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European Tax Awards 2014

01 July 2014

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The winners of the European Tax Awards 2014 were announced at a dinner in London on May 21.

Alcoa's European tax team was out in force to collect the award as in-house team of the year. The US multinational metals company fought off strong competition for the prize from Dassault Systèmes, Immofinanz and Vodafone, the other nominees in the category.

The criteria for the in-house award were based on the objectives of each tax department for the 2013 calendar year and how they were achieved. In its submission, the Alcoa team described its tax operations, which are based on monitoring, counselling, advocacy and processes.

Apart from the in-house award, the European Tax Awards recognised examples of superior local and regional tax advice in cross-border transactions. South Africa is also included in these awards. There were national tax firm of the year winners in 27 countries and national transfer pricing winners in 25, Cyprus and Malta being the exceptions.

The European tax firm of the year was the Best Friends Network, an alliance of independent firms comprising Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Bredin Prat, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Hengeler Mueller, Slaughter and May, and Uría Menéndez.

As well as for tax, the regional awards included those for transfer pricing, tax disputes and indirect tax. In an innovation this year, deal of the year awards in 11 separate categories were also presented, where any firm that worked on any of the tax aspects of the winning transaction received an award. This was a recognition that often the success of a matter depends on the contribution of many different tax specialists, rather than merely one firm on one side of it and another on the other.

Methodology

Between December 2013 and February 2014, International Tax Review asked law firms, tax advisers, accountants and other tax service providers from these jurisdictions:

Austria; Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania); Belgium; Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia); Cyprus; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Russia; South Africa; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; UK; Ukraine

to submit three examples of their best work for consideration for the national tax and transfer pricing awards, as well as for the innovation category, and the ECJ awards. The regional awards and additional prizes for the best tax advice offered in Europe in transactions covering banking, capital markets, consumer products, energy, financial services, joint ventures, media and entertainment, M&A, private equity, restructuring, telecommunications and technology, and for US tax firm in Europe, tax compliance and reporting, and tax policy firm were judged from these submissions. Taxpayers could also make a submission for best in-house tax team of the year.

International Tax Review's editorial staff researched these submissions with private practitioners and in-house tax managers to compile shortlists and choose winners for each of the country and regional awards.

The awards were judged according to:

  • Size (Not conclusive, though it does indicate what a tax team is capable of taking on)
  • Innovation (Did the advice the firm gave show something more than the straightforward answer that is commonly used?)
  • Complexity (Did the matter address tax issues that were out of the ordinary and what ingenuity did the firm show to solve them?)

These awards represent the opinions of the magazine on the leading tax advisers in Europe and South Africa based on their work in 2013.


Austria Tax Firm of the Year
Austria Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Baltic States Tax Firm of the Year
Baltic States Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Belgium Tax Firm of the Year
Belgium Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Central Europe Tax Firm of the Year
Central Europe Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Cyprus Tax Firm of the Year
Denmark Tax Firm of the Year
Denmark Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Finland Tax Firm of the Year
Finland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
France Tax Firm of the Year
France Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Germany Tax Firm of the Year
Germany Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Greece Tax Firm of the Year
Greece Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Hungary Tax Firm of the Year
Hungary Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Ireland Tax Firm of the Year
Ireland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Italy Tax Firm of the Year
Italy Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year
Luxembourg Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Malta Tax Firm of the Year
Netherlands Tax Firm of the Year
Netherlands Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Norway Tax Firm of the Year
Norway Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Poland Tax Firm of the Year
Poland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Portugal Tax Firm of the Year
Portugal Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Russia Tax Firm of the Year
Russia Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
South Africa Tax Firm of the Year
South Africa Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Spain Tax Firm of the Year
Spain Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Sweden Tax Firm of the Year
Sweden Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Switzerland Tax Firm of the Year
Switzerland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Turkey Tax Firm of the Year
Turkey Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
UK Tax Firm of the Year
UK Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Ukraine Tax Firm of the Year
Ukraine Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
European Tax Firm of the Year
European Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
European Tax Disputes Firm of the Year
European Indirect Tax Firm of the Year
European Tax Compliance & Reporting Firm of the Year
European In-House Team of the Year - Direct Tax
European Banking Tax Deal of the Year
European Capital Markets Tax Deal of the Year
European Consumer Products Tax Deal of the Year
European M&A Tax Deal of the Year
European Financial Services Tax Deal of the Year
European Energy Tax Deal of the Year
European Media & Entertainment Tax Deal of the Year
European Private Equity Tax Deal of the Year
European Tax Restructuring Deal of the Year
European Joint Venture Tax Deal of the Year
European Telecommunications and Technology Tax Deal of the Year
ECJ Firm of the Year - Direct Tax
ECJ Firm of the Year - Indirect Tax
US Law Firm in Europe
Best Newcomer
European Tax Policy Firm of the Year
European Tax Innovator of the Year
European Client Connection Award

