Bath-based Abaris is a boutique transfer pricing practice. It was founded by Chloë Fletcher in 2009, who was joined by former corporate global TP director Erica Hogg in 2015. The two – both ex-PwC and fellows of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales – continue to lead the team today as TP directors. It covers the full range of clients from start-ups to MNCs and is able to advise on all aspects of transfer pricing work.
One recent matter the team worked on saw it providing a client in the food industry with an analysis of the potential tax risk of a material understatement of disposal proceeds of IP in a sale/purchase price allocation, which involved the divestment of the IP by the UK parent company to a US subsidiary. Elsewhere, it provided advice and drafted the initial response to HMRC in connection with a diverted profits tax investigation into the firm’s client, which operates in the gaming industry.
The one change to the team that took place during the research period saw the arrival of TP senior manager Nadine Leslie. She joined the firm in June 2018 from Adient, having previously worked for KPMG.
International firm Baker McKenzie has one of the strongest TP practices in the UK. The team is led by the chair of the EMEA transfer pricing practice Richard Fletcher, alongside national co-heads of practice Nigel Dolman and Jukka Karjalainen, and partner Steve Labrum. The size and depth of its offering means it is able to offer the full range of transfer pricing services to clients.
Those clients include some of the leading brands and companies in the world, across a range of different industries. However, due to the commercially sensitive nature of the work, its recent activity remains confidential.
The firm welcomed a new senior consultant to the team during the research period, with Russell Hampshire joining from McDermott Will & Emery in October 2018. He had served as a partner in his previous firm, with a focus on the high tech and life sciences sectors.
“Partners were technically knowledgeable and had a wealth of industry experience, which they leveraged to resolve issues through pragmatic solutions. Access to partners was excellent and they were always available for discussions. The teams were also well resourced to ensure project remained cost effective – good transparency around billing and WIP. The firm was able to bring in specialists from other areas (both tax and non-tax) and other jurisdictions. Advice was seamless across all members of the firm.”
“Technical market leader.”
International firm DLA Piper is recognised as one of the leading names for transfer pricing work in the UK. The team was established in 2015 and is led by partners Joel Cooper and Randall Fox. They head a group of nine TP specialists in London, including four economists, four lawyers and one accountant, in addition to a Spain-based associate and partners in both China and Italy.
The firm’s work remains confidential, but recent matters saw it advising major clients on a variety of cross-border and international cases.
The one significant change to the team during the research period was the arrival of a new transfer pricing director. Vicki Bales joined the firm in July 2018 from her previous role as the global head of TP for AB InBev.
“Excellent – a superb expert on transfer pricing.”
“I very much like the collaboration with DLA Piper TP team. I like their honest, constructive and practical approach in particular, in an area such as TP.”
The EMEIA Tax Center at EY is organised as a supranational entity covering the entire Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region, with its Intercompany Effectiveness Platform, Solutions & Intelligence and operational transfer pricing practice serving clients’ needs across all jurisdictions.
Led by well-recognised, Oslo-based partner Sveinung Baumann-Larsen, the operational transfer pricing team brings together multi-disciplinary experience and resources focusing on IT, accounting, and tax from the entire region to bring to bear in its work. This work covers some of the leading global companies in their respective fields and includes those involved in retail and consumer products, energy and pharmaceuticals.
“Responsive, diligent and globally connected – the central UK team clearly cares about the service it delivers, and seeks to improve its output year-on-year..”
The UK team at FTI Consulting is led by senior managing director Ruth Steedman, who has spent more than a quarter of a century setting global strategy and implementing TP solutions. She is supported by senior director Chris Liu and senior adviser Martin Brooks. As an international group, it is able to draw on the experience of more than 130 economists from its global network, which also facilitates its advice to international clients.
While the majority of the firm’s clients remain confidential, some of its recent work examples include advising an international telecoms company on the on the submissions of R&D tax relief claims and working with a global financial group on the restructuring of its TP model to fit in with its rapid global expansion.
The most notable change to the team during the research period was the arrival of transfer pricing senior director Liu, who joined from Grant Thornton in August of 2018.
While only a recent addition to the team, joining from Macfarlanes in February 2019, Batanayi Katongera leads the fledging transfer pricing practice at MHA MacIntyre Hudson.
The firm’s work in the TP space generally involves providing assistance on group funding, as well as general transfer pricing advice.
“Technical market leader.”
A relatively new name on the market, the dedicated transfer pricing team at Simmons & Simmons was established in 2018. It continues to expand that practice, welcoming a new partner in 2019, as it looks to develop the comprehensive nature of its offering.
While many of the details of clients remain confidential, one recent matter sees the firm continuing to act for a client in a dispute with HMRC regarding loan relationships.
The one notable new addition to the team during the research period was the arrival of partner Tomoko Ikawa, who joined from EY in June 2019.
The transfer pricing practice at Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May supports its market-leading corporate practice in dealing with global multinational clients. The team includes partners Steve Edge and Dominic Robertson, who serve as the editors of the Transfer Pricing Law Review. Edge is also a member of HMRC’s recently established Transfer Pricing Forum.