Senior/Principal Associate

Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full-time
Department: Tax & Funds
Location: London
About Gowling WLG

We have more than 1,400 legal professionals working around the world. Our offices span across 19 cities in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East. There's strength in our global presence – we embrace our differing cultures and work together as one team. We also understand the importance of investing in relationships that build knowledge and trust, while we provide legal advice that's tailored to our clients' world.

'Our people and distinct culture are what makes us different. We know this through client and employee feedback and this drives everything we do'' Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director.

There are great opportunities for all our people to flourish. Through training and personal development they can grow in their role. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, across legal, business support and early talent. We care about their happiness and believe in the power of teamwork. We want them to feel empowered and recognise that by supporting, respecting and embracing everyone's different contributions we achieve more.

Working flexibly, working fairly

Agile working offers people more freedom and flexibility in where, when, and how they work. As technology advances and our workforce becomes more diverse – and with clients often working to a 24/7 rhythm – having extra flexibility is key to helping us balance work and other commitments sensibly and productively.

By supporting people to choose where and when they get their work done, we help them to make a full and fair contribution to their team – while maintaining that all important work-life balance.

Where possible and depending on business needs, we will consider all flexible working options such as part-time working, job sharing, working from home and staggered hours. If in considering a role with Gowling WLG you favour flexibility in your working arrangements, please discuss this with the recruitment team in the early stages of the application process.

About the Team

Our Tax team is one of the most respected in the United Kingdom.  We consistently receive No1/top tier status in Legal 500 and Chambers.

We have a reputation for technical excellence, delivered in a robust, pragmatic and friendly manner and in a commercially relevant context.  We pride ourselves on our supportive and business-driven environment. 

We provide tax advice and support across the full range of disciplines and sectors:

Our sector focus includes: real estate, and housing; banking and finance; corporate (M&A, joint ventures, share schemes, restructuring and reorganisations); funds – listed and private (including private equity and VCT/EIS/SEIS); energy and projects; pensions; employment and incentives; and international and cross-border.

Our disciplines include: corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax; capital allowances; stamp taxes (stamp duty, SDRT and SDLT); VAT; NICs, PAYE and other employee related tax issues; and CIS.

Main Purpose of the Job

We are involved in transactional work, and we advise on tax-efficient structuring and set-up work.  Many clients instruct us direct on tax matters.

Our clients include: UK institutional investors (including pension funds, life funds and private equity houses); major corporates (public and private); overseas investors (e.g., US, EU, Middle East and Far East); local authorities and other government/quasi-government bodies; not-for-profit organisations (e.g., housing associations); family offices; many well-known businesses (e.g., in the food, manufacturing, housing and energy sectors). 

We work closely with many in-house tax teams, and we work collaboratively with other professionals (e.g., accountants, surveyors, actuaries, consultants and engineers).

Our team members belong to a host of business-relevant organisations, including: the Chartered Institute of Taxation; the British Property Federation (where we sit on the tax and VAT technical committees); SDLT and VAT Practitioners groups; the Investment Property Forum; the Institute for Fiscal Studies; the Urban Land Institute; the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment; and the Federation of Corporate Real Estate.

Our business is growing: both top-line revenue and profits.  We have a confident pipeline of activity.  

Key skills and experience

We want to invest in a corporate tax lawyer with appropriate qualifications and relevant experience. 

You will be a qualified solicitor, specialising in Corporate M&A tax.  You will be able to demonstrate academic excellence and first-rate tax-technical skills.  A CTA qualification is desirable, though not essential.

Your role will have a classical corporate tax focus (see the bullet points below) - principally to provide transactional tax support and structuring advice to our Corporate team (including banking and finance) and its clients.  You must have share scheme and related experience, and a track-record of providing advice to owner-managed businesses.  The role may be wider than that for the appropriate applicant.

You will have a reasonable working knowledge of VAT and SDLT; however expertise in these areas or real estate-focused tax is not required.

Working in an inclusive, sharing and collaborative culture, your success will be integral to ensure the continuing success and growth of the team over the long term.

Areas where you will be required to advise:

  • Structuring corporate acquisitions and disposals
  • Documentation and advice on company and business sales and purchases
  • Ensuring tax efficiency for reconstructions and reorganisations
  • Joint ventures
  • Partnership taxation
  • Acting for lenders and borrowers (including withholding tax issues and passport scheme)
  • Tax aspects of banking and insolvency transactions
  • UK aspects of cross-border/international tax structuring, particularly around in-bound investment 
  • Employment and pensions related tax issues
  • Share and other incentives
  • “Schedule 22” advice
  • Any other reasonable duties delegated by any Partner, Senior Manager or Group Support Manager of the firm
Equal Opportunities

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment. The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion, caste or belief, age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment,  sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships, surrogacy, adoption and parental rights. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.