Akin Gump issued a press release yesterday confirming that the London and Frankfurt offices of Bingham McCutchen will join the Firm. In additional some partners from Hong Kong are also moving across. The total number of partners switching allegiance is 22 and more lawyers are expected to follow.
Sebastian Rice, who will be managing partner of Akin Gump’s London office, commented, “The synergies of our combined international practices, together with the incoming team’s strength in London, make this union strategically compelling. The combined European and Asian capabilities will not only considerably improve our client offerings in multiple jurisdictions, but also provide significant leverage in terms of our ability to present ourselves to potential clients here in London, in Hong Kong and in established and emerging markets across the globe.”
The only tax partner known to be moving at this stage is Stuart Sinclair.
Stuart advises on all aspects of corporate tax, focusing on domestic and international restructurings and reorganisations, mergers and acquisitions, structured finance arrangements, and financial instruments. He is recommended in leading industry publications including Chambers UK, Chambers Europe and Chambers Global. Experience includes:
- Represented the noteholders on the €1.3 billion financial restructuring of the Quinn Group, one of the largest multijurisdictional corporate groups in Ireland
- Advised a US-based distressed debt firm in connection with the restructuring of £500 million of debt in Crest Nicholson Holdings Limited, the parent of one of the UK’s largest house builder groups
- Advising a worldwide bondholder group in respect of the nationalisation and restructuring of three major Icelandic banks — Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir
- Advised the mezzanine consortium, headed by Apollo, Cerberus, Park Square Capital and Goldman Sachs, on the £2.6 billion restructuring of Britain’s largest betting and gaming group, the Gala Coral Group
- Advised an ad hoc committee of senior secured noteholders on the debt restructuring and English law administration sale of Wind Hellas, a Greek telecommunications company
Advised a group of senior lenders on the financial restructuring of Monier, a German roofing company
- Advised Grandtop International Holdings Limited, the offeror, on the acquisition by way of public takeover of UK-based Birmingham City Football Club
- Advised Japan-based Sumitomo Precision Products Co. Ltd. in its $56.6 million acquisition of Aviza Technology Inc., a semiconductor equipment producer headquartered in California
- Advised the noteholders on the financial restructuring of Technicolor S.A. (formerly Thomson S.A.), a French media company
Belgian law firm, Laga, today announces the integration of Greenille, the leading law firm in tax and legal services for high-net-worth families and individuals. This strengthens Laga’s ties with family businesses and their shareholders. More than thirty lawyers and staff will make the transfer on the 1st of September 2014.
“Greenille’s talented team, expansive network and specific expertise will be a considerable complement to Laga’s existing services,” says Danny Stas, Managing Partner at Laga. “The integration allows us to offer our clients a unique all-in approach.”
Since 2003 Greenille has grown into a leading law firm with an exceptional national and international reputation. The firm values interaction between business practice and academic research. Together with Alain-Laurent Verbeke (KU Leuven and Harvard), Greenille’s of counsel lawyers and scientific advisors are all associated with various universities, embodying the close ties Greenille maintains with the academic community.
“Greenille’s mission is to provide high-net-worth families with peace of mind,” says Managing Partner Alain Nijs. “Our key asset is our holistic approach. Alongside our tax and legal services we pay close attention to the psychological and communicative factors impacting family, wealth and business matters. At Laga we can imbed our growing practice into a strong and complementary organisation.”
Also after the integration, the Greenille team will continue to provide services through offices in Brussels, Antwerp and Kortrijk. The Dutch offices of Greenille in Amsterdam and Rotterdam will continue to exist but will move forward independently and under a new name.
King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has appointed partner Anne Quenedey and her team to the Tax department in Paris.
Anne’s team includes one counsel and three associates, from Dentons. Joining with her is Carolle Thain-Navarro (Counsel) and associates Etienne Guillou, Arnaud Colson and Catherine Sambath. Prior to Dentons, Anne was co-head of Bird & Bird’s international Tax group.
