Our award winning tax team provides pragmatic, intelligent tax advice from across our international offices.
Praised for the team’s "...intellectual prowess and the quality and timeliness of its advice”, in Chambers (2013), the international tax practice at Simmons & Simmons:
- provides strategic advice at the early stages of transactions to identify tax effective structures and avoid unnecessary liabilities across the full range of commercial and financial transactions
- has the depth of experience to offer pragmatic advice and planning and the legal expertise to ensure that tax planning is documented and implemented effectively
- advises on all aspects of domestic and international tax, providing a full support service within the practice areas of the firm, as well as advice direct to our clients
- has the experience to coordinate international tax advice on cross border transactions with the convenience of a single point of contact for our clients.
We advise on M&A tax planning, international group structuring, capital markets and banking taxes, employment taxes, real estate taxes, VAT and other indirect taxes, tax investigations and disputes, all as a matter of course. In addition, we have experts in the areas of share incentives and employee benefits and onshore and offshore collective investment schemes.
Simmons & Simmons has an alliance with leading US firm Seward & Kissel LLP for hedge fund and asset management work. The alliance combines the strength of our preeminent hedge fund and asset management practices in London, New York and Hong Kong and enables our tax team to offer top tier tax advice for funds and asset managers around the world.
Some of the larger, more high profile and innovative transactions on which we have provided tax structuring and advice are listed below. They represent a small selection of the wide range of transactions and international tax matters on which we are called upon to advise on a day to day basis.
- advising AnaCap on its acquisition of IFG’s International Division from the Irish listed IFG Group for approx. £70m
Banesto (now Santander)
- advising this major Spanish bank as arranger of Euro Commercial Paper Programmes launched by Red Eléctrica de España, Acciona, Enagas, OHL, Mapfre and Abengoa for a combined value of €5bn
- advising BBVA on the issue of €800m of structured notes
- advising Becton Dickinson on the disposal of the majority of their Discovery labware business to Corning Inc. for $730m
- advising this leading specialist manager of fixed income and alternative investment products on its business restructuring and conversion to a limited liability partnership
- advising on the establishment of a programme for the issue of exchange traded products tracking equity and commodity indices, intended to raise £1-2bn of assets
- advising British Land in relation to the exit of its joint venture partner, London & Stamford, from its Meadowhall joint venture and the establishment of a new joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management
- advising on the acquisition of the long leaseholds over multi-let high class offices for circa £235m
- advising the Spanish Public Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring and its financial adviser Nomura on its sale of Banco de Valencia to CaixaBank, following a capital injection of €4.5bn
- clients of our leading financial services taxation group include BlackRock, BlueCrest Capital Management, Brevan Howard, F&C Management, Henderson Global Investors, Lansdowne Partners, Marshall Wace, Och Ziff and RAB Capital
- advising a global bank on defending a commercial negligence claim where quantum is affected by a UK tax planning structure implemented by the claimants
Green Investment Bank
- advising the Green Investment Bank on its landmark first investments in green infrastructure through the creation of two private equity style infrastructure funds with assets under management totalling £80m
- advising on the launch of and ongoing deployment of capital by Insight Global Farmland Fund Limited, established to invest in farmland and farmland businesses on a global basis
Major Financial Institution
- advising a major financial institution on MTIC VAT fraud and default by counterparties in commodities markets
- advising PCCW Global on the acquisition of the West African assets of Vodacom
- advising the Saudi Economic Development Company on the establishment of a new Shariah-compliant Luxembourg fund in the form of a SICAV-SIF and the transfer to it of a multimillion dollar global portfolio of assets
South Korean Conglomerate
- advising on a dispute with the Hong Kong Inland Revenue regarding profits from its sale of electronic devices
- advising the UK Government on the proposed £28bn merger between BAE Systems and EADS N.V.
- advising on the acquisition of several distressed Spanish secured/unsecured debt and real estate portfolios, as well as on the restructuring of a local debt servicer and asset manager
- advising Veolia on the sale of a 90% stake in its three UK regulated water companies for £1.2bn
Tax forms a crucial element in the commercial life of all businesses and will often determine the structure of more complex transactions.
Our team of international tax lawyers advises on the full range of corporate tax matters and is regularly involved in complex tax planning and tax structuring arrangements. We have particular experience in the following areas:
- mergers and acquisitions, reconstructions, joint ventures and buyouts
Banking and capital markets
- loan facilities, equity and bond issues and foreign exchange, derivatives and other financial instruments
- securitisation and other structured and asset finance transactions where the taxation treatment is of paramount importance to success
- advising in relation to tax issues on the establishment and operation of investment management businesses and the launch and operation of funds, both in the traditional and alternative sectors. By choosing the most appropriate jurisdictions and structure for the fund, returns can be maximised
- acquisition and development transactions, choice of investment vehicle and minimising transaction taxes
- service agreements, distribution, manufacturing and supply contracts, partnerships and privatisations
- structuring of capital investment and business operations to ensure tax efficiency
- implementation and structuring of both IT and business process outsourcing proposals in the banking, asset management and insurance sectors, advising both customers and providers
- tax efficient incentives to employees and cross-border share and bonus schemes
VAT and indirect taxes
- we have an established reputation as advisers on VAT and other indirect taxes
Contentious tax matters
- negotiating with tax authorities, conducting tax litigation for both direct and indirect tax matters, resolving tax disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution, tax fraud and investigations and acting on commercial disputes concerning tax
- advising commercial clients and government bodies on a range of national and international tax policy matters. In addition, we are active members of professional and industry associations and are regularly involved in making representations on tax matters. By way of example, we are heavily involved in consultations on proposals for a multilateral EU Financial Transaction Tax.