Austria Tax Firm of the Year

Wolf Theiss


The Austria Tax Firm of the Year showed itself to be the market leader in a range of tax practice areas, such as capital markets and tax-optimised restructuring.

NOMINEES BPV Huegel; Deloitte; DLA Piper; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Austria Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


Highlights of work done by this year's Austria Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year included a business restructuring involving a transfer pricing concept to optimise tax effects and taking into consideration exit tax on the transfer of intangible property.

NOMINEES Baker & McKenzie; LeitnerLeitner


Baltic States Tax Firm of the Year

Sorainen


The Baltic States Tax Firm of the Year advised a bank on the largest acquisition in Lithuania for several years; and taxpayers in a successful challenge to an increase in the government's mineral resources extraction charge.

NOMINEES Deloitte; Raidla Lejins & Norcous; Varul


Baltic States Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Baltic States Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year created a pan-European transfer pricing policy for multinationals in the financial services industry, proving a relatively high annual interest rate was arm's-length.

NOMINEES Sorainen; Varul


Belgium Tax Firm of the Year

Loyens & Loeff


The Belgium Tax Firm of the Year scored highly for its advice in work including the sale of an investment in an overseas commercial business through a Belgian and Luxembourg structure.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Liedekerke; Mayer Brown; Stibbe


Belgium Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Belgium Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year handled a number of big-ticket matters over the past year including work on a global profit split model and the design of a global centralised business model.

NOMINEES Mayer Brown; PwC


Central Europe Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Central Europe Tax Firm of the Year featured a practice that is integrated across the region and advises clients in all the key areas of tax, including corporate, indirect, employer services and transfer pricing.

NOMINEES Baker & McKenzie; EY; PwC Romania; Taxand Romania; White & Case


Central Europe Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Central Europe Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year is well known for the market-leading practice it has developed in a wide range of industries, including consumer products, health and beauty care, chemicals, retail, and banking.

NOMINEES Deloitte; PwC; Taxand Romania


Cyprus Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Cyprus Tax Firm of the Year is the market leader for tax advice in developing sectors of the economy, such as oil and gas.

NOMINEES EY; Taxand Cyprus


Denmark Tax Firm of the Year

Plesner


The Denmark Tax Firm of the Year showed again in 2013 why Danish and international clients rely on it for advice on cross-border structuring, transfer pricing, capital markets, structured finance products and indirect taxes

NOMINEES Horten


Denmark Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Plesner


The Denmark Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year led the way in intangible asset dispute resolution over the past year.

NOMINEES EY; Taxand Denmark


Finland Tax Firm of the Year

EY


Carve-outs where the tax implications were felt not just at home, were the speciality of the Finland Tax Firm of the Year last year.

NOMINEES Alder & Sound; Roschier; Taxand Finland


Finland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Finland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year excelled in 2013 by, for example, obtaining a very swift advance ruling for one of its clients.

NOMINEES Alder & Sound; Deloitte; Taxand Finland


France Tax Firm of the Year

EY


The Tax Firm of the Year advised a client in the global food industry on mitigating the impact of the new 3% tax on dividends on the repatriation of cash and a French group on the due diligence and structuring associated with its investment in an Indian services group.

NOMINEES August & Debouzy; Baker & McKenzie; Bredin Prat; DLA Piper; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hogan Lovells; Mayer Brown; Taj; Taxand France


France Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The France Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year defended its clients after a fiscal raid in 2013 and was also involved in a complicated APA for a digital industry client.

