BLP nabs leading private client partner from Clifford Chance
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has recruited leading private client expert [private] Murray North to boost its long established and highly regarded Trusts and Personal Tax team. Murray joins the firm from Clifford Chance, where he has been a partner since 1990.
BLP has the largest and broadest based tax practice in the City’s legal market and is the only large City law firm to offer the full range of tax services. Murray’s recruitment means there will be 23 partners in the department, which has dedicated teams to provide contentious and advisory tax advice across corporate, finance, real estate, funds, VAT, personal tax, trusts and charities. The team was recently named “Best Tax Team in a Law Firm” at the LexisNexis Taxation Awards.
Murray, who originally joined the bar but is also qualified as a solicitor, specialises in providing personal tax and trusts advice to ultra-high net worth individuals and their related trusts, controlled companies and businesses. Many of them are UK-resident non-domiciles or are based overseas. He joins senior practitioners, Ron Downhill, Martin Paisner and Anthony Bunker who have built leading reputations in the field as well as the emerging players such as Paul Whitehead, Simon Phelps and Damian Bloom whose cutting edge work has helped turn BLP’s Trusts and Personal Tax group into one of the largest private client teams in London. They advise on an exceptionally broad range of UK and international tax and trusts issues facing wealthy individuals, families and institutional clients.
BLP’s Tax team has been growing in size, capability and stature since the hire of industry leader Michael Wistow as Head of Tax in 2007. Since then, Michael has recruited amongst others Liesl Fichardt and Andrew Watters, who form the highly regarded tax risk and resolution team, and corporate and finance tax specialists Michael McKenna and Kevin Cummings. More recently, Alan Sinyor joined as the new Head of VAT. The addition of Murray North strengthens and expands the ambit of the Trusts and Personal Tax group.
Michael Wistow, BLP’s head of tax, said: “We are one of the few City firms that has a strong personal tax team. It focuses on serving wealthy individuals and those institutions that work with them. We are committed to enhancing the services we offer this demanding group of clients and Murray’s recruitment will help further distinguish our Tax and Trusts practice from niche firms offering a much narrower range of capabilities.”
Murray added: “It is really exciting to be joining the fastest growing tax team in the City and one of the most highly regarded. BLP’s ambition to become known as the ‘go-to’ firm in the City for tax advice is striking a cord with high-net worth clients. They recognise tax is a changing and complex area in which legal issues are more and more critical. As a result, they want to ensure they have the strongest legal team possible working on their tax and, critically, trusts issues and BLP’s commitment to providing that is something that is increasingly appreciated in the market.
“In addition, BLP’s approach of working with the leading independent firms around the world, particularly in jurisdictions which have favourable tax regimes for individuals with international wealth, is very attractive to high net worth individuals. They need a firm that can co-ordinate the advice and implementation of their trusts and tax planning and structures to maximize efficiency and BLP’s experience in that area is second to none.”[/private]