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The world’s best tax transactional firms 2019

International Tax Review presents key trends and developments in the tax transactional market and ranks the best firms to help companies navigate the post-BEPS environment that poses challenges in restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

In 2018 and early 2019, the technology sector has led the way as far as deals are concerned, with a visible trend of non-tech companies expanding inorganically into the sector. Private equity has also, as ever, been a key driver of growth in the technology sector, investing an eye-watering $574 billion (just shy of the 2015 record of $577 billion), which amounts to around a quarter of all money spent in the booming sector.

Notable deals in 2018 included IBM's $34 billion takeover of Red Hat; the $19 billion Broadcom acquisition of CA Technologies; SAP's $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics; Oracle's takeover of DataFox, Datascience.com, Grapeshot, SD-WAN and Zenedge; and various Microsoft transactions such as a $7.5 billion deal for GitHub.

With most deals in North America, it's clear that the market was strong there. In South America, however, issues like political uncertainty and currency depreciation dampened the market. Nonetheless, this year should be stronger with investors licking their lips at the prospect of cut-price deals in Argentina and privatisations in Brazil.

In Europe, a booming real estate market continues to be a major driver of growth in the fledgling tax insurance market, while other companies are working on restructuring and reorganisations caused by BEPS.

The post-BEPS environment is also on the minds of companies and advisors in the Asia Pacific region, who are working defensively but benefiting from regulatory changes in some jurisdictions.

The message, really, is that whatever legislative challenges governments throw at companies, at the end of the day they just have to put their best foot forward and get on with it. However, to carry out transactions in an uncertain environment, the need for top-quality tax advice is constant. This is why International Tax Review has compiled rankings of the top transactional tax advisory firms.

ITR journalists have also analysed the trends and their impact, split into three regions: The Americas, Asia, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). While all three regions are subject to the whims of international changes, like BEPS and US tax reform, the countries within them are affected in different ways.

See below to explore what is happening in you region and which companies can guide you in your transactions.

Americas: Increasing corporate cash flows drive deal-making across the Americas

Tax professionals across the Americas have a positive outlook on deal-making activity for the first half of 2019 as multinationals are ‘flush with cash’ after the repatriation of funds under provisions in the 2017 US tax reform, writes Danish Mehboob.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/Americasdeals2019


Argentina

Tier 1
Bruchou Fernández Madero & Lombardi, Taxand Argentina
Deloitte
Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
Pistrelli Henry Martin & Asociados – EY
PwC
Tier 2
KPMG
M&M Bomchil
Pérez Alati Grondona Benites & Arntsen
Rosso Alba Francia & Asociados Abogados
Teijeiro & Ballone Abogados

Brazil

Tier 1
Lefosse Advogados
Machado Meyer Sendacz & Opice Advogados
Mattos Filho Veiga Filho Marrey Jr & Quiroga Advogados
Pinheiro Neto Advogados
Trench Rossi & Watanabe
Tier 2
Barbosa Müssnich Aragão, Taxand Brazil
Brazuna Ruschmann & Soriano Sociedade de Advogados
Deloitte
EY Terco
Lacaz Martins Pereira Neto Gurevich & Schoueri Advogados
Machado Associados Advogados & Consultores
Mariz de Oliveira & Siqueira Campos Advogados
PwC
TozziniFreire Advogados

Canada

Tier 1
Blake Cassels & Graydon
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg
Deloitte
EY
Goodmans
KPMG
McCarthy Tétrault
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt
PwC
Torys
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Rogerson Law Group
Stikeman Elliott

Chile

Tier 1
Carey
EY
KPMG
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría
PwC
Tier 2
Claro & Cia
Deloitte
Grupo Vial Serrano Abogados
Salcedo & Cía

Colombia

Tier 1
Brigard & Urrutia Abogados
Gómez-Pinzón, Taxand Colombia
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC

Mexico

Tier 1
Chevez Ruiz Zamarripa
Creel García-Cuéllar, Aiza & Enriquez
Mancera – EY
Tier 2
Basham Ringe & Correa
Deloitte
Muñoz Manzo & Ocampo
PwC

Peru

Tier 1
Estudio Echecopar
EY
PwC
Rodrigo Elías & Medrano Abogados
Tier 2
Hernández & Cía Abogados
Miranda & Amado Abogados, Taxand Peru
Payet Rey Cauvi Pérez Abogados
Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría

Uruguay

Tier 1
Bergstein Abogados
Ferrere
Guyer & Regules
Tier 2
EY
KPMG
PwC

US

Tier 1
Baker Botts
Baker McKenzie
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cravath Swaine & Moore
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Deloitte
DLA Piper
EY
Fenwick & West
Kirkland & Ellis
KPMG
Mayer Brown
McDermott Will & Emery
Norton Rose Fulbright
PwC
Shearman and Sterling
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Sullivan & Cromwell
Vinson & Elkins
Wachtell Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Weil Gotshal & Manges
Tier 2
Aliant
Aptis Global
Caplin & Drysdale
Covington & Burling
Debevoise & Plimpton
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Latham & Watkins
McDermott Will & Emery
Miller & Chevalier Chartered
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Paul Hastings
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Sidley Austin
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Steptoe & Johnson
Sullivan & Worcester
Thompson & Knight
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Winston & Strawn

