international business and tax planning. He advises on the tax aspects of international joint ventures, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, post-transaction integration, international corporate finance, capital market transactions and general international tax planning matters.
Leading businesses in media and entertainment, life sciences, high technology and consumer products, seek Mike’s extensive experience in pre-transaction restructuring and post-acquisition integration matters.
He has successfully led teams advising multinational groups on restructuring in advance of a sale or spin-off of a division, as well as designing and implementing integration plans following a global merger or acquisition. Mike’s clients also benefit from his experience bringing together the corporate, tax, labour and other aspects of pre-transaction restructuring and post-merger integration.
A frequent speaker on international tax matters, he has lectured throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia for organisations including the Tax Executives Institute, Bloomberg/BNA, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American, California and Los Angeles County Bar Associations and the California Society of CPAs.
Mike has written frequently on international tax topics, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications including the Journal of International Taxation, High Tech Industry, Tax Planning International Review, Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review and Major Tax Planning. In 2007, Mike was honoured with a prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement, in recognition of his achievements in legal writing.
Mike is also a Certified Public Accountant.