In this year’s edition, we recognise 102 of the world’s leading corporate tax expert witnesses.
The market is still undergoing considerable regulatory upheaval, as tax avoidance on an individual and corporate basis remains at the forefront of public consciousness and, subsequently, political discussion. The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project remains a key focal point in the market with governments actively implementing legislative changes to harmonise tax legislation to meet international standards. The Action Plan has also led to a significant change in the attitude of tax authorities worldwide and disputes are expected to rise during this period of formative adaption for both sides. Transparency and compliance are still the watchwords of lawyers worldwide as corporates, keen to avoid negative exposure, actively seek to ensure that tax practices remain acceptable in the eyes of the public.
The increasingly global nature of environmental concerns, as well as the mounting importance of reputation to companies in the modern era of increasing consumer education and awareness, has resulted in environmental lawyers seeing an uptick in demand for their services. With countries coming together and signing the Paris Agreement on 22 April 2016, there has also been an increase in activity from regulators and enforcement agencies globally, in response to their commitment to confront the causes behind environmental damage. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that environmental lawyers aren’t facing significant pressures and challenges in the legal market, as discussed below.
The 2016 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence includes an impressive 1,157 listings across 38 jurisdictions in the areas of corporate defence, individual defence and money laundering. US giant Sidley Austin leads the research this year, demonstrating its exceptional global capabilities with listings across the US and Asia. Full-service firms Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher also perform well, with 16 and 13 listings respectively. Additionally, our research highlights the prominent position of specialist firms in the market, with Kingsley Napley and BCL Burton Copeland achieving top positions in London, while Brown Rudnick offers a strong transatlantic offering and Morvillo excels in the US with lawyers recognised from its offices in New York and Washington, DC. We also identify the most highly regarded practitioners in the corporate, individual and money laundering chapters of this edition.
“Transparency” has been the word on everyone’s lips this past year as governments worldwide continue in their efforts to combat corruption and fraud within the business world. The last 12 months have witnessed a rising trend in the number of corporates under investigation, sparking an increase in the number of lawyers entering and developing practices in the field. With the increase in enforcement activity from authorities such as the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) leaving corporates feeling exposed , it comes as no surprise that practitioners have been busier than ever.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.