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Ashurst takes 2 tax partners from Deloitte

Global law firm Ashurst has bolstered its tax controversy offering with the appointment of two partners from big four firm Deloitte.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 09 February 2023 Big Law
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In recent months, there have been a string of BigLaw firms poaching teams and sets of partners from their rivals in the big end of town, the reasons for which Lawyers Weekly explored here.

These include Wotton + Kearney’s adding of a team from Corrs Chambers Westgarth in mid-January and its taking of a team from MinterEllison the following week, K&L Gates appointing three partners from HWL Ebsworth in December and then another partner and four more lawyers from the same firm in late January, and Bartier Perry taking four partners from mid-tier firm Coleman Greig earlier in February.

Now, global law firm Ashurst has nabbed two tax partners, as part of its move to strengthen its tax controversy offering.


Colin Little and Vanja Podinic are set to join Ashurst’s Sydney office, bringing almost four decades of experience between them.

Mr Little has, Ashurst said in a statement, spent nearly 20 years focused on assisting public and private sector clients resolve complex disputes, ranging from audit negotiation and resolution to litigation, while Ms Podinic homes in on income tax and transfer pricing and advises a broad range of global clients across sectors, including technology, mining, and pharmaceuticals.

Mr Little has been with Deloitte for nearly nine years, while Ms Podinic served with that firm for over three years, prior to which she was at Baker McKenzie.

Speaking about the appointments, Ashurst tax practice head in Australia, Costa Koutsis, said that the firm is “thrilled” to welcome the pair.

“With their combined significant experience in tax controversy work, Colin and Vanja will help grow the firm’s existing offering to clients in Australia and abroad,” he proclaimed.

“With ever-increasing audit and review activity, we expect demand for complex advice to continue to grow in an environment where revenue collection will be key in implementing governments’ post-pandemic budget repair and where reviews are being conducted in a coordinated manner by a variety of tax offices.”

Mr Little said that he is excited to join Ashurst, which he said “has the global reach and top-tier capability needed to deliver solutions to clients”.

“Throughout my career, I have seen that my clients’ needs are international in scale, and they require assistance resolving tax and legal disputes across multiple jurisdictions and legal disciplines. Ashurst’s global footprint places the firm in the best position to advise on matters across the tax dispute lifecycle,” he said.

“The firm’s strong offering in corporate law, dispute resolution and tax bring compelling advantages for clients with complex needs.”

And Ms Podinic added that she is “delighted” to join Ashurst: “[The firm] provides an ideal global platform to grow my practice serving clients across the entire tax disputes lifecycle — from transaction stage to audit defence and through to litigation.

“I am also excited by the opportunity to draw on Ashurst’s broad range of practices to deliver innovative and collaborative legal solutions to my clients, who face the pressures of an ever-changing and complex tax landscape and increased public and government scrutiny.”