Venezuela

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Norton Rose Fulbright
Rodríguez & Mendoza
Torres Plaz & Araujo
Tier 2
D’Empaire Reyna Abogados
Tinoco Travieso Planchart & Nuñez
Travieso Evans Arria Rengel & Paz

Asia-Pacific: Companies play defence with transactions in APAC

The need to align cross-border transactions with commercial substance to gain tax certainty and avoid litigation is driving deal-making across the Asia Pacific region. Alexander Hartley explains how the M&A tax strategies of Asian companies intersect with trade disputes, political volatility and market nervousness.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/APACdeals2019

Australia

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills
King & Wood Mallesons
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Allens
Ashurst
Clayton Utz
MinterEllison

China

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Deloitte
DLA Piper
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
FuJae Partners
Grant Thornton
Hendersen Taxand, Taxand China
Hwuason Lawyers
JunHe
King & Wood Mallesons
O’Melveny & Myers
WTS China
Zhong Lun Law Firm

Hong Kong

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Clifford Chance
DLA Piper

Indonesia

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners
KPMG
PB Taxand, Taxand Indonesia
PwC
SF Consulting
Tier 2
DDTC
GNV Consulting Services

India

Tier 1
Deloitte
Dhruva Advisors
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
BDO India
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas
DHC
Economic Laws Practice
Grant Thornton
Khaitan & Co
Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan
Majmudar & Partners
Nishith Desai & Associates
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co

Japan

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax
Ernst & Young Tax Co
KPMG
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
PwC Japan Group
Tier 2
Anderson Mori & Tomotsune
Nishimura & Asahi
Withers Japan, Zeirishi Houjin

Malaysia

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Shearn Delamore & Co
Tier 2
Axcelasia, Taxand Malaysia
Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng Tax Services
Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill
Raja Darryl & Loh
TraTax
Wong & Partners

New Zealand

Tier 1
Bell Gully
Chapman Tripp
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Russell McVeagh
Tier 2
Buddle Findlay
MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Simpson Grierson

Philippines

Tier 1
Isla Lipana & Co
Navarro Amper & Co
RG Manabat & Co
SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co
Tier 2
Baniqued Layug & Bello
Quisumbing Torres
Salvador Lianillo & Bernardo, Taxand Philippines
Zambrano Gruba Caganda & Advincula

Singapore

Tier 1
Allen & Gledhill
Baker McKenzie. Wong & Leow
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
BDO Tax Advisory
Withers KhattarWong, Taxand Singapore
WongPartnership

South Korea

Tier 1
Deloitte Anjin
Kim & Chang
Samil PwC
Tier 2
Samjong KPMG
Yulchon

Taiwan

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Grant Thornton
Lee & Li

Vietnam

Tier 1
Deloitte
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
DFDL
EY
Grant Thornton


EMEA: Investors seek safe transactions that fit tax transparency initiatives

Across Europe, Middle East and Africa, deal volumes are expected to fall slightly in 2019, but there are some strong sectors bucking this trend. Real estate is powering ahead despite significant upcoming changes in the UK and Germany, while companies are looking to insurance to get deals through, writes Joe Stanley-Smith.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/EMEAdeals2019


Austria

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
LeitnerLeitner
PwC
Tier 2
bpv Hügel
Dorda Brugger Jordis
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
TJP-Oaklins Group
TPA Steuerberatung
Wolf Theiss

Baltic States

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Sorainen
Tier 2
Cobalt
Dominas Levin
Ellex
Kronbergs Čukste Levin
TGS Baltic

Belgium

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick
Linklaters
Loyens & Loeff
PwC
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
KPMG
Stibbe
Tiberghien

Cyprus

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Baker Tilly South East Europe
Chrysses Demetriades & Co
Consulco
Elias Neocleous & Co
Eurofast Taxand, Taxand Cyprus

Denmark

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG Acor Tax
Plesner
PwC
Tier 2
Bech-Bruun, Taxand Denmark
Bruun & Hjejle
CORIT Advisory
Horten
Kromann Reumert

Finland

Tier 1
Hannes Snellman
KPMG
Roschier
Tier 2
Borenius, Taxand Finland
Deloitte
EY
PwC

France

Tier 1
Arsene Taxand, Taxand France
Bredin Prat
CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre
EY
Taj – Deloitte
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Clifford Chance
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gide Loyrette Nouel
Linklaters
PwC Société d’Avocats

Germany

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Flick Gocke Schaumburg
PwC
Tier 2
Allen & Overy
Baker McKenzie
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gleiss Lutz
Hengeler Mueller
KPMG
Linklaters
P+P Pöllath + Partners
WTS Germany

Gulf Cooperation Council

Tier 1
Cragus Group
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
M/HQ
Stibbe
Withers

