New York based member firm, Grassi & Co. has announced that David C. Sobel, CPA, along with his staff of tax professionals, have joined the firm effective May 1, 2013. David’s practice specializes in providing high-level tax consulting, including M&A and transactional tax services, to companies within the Media, Entertainment, Information Services, Technology and Financial Services industries.
David and his team possess diversified training in corporate taxation matters including ASC 740 (Accounting for Income Taxes), strategic tax research and planning, mergers and acquisitions, and audit defense and tax advocacy. David also brings substantial expertise in state and local taxation matters including income/franchise sales and use, property and employment taxes to the firm.
“David and his experienced staff will enhance Grassi & Co.’s existing tax practice as well as expand the firm’s expertise in a variety of industries. Combining the knowledge and experience of David’s practice with the experience and client-centric service approach of Grassi & Co. allows us to continue to meet and exceed our clients’ needs in order to help them achieve their business objectives,” says Louis C. Grassi, President and CEO, Grassi & Co.
Prior to joining Grassi & Co., David managed a successful boutique tax practice supporting the overall corporate tax functions at both large and closely held corporations ranging from SEC registrants to private equity portfolio companies. With more than 27 years of corporate tax experience, David has also served as a senior tax advisor for several public companies and has worked at Big 4 firms where he provided clients with general practice and special acquisitions tax services.
David is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
David completed his undergraduate degree and earned a BBA in Accounting from Hofstra University and studied advanced taxation at PACE University.
Graham Aaronson and Joe Hage have formed a new litigation boutique named Hage Aaronson. Graham Aaronson QC is currently with Pump Court Tax Chambers but will join the new firm as a partner when he is allowed to do so by the Bar Council. Hage is also a barrister and has a reputation for advising on litigation issues for ultra HNWIs.
The Lawyer has reported that 3 former Dorsey & Whitney tax partners will be joining the tax litigation team….Michael Anderson, Simon Whitehead and Paul Farmer. Anderson joins from KPMG where he has been Head of Direct Tax Litigation for the past 6 months.
The firm’s website states that “The firm seeks to provide the best qualities of a law firm and the bar, combined into one practice”.
Choate today announced that all of the partners in the Private Client Practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP will move to Choate. It is anticipated that the partners will be accompanied by associates and other staff, and that WilmerHale’s entire Private Client Practice will move to Choate. The WilmerHale team that is joining Choate includes partners Jennifer C. Snyder, Nan Giner, Michael L. Fay, and Brian W. Monnich.
The WilmerHale Practice will move to Choate on or about December 1, 2012. They will join Choate’s wealth management team of over 50 people, which includes lawyers, investment professionals, tax preparers, trust and estate administrators and other client service staff.
“We have a long and deep relationship with WilmerHale, and are thrilled to add this outstanding team of top-notch wealth management professionals,” said William Gelnaw and John Nadas, co-managing partners at Choate. “Bringing together our two preeminent wealth management practices will benefit all of our clients, and will enable us to continue to grow materially this priority practice area at Choate.”
Choate’s Wealth Management Group works closely with Choate Investment Advisors, the firm’s registered investment advisor subsidiary, to provide clients with objective, integrated solutions to their wealth management needs. Choate’s seamless “one-stop” approach to wealth management provides clients with world-class, institutional quality investment management services that are fully integrated with their tax, trust and estate planning and administrative needs.
“The transition of our private client practice makes good business sense for our team and for Choate,” said Susan Murley, co-managing partner, WilmerHale. “As a stand-alone practice at WilmerHale, we are pleased to see our private client team joining a law firm that has an established, robust and industry-leading reputation in wealth management. We wish members of our private client practice well as they make this transition.”
Choate’s Wealth Management practice has been nationally recognized as one of the leading practices of its kind by US News & World Report. Choate Investment Advisors is regularly ranked as one of the top wealth advisory firms in the country. Recent rankings include: Barron’s 2012 Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors, AdvisorOne 2012 Top Wealth Managers, and Forbes Magazine’s Top 50 Fee Only Registered Investment Advisors.
