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Baker & McKenzie hires EY tax partner as EY looks at growth

Baker & McKenzie has again turned to one of the Big Four accountancy firms to boost its sizeable London tax practice as EY tax partner Mark Bevington joins as a partner in the 4004-lawyer firm’s City office.

Bevington (pictured) specialises in international tax planning, with a focus on UK domestic taxation, including intangible assets planning, patent box and pension restructuring. His appointment brings the number of tax lawyers in London to nearly 40.

This is not the first time this year that Bakers has looked to the Big Four to bolster its tax practice globally: Peter Tan joined the firm in Singapore from PricewaterhouseCoopers in February and, also in February, Michele Santocchini who joined in Rome from Deloitte.

Baker & McKenzie’s London head of corporate tax, Alex Chadwick, who notably advised both Sony and the Mubadala Development Company on the $2.2bn acquisition of EMI Music Publishing by Sony, which closed last year, said: ‘The international tax services market continues to be in a state of flux. Our ambition is be a leader in the market and Mark’s appointment is in line with that. Having Mark in the team will enable us to further expand the scope of the services we can offer clients in London, while adding strength to an already cutting-edge practice.’

The move comes as EY has recently made its own hire, of Bird & Bird commercial litigation associate Chris Stone. Taking into account Bevington’s departure, Stone’s arrival will bring EY’s lean in-house team to 12 lawyers plus one paralegal. EY is unusual in that it typically hires litigation lawyers who then take on broader work in-house, and general counsel Lisa Cameron is currently reviewing whether the team needs to grow further.