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Aptum appoints 2 senior ATO lawyers

Leading NewLaw firm Aptum Legal has hired the former executive director of the Australian Taxation Office’s litigation department and an ATO principal and senior lawyer.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 08 November 2021 NewLaw
Aptum appoints 2 senior ATO lawyers
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The two senior hires have been made to bolster the firm’s tax disputes practice ranks.

The hires are Tuan Van Le, a former executive director of the litigation department at ATO and judicial registrar of the Federal Court of Australia, and Eric Maben, a former principal and senior lawyer at ATO.

The pair, Aptum said in a statement, are “bringing a wealth of knowledge on engaging with the ATO”. The additions of Mr Van Le and Mr Maben to the firm, it went on, further broadens its combined experience and expertise to ATO, Federal Court, in-house teams, and the Victorian Bar.


Mr Van Le will serve as the firm’s tax disputes practice lead, while Mr Maben will be a senior lawyer.

Speaking about his new role, Mr Van Le said: “Aptum’s approach really resonates with us. The benefits of certainty in pricing and more effective outcomes through strategic project management are being seen in other areas of law in various forms, but not in tax disputes.”

“I look forward to applying the Aptum model to my work, quashing the current industry perception that tax disputes are particularly difficult to navigate. There can be a tendency for tax practitioners to talk about the ATO as being impenetrable or unreasonable – however, the ATO can be easy to deal with when you understand how they work, are clear about your objective and issues in dispute, and engage with them appropriately,” he said.

Mr Maben is looking forward to bringing his in-house experience and deep understanding of how to work with the ATO to the NewLaw firm.

“The ATO is an organisation with objectives and priorities like any other, and this necessarily affects how it makes decisions. These are important strategic considerations for lawyers working with the ATO,” he said.

Aptum managing director Nigel Evans said: “We’ve been on all sides of tax disputes: we’ve been the regulator, the client, the lawyer, the barrister, the mediator, and the decision-maker. It puts us in a unique position compared to others in the market.”