Greenwoods & Freehills, a specialist tax firm affiliated with Freehills, has been named the Australian tax law firm of the year by International Tax Review magazine.
Richard Hendriks, one of the firm’s directors, believes the achievement is attributable to “the quality, dedication and passion of our people” as well as the firm’s success in landing work for a number of high-profile M&A transactions over the last year.
The highlight for Hendriks was acting for the Macquarie Bank-led consortium for the Qantas acquisition. “Although it didn’t succeed it was a fairly high-profile transaction and a very interesting one at that,” he said.
Other notable work included acting as tax adviser to AGL on the merger with Alinta and the spin-off of AGL Energy, and acting as tax adviser to Coles in the review of it ownership and businesses, including consideration of takeover offers to the value of $16 million.
Greenwoods & Freehills has been affiliated with Freehills for just over 20 years and acts as Freehills’ tax practice, but it operates economically and legally as a separate firm. The firm has 50 professionals in total, including 21 directors — six of whom were appointed over the last year.
“It’s a strong indication to our clients that we’re growing and we have the capacity to handle the transactions. We’re a small law firm dealing only in tax, competing with some of the large law firms, so size is becoming more important” Hendriks said.