International law firm CMS is pleased to announce the appointment of real estate investment trust (REIT) specialist Phil Nicklin as a tax partner in the Corporate practice based in London. Phil joins CMS from Deloitte where he was a senior partner in the Real Estate Tax group.
One of the main architects of the UK tax regime for REITs and one of the UK Government’s key advisers on property tax legislation, Phil has more than 20 years’ experience advising on large scale, complex transactions for major real estate companies and funds. He specialises in real estate tax advice, particularly for REITs and major property groups, and advises on corporate tax and capital gains legislation. He also advised the Irish Government on the conceptual aspects of the Irish REIT regime.
CMS has extensive experience advising REITs and Phil’s arrival will further bolster the firm’s offering. Phil will lead the REITs and Structured Transactions team, a specialist tax advisory service that focuses on tax and legal complexities of REIT formation and structured transactions – from the optimisation of efficient structures to interfacing with tax authorities – and steers clients through the most technical aspects of their requirements.
Iain Newman, Co-Head of Corporate at CMS, says: “We are delighted to welcome Phil to the firm. A pre-eminent tax expert in the UK, his arrival at the firm provides a unique opportunity to further enhance our already strong profile and leading market position in advising clients on real estate tax issues. We look forward to working with Phil to strengthen our tax capabilities.”
Ciaran Carvalho, Head of Real Estate at CMS, comments: “Businesses in the real estate sector have been looking at a myriad of ways to become more innovative and agile, and even more so in these challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Phil’s extensive experience advising large real estate companies and funds will be instrumental as we continue assisting clients in navigating the complexities of real estate tax regimes.”
Widely known in the market as the ‘Father of the REIT’, Phil was the lead tax adviser on major transactions involving landmark properties in London including The Leadenhall Building (the ‘Cheesegrater’), 20 Fenchurch Street (the ‘Walkie Talkie’), UBS’s Broadgate headquarters and Battersea Power Station.
Phil says: “CMS is the leading law firm in the real estate sector and has one of largest tax teams in the UK, with an excellent network throughout Europe. There is a lot of synergy with my area of expertise, which I believe should provide the ideal platform for the next chapter in my career. I look forward to working with the teams at CMS.”
CMS has 650 real estate lawyers globally and the largest real estate team in Europe, with 21 Band 1 Rankings across the real estate sector in Chambers and Legal 500 UK and Europe. CMS’s tax team numbers 450 lawyers globally and is noted in Chambers and Partners for “always [being] exceptionally pleasant to deal with and I would rate them as a standout group. They can handle transactions both small and large.”