Anne and her team advise large domestic and international groups in defining their tax strategy, as well as on their M&A and restructuring operations. Their expertise also extends to all kind of relationships with the tax authorities including audit, litigation and rulings.
Anne has a deep knowledge of the telecommunications and private equity sectors which complements our sectors strengths, as well as insurance sector capability. She advises family-owned groups on corporate and patrimonial aspects and works closely with the OECD on issues relating to transfer pricing of intangibles. Anne is also a member of the International Fiscal Association (IFA), along with many other key tax professional organisations in France.
Christophe Digoy, Managing Partner of the Paris office, said: “This team is a fantastic hire for the firm, reinforcing our strategy to grow our areas of strength. Our ability to attract Anne and her team is an endorsement of the vision and direction of the firm both in Paris and globally.”
Sylvie Vansteenkiste, partner and Head of the Tax group in Paris, added: “With excellent relationships with many multinational companies, Anne and her team add great strength, depth and capability to the global Tax practice. Their arrival positions us as one of the largest Tax teams in Paris in transactional taxation and in particular in private equity.”
Anne Quenedey said: “King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has a top reputation in Tax law. I was particularly attracted by the dynamism of its team and by the recent combination with the leading Asia-Pacific firm King & Wood Mallesons.”
About the new team members:
Carolle Thain-Navarro, Counsel: previously worked at Dentons, Bird & Bird and Andersen Legal. Carolle works in particular on tax aspects of transactions, M&A and restructuring operations, for French or international groups. She has developed a particular expertise in private equity and regularly advises investment funds on their acquisitions. She also has extensive experience in assisting companies in their tax audit and litigation.
Etienne Guillou, senior associate: previously worked at Dentons, Bird & Bird and started his career at Fidal. Etienne mainly concentrates on patrimonial taxation and supports family businesses in their asset structuring and in their operations of transmissions and acquisitions.
Arnaud Colson, associate: previously worked at Dentons, Bird & Bird and Ernst & Young.
Catherine Sambath, associate: previously worked at Dentons and Bird & Bird.
The team join the existing Tax team of three partners (Sylvie Vansteenkiste, Fanny Combourieu and Raphaël Béra) and six associates (Gwenaël Kropfinger, Sarah Mordoff,Antoine Le Touzé, Thomas Guillier, Etienne Bimbeau and Olivia Sibieude).
DLA Piper has appointed Richard Hopkinson-Woolley, Laurence Rogers and Neville Wright to its Real Estate sector. The three partners join the firm from BLP.
Neville Wright is a tax lawyer with particular specialisation in property tax. He has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, structured finance, corporate reorganisations, all aspects of tax planning for property acquisitions and disposals, joint venture structuring, financing or refinancing of properties and capital allowances. Neville advises a wide range of property owners and occupiers including hoteliers, self-storage operators, care home operators and commercial property owners and developers.
Sir Nigel Knowles, Global Co-CEO at DLA Piper, said: “We are delighted to welcome Richard, Laurence and Neville to DLA Piper. The real estate market both in the UK and internationally has been growing steadily for the last year and this trend looks set to continue. The addition of this impressive team is a significant step in the implementation of the firm’s strategic commitment to the Real Estate sector.”
A highly regarded group of 13 lawyers formerly with Heenan Blaikie in Toronto will join Baker & McKenzie. Led by Partners Kevin Rooney and Sonia Yung, the group augments the Firm’s Corporate & Securities, Tax, and Banking & Finance Practices.
Peter Clark focuses his practice on domestic and international tax law. He has considerable experience in the taxation aspects of asset securitizations, corporate finance, hedge funds and real estate development and ownership, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, transfer pricing and cross-border transactions, as well as estate planning for very high net worth families.
Mr. Clark has been recognized as a leading tax law practitioner in the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White).
Smith & Williamson has taken on a four-person private client tax team, led by Louise Somerset who joins the firm as partner.
The team, which will operate from Festival House in Jessop Avenue in the heart of Cheltenham, specialises in advising high net worth individuals and has particular experience in working with internationally mobile families, including ‘non-domiciles’, and assisting them with tax, trusts and international pension arrangements.
