Michael Wistow leaves Clifford Chance to be Head of Tax at BLP

 In BLP, Clifford Chance, Head of Tax

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has announced that Michael Wistow, who is widely regarded as one of the leading tax lawyers in the UK, will be joining the firm as Head of Tax. He is currently a partner at Clifford Chance.

Michael specialises in finance and real estate based transactions, including real estate finance, bespoke property funds, securitisation, leasing and tax-based structured financings. He has particular experience in applying securitisation techniques to the financing of real estate portfolios and has worked with both originators and lenders in transactions involving the office, retail and healthcare sectors.

He will head up the increasingly high profile tax groups within BLP. The team will include the firm’s experts in corporate, personal and capital taxes, trusts and charities law, and indirect taxes. BLP is one of the few City firms which continues to have highly rated corporate and private tax capabilities. Recently the firm was awarded the Private Client Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2007 for its successful work in relation to a well publicised dispute over the tax status of musicians in the country’s leading orchestras.

Michael’s experience will add to the firm’s tax capabilities, broadening the range and the depth of expertise it is able to offer clients, both domestically and internationally. He will also join BLP’s board as a member of its management team, in line with the increased profile of tax advice within the firm’s strategy.

Neville Eisenberg, managing partner, said: “We identified tax as a priority for growth some time ago and we are delighted to have someone with the market presence of Michael join us to lead this strategic project. Clients value tax excellence very highly and BLP has a long-standing track record in the area, having demonstrated our ability to provide high value tax advice within the increasingly complex transactions that we are working on.”

“Our approach to international work is particularly well suited to providing high quality tax advice. Through our panel of preferred law firms we are able to select the best independent local lawyers, while retaining the flexibility to meet individual client needs. In a complex area like tax, where highly specialist legal expertise is often required, this approach works particularly well.”

Michael Wistow added: “It is very exciting to be joining a growing, dynamic, entrepreneurial firm which recognises that tax is a central consideration in high value transactions. BLP’s capabilities across business and personal tax issues, as well as in charity law, is unique, and it is the only major firm that has so clearly stated its ambition to offer tax advice across the full range.

“I am also delighted that I will be working with highly respected tax lawyers and, through the panel of preferred firms BLP has established, outstanding firms with tax expertise in other jurisdictions.

“Furthermore, BLP is clearly a supportive and friendly environment in which cross-practice teams are encouraged. That is very important to tax specialists, as the nature of the work means they have to work collaboratively with other specialists.”

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