Global audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars announced today that 6 partners, two consultants and more than 60 staff members from Grant Thornton Cape Town will join Mazars effective 1 August 2012.
Mazars has more than 13,000 professionals in 69 countries, in addition to correspondents and joint ventures in a further 15 countries. As at 31 August 2011, Mazars’ Group turnover was €956.7 million. The move will increase Mazars’ staff nationally to more than 750 and result in a turnover in excess of R350 million.
The team joining Mazars is the original Grant Thornton team that merged with BDO Cape Town two years ago and practised under the Grant Thornton name. That merger has been unwound, and the original Grant Thornton practice will now merge with Mazars.
“We’re delighted to welcome such an exceptional group of professionals into the Mazars family, and are confident that our cultures, values and strategic visions will merge seamlessly,” says Hilton Saven, National Chairman of Mazars South Africa and Co-CEO of Mazars International. “Their business mirrors ours remarkably in many ways, and will strengthen our offering across the board.”
Saven says the merger has been enthusiastically welcomed at international level, and is seen as an important development in its strategy of combining both organic and external growth.
Neil Miller, Joint Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Cape Town, who will join Mazars as a Partner says that the partners and staff are excited at the prospect of working with the calibre of professionals that Mazars offers: “We are all firmly of the belief that it is in the interest of all stakeholders in our business and, most importantly the clients, that we work in a strategic direction that places people and values at its core to enable us to develop and grow our service offering.”
In addition to Miller, the partners joining Mazars are Danny Naidoo, Mike Teuchert, David Smith, Larry Auret and Melanie Odendaal. Retired partners David Wener and Deryck Woolley will also join as consultants. The new partners and staff will be integrated into Mazars’ Cape Town based office in Century City.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced today that the firm is significantly expanding its insurance and tax practices by adding six of the country’s leading insurance regulatory, tax and transactional attorneys. James R. Dwyer, Jeffrey H. Mace, John S. Pruitt, Linda A. Sciuto, Cynthia R. Shoss and P. Bruce Wright are joining the firm’s New York office as partners. All six attorneys were previously partners at Dewey & LeBoeuf.
This group brings with it the full spectrum of skills and experience for serving the insurance sector around the globe in the areas of property & casualty and life insurance regulation and transactions; insurance M&A and finance; reinsurance; insurance captives and alternative risk transfer mechanisms; and international insurance taxation.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have this talented group of industry leaders join our firm. Their combined broad experience in the insurance industry is a natural complement to our insurance and tax teams and strengthens our industry leading practice,” said Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “Our clients will immediately benefit from this added depth and breadth.”
In addition to enhancing Sutherland’s highly regarded insurance and tax practices, the addition of this group significantly expands the firm’s New York presence. “Our New York office has focused on the insurance and financial services sectors since we opened in late 2002,” said William H. Bradley, partner-in-charge of the New York office. “As a firm, our strategy is to expand our leading practices that serve clients in key industries, and the addition of our new partners clearly and emphatically advances that strategy.”
Prior to joining Sutherland, Mr. Mace led Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Lloyd’s of London and Lloyd’s Market practice. He has a multidisciplinary background in tax, regulatory and corporate matters related to insurers and reinsurers.
Mr. Pruitt and Ms. Shoss co-chaired Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Insurance Regulatory Department. Mr. Pruitt’s practice focuses on regulatory, transactional and compliance matters and investigations relating to property & casualty companies. Ms. Shoss focuses primarily on life insurance regulatory and legislative matters and transformative transactions, including demutualizations, mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Dwyer is widely recognized as a leading practitioner in insurance transactional, regulatory and financing matters. Throughout his more than 30-year career, he has represented market leading companies on all aspects of some of the largest mergers, acquisitions and divestitures in the insurance industry.
Mr. Wright, who was the head of LeBoeuf Lamb’s tax practice for many years, is internationally recognized for his advice with respect to captive insurers, risk retention groups, and various types of alternative risk financing mechanisms. Mr. Wright and Mr. Mace together bring extensive experience assisting clients in the U.S., U.K. and Bermuda with international insurance and tax matters.
