Our Tax group punches well above our weight, providing tax advice that is strategic, commercial and practical to leading Australian and international clients on Australia’s most significant or complex corporate, financing and infrastructure transactions. We also advise on specific tax issues, tax-related disputes and investment fund structures.

    Our Approach

    The commercial priorities of our clients are the centre of our work. We provide strategic and practical advice aimed at furthering those priorities, while managing associated tax and reputational risks, as well as costs. Our clients value our ability to reduce complex tax issues into simple and commercially focussed principles. We work shoulder to shoulder with our clients through critical phases of transactions and our cradle-to-grave service offering brings value and insight to our clients, harnessing learnings from all stages of a transaction (including our disputes work) for the transaction at hand.

    We work collaboratively with our Corporate Advisory, Banking + Infrastructure and Real Estate + Projects groups to provide integrated and holistic advice on corporate, financing and infrastructure transactions. We also work closely with our Disputes + Investigations group to assist clients engaged in tax-related disputes with revenue authorities and commercial disputes with an underlying tax issue.

    We work seamlessly with other advisers (including other tax advisers) and foster good working relationships with opposing tax advisers to achieve outcomes that are mutually beneficial to all parties in a transaction. As an independent firm, we work closely with leading tax lawyers in the US, Europe and Asia to provide unconflicted advice in cross-border transactions.

    Our services

    We advise on all taxes, with a specific focus on income tax, goods and services tax, stamp duty and employment taxes. 

    Our services are diverse, but touch on many aspects of our clients’ businesses. They include:

    • Advisory services on specific tax issues.
    • Second opinions and conflict advice on tax matters.
    • Tax-related disputes, from reviews and audits to objections and litigation, including assisting with independent assessment of privilege claims.
    • Structuring of employee incentive schemes.
    • Structuring of investment and private equity funds, and contributing to fund agreements and constitutions.
    • Advising on tax aspects of employment disputes.
    • Tax agreements, including tax sharing and funding agreements, Division 7A loans and debt forgiveness agreements.
    • Tax disclosure statements for schemes, takeovers, capital and debt raisings, and dealings in shares.
    • Purchaser and vendor tax due diligences for corporate transactions, initial public offerings, and warranty and indemnity insurance policies.
    • Structuring of businesses, operations, transactions and financing from a tax perspective, including duty lodgements.
    • Assisting with the tax aspects of applications to FIRB.
    • Obtaining private and public (including class) tax rulings and corporate reconstruction relief exemptions.
    • Transaction and financing documentation from a tax perspective, our bread and butter.

    Our experience includes advising: 

    • AB InBev on the $16 billion sale of Carlton & United Breweries to Asahi Group.
    • DuluxGroup and Ruralco on their respective takeovers, including obtaining class rulings for their shareholders.
    • Shaw & Partners on their joint venture with Swiss private banking group, EFG.
    • Wesfarmers on the disposal of its stake in Quadrant Energy.
    • Beach Energy on its acquisition of Lattice Energy.
    • Pacific Equity Partners and The Carlyle Group on the acquisition of iNova Pharmaceuticals and its financing.
    • A non-governmental statutory body on the restructure of a unique business asset within the boundaries of its enabling legislation to prepare it for sale while minimising adverse price impacts due to tax costs and the loss of tax attributes.
    • ENGIE on swap arrangements with Origin Energy, under which Origin supplies gas to ENGIE and ENGIE provides power to Origin.
    • On the establishment of several funds, including Investec’s Emerging Companies Fund and Arowana’s Australian Special Income Opportunities Fund.
    • On the initial coin offering of Havven, the largest by an Australian cryptocurrency project at that time.
    • A telecommunications infrastructure provider on maintaining their eligibility for income tax exempt charity status.
    • A listed company on the tax implications of insider trading restrictions and clawbacks from their senior executives.
    • A highly valuable private company on solving for inadvertent tax impositions on their employee share schemes.
    • A high profile wealthy family on a commercial dispute arising from the tax treatment of a transaction involving the family, including engaging with the Australian Taxation Office.
    • A high-profile copyright owner on a tax-related matter arising from fraudulent activity of a director.
    • Several small businesses on defending research and development disputes with the Australian Taxation Office.

    Gilbert + Tobin’s Tax team is ranked and is integrated into our Tier 1 ranked Corporate Advisory and Banking + Infrastructure teams.

    Legal 500 2019