Practice area

World Tax Reviews

Ashurst Australia

The tax team covers indirect tax and direct tax. The indirect tax practice includes such areas as stamp duty, GST, payroll tax and land tax. The direct tax side, meanwhile, includes income tax, corporate tax, CGT, international tax and withholding taxes. Most of its tax professionals have experience working in the big four accounting firms. 

It has a strong tax disputes team involving Bill Cannon, Geoff Mann, Barbara Phair, Peter McCullough and Vivian Chang. The tax team provides service to financial institutions, investment banks, corporations and government entities. Clients include nbn, GE, BHP Billiton, Downer EDI, Macquarie, Fletcher, Brookfield, ANZ, CBA, Westpac and NAB.

The firm provided local tax and stamp duty advice to Tronox in relation to a proposed acquisition and restructure transaction. It also helped a client negotiate a sale agreement with the vendor’s solicitors from an overall tax perspectives.

Client feedback

“Excellent client service, upfront about expected advice timeframes and costs. Demonstrated strong tax technical skills. Took ownership of relationship with relevant revenue authority. The only weakness (albeit minor) I observed from their work was formulating a strong / preferred approach rather than floating two or three alternatives. Could be a little more assertive in their view or suggested course of action.”

Baker McKenzie

John Walker is the head of the tax department at Baker McKenzie. He is a key player in multi-jurisdictional restructuring and other forms of cross-border investment practice. The team has a good reputation in the renewable energy sector, especially on solar and wind transactions. Amrit Maclntyre is a well-known tax lawyer in Australia. Dixon Hearder leads engagements with the ATO on MAAL, GST, DPT and other multinational tax reviews. Miles Hurst specialises in income tax and focuses on major projects, M&A and financing arrangements.

In 2017 and 2018, William Malouf, Thomas Garwood, Struan Davidson and Gareth Austin joined the firm as associates.

Clayton Utz

The firm provides cross-border investments, projects, structuring and funding advice to multinationals clients. It also specialises in conducting cross-border, GAAR and transfer pricing tax disputes issues, especially in the energy and resources industries. The disputes practice includes financing, intangibles and offshore hubs matters. In addition, the firm is also active in shaping taxation laws in Australia.

Niv Tadmore is advising a client on a tax dispute regarding a fund arrangement. It includes one of the largest upstream projects in Australia. Andrew Sommer is handling an Australia Pacific LNG project. In this project, the tax professionals offer legal advice to Australia Pacific LNG on several matters in relation to the design and construction of this significant development.

In 2017 and 2018, Sian Jackson-Findlay, Steven Small, David Lee and Shinasa Wasimi joined the firm. Amber Agustin was promoted to partner in the Melbourne office. He is a tax disputes lawyer and has a wide range of experience in litigation, commercial law, regulatory and administrative contexts of the tax system.

DLA Piper Australia

Jock McCormack and James Newnham are tax partners who specialise in corporate and international tax. DLA Piper provides specialist advice on corporate tax law, business-related tax cases and corporate transactions. Its direct practice is strong in all specialties, including corporate tax planning and advisory, M&A, finance, investment fund structures, real estate and tax planning. The practice serves clients across various industries, involving corporate, real estate, employment, finance, intellectual property and restructuring. The tax professionals are supported by their global team of more than 300 tax lawyers and economists.

Jock McCormack and Eddie Ahn offered taxation advice related to QBE Insurance Group’s sales of its Latin American operations. The tax team also advised the client on preparing the vendor’s versions of the sale documentation. In 2017, the tax team helped a client regarding the acquisition of an equity interest in Endeavour Energy Australia.

In 2018, Kenny Mui joined the firm as a senior associate. Michelle Ma joined the firm as a senior lawyer. Eddie Ahn was promoted to partner.

Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills provides a wide range of tax services. The professionals provide a practice covering various industries such as real estate, financial services, infrastructure, and energy and resources. In addition, it has a good relationship with the authorities, including the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), State and Territory Revenue Offices and State and Federal Treasuries.

In the past year, the firm advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on the disposal of its life insurance business to AIA. Hugh Paynter helped a client with an e-commerce ATO tax audit. In this case, it covered handling formal and informal ATO document requests and ATO interviews.

In the last two years, Cameron Rider, Alistair Haskett, Rebecca Lawrence, Amir Aghdaei and Sue Ann Khoo joined the firm. Chris Neil was promoted to director in 2018. Geoff McClellan also joined as a partner.

Client feedback

“Excellent work. All personnel technically capable and with the ability to solve problems. Thinking outside the box and new ways of considering solutions. Extraordinary dedication that went beyond the scope of work required. No issue was left unattended and they went beyond the call of duty and took control of areas that were dragging behind. Excellent liaising with other legal and financial advisers and other areas of the business.”

Pitcher Partners

Theo Sakell and Denise Honey lead the tax practice at Baker Tilly Pitcher Partners. It provides services including international tax advisory, transfer pricing, Country-by-Country Reporting, funds management, M&A advisory and tax controversy. The firm has a good practice in advising clients in the middle market. It involves wealthy family groups, large private companies and small-to-medium-sized listed companies. In addition, the practice has also expanded into industry specialisations in real estate, funds management and international business advisory. Stuart Dall and Julian Cheng lead the corporate M&A tax advisory practice. They all have extensive experience in the tax implications of M&A.

Christine Cornish joined the firm as a transfer pricing professional. Michael Charles joined the firm as a tax advisory.