Farrer & Co has appointed its first ever Director of Tax Risk to boost its practice in both corporate and private client tax.
With 28 years’ experience, tax risk expert Andrew Watters joins from Irwin Mitchell where he advised individuals, intermediaries and companies on the growing regulatory burden of tax compliance. His current work focuses on tax risk:
- Reactive, when representing clients faced with enquiries or serious HMRC investigations and
- Proactive, in reviewing the exposure of existing structures to HMRC challenge or advising on options; for example developing an action protocol to make a structure more robust or, if required, how best to make a voluntary disclosure.
Much of Watters’ work has an international dimension involving non-domiciled individuals, offshore trusts and companies. The majority of his cases are resolved by agreement, but he has been involved in a number of disputes that have gone to trial. He has also taken cases through the HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution process. He was one of the first to become an accredited CEDR Mediator. In addition, he is a member of the Tax Investigation Practitioners Group and the Tax/ADR Group with members from HMRC as well as private practice.
Watters has considerable in-house experience. Prior to joining one of the Big 4 accountancy firms in 2000, he was a senior inspector in the Special Office of the Inland Revenue dealing with serious cases of suspected tax avoidance and evasion.
Robert Field, who leads the firm’s tax offering, says: “Andrew’s background and experience is a perfect fit for us. We will work closely to reach our objective of becoming better known as one of the leading tax advisory practices with market recognition of the breadth of our tax practice in our twin strengths of corporate and private client tax capabilities. Tax disputes, enquiries, investigations and disclosures remain a growth area with more and more tax legislation seeking to place the onus for policing the fine line between acceptable and unacceptable planning on advisers.”