Tax practitioners, along with their clients, attended the dinner and awards ceremony, which recognised the most outstanding provision of tax services in North and South America between 2012 and 2013. In addition, this year saw the introduction of the new deal awards, where any firm that worked on any of the tax aspects of the leading matter deal received an award and firms were able to celebrate these wins with their clients.
The Americas Tax Firm of the Year, for the firm with the best strength in terms of its international tax services went to Deloitte this year, and the firm also picked up a number of other regional awards, making it the most successful firm of the night in terms of wins. The Latin American Tax Firm of the year went to PwC and the North America Tax Firm of the Year went to McDermott Will & Emery.
Other multiple winners included Davis Polk & Wardwell, DLA Piper, Mayer Brown, McCarthy Tétrault, Miller & Chevalier and Sullivan & Cromwell.
The evening was a great success – in an opulent setting – where tax advisers and their clients were able to reflect on another busy and eventful year. Dressed to the nines with the wine in free-flow, 2013 was a lively and exciting evening for all those who attended.
The Americas ceremony is one of two awards presentations that International Tax Review organises annually. The European Tax Awards are presented in London each May.
In July and August 2013, International Tax Review asked law firms and tax advisory firms to submit examples of their best work in M&A and capital markets tax transactions, tax disputes, indirect tax, restructuring and transfer pricing.
Additional awards for the best tax teams in energy, media and entertainment, banking and private equity, as well as the international tax law firm of the year and the tax policy firm of the year awards were judged from these submissions.
Deal awards are a new addition to the programme for this year. Any firm which worked on any of the tax aspects of the leading matter deal in each of the practice areas or industries below received an award.
Media & Entertainment
Technology and Telecommunications
Firms could rely on their World Tax and World Transfer Pricing 2014 submissions to enter for these awards, but were encouraged to make separate entries because the World Tax research questionnaire does not break down practice areas in the way the methodology for the Americas Awards does.
In-house teams also had the opportunity to make their own submission. Where they did not, the selection of the shortlists and winners of the in-house awards was based on the information in the private-practice submissions. International Tax Review's editorial staff considered these submissions and the information obtained through interviews with tax directors, as well as peer interviews, for World Tax 2014, to compile shortlists and choose winners for each of the country and regional awards.
We include Mexico in Latin America for the purposes of the regional awards. The US city areas include tax professionals based in the surrounding area within a 150-mile radius.
These awards represent the views of the magazine about the leading tax advisers in the Americas based on their work in the past 12 months.
Argentina Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
PwC stood out for work that included important engagements for local and foreign multinationals.
Argentina Tax Firm of the Year
Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
Marval O’Farrell & Mairal worked on some of the biggest M&A transactions of the last 12 months and acted in high-profile litigation.
Brazil Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Machado Associados advised clients on questions related to marketing services and went to court in a case dealing with the resale profit less price method
Brazil Tax Firm of the Year
Lefosse Advogados stood out for its transactional tax work, tax-based structured finance, complex tax advice and tax litigation.
Canada Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Gowlings – Taxand
Gowlings – Taxand showed its prowess in APA and MAP advice for clients in the e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and auto industries.
Canada Tax Firm of the Year
McCarthy Tétrault has been involved in some of the most important M&A transactions in their market; local advice on a global spin-off and defence work against assessments by the tax authorities.
Tax Court of Canada Firm of the Year
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt
Colombia Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Prieto Carrizosa won for its practice covering analysis, design and defence
Colombia Tax Firm of the Year
Deloitte stood out for work that included due diligence during a takeover and the creation of a tax and legal compliance matrix for a large local taxpayer.
Mexico Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
PwC added three new partners recently, which reflects the continuing demand for their services from leading taxpayers.
Mexico Tax Firm of the Year
Deloitte won for its transactional and litigation advice on issues including expansion, reorganisation and withholding tax.
Peru Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
PKF Peru Vila Naranjo
PKF Peru Vila Naranjo made a technical study and planning work for a local multinational, allowing it to use transfer pricing as an effective management and planning tool.
