Michael specialises in transaction taxes, particularly stamp taxes and related areas of general and regulatory law. He has been advising the Financial Services and Real Estate Sectors for more than 25 years and has been involved in 18 stamp tax appeals in the UK and overseas, having been instructed in 11 of those cases as counsel. Of the five SDRT cases that have been taken to appeal, Michael appeared as counsel in three of these and was engaged by the successful appellants as an industry and technical consultant in challenges under European law in the other two.
Michael’s practice includes:
Real Estate -
Complex issues with transactions and reorganisations for real estate funds and property companies involving risk assessments in relation to the SDLT anti-avoidance provisions such as section 75A FA 2003 and the general anti-abuse rule in section 207 FA 2013.
Asset Management -
SDRT on contributions to, distributions from and transmission into and between equity fund vehicles, including trust, contractual, corporate and exchange traded funds established in Europe, North America and APAC.
Investment Banking and Capital Markets -
SDRT operational assurance and risk management with clients, affiliates, market counterparties and flows, issues of accountability and agency, the reliefs for intermediaries, stock lending and collateral, and the chargeability or otherwise of depositary interests and structured products.
Mergers & Acquisitions -
Transaction tax advice and structuring for IPOs and international mergers & acquisitions.
From time to time, Michael has been engaged as an expert witness by successful litigants in relation to what constitutes the avoidance of SDLT and the operation of SDRT in complex M&A deals. He was the author and editor of Sergeant and Sims on Stamp Taxes from 1994 to 2007, having re-written the book as a loose-leaf service in 2001, and remains a Consultant Editor for this work. He is a member of the Lexis PSL Tax Consulting Editorial Board and regularly assists and represents various industry and professional bodies, including the Law Society of England & Wales, and has appeared as an expert in political debate on the BBC.