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Tax law is a major consideration in any area of commercial activity. Getting the right tax result is vital, for example, in structuring corporate disposals and acquisitions, incentivising key employees and management, or managing property taxes efficiently.

Our expert team provides commercially-focused, technically-sound tax advice and first-rate legal drafting on tax-related matters. We’re equally at home advising on a one-off SDLT query, working with you on tax issues through the process of a corporate sale or advising on tax matters in setting up an operating company for a local authority.

We act for a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including individuals, owner-managed businesses, listed companies, international groups, schools, local authorities and other public bodies.

What we do

  • Corporate – we advise on corporate acquisitions and mergers, including trade sales and private equity-backed transactions. We’re comfortable working on a disposal for an owner-managed business through to acquisitions for a large corporate group, and whether backed with W&I insurance or not. We also advise on vendor tax planning on UK share disposals in the SME sector, and work closely with our corporate teams across all our offices.
  • Real estate – we advise on structuring and transactional tax on a range of property transactions for retailers, investors, developers and local authorities, ranging from day-to-day property tax advice (e.g. freehold disposals, leases, lease renewals etc.) to more bespoke tax advice on particular transactions, especially in relation to VAT and SDLT issues.
  • Public sector – we advise various public sector bodies, for example local authorities, entities within the NHS, and teams in and around government. Our advice can include assisting with tax issues on a local authority setting up a subsidiary vehicle, VAT issues including on outsourcing, or other matters that come up from time to time. We work closely with our government and public sector teams.
  • Employee share schemes – we provide tax advice and legal drafting and have a depth of experience on Enterprise Management Incentive Schemes, including bespoke and complex legal drafting around performance conditions and vesting arrangements. We also advise on Company Share Option Plans and unapproved share option schemes.

Featured experience

Multinational luxury brands group: corporate acquisition

Advising a multinational luxury brands retail group on its corporate acquisition of an online beauty retail business for an undisclosed sum, working with the client (based in mainland Europe) on the tax aspects of the legal documents, and the scope of tax-related warranty and indemnity insurance which was being sought on the deal.

UK national retailer: VAT and SDLT issues

Advising a UK national retailer on VAT and SDLT issues on a complex redevelopment project on a flagship London store, involving short-term leases to allow for the redevelopment, and a longer-term lease for the client to take up its new premises at the store.

Local authority: site assembly

Advising a local authority on a site assembly, with associated land and company purchases, for a proposed mixed-use development. This was a complex project over several months which involved both direct land acquisitions and the purchase of a company holding part of the site as a property asset. We advised on stamp duty land tax and VAT matters on the property purchases, and on corporation tax issues with the company purchase, as well as leading on the tax aspects of the legal documents and related negotiations.

Local authority: SDLT and VAT issues

Advising a local authority on SDLT and VAT issues on re-acquiring a town centre shopping precinct from a private sector investor, collapsing an income stream model, and advising on the effect of unwinding a historic stamp duty scheme set up by previous owners. We also worked with leading SDLT counsel on this matter.


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