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European Tax Awards' winners unveiled

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

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Alcoa’s European tax team (below) was out in force to collect the award as in-house team of the year at International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards 2014.

The US multinational metals company fought off strong competition for the prize from Dassault Systèmes, Immofinanz and Vodafone, the other nominees in the category.

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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.

Scroll down to find out who won the other awards.

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.

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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 many different tax specialists, rather than merely one firm on one side of it and another on the other.

WINNERS AND SHORTLISTS (Winners in bold)

AUSTRIA TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

BPV Huegel

Deloitte

DLA Piper

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

WOLF THEISS

AUSTRIA TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Baker & McKenzie

DELOITTE

LeitnerLeitner

BALTIC STATES TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

SORAINEN

Raidla Lejins & Norcous

Varul

BALTIC STATES TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

Sorainen

Varul

BELGIUM TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

DLA Piper

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Liedekerke

LOYENS & LOEFF

Mayer Brown

Stibbe

BELGIUM TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

Mayer Brown

PwC

CENTRAL EUROPEAN TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Baker & McKenzie

DELOITTE

EY

PwC Romania

Taxhouse, Taxand Romania

White & Case

CENTRAL EUROPEAN TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

PwC

Taxhouse, Taxand Romania

CYPRUS TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Avanzia, Taxand Cyprus

DELOITTE

EY

DENMARK TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Horten

PLESNER

DENMARK TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Bech-Bruun, Taxand Denmark

EY

PLESNER

FINLAND TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Alder & Sound

Borenius, Taxand Finland

EY

Roschier

FINLAND TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Alder & Sound

Borenius, Taxand Finland

Deloitte

EY

FRANCE TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Arsene Taxand France

August & Debouzy

Baker & McKenzie

Bredin Prat

DLA Piper

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hogan Lovells

Mayer Brown

Taj

FRANCE TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Arsene Taxand France

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Mayer Brown

GERMANY TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Baker & McKenzie

DLA Piper

Flick Gocke Schaumburg

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

HENGELER MUELLER

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins

Oppenhoff & Partner

GERMANY TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Baker & McKenzie

Deloitte

FLICK GOCKE SCHAUMBURG

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Oppenhoff & Partner

GREECE TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

Koutalidis

GREECE TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

Zepos & Yannopoulos, Taxand Greece

HUNGARY TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Kinstellar

Orientax

HUNGARY TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

Taxperience Tandax

IRELAND TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

A&L GOODBODY

Arthur Cox

Deloitte

Maples & Calder

Matheson

William Fry Tax Advisors, Taxand Ireland

IRELAND TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

Matheson

ITALY TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Baker & McKenzie

Bonelli Erede Pappalardo

Clifford Chance

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Hogan Lovells

LEGANCE

NCTM

ITALY TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

BONELLI EREDE PAPPALARDO

Deloitte

EY

Valente GEB Partners

LUXEMBOURG TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Arendt & Medernach

Atoz, Taxand Luxembourg

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Loyens & Loeff

Stibbe

LUXEMBOURG TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Atoz, Taxand Luxembourg

DELOITTE

Loyens & Loeff

MALTA TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Avanzia, Taxand Malta

Camilleri Preziosi

DELOITTE

KPMG

NETHERLANDS TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Baker & McKenzie