Peru Tax Firm of the Year
Rodrigo Elías & Medrano
Rodrigo Elías & Medrano advised Peru’s second largest bank on its first-ever debt issue
Uruguay Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Ferrere stood out for its breadth of practice including the pharmaceutical, energy and media industries.
Uruguay Tax Firm of the Year
KPMG advised a client on the construction of a cellulose plant, one of the largest investments in Uruguay, and other taxpayers in administrative litigation on VAT and excise tax.
Venezuela Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Deloitte assisted clients when dealing with inspections initiated by the tax authority, carrying out critical documentation and audit defence work.
Venezuela Tax Firm of the Year
Deloitte performed significant Fatca work for a major bank and was responsible for the documentation of tax-related criteria for another client.
US: Chicago Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Mayer Brown stood out for its premium advice in controversy matters.
US: Chicago Tax Firm of the Year
McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery won for its advice on restructuring, M&A, joint ventures and litigation.
US: Dallas/Houston Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Deloitte demonstrated unique skills in the design, development and implementation of solutions that saved taxes and produced efficiencies for clients in the chemicals, oilfield services and equipment, and medical device industries.
US: Dallas/Houston Tax Firm of the Year
Mayer Brown stood out for a varied slate of work including M&A, reorganisations and Chapter 11 work, particularly in the energy sector.
US: Los Angeles Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
DLA Piper has a renowned planning and controversy practice that attracts clients from all sectors.
US: Los Angeles Tax Firm of the Year
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom had particular success this year in advising clients in the entertainment and internet sectors on M&A and debt and equity issues.
US: New York Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Deloitte is the leader in the market for providing practical transfer pricing solutions in a time of increasing complexity.
US: New York Tax Firm of the Year
Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell advised on strategic alliances, structured finance and IRS examinations.
US: San Francisco Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Mayer Brown’s abilities in controversy matters saw it climb to the top of the tree this year.
US: San Francisco Tax Firm of the Year
Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West displayed overall strength especially in M&A, controversy and general advisory work.
US: Washington DC Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
Deloitte boasts an ability to see through the complexities in the rulebook and come up with advice that is practical and successful.
US: Washington DC Tax Firm of the Year
Miller & Chevalier
Miller & Chevalier worked on bespoke advice on restructurings and joint ventures.
US Tax Court Firm of the Year
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Davis Polk & Wardwell showed, in the Pepsico case, the ability to hold its nerve and prevail in this momentous debt / equity matter; a keen source of tension between taxpayers and the IRS.
Munoz Manzo y Ocampo
Munoz Manzo y Ocampo demonstrated a clear ability to provide innovative advice for high-profile domestic and international clients.
Americas Tax Innovator of the Year
Its ONESOURCE Operational Transfer Pricing product has helped Thomson Reuters become the clear leader in helping taxpayers effectively manage, forecast and plan their transfer pricing during the year.
International Law Firm in the Americas
DLA Piper showed an impressive capability in the last 12 months in advising multinational corporations on complex direct and indirect tax matters.
Americas Tax Policy Firm of the Year
Miller & Chevalier
Work on the taxation of medical devices and asset replacements shows why Miller & Chevalier is the firm many taxpayers hire to represent their interests during the legislative process.
Americas Tax Restructuring Team of the Year
Godoy y Hoyos
Godoy y Hoyos shone in advising on turning Ocensa, the largest pipeline company in Colombia, from a cost centre into a profit centre in a tax-efficient manner.
Americas Capital Markets Tax Team of the Year
High yield issuance by Linea Amarilla -
Davis Polk & Wardwell, Estudio Echecopar; and Mayer Brown
This landmark financing worth $527 million for the construction of the Vía Parque Rímac toll road required some careful tax advice on all sides.
Americas Media & Entertainment Tax Firm of the Year
Sale to Comcast of GE’s remaining 49% stake in NBC Universal -
Davis Polk & Wardwell and
Weil Gotshal & Manges
The original joint venture to buy NBC Universal was one of the biggest media deals of recent years. This one allows Comcast to add significantly to its media assets.
