A LEGAL PRACTITIONER has for the first time seized an award touted as recognising the defence of Australia’s “hard-hit shipping industry” against patently unfair taxation legislation.
Middletons’ partners Philip Diviny and Gavin Vallely were handed the Newsmaker of the Year award at the Lloyd’s List DCN Australian Shipping and Transport Awards.
The award recognises the law firm’s work on behalf of the Australian shipping industry in relation to the taxation of shipping operations, including a successful challenge to the Australian Taxation Office’s Draft Taxation Ruling over the proposed application of royalty withholding tax to time charters on commercial vessels.
Previous winners of the award include the late Jim Bacon, former Premier of Tasmania, Patrick CEO Chris Corrigan, Toll CEO Paul Little, master of the Tampa, Captain Arne Rinnan, and the managing director of P&O Ports, Tim Blood.
”The legal profession plays a prominent role in the maritime industry in Australia, a contribution that all too often we take for granted,” said Lloyd’s List DCN’s deputing editor, Sandy Galbraith.
“This year’s Newsmaker of the Year award goes to a pair of lawyers who successfully defended Australia’s already hard-hit shipping industry against patently unfair taxation legislation.
“This is quite a remarkable achievement, for without their work it is quite conceivable that several major operators would by now have packed their bags and left Australia for good,” said Galbraith.
Upon receiving the award, Diviny said: “One of the most satisfying developments has been the significant change in the approach of the ATO during the past four years in the preparation of tax rulings to one of consultation with industry representatives to gain a better understanding of the business operations under review.”