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Going private: KWM’s former City tax head resurfaces at Forsters

Former King & Wood Mallesons head of tax Heather Corben has resurfaced at private client firm Forsters, following the restructuring of KWM’s legacy SJ Berwin practice.

Corben (pictured), whose clients included British Land, Axa REIM, Brockton Capital, LaSalle Investment Management, British Airways Pension Fund and Heron, joins the West End firm as a partner.

Having been head of tax at KWM for more than ten years, Corben is ranked as a leading individual in The Legal 500. For Forsters, the move coincides with the appointment of Ben Barrison from DLA Piper, who joins the firm’s property litigation team.

Forsters has been on a trend-defying run since the onset of the global financial crisis, increasing fee income by 13% in 2015/16 to £46.7m, constituting its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth since 2011.

Managing partner Paul Roberts said: ‘Heather’s experience and abilities are clear to see. She has a strong track record of advising on the structuring of major corporate and real estate transactions. She will strengthen our already excellent tax team, which can only benefit from her experience.’

The legacy SJ Berwin arm of KWM, covering Europe and the Middle East, was the worst-performing region of the firm last year behind foundation practices in Australia, Hong Kong and China as global revenue dropped 1% to $1.02bn in 2015. London is by far the largest office in the Europe and Middle East region, generating around 65% of the region’s revenue of £191m. It has undergone a cull of 15% of its 160 strong partnership, and voted to inject another £14m into the firm to put it on a firmer footing in July.

The practice is currently without a European managing partner following the resignation of William Boss in January and regional senior partner Stephen Kon informed the partnership this month he will step down as senior partner halfway into his three-year term.