The team joins from RBC’s Wealth Planning Division. Louise commented on moving to Smith & Williamson:
“We are thrilled to be joining Smith & Williamson with its strong professional reputation for advice on tax and financial matters. This is an exciting opportunity for myself and the team and we look forward to developing the name of Smith & Williamson in Cheltenham, the Cotswolds and further afield, using our experience in UK and international tax matters.“
Kevin Stopps, co-chief executive of Smith & Williamson, commented:
“We are delighted that Louise, Krista and team are on board. Their appointment and skill set is firmly in line with Smith & Williamson’s commitment to meeting the financial needs of private clients and their business interests.”
Joss Dalrymple, national head of private client tax at the firm, added:
“The arrival of this heavyweight tax team is a great addition to the national tax practice. I have known Louise for some years and I am particularly pleased to be welcoming her and colleagues to Smith & Williamson.”
Operating from Cheltenham, the new team will have the full support of the wider Smith & Williamson business, particularly from the Birmingham office which has a headcount of 48 people from the investment management as well as tax and business services divisions.
Additionally, Smith & Williamson has an office in Bristol with around 180 staff and which offers a very broad range of financial advisory services under one roof, from accountancy, tax and financial planning to investment management.
Louise is a member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners and Krista a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Before working at RBC, Louise was a partner at PwC.
Scottish accountancy firm, French Duncan, has appointed David Collier as a partner and Alastair Thomson (pictured) as a director within its tax consultancy services in the Edinburgh office. Both previously worked at Chiene + Tait.
The pair is well known in Scotland as a highly respected consultancy team, advising business and private clients on UK and international tax. They add to the already strong Scotland-wide business and private client tax team at French Duncan.
Having trained as a CA with two of the Big Four firms in Edinburgh, Collier joined Chiene + Tait as a partner 20 years ago, where he proceeded to develop a tax consultancy team with Thomson.
Commenting on his new role, Collier said: “What distinguishes myself and Alastair is that we undertake more ad hoc work than many of our peers; examining all the planning aspects of tax rather than simply compliance issues. Our team is now part of French Duncan’s tax consultancy team and we’re pleased to join such acknowledged tax specialists as Ann Somerville, Barry Laurie, Bruce Connelly and Andrew Ford, whom we have known for a number of years.”
Having trained as a financial accountant and auditor in London before participating in a successful start-up company providing a press cuttings service to large businesses and government departments, Thomson subsequently specialised in business tax.
“I started working with David seven years ago, providing a range of technical, commercial and strategic services for a diverse client base. I am excited that in French Duncan we will be continuing to act for significant UK and multi-national groups, as well as growing businesses and individuals needing tax advice,” he said.
Welcoming the pair to the firm, Graeme Finnie, managing partner at French Duncan, said: “We’re delighted to attract such well-respected advisers as Alastair and David to our expanding tax team.
“The tax work that Alastair and David undertake is business-orientated, involving such specialisms as share incentives, including share-based accounting for listed companies, corporate reorganisations, cross-border private client tax services and commercial advice on green energy projects. As such, the expertise they bring to the table complements the French Duncan teams we have in these areas and enhances the range of advice we can offer our expanding client base.”
Morrison & Foerster today officially opened its 17th office, located in central Berlin at One Potsdamer Platz. It is the firm’s first office in Germany and third in Europe.
The Berlin team, comprised of approximately 30 German lawyers and a like number of staff, was formerly the Berlin office of Hogan Lovells.
Of the 8 new partners Jens-Uwe Hinder will lead tax (and real estate). He is also the co-managing partner of the office.
Morrison & Foerster opened its first European office in London more than 30 years ago, and has developed extensive corporate, litigation and capital markets experience in the UK, along with strong transactional capabilities. The firm has a significant presence in Brussels, providing regulatory support for global transactions. The Berlin addition complements those capabilities and will help fuel growth in Europe and globally.