Ms. Sciuto focuses on the taxation of Lloyd’s members and has extensive knowledge of the Lloyd’s of London market. She also represents non-US insurers doing business in the United States.
“Sutherland’s leadership in insurance product regulation, distribution and tax; investment company regulation; and SEC and FINRA regulation and enforcement expands the services we can offer our clients. Additionally, the firm’s robust insurance transactional, litigation and tax practices will provide the support in those areas our clients have been accustomed to at Dewey & LeBoeuf,” said Ms. Shoss. “Sutherland’s focus on insurance, with more than 100 lawyers already serving clients in the industry, is a perfect fit for us. It provides an outstanding, full service platform for serving our clients.”
Legal firm Fyfe Ireland is merging with Tods Murray LLP to create one of the strongest private client teams in Scotland.
Fyfe Ireland partners, Greig Honeyman and Drew Taylor, along with eight solicitors and six support staff will join Tods Murray on 23 January 2012, bringing with them a well established client base, the combined firm will be known as Tods Murray LLP.
The merger is a bold move in a changing professional market. The attraction is that each firm has a long established and highly respected private client and family business expertise. By joining forces, the new, larger private client team will not only have a very distinct authority in this field it will also provide a platform for growth.
The partners believe that their combined strengths form a formidable force in the marketplace, with the technical expertise to respond to the complexities of today’s business and private client demands.
David Dunsire, Executive Partner for Tods Murray said:
“Tods Murray is committed to remaining a leading full service Scottish law firm and part of this strategy is to grow our private client team. Fyfe Ireland is a prestigious, niche player in the legal marketplace with a long and distinguished history of putting the client at the heart of everything they do whilst providing a quality service. This ethos fits extremely well with our own culture. Furthermore, in Greig, Drew and their Fyfe Ireland team, we have gained some of Scotland’s best talent, which will ensure that the expanded private client team at Tods Murray has a strength in depth that is unrivalled in Scotland.”
Greig Honeyman added:
“I have heard it said that to succeed you must react faster to a client’s problem than the client can themselves. By combining our strengths with those of Tods Murray and indeed bringing our clients to Tods Murray, we will have the ability to provide the comprehensive – and immediate – response that is needed in a modern, and at the moment difficult, economy.
“This is an exciting move that will create a private client and family business team that aspires to lead the way in client engagement and technical standards.”
Drew Taylor, whose litigation expertise embraces the range of commercial, contract and employment work, concludes:
“By merging with Tods Murray, we can now give our clients a far greater level of service and our staff the best opportunities going forward.
“Culturally, we are very similar, believing in client care and high standards of legal knowledge and expertise and by joining forces we can all grow professionally and commercially.”
Bird & Bird have announced the arrival of tax partner Laurence Clot who joins the Firm to lead the tax practice group in Paris.
Laurence brings three colleagues with her and the new team will work closely with our international sector groups to develop our tax practice services for our clients. Laurence has particular experience in IT, communications, media and financial services.
Laurence and her team join us from Landwell & Associés, part of the PwC network. Laurence has 15 years experience advising both French and international clients on a wide range of tax matters including corporate income tax, VAT, transfer pricing issues, tax consolidation, tax structuring and tax litigation. She has developed a particular expertise in dealing with international tax issues related to significant transactions such as acquisitions, mergers, tax audits and partnership agreements, alongside managing day-to-day matters for her clients.
Laurence’s appointment follows the recent arrivals of Julian Hickey who joined the tax group in London and Iain MacVay who is developing our trade and customs practice from London and Brussels. Our International Tax Practice Group will continue to develop as it becomes an increasingly important area of expertise for clients in our key sectors.
Frederique Dupuis Toubol, Head of Bird & Bird in France, commented: “We are delighted with the appointment of Laurence who has the essential personal and professional qualities for the role, combined with the level of experience to be able to offer our clients a global approach to tax issues.”
Pieter Camps, co-head of the international tax group confirms: “We look forward to working with this first class team. It is essential to offer our clients services which support their business needs and this capability in Paris enhances our strong international offering.”
