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Herbert Smith Freehills sets sights on becoming Australia’s tax law leaders with partner acquisition

20 June 2022 | Australia, Asia Pacific
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Reflecting its ambitious growth plans for its commercial tax offering, Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed three leading tax experts as partners in Australia – with specialist taxation experience spanning mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, energy, resources, property and infrastructure.

The new partners – Toby Eggleston, Nick Heggart and Ryan Leslie – will join the firm today. Toby and Ryan are based in Melbourne and Nick is based in Perth.

Toby, Nick and Ryan were previously partners at specialist tax firm Greenwoods.

Toby Eggleston has more than 20 years' experience specialising in general corporate and mergers and acquisitions taxation matters, with a particular focus on private equity and venture capital. He is a member of the legal and tax committee for the Australian Investment Council and Employee Ownership Australia and has drafted submissions to Treasury on tax matters relating to private equity, venture capital and employee ownership schemes.

Nick Heggart has broad expertise across most areas of taxation, including income tax, stamp duty, and resource rent tax and royalties, with a particular focus on the energy and resources and property sectors. He is a member of the WA State Revenue Liaison Committee and the Energy & Resources Working Group within the Australian Tax Office.

Ryan Leslie has significant experience advising on the income tax aspects of a wide range of corporate, international and trust matters, with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions, internal restructures and disputes in the infrastructure sector. 

Andrew Pike, Executive Partner, Australia and Asia, said: “We're focused on building a leading tax offering in Australia with the depth and breadth of expertise that clients have come to expect from a full-service firm like Hebert Smith Freehills.

“These appointments are just the start of our ambitious growth plans for the practice,” Mr Pike said.

Carolyn Pugsley, Herbert Smith Freehills Managing Partner for Corporate, said she was pleased to formally welcome Toby, Nick and Ryan to the partnership.

“Quite simply, they are each exceptional lawyers and leading experts in their field,” Ms Pugsley said.

“Many of our clients and our partners already have long-standing relationships with Toby, Nick and Ryan and are looking forward to continuing to work with them. 

“The new partners will work closely with our other tax experts in Australia, including partners Hugh Paynter and Jinny Chaimungkalanont, and tax specialists throughout our global network to meet our clients’ needs.

“Our clients have been incredibly supportive, seeing this as an exciting opportunity for the firm.”

In addition to the three new partners, Herbert Smith Freehills has also announced the appointment of a Special Counsel, three Senior Associates and a solicitor who specialise in tax law.

Special Counsel Tristan Boyd and Senior Associate Louise Van Wyk will be based in Perth. The other two Senior Associates Alistair Haskett and Naison Seery will be based in Melbourne.

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