Senior Associate - Employee Benefits

Baker McKenzie
South East England
06 Sep 2017
04 Oct 2017
Contract Type
The Team Employee Benefits Group The team consists of two Partners and 3 Associates. The team, led by Jeremy Edwards, has significantly developed its client base in recent years and is a prominent UK team, a position that is reflected in the calibre of the group's UK client base. The team is also part of a wider international share plan team (Baker McKenzie's Global Equity Services), forming a leading global share plan team. The team also works with the Corporate, Private Equity and Corporate Tax Departments, all of which have ambitious plans for expansion. The aim of the recruitment at senior associate level is to increase the support for these groups on transactions and complex employee tax structuring. The aim is to recruit a senior associate with both the technical ability and with the drive to proactively engage with the Corporate Tax and Private Equity Groups and clients and prospects. Core areas The Employee Benefits Group advises companies on takeovers, redomestications and IPOs- with the Employee Benefits Group supporting both the London corporate and corporate tax groups and providing support on overseas transactions led by other offices (and sometimes for stand alone clients). The Corporate, Private Equity and Corporate Tax Departments have ambitious plans for expansion and are looking for a top employee tax specialist to be able to support them on transactions and on advisory work. The successful candidate must have excellent technical ability and experience and be able to give pragmatic and commercial advice. The successful candidate must have a desire and drive to build up a practice that supports the Corporate Tax and Private Equity Departments in particular and must be able to articulate to clients and prospects what they need to consider in relation to the structuring of the interests of employees (or partners). The successful candidate must have an ability and drive to steer successful marketing initiatives in tandem with the Corporate Tax and Private Equity Groups. The core practice of the Employee Benefits Group includes advising on the implementation of share plans for numerous UK, US and European multinationals and advising in connection with employment tax issues and tax planning for expatriate employees and their employers. The core practice continues to grow. Regular client instructions continue as before and we have seen an increase in initiatives relating to the launch of international share plans. There is a continued focus on assisting companies understand and comply with their tax withholding and reporting obligations in relation to employee share plans. This is particularly the case with respect to internationally mobile employees, and we expect this to continue. Allied to this, we expect increased focus on global mobility issues, working alongside colleagues in our market-leading Employment team and our Immigration practice as a combined mobility offering. The London practice puts considerable effort into getting to grips with new areas of law and considers it important to be at the cutting edge of developments. This emphasis is reflected in the internal and external training courses that it provides (see below). As well as mobility issues, another current area of focus is remuneration structures in increasingly regulated sectors, such as financial services. The London practice is particularly known for its ability to service the needs of international companies launching share plans into both the UK and internationally. International and London office strength The Employee Benefits Group is part of Baker McKenzie's leading international global share plan practice, the Global Equity Services Group. The Employee Benefits Group currently sits within the top rated London Employment Department (itself, part of the wider Global Employment and Employee Benefits Group). Regardless as to where the Group sits, the successful candidate will need to work closely with colleagues in the London and International Corporate, Corporate tax and Private Equity Groups. The Global Equity Services Group has 8 dedicated partners in the USA alone and a dedicated partner in each of the other leading European and Asian jurisdictions (and many more partners who provide input into specialised employee share scheme areas, as needed). The global group also has a strong continental European practice, which the London practice is actively involved in. Our European and US practices work together closely and our global and European groups undertake many joint initiatives such as seminars and webinars. Wide client base The Employee Benefits Group deals with a wider range of clients than most London share plan teams as a result of the firm's international network. As a consequence, the London practice prides itself on its ability to provide detailed tax and legal advice which is both practical and delivered efficiently. The Employee Benefits Group's client base includes many of the world's leading companies. The leading practitioners in the London practice will advise over 100 clients each in the course of a year. The Role The role will be complex and wide-ranging, it will include (for instance): Advising on all aspects of the implementation and operation of share plans for UK, US and European multinationals; Supporting the Corporate - Private Equity and Funds team and corporate tax team in transactional, advice work and business development support; Advising on complex employee and corporate tax issues and tax planning; Advising on tax withholding and reporting obligations in relation to employee share plans; Experience in PLC development and advising on takeovers and mergers and other transactions; Understanding and communicating trends in the sector and their impact on the client's position to clients; Undertaking BD activity consistent with the team's wider strategy, Preparing client updates on developments of interest to our client base; Drafting legal documents that are structurally consistent and accurately reflect relevant instructions; Taking responsibility for thinking ahead and checking that matters are progressing according to the timetable and communicating appropriately with clients; Maintaining regular dialogue with the Partner on performance against budget; Recognising actual or potential sensitive client issues; Creating a time/fee estimate for a whole matter where required and taking responsibility for monitoring costs/delivery within budget/checking that fee updates are being sent to clients; Matching 'time spent' to value and interpreting financial data to understand individual/matter profitability; Taking a role in analysing and interpreting billing/realisation data to assess level of profitability and reviewing pre-bills where required; and Making preliminary recommendations on difficult ethical/conflict issues and referring to Partner(s) Key Skills and Skills Required We are ideally looking for a Senior Associate with the following skills and experience: A qualified lawyer with excellent academic credentials Strong technical skills Share plan practitioner With particular focus on supporting corporate tax on transactions - must be pragmatic and have sound commercial judgment and have earn out experience With knowledge and interest in supporting Private Equity and funds- Must be ready and able to provide business development support (especially to corporate tax/ Private Equity area of practice) Internal liaison skills External facing Must be interested in building practice and assisting development of other members of the team Significant experience of employee share plan issues together with wider employee tax expertise (ideally including mobility issues) Will consider candidates from an accountancy background Must be able to pro-actively take forward matters Will be a team player, able to forge strong working relationships with external and overseas departments Will be a highly credible individual with gravitas and high level of intellectual ability Will have strategic awareness of business and commercial issues Genuine interest in business development Will have a pro-active commercial outlook Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the Firm. The Firm Baker & McKenzie is a truly global law firm. We have more offices in more locations than any other law firm and most of our work has an international dimension. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard. We're aided in this by our culture- we call it Fluency- which describes how we work, think and behave when we are at our best. Fluency encourages high performance in a collaborative and fulfilling way. Every person in the firm is measured in line with Fluency. In London you will be part of an 800 person office, which is also our largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker & McKenzie London is well established in the UK as a leading international law firm and regularly involved in some of the country's most high-profile legal matters. More than any other firm we can offer you the work, pride and experience of being part of one of the world's leading law firms but in a local office environment that is hardworking, yet friendly and supportive. The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of recent awards, including: FT Innovative Lawyers Report 2014: Ranked 3rd Most Innovative Firm in Europe The Sunday Times' Best Companies to Work For 2011, 12, 13, 14..... click apply for full job details

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