McDermott Will & Emery LLP today announced the expansion of its New York Private Client Group with the addition of premier estate planning attorney Carlyn S. McCaffrey to the Firm. Joining Ms. McCaffrey, who chaired Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Estate Planning practice group, is former Weil lawyer Amy E. Heller who has been named a partner in McDermott’s New York office. Elyse G. Kirschner, currently a partner at Weil, will also join McDermott as a partner along with four other Weil lawyers: Laura W. Hirschfeld, Christopher M. Parker, Shu-Ping Shen, and Dena L. Wolf.
“We are delighted to welcome Carlyn and her top-notch team to the Firm,” said McDermott Will & Emery co-chair Peter J. Sacripanti, based in New York. “McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and the addition of this exceptional group of lawyers will deepen the Firm’s already extensive service offerings in the wealth management space.”
“Carlyn is one of the most highly respected practitioners in the country and we are impressed by the results she and her team have continually delivered,” added McDermott co-chair Jeffrey E. Stone. “In particular, Carlyn’s deep experience advising very high net worth clients on estate tax matters and closely-held business planning will be tremendous assets as we continue to grow our private client practice.”
Carol A. Harrington, partner and head of McDermott Will & Emery’s Private Client Practice Group, commented, “Carlyn is a truly brilliant and highly sought-after advisor. She along with Elyse, Amy and their colleagues will make wonderful additions to our team. These very experienced lawyers represent clients in all aspects of their estate planning needs, from wealth transfer advice to counseling on tax-related business issues. Having Carlyn and her team at McDermott will strengthen our ability to give our clients the most creative and sophisticated representation possible for their most sensitive needs.”
With more than 60 lawyers, McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group is one of the largest and best-known practices of its kind in the United States. Consecutive editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business ranked the Firm’s wealth management practice in the top tier nationwide. The Firm represents families and individuals, family offices, closely held businesses, foundations, estates, trusts and special purpose asset transfer and investment management entities in the United States and throughout the world, and provides to them a spectrum of estate, succession, gift transfer and wealth planning services.
Ms. McCaffrey will join current McDermott partner Henry Christensen III as a co-head of the New York Private Client Practice Group. Christensen said, “I have enjoyed working with Carlyn for many years as a friend and colleague. We have worked together on client and bar association matters and we have taught a course together at New York University Law School. It will be a joy to have Carlyn, Elyse and Amy as partners of McDermott.”
Since 2006, when Chambers USA began ranking wealth management nationally, Ms. McCaffrey has been the only Star Individual recognized for her achievements. In the 2010 edition, Chambers USA noted that Ms. McCaffrey is, “regarded by the market as being at the cutting edge of trusts and estates law.”
Ms. McCaffrey is an adjunct professor of law at New York University School of Law and the Miami Law School. She frequently lectures on subjects relating to tax law, trusts and estates, foreign trusts and matrimonial law. She also writes extensively on these topics, and is the co-author of Structuring the Tax Consequences of Marriage and Divorce.
Additionally, she is a fellow and a past president of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, a member of the International Academy of Trust & Estate Counsel, and a member of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Act, of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform Laws. She is a member of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and the former co-chair of the Section’s Estates and Trusts Committees, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the University of Miami’s Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.
Elyse G. Kirschner represents clients in connection with domestic and international tax and estates planning matters. Ms. Kirschner’s areas of experience include charitable giving techniques, the formation and taxation of private trust companies, tax-exempt organizations and the taxation of foreign trusts. Ms. Kirschner is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the American Bar Association, a member of the Tax and Trusts & Estates Sections of the New York State Bar Association, a member of the Society of Trusts & Estates Practitioners (STEP) and a member of the Trusts, Estates & Surrogates Courts Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She is also a member of the Trusts & Estates Committee of the Lawyer’s Division of the UJA Federation of New York.
Amy E. Heller, who joins the firm as a partner, advises clients in connection with a wide range of domestic and international tax and estate planning matters. Ms. Heller serves as Chair of the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. She is also a member of Executive Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and serves as Co-Chair of the Tax Section’s Committee on Estates and Trusts. Ms. Heller was named an “Associate to Watch” in Chambers 2010 USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. She is an Adjunct Professor at the New York University School of Law, where she teaches Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates.