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Stephen Hignett

Stephen Hignett

Co-Head of Tax

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Stephen has over 20 years of experience spanning all UK taxes in both contentious and non-contentious matters.  He advises businesses of all sizes, management teams, owner managers, executives and high net worth individuals, including those who are not domiciled in the UK.

He has particular experience in the TV and music industries and the gambling sector.  Stephen advises regularly on the UK's seven gambling duties, the Horserace Betting Levy and VAT in a gambling context.

Stephen is ranked in Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 and is praised by his clients for being simultaneously both technical and commercial.  Stephen is also recognised by Thompson Reuters in its Super Lawyers Lists.

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Stephen Hignett advises on contentious and non-contentious work for private and corporate clients. He has niche expertise advising high-profile individuals on their tax affairs. Sources say that he is a “great person to work with and gives sound advice.”

Chambers UK 2017

Stephen Hignett is a "strong tax practitioner" who "always works in a very sensible and collaborative manner," say sources. He is a seasoned tax lawyer active in the TV, music and gambling sectors, and has handled a large amount of work for Warner Music Group.

Chambers UK 2016

The "very creative" Stephen Hignett "is a market-making tax lawyer. He wants to get stuff done," say interviewees. His broad practice includes a strong interest in work for media clients.

Chambers UK 2015

The "very capable" Stephen Hignett attracts particular praise for his ability to "understand a client's commercial reasoning." He specialises in transactional matters, and is taking on an increasing amount of contentious work.

Chambers UK 2013

Relevant experience

  • Hubert Burda Media on its 100% acquisition of Immediate Media, the UK content and digital platform group from Exponent Private Equity and Management.
  • Gamesys Limited on the demerger and sale of its Jackpotjoy, StarSpins and Botemania branded online real money gaming and social gaming business to Intertain for circa GBP 425m.
  • Ministry of Sound Group on the demerger and sale of Ministry of Sound Recordings to Sony Music UK Limited.
  • Warner Music Group Corp.on its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group for GBP 487m (around USD 765m) in an all-cash transaction including the structuring of the acquisition and the post-completion group reorganisation.
  • MGt Plc (now Paywizard Plc) on a material VAT dispute which was settled in MGt's favour following two mediations, the first before an independent mediator with HMRC and the second before an HMRC mediator.
  • Jeremy Clarkson on the creation of a joint venture rights holding company with BBC Worldwide to hold and exploit the “Top Gear” rights and the subsequent sale of his holding to BBCW and the more recent structuring of various businesses in connection with his new show, "The Grand Tour".
  • Ultra-high net worth non-UK domiciled families on their relocation to London, buying residential property, UK business interests, importing and exporting artworks and general remittance planning.
  • Warner Bros on a number of acquisitions and disposals including its acquisition of Netherlands-based movie and television producer Eyeworks Group.
  • Sportech Plc (owner of The Football Pools) on its various commercial arrangements and its successful VAT legislation in connection with Spot The Ball.
  • Various gambling clients on gambling duty including structuring products, compliance, claims against HMRC and responding to Government consultations.
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  • 1997 – Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales
  • 1995 – Legal Practice Course, Nottingham Law School
  • 1994 – BA in Jurisprudence, Oxford University
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  • Chartered Institute of Taxation
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  • Stephen is co-author of the gambling duty, VAT and tax chapters of the 'The Law of Gambling' Smith and Monkcom (4th edition), the leading text on UK gambling law.  Stephen frequently writes articles and speaks on the subject of UK gambling taxes.
  • Stephen contributes the chapter on tax to 'The Laws of the Internet'.
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