Greece

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
PwC
Tier 2
Grant Thornton

Ireland

Tier 1
A&L Goodbody
Arthur Cox
Deloitte
KPMG
Matheson
PwC
Tier 2
Baker Tilly Hughes Blake
EY
Mason Hayes & Curran
McCann FitzGerald
William Fry, Taxand Ireland

Israel

Tier 1
EY
Gornitzky & Co
Herzog Fox & Neeman
PwC
Shekel & Co
Tier 2
BDO Israel
Deloitte
Goldfarb Seligman & Co
KPMG
Meitar Loquirnik Geva Leshem Tal
S Horowitz & Co
Yigal Arnon & Co

Italy

Tier 1
BonelliErede
Maisto e Associati
Tier 2
Allen & Overy
Baker McKenzie
Chiomenti Studio Legale
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
Salvini Escalar e Associati
Studio Tributario Associato Facchini Rossi & Soci
Studio Tributario e Societario – Deloitte
Tremonti Romagnoli Piccardi e Associati
Valente Associati GEB Partners / Crowe Valente

Luxembourg

Tier 1
Allen & Overy
Arendt & Medernach
Baker McKenzie
Deloitte
KPMG
Loyens & Loeff
PwC
Tier 2
ATOZ, Taxand Luxembourg
Bonn Steichen & Partners
EY

Malta

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
PwC
Tier 2
Avanzia Taxand, Taxand Malta
Fenech & Fenech Advocates

Netherlands

Tier 1
Allen & Overy
Baker McKenzie
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
EY
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Loyens & Loeff
PwC
Tier 2
Atlas Tax Lawyers
Deloitte
PwC

Norway

Tier 1
BAHR
Deloitte
EY
PwC
Thommessen
Wiersholm
Tier 2
Arntzen de Besche
BDO
Brækhus
KPMG

Poland

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
KPMG
MDDP
PwC
Tier 2
Baker McKenzie
Crido Taxand, Taxand Poland
Dentons

Portugal

Tier 1
Deloitte
Garrigues, Taxand Portugal
KPMG
Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares de Silva & Associados
Rogério Fernandes Ferreira & Associados
Uría Menéndez – Proença de Carvalho
Vieira de Almeida & Associados
Tier 2
Abreu Advogados
Cuatrecasas
EY
NGMS & Associados – Andersen Tax & Legal
PLMJ
PwC
RRP Advogados

Russia

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Dentons
EY
KPMG
Pepeliaev Group, Taxand Russia
PwC
Tier 2
BDO Unicon
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
Clifford Chance
Deloitte
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
FBK Legal
Linklaters
Sameta
Taxology

South Africa

Tier 1
Deloitte
ENSafrica, Taxand South Africa
EY
KPMG
PwC
Webber Wentzel
Tier 2
Bowmans
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin
Grant Thornton
Werksmans Attorneys

Spain

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Cuatrecasas
Garrigues, Taxand Spain
Uría Menéndez
Tier 2
Deloitte
EY
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
KPMG
Landwell (PwC)
Latham & Watkins

Sweden

Tier 1
Deloitte
KPMG
Mannheimer Swartling
PwC
Tier 2
EY
Grant Thornton
Skeppsbron Skatt, Taxand Sweden
Svalner
Vinge

Switzerland

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Homburger
Oberson Avocats
PwC
Tier 2
KPMG
Lenz & Staehelin
MME Legal l Tax l Compliance
Schellenberg Wittmer
Tax Partner, Taxand Switzerland
Walder Wyss

Turkey

Tier 1
Deloitte
EY
Mazars Denge
PwC
Tier 2
BDO Denet
Erdikler, Taxand Turkey
Esin Attorney Partnership (Baker McKenzie)
KPMG

Ukraine

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
EY
PwC
Sayenko Kharenko
WTS Tax Legal Consulting / KM Partners
Tier 2
Avellum Partners
Deloitte
Dentons
DLA Piper
KPMG
Law Offices of OMP

UK

Tier 1
Baker McKenzie
Clifford Chance
Deloitte
EY
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
KPMG
Linklaters
PwC
Slaughter and May
Tier 2
Allen & Overy
Ashurst
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
DLA Piper
Grant Thornton
Herbert Smith Freehills
Hogan Lovells
Latham & Watkins
Macfarlanes
Norton Rose Fulbright
Simmons & Simmons

Methodology

Between October and January, International Tax Review asked its readers, including the tax directors of the world's leading multinational companies, to vote for their top three tax transactional firms in more than 50 jurisdictions across the world. The votes were added up to produce the survey results. No votes from advisory firms were counted and firms could not send submissions to improve their chances of being ranked.

The objective of the survey is to recognise any firms that do not appear in our World Tax directory, for whatever reason, that the market regards highly because they have a particular specialty. Or if there are firms that appear in World Tax and are known as dependable groups of tax advisers without having any star practitioners. Are they also rated for their excellence in tax transactional matters? This survey should be seen as complementary to World Tax, which looks at the whole profile of a firm, not just its size and its deal flow. This survey is more specific about a firm's advisory strengths.


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