NOMINEES Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Mayer Brown; Taxand France


Germany Tax Firm of the Year

Hengeler Mueller


The Germany Tax Firm of the Year was the market leader for M&A tax advice and assistance in complex and significant transactions in the private equity, TMT and real estate industries

NOMINEES Allen & Overy; Baker & McKenzie; DLA Piper; Flick Gocke Schaumburg; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hogan Lovells; Latham & Watkins; Oppenhoff & Partner


Germany Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Flick Gocke Schaumburg


The Germany Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year was a firm that turned its hand to a range of matters including establishing a sourcing company in Asia, MAP agreements and the business restructuring of a US multinational's European operations.

NOMINEES Baker & McKenzie; Deloitte; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ; Oppenhoff & Partner


Greece Tax Firm of the Year

EY


The Greece Tax Firm of the Year advised on the private-equity acquisition of a global Greek brand and negotiated with the government on the establishment of a stable tax environment for the TransAdriatic Pipeline.

NOMINEES Deloitte; Koutalidis


Greece Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Greece Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year excelled in representing its clients in dispute resolution with the authorities, supply chain restructuring work and managing intangible assets for a client deemed in distress.

NOMINEES Deloitte; Taxand Greece


Hungary Tax Firm of the Year

EY


he Hungary Tax Firm of the Year stood out this year for its advice to a company in the drilling industry on the tax implications of a migration to Hungary and the restructuring of the global bond programme and the capital structure of a Hungarian multinational to protect unrealised foreign exchange losses

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; Kinstellar; Orientax


Hungary Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Hungary Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year has demonstrated it can provide the highest-quality advice, for example, transfer pricing design related to a complex business transformation involving the global consolidation of functions in Hungary and the shifting of other existing business activities from Hungary to China.

NOMINEES Deloitte; Taxperience Tandax


Ireland Tax Firm of the Year

A&L Goodbody


The Ireland Tax Firm of the Year was to the fore in the majority of newsworthy transactions in the country during 2013, including M&A and capital markets for well known international clients.

NOMINEES Arthur Cox; Deloitte; Maples & Calder; Matheson; Taxand Ireland


Ireland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Ireland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year advised on debt capacity, acquisition integration and transfer pricing planning and offshore IP migration.

NOMINEES Deloitte; Matheson


Italy Tax Firm of the Year

Legance


The Italy Tax Firm of the Year showed its prowess in advising on a revolving loan facility that involved complex tax issues relating to FATCA and in assisting in a lengthy VAT litigation that will be heard next by the Supreme Court of Italy.

NOMINEES Allen & Overy; Baker & McKenzie; Bonelli Erede Pappalardo; Clifford Chance; Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; Hogan Lovells; NCTM


Italy Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Bonelli Erede Pappalardo


The Italy Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year was the leader in the market for advice on APA conclusion, and the transfer pricing aspects of business restructurings.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY; Valente GEB Partners


Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year

EY


The Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year came up with an innovative financing strategy for a multinational client relating to the acquisition of the remaining participation in a Mexican group

NOMINEES Allen & Overy; Arendt & Medernach; Deloitte; DLA Piper; Loyens & Loeff; Stibbe; ATOZ, Taxand Luxembourg


Luxembourg Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Luxembourg Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year demonstrated expertise in debt pricing in an M&A transaction during 2013.

NOMINEES Loyens & Loeff; ATOZ, Taxand Luxembourg


Malta Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Malta Tax Firm of the Year undertook a tax due diligence assignment on a state-owned utility in Malta, which is the subject of a Chinese-led equity investment, and advised a client on negotiations with their bank over the revision of a loan agreement.

NOMINEES Camilleri Preziosi; KPMG; Taxand Malta


Netherlands Tax Firm of the Year

Loyens & Loeff


The Netherlands Tax Firm of the Year has a comprehensive practice that can advise clients on corporate and indirect tax, European tax law and investment management, and in key sectors such as energy and real estate.

NOMINEES Allen & Overy; Baker & McKenzie; Deloitte; DLA Piper; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Stibbe; Van Campen Liem


Netherlands Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie


The Netherlands Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year showed its prowess in a number of IP valuation projects, along with big-ticket transatlantic transfer pricing deals and restructurings.