Deloitte

DLA Piper

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

LOYENS & LOEFF

Stibbe

Van Campen Liem

NETHERLANDS TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Altus Alliance

BAKER & MCKENZIE

Deloitte

DLA Piper

NORWAY TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

PwC

NORWAY TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

PwC

POLAND TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER & MCKENZIE

Crido, Taxand Poland

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Greenberg Traurig

Hogan Lovells

MDDP

Wardynski & Partners

POLAND TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

DLA Piper

EY

MDDP

PORTUGAL TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Baker Tilly

Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira

EY

Garrigues Taxand Portugal

Linklaters

PLMJ

PwC

RFF & Associados

Uría Menéndez

Vieira de Almeida

PORTUGAL TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER TILLY

EY

PwC

RUSSIA TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER & McKENZIE

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Goltsblat BLP

KPMG

Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia

PwC

RUSSIA TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER & McKENZIE

Deloitte

EY

Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia

PwC

SOUTH AFRICA TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

ENS, TAXAND SOUTH AFRICA

Werksmans

SOUTH AFRICA TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

ENS, TAXAND SOUTH AFRICA

EY

SPAIN TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Ashurst

Baker & McKenzie

Cuatrecasas Goncalves Pereira

DELOITTE

DLA Piper

EY

Garrigues Taxand Spain

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins

Linklaters

Uría Menéndez

SPAIN TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER & McKENZIE

Deloitte

EY

Garrigues Taxand Spain

SWEDEN TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

ROSCHIER

SWEDEN TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

EY

DELOITTE

Grant Thornton

SWITZERLAND TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

EY

Lenz & Staehelin

Schellenberg Wittmer

Tax Partner, Taxand Switzerland

SWITZERLAND TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

EY

TURKEY TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

DELOITTE

DLA Piper

Pekin & Pekin

TURKEY TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

PEKIN & PEKIN

UK TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK

Baker & McKenzie

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins

Shearman & Sterling

Simmons & Simmons

SLAUGHTER AND MAY

Sullivan & Cromwell

Weil Gotshal & Manges

UK TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

GRANT THORNTON

UKRAINE TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Avellum Partners

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

KPMG

Sayenko Kharenko

VASIL KISIL & PARTNERS

UKRAINE TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Avellum Partners

DLA Piper

EY

KPMG

EUROPEAN REGIONAL AWARDS SHORTLISTS

EUROPEAN TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Allen & Overy

Baker & McKenzie

BEST FRIENDS NETWORK

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hogan Lovells

Latham & Watkins

Taxand

EUROPEAN TRANSFER PRICING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

NERA

TAXAND

EUROPEAN TAX DISPUTES FIRM OF THE YEAR

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DLA PIPER

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Herbert Smith Freehills

Joseph Hage Aaronson

PwC Turkey

Weil Gotshal & Manges

EUROPEAN INDIRECT TAX FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

DLA Piper

EY's EMEIA Financial Services Indirect Tax Practice

KÜFFNER MAUNZ LANGER ZUGMAIER

Ryan

Taxand

EUROPEAN TAX COMPLIANCE & REPORTING FIRM OF THE YEAR

Deloitte

EY

EUROPEAN IN-HOUSE TEAM OF THE YEAR - DIRECT TAX

ALCOA

Dassault Systèmes

Immofinanz

Vodafone

EUROPEAN BANKING TAX DEAL OF THE YEAR

ETCHEVERRÍA BANESCO BANK GROUP ACQUISITION OF NCG BANCO

Clifford Chance, Deloitte Spain, PwC,

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

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

£3bn refinancing solution for the AA group

Arthur Cox, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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

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

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

Hogan Lovells; Sullivan & Cromwell

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

Eurolot's acquisition of Bombardier aircraft

Hogan Lovells

ANDBANK TAKE-OVER OF INVERSIS'S PRIVATE RETAIL BANKING BUSINESS

Deloitte Spain

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

SITA Zielona Energia / Suez Environnement Warsaw waste management PPP

Hogan Lovells

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

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

Cairo Communications's acquisition of LA7

Bonelli Erede Pappalardo

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS'S ACQUISITION OF THE SBS NORDIC GROUP FROM THE PROSIEBENSAT.1 GROUP

DLA Piper; Horten; Borenius Taxand Finland; Mason Hayes & Curran; Milbank

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

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

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

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

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

SAUR RESTRUCTURING

Allen & Overy; Clifford Chance; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hypothekenbank Frankfurt

DLA Piper

Consolis debt and equity restructuring

Arntzen de Besche; Mayer Brown; Roschier; Taxperience

EUROPEAN JOINT VENTURE TAX DEAL OF THE YEAR

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

Hogan Lovells

EULER HERMES / MAPFRE CREDIT INSURANCE JOINT VENTURE

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

Globe Telecom's establishment of Italian activities

Bonelli Erede Pappalardo

Telefónica's investment in Telecom Italia

Clifford Chance

VODAFONE'S $130 BILLION DISPOSAL OF ITS JOINT VENTURE INTEREST IN VERIZON WIRELESS

Arthur Cox; De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek; EY; Slaughter and May

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

Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira - Itelcar

Hannes Snellman - P Oy

JOSEPH HAGE AARONSON - FRANKED INVESTMENT INCOME GROUP LITIGATION

Lydian - RVS Levensverzekeringen

Monard-D'Hulst - Gimle

Tiberghien - Argenta Spaarbank

ECJ FIRM OF THE YEAR - INDIRECT TAX

KPMG MEIJBURG & CO - PPG HOLDINGS

GfBk Gesellschaft für Börsenkommunikation

PwC Poland - BGZ Leasing

US TAX FIRM IN EUROPE

DLA PIPER

KPMG's US tax practice in Europe

Latham & Watkins

Shearman & Sterling

Weil Gotshal & Manges

BEST NEWCOMER

Avellum Partners

Goltsblat BLP

GREENBERG TRAURIG'S POLISH TAX PRACTICE

Joseph Hage Aaronson

Maples & Calder's Irish tax practice

Orientax

Van Campen Liem

EUROPEAN TAX POLICY FIRM OF THE YEAR

BEST FRIENDS NETWORK

Deloitte

EY

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

EUROPEAN TAX INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Alder & Sound

KPMG Ukraine

RYAN

Taxand

EUROPEAN CLIENT CONNECTION AWARD

Alder & Sound

Deloitte (Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland)

EY

RSM DTM Hungary

Simmons & Simmons


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.

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