Further Recruit Joins BLP’s Strategic Drive to Enhance its Tax Capabilities

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has recruited another leading tax lawyer as a partner in its strategic drive to enhance its tax capabilities and further develop the area as a fifth pillar of legal expertise within the firm.

Michael McKenna was a Tax Counsel at Goldman Sachs International, where he advised its divisions on the tax implications of all aspects of their businesses and transactions outside of the USA.  Before that he spent seven years within the tax team at Clifford Chance, where he advised on a broad range of corporate tax issues with a particular focus on real estate clients as well as finance and securitisation transactions.

Michael joins BLP’s rapidly expanding Tax group at a time when the firm has identified the area as one of five strategic pillars of legal expertise, sitting alongside its other major practice areas in Corporate, Finance, Real Estate and Dispute Resolution. BLP is one of the only City firms to offer the full range of contentious and non-contentious tax advice across corporate, finance, real estate, funds, VAT, personal tax, trusts and charities as an integral element of its overall capabilities.

Other recent recruits to the firm’s Tax team include the new Head of Tax Michael Wistow, one of the leading tax lawyers in the UK who joined in September 2007 from Clifford Chance, and Neal Todd, a highly regarded corporate tax expert who came from Linklaters last year. In addition, Liesl Fichardt and Andrew Watters recently joined the team to create a new specialist contentious tax capability.

Michael Wistow, Head of Tax at BLP, said: “Michael’s proven track record of impressing demanding clients, coupled with invaluable experience obtained in a leading investment bank, make him a good fit with BLP and he will help add more strength in depth to our overall tax capabilities. Already we are one of the very few firms that offers clients the full range of tax expertise and Michael’s recruitment will further add to our already impressive breadth and strength in depth. Clients recognise that tax is a critical element in almost all transactions and our growing reputation is helping to attract them to the firm.”

Michael McKenna added: “It is exciting to be returning to private practice in a firm that recognises the strategic importance of tax, both contentious and non-contentious. My experience at Goldman Sachs has demonstrated to me that clients need consistently high quality tax advice, both in the UK and overseas.  With BLP, there is a real opportunity to be part of a team that is aiming to deliver this. In addition to working alongside some of the most respected tax lawyers in the country, in a firm that is clearly going places, the opportunity to link in with leading independent local firms around the world, which BLP does as part of its distinctive international preferred firms approach, is an enticing prospect.  I am looking forward to the challenge of helping BLP meet its vision of becoming the most respected law firm in London.”

If you would like further information, please contact Michael McKenna at michael.mckenna@blplaw.com.

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