NOMINEES Altus Alliance; Deloitte; DLA Piper


Norway Tax Firm of the Year

PwC


The Norway Tax Firm of the Year shone in areas such as the implementation, consolidation and restructuring of investment assets for major life insurance companies in Norway and in M&A advice for private-equity houses.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY


Norway Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

EY


The Norway Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year stood out for its advice on an intangible asset dispute and a dispute involving the pricing of intra-company loans.

NOMINEES Deloitte; PwC


Poland Tax Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie


The Poland Tax Firm of the Year advised a leading media company on the tax issues to do with the refinancing of high yield bonds (senior notes) issued via Swedish SPVs; and on a pre-transaction restructuring and sale of shares.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; Greenberg Traurig; Hogan Lovells; MDDP; Taxand Poland; Wardynski & Partners


Poland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Poland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year was involved in designing new transfer pricing initiatives and working with a client on a problematic issue concerning the allocation of profits to a PE.

NOMINEES DLA Piper; EY; MDDP


Portugal Tax Firm of the Year

PLMJ


The Portugal Tax Firm of the Year stood out for its tax advice on a landmark reinsurance transaction in the Portuguese market; and the restructuring of trading and treasury management activities

NOMINEES Baker Tilly; Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira; EY; Linklaters; PwC; RFF & Associados; Garrigues, Taxand Portugal; Uria Menendez; Vieira de Almeida


Portugal Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Baker Tilly

The Portugal Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year is the leader in its market for calculating and negotiating loan guarantee fees.

NOMINEES EY; PwC


Russia Tax Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie


The Russia Tax Firm of the Year advised a bank on the complex tax aspects of a domestic consumer loans securitisation involving the issue of Russian bonds eligible for a large group of Russian and foreign investors.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; Goltsblat BLP; KPMG; PwC; Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia


Russia Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie


The Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year in Russia made its name last year in working on large and particularly complicated deals, for example, joint ventures in the oil and gas sector, for its extensive portfolio of clients.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY; PwC; Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia


South Africa Tax Firm of the Year

Taxand South Africa


Highlights of the year for the South Africa Tax Firm of the Year were advice on the restructurings and acquisitions by listed South African black empowerment companies and banks.

NOMINEES Werksmans


South Africa Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Taxand South Africa


This year's winner of the transfer pricing firm of the year in South Africa once again proved its dispute resolution skills in a number of high-profile transfer pricing audits and settlements.

NOMINEES Deloitte, EY


Spain Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Spain Tax Firm of the Year performed exceptionally while assisting in the implementation of Spanish and global planning for FATCA; and in M&A in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors

NOMINEES Ashurst; Baker & McKenzie; Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira; DLA Piper; EY; Hogan Lovells; Latham & Watkins; Linklaters; Garrigues, Taxand Spain; Uria Menendez


Spain Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Baker & McKenzie


The Spain Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year excelled in matters that included audit challenge and transfer pricing policy design.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY; Garrigues, Taxand Spain


Sweden Tax Firm of the Year

Roschier


The Sweden Tax Firm of the Year proved itself this year in a milestone transaction for the market – the securitisation and listing of PostNord's headquarters

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY


Sweden Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Sweden Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year excelled over the past year for its innovative implementation of a cross-border transfer of an IP function.

NOMINEES EY; Grant Thornton


Switzerland Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Switzerland Tax Firm of the Year advised a global biopharmaceuticals company on an IP reorganisation and a supply chain reorganisation for another pharmaceuticals concern.

NOMINEES EY; Lenz & Staehelin; Schellenberg Wittmer; Tax Partner, Taxand Switzerland


Switzerland Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Deloitte


The Switzerland transfer pricing firm of the year provided its clients with innovative solutions to intangible asset issues.

NOMINEES EY


Turkey Tax Firm of the Year

Deloitte


Tax due diligence and its role in the global integration of two pharmaceuticals groups helped the Turkey Tax Firm of the Year to stand out

NOMINEES DLA Piper; Pekin & Pekin


Turkey Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Pekin & Pekin


The winner of the Turkey Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year has demonstrated its prowess in transfer pricing litigation work, along with completing deals on transfer pricing structuring for large multinational companies.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY


UK Tax Firm of the Year

Slaughter and May


The UK Tax Firm of the Year led the field for work that included tax advice on the Penguin Random House joint venture and the sale of a 50% interest in Banco Santander's asset management business.

