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Deloitte wins again at Americas Tax Awards 2015; Big awards for Baker and Skadden too

18 September 2015

Ralph Cunningham

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Top honours at this year's Americas Tax Awards went to Deloitte, Baker & McKenzie and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Deloitte won the Americas Tax Firm of the Year Award for displaying the greatest strength and depth of all tax practices in North and South America. Apart from impressive capabilities as a transactional firm, it continued to perform powerfully in transfer pricing and showed innovation in its deployment of technology, particularly data analytics, to help clients achieve the best tax situations.

Skadden Arps, which achieved notable results during the year as a transactional powerhouse and scored some big victories in the tax controversy area, was named North America Tax Firm of the Year and Baker & McKenzie capabilities in a number of jurisdictions in South America, such as Colombia and Mexico, won the award for top firm on that continent.

The advantage of being a specialist was seen in the victory of BaseFirma as Latin America Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year. The firm won the national transfer pricing awards for Peru and Venezuela, and was shortlisted in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

Deloitte won the North America Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year award after winning the city awards for Dallas/Houston, Los Angeles and New York, and being shortlisted in each of the other places that make up the North American region for these awards: Canada, Chicago, Mexico, San Francisco & Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. The Big 4 firm was the most successful entrant in the awards overall, winning 11.

Some of the biggest and notable transactions of the year from a tax point of view were also recognised last night in the 11 deal categories. The Burger King/Tim Hortons combination, which won some notoriety as an example of an inversion (though this description was hotly disputed by the two companies) won the award for M&A tax deal of the year. And Repsol's takeover of Canada's Talisman Energy won in the energy tax deal category,

The awards were presented for the 10th time at a dinner at the Pierre Hotel in New York last night.

Methodology

Tax advisory and law firms made submissions during June and July this year for the awards, which covered tax and transfer pricing in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela in South America, and Canada and six metropolitan areas in the US - Chicago, Dallas/Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco & Silicon Valley and Washington, DC.

The firms submitted three examples of their best work undertaken between June 1 2014 and May 31 2015. The submissions were judged according to two criteria: innovation - what new thinking did the firm bring to the solution for the client - and impact - how did the matter help the client achieve their objectives.

The 11 deal categories and the regional awards were also judged on the basis of the firms' submissions.

Journalists from International Tax Review and TPWeek then carried out extensive research to come up with shortlists and winners for the awards.

NATIONAL TAX & TRANSFER PRICING WINNERS

Argentina

Grupo GNP (tax and TP)

Bolivia

Tufino & Villegas (only tax in this jurisdiction)

Canada

Osler (tax)

Gowlings, Taxand Canada (TP)

Brazil

Lefosse Advogados (tax)

BRATAX (TP)

Central America

Arias & Munoz (tax only)

Chile

PwC (tax and TP)

Colombia

Baker & McKenzie (tax)

Brigard & Urrutia (TP)

Mexico

Deloitte (tax)

Baker & McKenzie (TP)

Peru

Estudio Olaechea (tax)

BaseFirma (TP)

Uruguay

Bergstein Abogados (tax)

Deloitte (TP)

Venezuela

Deloitte (tax)

BaseFirma (TP)

US: Chicago

Baker & McKenzie (tax)

McDermott Will & Emery (TP)

US: Dallas/Houston

Baker Botts (tax)

Deloitte (TP)

US: Los Angeles

Deloitte (tax and TP)

US: New York

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom (tax)

Deloitte (TP)

US: San Francisco & Silicon Valley

Fenwick & West (tax)

DLA Piper (TP)

US: Washington, DC

McDermott Will & Emery (tax)

Sullivan & Cromwell (TP)

Brazil Tax Court Firm: Demarest Advogados

Mexico Tax Court Firm: Basham Ringe y Correa

Tax Court of Canada Firm: Blake Cassels & Graydon

US Tax Court Firm: Sullivan & Cromwell

REGIONAL FIRMS OF THE YEAR

Americas Newcomer: Creel Garcia-Cuellar Aiza Y Enriquez

Americas Tax Innovator: Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US

Americas Tax Technology: Vertex

Americas Tax Policy: Miller & Chevalier

Americas Tax Pro Bono: Bichara Advogados

Americas Tax Compliance & Reporting: Deloitte

International law firm: A&L Goodbody

North America In-house: Melrose Industries

Latin America In-house: Isagen

North America Indirect Tax: Kirkland & Ellis

Latin America Indirect Tax: Taxand

Americas Indirect Tax: Deloitte

North America Tax Disputes: Mayer Brown

Latin America Tax Disputes: Baker & McKenzie

Americas Tax Disputes: Baker & McKenzie

North America Transfer Pricing: Deloitte

Latin America Transfer Pricing: BaseFirma

North America Tax: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Latin America Tax: Baker & McKenzie

Americas Tax: Deloitte

TAX DEALS OF THE YEAR

Americas Banking: BB&T acquisition of Susquehanna Bancshares - Sullivan & Cromwell; Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz

Americas Capital Markets - FHIPO's IPO - Davis Polk & Wardwell; Munoz Manzo y Ocampo; Paul Hastings

Americas Consumer Products: Becton Dickinson's acquisition of Care Fusion and the acquisition financing - Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Americas Energy: Sale of Talisman Energy to Repsol - Fenwick & West; KPMG; Norton Rose Fulbright

Americas Financial Services: RBC's $2 billion structured note programme and National Bank of Canada's $3.5 billion linked note programme - McMillan

Americas Joint Venture: Symphony Communication Services' JV - Fenwick & West

Americas M&A: Burger King / Tim Hortons combination - Blake Cassels & Graydon; Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg; Fenwick & West; Kirkland & Ellis; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Munger, Tolles & Olson; Osler; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Americas Media & Entertainment: Verizon's purchase of AOL - Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz; Weil Gotshal & Manges

Americas Private Equity: Acquisition of GE Capital real estate assets by funds managed by Blackstone - Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg; Dechert; Hogan Lovells; Simpson Thacher Bartlett; Sullivan & Cromwell

Americas Tax Restructuring: ITR Concession Company restructuring - Kirkland & Ellis

Americas Technology & Communications: Altice's acquisition of Suddenlink - Mayer Brown; Paul Hastings






International Correspondents