Practice Areas & Industries: Withers Bergman LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Tax planning is a dynamic area where advanced planning is paramount in optimizing results and minimizing adverse consequences.

A key area on which we regularly advise clients is that of double taxation agreements. We have extensive knowledge of this complex area and are able to guide clients efficiently and thoroughly in order to minimize the incidences of withholding taxes.

Our tax team provides innovative tax analysis solutions in the following areas, both domestically and internationally:

  • Corporate tax planning
  • Partnership tax planning
  • Fund Structuring
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Private Equity Investments
  • Real Estate Investments
  • Tax Treaty Planning/Withholding Taxes
  • Tax controversies
  • Exempt Organizations
  • VAT and other indirect taxes
  • US State taxation.

Our client base includes public and multi-national corporations, privately-held companies, management teams, entrepreneurs, investment funds and fund managers and family offices.

They are engaged in a wide range of activities, such as mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity finance, real estate, fund formation and structuring, private equity investments. They operate through partnerships and limited liability companies, and non-profit and charitable entities.

Our clients are based in Europe, North America, Asia and the CIS (such as the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan). Members of our UK team have particular experience in the transportation, telecom, construction, and oil and gas sectors.

Recent work

  • Acting for the CEO of a new confectionary company in his acquisition of a significant equity stake. This company was the franchisee of a large US operation that was determined not to lose its brand control. We successfully managed to: protect him in his commercial position as a significant minority shareholder and employee; minimize his potential to UK income tax on his incentive package and ensure there were no adverse US tax consequences arising as a result of his US citizenship.
  • Assisting a private equity fund in respect of investment in a major Russian transportation company through a Swedish holding vehicle.
  • Advising on the VAT liability of a UK freight container repairs business.
  • Tax counsel to a US shareholder of a public Middle East-based corporation on its reverse merger transaction and the US shareholder's private placement of stock.
  • Working with 7 principals of a $1+ billion private equity fund to structure the tax-efficient transfer of their interests in a new fund to wealth transfer vehicles.
  • Advising a main market listed CIS financial institution on its employee incentive arrangements.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Brexit: Corporate Tax Issues
Andrew Terry, July 21, 2016
On Brexit the UK will stand outside the existing EU customs union with all the other EU Member States. Unless an alternative arrangement is negotiated exports of goods to EU countries will become liable to EU customs duties and import VAT in the destination state. Imports of goods from the EU to...

Disclosure of Ownership of UK Property
Lindsay Brown,Christopher Groves,Justine Markovitz, June 09, 2016
At the international anti-corruption summit today David Cameron has announced significant proposals that will affect foreign owners of UK property.

Tax Court Decision Clarifies Treatment of Intergenerational Split-Dollar Life Insurance Arrangement
N. Todd Angkatavanich,James R. Brockway,Kenneth A. Pun,Edward A. Renn, June 09, 2016
Taxpayers and tax planners scored a big win in the April 13, 2016, Tax Court decision Morrissette v. Commissioner (146 T.C. No.11). The decision clarified the treatment of an intergenerational split-dollar life insurance arrangement, removing doubts regarding a planning strategy which some...

AIM - The Market for International Companies
David Guin,Anthony Indaimo,Alan S. Jacobs,Ben Simpson, April 28, 2016
The AIM market (‘AIM’) of the London Stock Exchange plc (the ‘Exchange’) is targeted at growing international companies. AIM is an ideal public market for growing and entrepreneurial international businesses seeking to expand and raise their global profile.

Compliant Tax Structuring for the Russian Elite: Global Transparency and Domestic Law Changes
Olga Boltenko, April 28, 2016
The age of global tax transparency is upon us. Clients have to be prepared for the fact that their international private and corporate arrangements will not remain confidential, for one reason or another. This poses the question of what to do?

Summary of Significant Corporate Tax Related Announcements in the 2016 Budget
Andrew Terry, April 28, 2016
There were a number of significant corporate tax related announcements in the recent budget some of which were anticipated and some of which were unexpected. We have summarised below a selection of those which we regard as most significant.

UK Budget 2016 - Swiss Highlights
Lindsay Brown,Justine Markovitz,Ian Perrett, March 30, 2016
The run-up to today's UK Budget was dominated by rumours of major changes to the taxation of pensions which did not materialise. Instead, there were announcements on CGT, SDLT, tax avoidance and evasion and the pending non-dom changes, not to mention the introduction of a sugar tax.

UK Budget 2016: CGT, Stamp Duty, More Anti-Avoidance and a Boost for Entrepreneurs
Sophie Dworetzsky,Katie Graves,Christopher Groves,Judith Ingham,Gillian Johnson, March 30, 2016
Against what he described as a backdrop of storm clouds gathering, George Osborne sought to deliver an upbeat Budget with a surprising amount of good news.

International Services and UK VAT Law
Andrew Terry, February 22, 2016
The UK was required to introduce a VAT system pursuant to its accession to what is now known as the European Union on 1st April 1973. The system of VAT in the EU is now governed by Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28th November 2006 on the Common System of Value Added Tax (normally referred to as...

Italian Budget Law - Taxation Measures Aim to Increase Economic Growth
Giulia Cipollini, February 22, 2016
The 2016 Budget Law (so called 'Legge di Stabilità 2016'), Law no. 208 of 28 December 2015, was published in the Official Gazzette no. 302 of 30 December 2015. The Law offers many appealing provisions for domestic and foreign taxpayers and aims at increasing growth by easing the heavy tax...

Proposed US Model Tax Treaty Changes - Further Limiting Treaty Qualification?
Kristin E. Konschnik, February 22, 2016
On 20 May 2015, the US Treasury Department released proposed revisions to the US Model Income Tax Treaty (the 'US Model'), which (i) introduce 'special tax regime' provisions, (ii) propose changes to the Limitation on Benefits ('LOB') provision; (iii) add new rules on 'expatriated entities'; (iv)...

VAT: The Hidden Cost in Residential Service Charges
Graham Elliott, January 19, 2016
Not all VAT related cases come before a tax tribunal. In the case of Janine Ingram the issue was one of ‘Landlord and Tenant’ law, which just so happened to involve VAT.

Investor Control Doctrine Invalidates Tax Benefits of Private Placement Life Insurance Policy
James R. Brockway,Marc T. Finer, September 11, 2015
On June 30, 2015, the U.S. Tax Court concluded in Webber v. Commissioner (144 T.C. 17) that the owner of a private placement life insurance policy retained sufficient control and incidents of ownership over the assets held in the segregated account underlying the policy to be treated as the actual...

Congress Considers US Intellectual Property Box Regime - Should You Re-Evaluate Your Global Structure?
Kristin Konschnik,Mitchell R. Kops,Eric Roose, September 03, 2015
Intellectual property ('IP') box regimes typically apply reduced tax rates to income from intellectual property as an incentive to locate IP-related work in a jurisdiction. Recently unveiled draft legislation may pave the way for a US IP box regime and incentivize taxpayers to reevaluate their...

The Anson Decision - More (or Less) Clarity on UK Treatment of US LLCs
Kristin Konschnik,Mitchell R. Kops,Eric Roose, September 03, 2015
On 1 July 2015 the UK's Supreme Court issued an eagerly awaited decision about the UK tax treatment of UK-based members of US LLCs. Although the dispute related to one particular LLC formed in Delaware, the decision potentially applies far more broadly - to LLCs outside Delaware, to other types of...