NOMINEES EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hogan Lovells; Latham & Watkins; Shearman & Sterling; Simmons & Simmons; Sullivan & Cromwell; Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK; Weil Gotshal & Manges


UK Transfer Pricing Firm of the Yea

Grant Thornton


The UK's transfer pricing firm of the year maintained a strong leadership in the market for its work on complex deals including supply chain restructuring work and commercial restructurings in the UK and the US.

NOMINEES EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Ukraine Tax Firm of the Year

Vasil Kisil & Partners


The Ukraine Tax Firm of the Year advised a global multinational on a €100 million investment that involved withholding tax, VAT and permanent establishment issues.

NOMINEES Avellum Partners; Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; KPMG; Sayenko Kharenko


Ukraine Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

KPMG


The winner of the Ukraine transfer pricing firm of the year stood out for its development of transfer pricing methodologies to suit big-ticket clients in increasingly challenging economic situations.

NOMINEES Avellum Partners; DLA Piper; EY


European Tax Firm of the Year

Best Friends Network


This six-firm grouping combined seamlessly in 2013 to deliver market-leading tax advice for their clients.

NOMINEES Allen & Overy; Baker & McKenzie; Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hogan Lovells; Latham & Watkins; Taxand


European Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year

Taxand


The expertise of this heavyweight network shone through in planning, audit work and controversy matters.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; NERA


European Tax Disputes Firm of the Year

DLA Piper


On numerous occasions in 2013, DLA Piper gave evidence of why it is the firm a taxpayer needs when thrust into conflict with national tax authorities throughout Europe.

NOMINEES EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Herbert Smith Freehills; Joseph Hage Aaronson; PwC Turkey; Weil Gotshal & Manges


European Indirect Tax Firm of the Year

Küffner Maunz Langer Zugmaier


This German firm, which practises indirect tax exclusively, proves that size of practice is not the only thing that matters when multinationals need advice on implementing or defending their indirect tax strategies.

NOMINEES Deloitte; DLA Piper; EY's EMEIA Financial Services Indirect Tax Practice; Ryan; Taxand


European Tax Compliance & Reporting Firm of the Year

EY


Taxpayers need the best advice on how to fulfil their compliance and reporting obligations speedily and efficiently and EY was on hand to provide it in 2013.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY


European In-House Team of the Year - Direct Tax

Alcoa


A strategy based on monitoring, counselling, advocacy and processes helped this in-house team deliver superior advice and information to its internal and external stakeholders.

NOMINEES Dassault Systemes; Immofinanz; Vodafone


European Banking Tax Deal of the Year

Etcheverría Banesco Bank Group acquisition of NCG Banco Clifford Chance, Deloitte Spain, PwC


This transaction was part of the restructuring of the Spanish banking sector after the global financial crisis and so the pressure was on the tax practices concerned to deliver the best advice.

NOMINEES

Acquisition of Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej by BNP Paribas
Allen & Overy, Deloitte Poland, Greenberg Traurig, Taj

Disposal of about 6% of Lloyd's Banking Group
Slaughter and May

Merger of Barclays' and ABSA's African banking operations
EY; Norton Rose Fulbright; Webber Wentzel in alliance with Linklaters


European Capital Markets Tax Deal of the Year

Financing of the purchase of Altamira, Banco Santander’s real estate division, by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management Latham & Watkins Spain, Linklaters, Uría Menéndez




This divestment was one of the most important transactions in the real-estate sector in 2013 and benefited from the work of the leading tax advisers in Europe.

NOMINEES

Acquisition of crude oil from Rosneft
Arthur Cox; Linklaters

Energa IPO
Greenberg Traurig; Allen & Overy

€150 million treasury shares equity swap for the Immofinanz Group
bpv Hügel; Linklaters

Yandex secondary offering of shares & issuance of convertible notes
Davis Polk & Wardwell; Van Doorne

Salini bond
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Linklaters, White & Case

£3 billion refinancing solution for the AA group
Arthur Cox, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


European Consumer Products Tax Deal of the Year

Joh. A. Benckiser/ Quadrant Capital Advisors’s acquisition of DE Master Blenders 1753 EY; Skadden Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom; Stibbe


Tax advice from some heavyweight firms was needed for the largest leveraged corporate acquisition in Europe for some years.

