Monday, 15 July 2019

Revolving doors: Baker McKenzie expands £40m City tax practice as Eversheds makes multiple hires

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Revolving doors: Baker McKenzie expands £40m City tax practice as Eversheds makes multiple hires

In a muted week for lateral recruitment, Baker McKenzie and Eversheds Sutherland made hires in the City, while Eversheds also grew on the continent.

Baker McKenzie hired tax partner Prabhu Narasimhan to its London office. Narasimhan joins from White & Case and has experience in advising and delivering cross-border mandates, acting for corporate, private equity and family office clients globally.

Mark Delaney, head of tax, told Legal Business: ‘We went from being a tax practice with revenue of £3m about 13 years ago, to being a £40m standalone tax practice.’

The firm has 16 partners in total and has been growing in areas such as tax disputes, tax advisory, and tax planning as well as seeing an increase in tax transactional work.

‘We are continuing to see a lot of regulatory change, whether that’s Brexit, digital service tax, OECD proposals and around the international tax landscape. Legislative and regulatory change creates demand for our services. The environment for taxpayers – the corporate and the individuals – in terms of tax authority hostility is also still very prevalent,’ he added.

Eversheds, meanwhile, hired Christopher Akinrele to its banking team from Addleshaw Goddard. Akinrele will focus on leveraged finance and has experience advising financial institutions, sponsors and corporate clients in syndicated and leveraged finance transactions.

Finance partner Patrick Davis told Legal Business: ‘We operate our leveraged finance practice on a national and, more increasingly, international basis. We’re seeing a lot of demand for leveraged finance work and wanted to add high-quality bench strength to that team.’

The firm has been expanding its capabilities in the upper mid-market areas of private equity and leveraged finance as well as growing the lender side of the business and capitalising on existing institutional relationships with lender clients, with the hire of Akinrele expected to complement the lender side work the firm is involved in. Despite economic uncertainty, client demand in private equity and leveraged finance was high.

Eversheds head of finance and restructuring Simon Waller commented: ‘Volumes of syndicated debt are down. We see it as flight-to-quality, in that as banks tighten some of their credit processes up they’re looking at quality credit and the work is still around.’

Eversheds also added to its bench in Munich with the hire of Michael Prüßner from Pinsent Masons to its corporate and M&A team from Pinsent Masons. The firm now has 11 partners in its German corporate and M&A practice group.

Finally, TLT grew its banking and finance team with the appointment of Marc Gilston as partner. Gilston, who was previously at Foot Anstey, has experience working with major lenders, corporate investors and businesses.

muna.abdi@legalease.co.uk