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Sponsored firm profile: Simmons & Simmons

Engaging Simmons & Simmons tax is different. We have deep strategic expertise and the experience to create a bespoke solution that works for all stages of tax disputes, from the first call from the tax authority through to litigation in the most senior courts.

Simmons & Simmons has one of the strongest contentious tax practices in the market, specialising in complex, high-value tax disputes. We are one of very few law firms to have a truly dedicated contentious tax practice, with partners and associates entirely focused on tax litigation and disputes and the only large law firm genuinely able to blend accountancy, economics and legal expertise on tax disputes. We are proud of our reputation for excellence and are committed to getting results for our clients in their most complex matters.

Our team draws on the expertise of tax lawyers, accountants, economists and tax advisers from our international offices for both domestic and cross-border issues. The team brings together experience gained in leading law firms and the Big Four accountancy firms. We adopt the right dispute resolution strategy for the matter at hand, whether that be litigation, ADR, negotiation with tax authorities or collaborative working on computational aspects of disputes.

We act on the full range of civil and criminal tax disputes and contentious issues for corporate clients; we provide liability and quantum advice and represent our clients in disputes with revenue authorities and investigations. Our work spans corporate, indirect, employment, partnership and environmental taxes.

In addition to our domestic expertise in a number of jurisdictions, we excel at managing international tax disputes, including capabilities in transfer pricing and controversy, treaty enforcement, cross-border information exchange, bilateral investment treaty arbitration and state aid. Our current cross-border matters include connections to India, the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Russia.

We also specialise in commercial litigation concerning tax, e-discovery, combined regulatory investigations involving HMRC or international tax authorities, dawn raids, professional negligence and fraud work.

We are a true litigation firm and have an exceptionally high number of cases with actively litigated proceedings. Recently in the UK, we have taken cases at every level of the English courts, the Tax Tribunals and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Last year we were instructed on active proceedings in tax matters before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Administrative Court, High Court (Chancery Division) and Commercial Court. We have extensive experience in public law and taking parallel proceedings.

You cannot control the outcome of tax litigation and in the current political environment, judgments can be hard to predict. We focus on the elements we can control. Our approach is intellectually rigorous, to ensure all potential technical arguments have been evaluated and managed so there are no surprises at trial. We investigate thoroughly, then focus on meticulous case preparation and strategic planning.

We understand how businesses operate and think through the wider impact of case presentation, including potential for reputational impact. For many of our listed clients, tax disputes require consideration from a market announcement perspective, are sensitive audit issues or have wider regulatory conduct implications. We have strong links with our colleagues across the firm to provide a seamless service, drawing on our capabilities in regulatory, white-collar crime, investigations, dispute resolution, arbitration, data protection and competition.

Key partners

Nick SkerrettNick Skerrett
Partner, global head of contentious tax
Direct: +44 20 7825 3975
Nick leads Simmons & Simmons’ contentious tax practice. He has extensive tax litigation experience in the UK and internationally and specialises in complex, high-value disputes. He works for leading corporations and financial institutions on a broad range of matters in the banking, asset management, TMT, life and environmental sectors. As a solicitor, chartered tax adviser and mediator, Nick’s practice covers all aspects of civil and criminal tax disputes, including commercial litigation concerning tax. Nick’s work frequently involves leading multi-disciplinary partner teams to deliver integrated holistic advice to clients. Nick is currently working on precedent cases involving VAT and financial services, transfer pricing, corporation tax anti-avoidance and interest deductions, multiple landfill tax matters, international enforcement and constitutional international law, multi-regulatory investigations and litigation involving the FCA and HMRC, civil fraud and negligence, partnership enquiries and scope of closure notices among others. Nick is particularly recognised for his expertise in indirect tax litigation, restitution and public law.

Monique van HerksenMonique van Herksen
Partner, transfer-pricing controversy
Direct: +3120 722 2335
Monique specialises in transfer pricing, dispute resolution and related international tax issues. Her practice includes advising multinational enterprises on global audit compliance, audit management and risk assessment related to transfer pricing, permanent establishment exposure and business restructurings. She also advises clients on tax reputation management. Monique handles audit settlements, advance pricing agreements and competent authority requests. She provides hands-on assistance and strategic advice on tax and transfer-pricing audits and discussions with both tax authorities and local tax counsel in other jurisdictions. Monique also serves as transfer-pricing expert on the United Nations Tax Committee and assists the United Nations’ Financing for Development Office.

Darren Oswick
Partner, international corporate tax and employment taxes
Direct: +44 20 7825 3546
Darren leads the Simmons & Simmons international tax practice. He acts for large banks and asset managers on a wide range of corporate and employment tax issues. He is currently working on tax disputes involving transfer pricing, corporate avoidance, withholding taxes, EU law rights in relation to the tax treatment of dividends, partnership tax and employment taxes. Darren is a member of the City of London Law Society Revenue Law Committee and the Law Society Revenue Law Committee Income Tax Sub-Committee. Darren is particularly recognised for his expertise in employment tax matters.

Martin ShahMartin Shah
Partner, financial services and UK
tax policy
Direct: +44 20 7825 4638
Martin’s practice encompasses financial markets, corporate, real estate and commercial work, with an emphasis on clients in the asset management and investment funds and financial institutions sectors. Martin’s disputes practice currently focuses on his asset management client base, including litigation and pre-litigation concerning incentivisation arrangements adopted by clients and on indirect tax matters, including the scope of the VAT exemption for fund management services. He is involved in tax policy matters and is a member of the AIMA Tax Committee and the Law Society’s Tax Law Committee. This provides useful insight into HMRC’s thinking on tax policy and forthcoming areas of challenge for taxpayers.

Stuart DutsonStuart Dutson
Partner, international head of arbitration
Direct: +44 20 7825 4101
Stuart leads Simmons & Simmons’ international arbitration practice. He has extensive experience in investment treaty arbitration acting both for investors and states. Stuart has conducted arbitrations under both common law and civil law in England, mainland Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia. He has acted for and against parties from the UK, mainland Europe, Central Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia and Africa. He is currently acting on tax arbitrations under both multilateral treaties and domestic investment laws against a CIS country for a multinational investor. Stuart recently led a cross office team that successfully defended Indonesia in a billion-dollar investment treaty claim.

One Ropemaker Street
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7628 2020


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