NOMINEES

Penguin Random House joint venture
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter and May

Disposal of the Printemps group by Borletti Group and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management to Divine Investments
Baker & McKenzie; Bird & Bird; Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; King & Spalding; Willkie Farr & Gallagher

LVMH acquisition of Loro Piana
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo; Chiomenti Studio Legale


European M&A Tax Deal of the Year

Kodak Pension Plan’s acquisition of Eastman Kodak’s personalised imaging and document imaging businesses Grant Thornton; Hogan Lovells; Sullivan & Cromwell


This highly innovative transaction came about in order to satisfy unsecured claims by the Pension Plan against the bankrupt company and needed some cutting-edge tax advice for its goals to be achieved.

NOMINEES

Vodafone's $13 billion acquisition of Kabel Deutschland
EY

Actavis's acquisition of Warner Chilcott
Arthur Cox; Latham & Watkins; Matheson

Gold One / Sibanye Gold merger of strategic assets
ENS Taxand South Africa; PwC Cyprus

Consolidation by Cyfrowy Polsat of TMT assets held by its largest shareholder
Greenberg Traurig

Chromaflo Technologies / CPS Color merger
DLA Piper; EY

Otto Group's acquisition of the BtoB and BtoC e-commerce activities of 3 Suisses International
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Linklaters

Scor's acquisition of 59.9% of MRM
DLA Piper; Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Sale of Maisons du Monde Groupe
Arsene Taxand France; Landwell


European Financial Services Tax Deal of the Year

Andbank take-over of Inversis’s private retail banking business Deloitte Spain


Deloitte Spain's tax advice was highly regarded in this noteworthy Spanish focused transaction.

NOMINEES

Eurolot's acquisition of Bombardier aircraft
Hogan Lovells

Advice to banks and industry associations on French and Italian financial transaction taxes
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Simmons & Simmons


European Energy Tax Deal of the Year

Production sharing agreement for Russian Ministry of Energy to develop the Khvalynskoye deposit that establishes a special taxation regime for investors Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia


Highly specialist tax advice was required to fulfil the government's objectives for this production sharing agreement.

NOMINEES

SITA Zielona Energia / Suez Environnement Warsaw waste management PPP
Hogan Lovells

BTG Pactual's acquisition of a 50% stake in Petrobras' investments in Angola, Benin, Gabon, Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania
Herbert Smith Freehills; Stibbe

Qatar Petroleum International's acquisition of a 60% operating share in natural gas assets from Suncor Energy
Stibbe

Preferential energy tax treatment of energy product manufacturers
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

SunEdison's acquisition of UK solar projects
Linklaters; Simmons & Simmons


European Media & Entertainment Tax Deal of the Year

Discovery Communications’s acquisition of the SBS Nordic Group from the ProSiebenSat.1 Group DLA Piper; Horten; Borenius Taxand Finland; Mason Hayes & Curran; Milbank


The multinational nature and sophistication of this transaction was reflected in the fact that a raft of top international tax lawyers and advisers were required to work on it.

NOMINEES

Cairo Communications's acquisition of LA7
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo

Rank Group's acquisition of Gala Coral's casino business
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Liberty Global's acquisition of Virgin Media
Latham & Watkins; Milbank; Ropes & Gray

BC Partners's acquisition of Springer Science + Business Media from EQT Partners and GIC
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hengeler Mueller; P+P Pollath + Partners


European Private Equity Tax Deal of the Year

Cinven and BCV Investments on the sale of Avio’s civil and military aircraft aviation propulsion components and systems business to Nuovo Pignone Chiomenti Studio Legale; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Shearman & Sterling


This trio of international firms excelled in this complex acquisition from private-equity and industrial owners.