Americas Private Equity Tax Deal of the Year
Acquisition of Collective Brands by Blum Capital Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Wolverine Worldwide –
Barnes & Thornburg; Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell
Innovative tax planning was required for this transaction which saw strategic buyers and private equity firms come together to buy and then divide the component parts of the acquired company.
Americas Banking Tax Deal of the Year
Leucadia National Corporation and Jefferies Group merger -
Morgan Lewis, Proskauer Rose and Weil, Gotshal & Manges
This merger, in which Leucadia joined together with Jefferies, was an all-stock transaction that needed some precise, high-quality tax advice from the firms involved.
Americas Energy Tax Deal of the Year
The CNOOC Acquisition Of Nexen -
Blake, Cassels & Graydon; KPMG and Stikeman Elliott
This transaction, the largest-ever cross-border deal by a Chinese company, involved some complex tax advice on pre-closing and post-closing reorganisations.
Americas M&A Tax Team of the Year
Anheuser-Busch InBev purchase of Grupo Modelo -
Mijares Angoitia – Taxand Mexico; Cravath Swaine & Moore; PwC; Sullivan & Cromwell; and Van Wobeser y Sierra
All the firms on this $20.1 billion transaction collaborated well to pull off this multi-party, multi-jurisdiction acquisition.
Americas Financial Services Tax Deal of the Year
Principal Financial Group’s acquisition Of Chile’s AFP Cuprum, a private pension fund manager, from Penta -
Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos; KPMG Chile
The tax and due diligence work were important parts of this cross-border acquisition of a well regarded company by this US investment manager and pensions provider.
Americas Technology & Communications Tax Deal of the Year
Sale of Clearwire to Sprint; sale of Sprint to Softbank -
Despite the complexity of the ownership arrangements in these transactions, the tax practitioners responded when under pressure to provide bespoke advice to their clients.
Americas Consumer Products Tax Deal of the Year
Disposition of Stanley Black & Decker’s Global Hardware & Home Improvement Group to Spectrum Brands Holdings -
Alvarez & Marsal Taxand; Blake, Cassels & Graydon; McDermott Will & Emery; and Paul Weiss
The firms that worked on this multi-jurisdictional transaction coped successfully with a disposal that changed form between asset and share sales in different jurisdictions
Latin America Indirect Tax Team of the Year
Mattos Filho achieved some impressive results for clients in complex planning and disputes matters, particularly in the customs area.
Latin America Tax Disputes Firm of the Year
Tenacity and sound advice, delivered at the right time, earned Taxand the leading reputation in the last year for winning complex tax disputes in Latin America.
Latin America Transfer Pricing Firm of the year
PwC demonstrated outstanding abilities in helping clients understand and comply with transfer pricing requirements throughout Latin America.
Latin America Tax Firm of the Year
The all-round nature of PwC’s tax practice and its expertise in delivering practical advice that works, means it took the title of best tax firm in Latin America again.
North America Indirect Tax Firm of the Year
Gowlings – Taxand Canada
Gowlings’s advice in some notable matters, including possibly the biggest-ever sales tax dispute in the e-commerce industry in Canada, helped it stand out as an indirect tax adviser.
North America Tax Disputes Firm of the Year
Sullivan & Cromwell
Sullivan & Cromwell achieved some outstanding results for clients during 2012/2013, including in cases concerning contract manufacturing and foreign base company sales income, section 861 allocations and refunds.
North America Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year
The breadth of Deloitte’s advice in a range of industries including energy and financial services helped its clients implement effective transfer pricing planning and audit defence strategies.
North America Tax Firm of the Year
McDermott, Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery stood out as a firm that time and time again came up with business-driven tax planning and disputes advice that achieved optimum results for clients.
Americas Tax Firm of the Year
In numerous direct and indirect tax matters throughout North and Latin America, Deloitte led the way in providing answers that fitted in with the commercial objectives of clients.
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