∙ What will be the most important market trend affecting your clients’ practice over the next 12 months? ∙
The G20 / OECD BEPS initiative, followed by the ‘ATAD’ EU Directive. Both aim to fight international tax evasion and will certainly affect all multinational corporations. It is only fair that tax evasion and tax fraud are sanctioned, but the scope of the OECD / EU provisions are so broad that they are in fact shifting the burden of proof to the tax payers. This means that they would be suspected by tax administrations of conducting their business operations with the main purpose of avoiding tax while they are merely trying to pay their fair share of tax in the countries where they are located.
∙ What has been your most memorable day as a lawyer? ∙
The day I won a case before a Court of Appeals for a client in a transfer pricing matter disputed by the tax administration for the whole industry. The tax administration appealed the ruling before the Supreme Court. My next memorable day will be when the Supreme Court confirms the Court of Appeals ruling.
∙ In which CMS office (besides your own) would you like to work, and why? ∙
Hong Kong. This is the nexus of vibrant Asia for business and for culture. More and more European companies are setting up their regional headquarters there, and there is a lot of tax work to be done in China.