NOMINEES

Advent International acquisition of Cytec's coating business
EY; Weil Gotshal & Manges

Merger of Polski Bank Przedsiebiorczosci SA and FM Bank within Abris Capital Group
Greenberg Traurig

Bridgepoint's acquisition of the Flexitallic Group from Eurazeo PME
DLA Piper

Elis's LBO debt restructuring
Mayer Brown; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins

Averys Group's acquisition of the Stow Group and of its debt and equity refinancing
Gide Loyrette Nouel; Mayer Brown


European Tax Restructuring Deal of the Year

Saur restructuring Allen & Overy; Clifford Chance; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

These three UK-headquartered firms were to the fore in tax restructuring advice for this French water company.

NOMINEES

Intercell-Vivalis cross-border merger
bpv Hügel; EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Hogan Lovells

Reverse merger of Polkomtel and Spartan Capital Holdings
EY; Greenberg Traurig; Latham & Watkins; MDDP

Hypothekenbank Frankfurt
DLA Piper

Consolis debt and equity restructuring
Arntzen de Besche; Mayer Brown; Roschier; Taxperience


European Joint Venture Tax Deal of the Year

Euler Hermes / Mapfre credit insurance joint venture Hogan Lovells


The work to create this joint venture spanned a number of different jurisdictions and so needed a firm capable of operating across borders.

NOMINEES Amendments to existing joint ventures in Poland between Aviva and BZ WBK and the extension of the associated bancassurance arrangements between the JVCOs and BZ WBK
Hogan Lovells

APG's joint venture with Grainger to acquire a $574 million real estate portfolio
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Simmons & Simmons


European Telecommunications and Technology Tax Deal of the Year

Vodafone’s $130 billion disposal of its joint venture interest in Verizon Wireless Arthur Cox; De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek; EY; Slaughter and May


It is little surprise the global telecommunications company called on some of the leading firms in Europe for advice on such a complex and innovative transaction.

NOMINEES Globe Telecom's establishment of Italian activities
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo

Telefònica's investment in Telecom Italia
Clifford Chance

Dexia Group's sale of its IT subsidiary Dexia Technology Services (DTS) to IBM
Arendt & Medernach; EY; Linklaters; Loyens & Loeff; Stibbe


ECJ Firm of the Year - Direct Tax

Joseph Hage Aaronson – Franked Investment Income Group Litigation


Joseph Hage Aaronson showed that there is no substitute for experience of the highest courts as it battled this complex UK case all the way to Luxembourg.

NOMINEES Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira – Itelcar; Hannes Snellman – P Oy; Lydian – RVS Levensverzekeringen; Monard-D'Hulst – Gimle; Tiberghien – Argenta Spaarbank


ECJ Firm of the Year - Indirect Tax

KPMG Meijburg & Co – PPG Holdings


This case was related to the recovery of VAT from the payment of management costs associated with defined benefit pension schemes. The taxpayer relied on KPMG Meijburg & Co to help them succeed.

NOMINEES GfBk Gesellschaft für Börsenkommunikation; PwC Poland – BGZ Leasing


US Law Firm in Europe

DLA Piper


DLA Piper furthered its reputation in 2013 as a leading US tax firm in Europe across a range of specialist areas and industries.

NOMINEES KPMG's US tax practice in Europe; Latham & Watkins; Shearman & Sterling; Weil Gotshal & Manges


Best Newcomer

Greenberg Traurig’s Polish tax practice

It is less than five years since Greenberg Traurig's Polish tax practice came into being. In 2013, the group shone in a number of tax transactions, including for the financial services industry.

NOMINEES Avellum Partners; Goltsblat BLP; Joseph Hage Aaronson; Maples & Calder's Irish tax practice; Orientax; Van Campen Liem


European Tax Policy Firm of the Year

Best Friends Network


Ensuring that tax policy develops in a way that does not harm the interests of taxpayers is a crucial task. The Best Friends Network proved itself to be the leader at such work throughout 2013.

NOMINEES Deloitte; EY; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


European Tax Innovator of the Year

Ryan


Ryan, the US firm, a new entrant to the European tax advisory market, worked at some key innovations to establish a reputation as a firm of quality.

NOMINEES Alder & Sound; KPMG Ukraine; Taxand


European Client Connection Award

EY


Through online and offline means, EY got through to existing and prospective clients in the most efficient ways possible.

NOMINEES Alder & Sound; Deloitte (Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland); RSM DTM Hungary; Simmons & Simmons






International Correspondents