Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

One minute with...Mark Stapleton

printer Mail
What’s in your in-tray?
Although I cover a wide range of matters over the course of any year, the main focus of my practice is with respect to international investment management businesses and funds. This area in itself covers a wide ambit ranging from hedge, private equity, hybrid and permanent capital funds and also securitisation structures. Aside from the usual raft of fund related matters, I am currently working on a new investment management structure for a client aimed at satisfying the US and EU risk retention requirements in securitisations. The intention is also for the structure to seek financial backing from external investors. I am also working on a large corporate merger of two investment management groups. Both matters require coordinated advice in conjunction with our US tax group and UK and US regulatory groups.
What sets Dechert apart from other law firms?
Dechert aims to be a leading firm in specific practice areas, rather than all things to all people. The investment management sector is one example of this. Dechert is probably the only firm with a substantial London practice which also has offices with specialist capability in all the key financial services jurisdictions. We think that we are one of only a few firms that can realistically handle certain types of financial projects which necessitate the requisite range of tax, legal and regulatory services in multiple key financial centres.
What caught your eye in the latest Finance Bill?
The main measures of interest from my perspective relate to the changes to the taxation of carried interest/performance related returns and the changes to the taxation of non-UK domiciled individuals. These changes, coupled with certain oddities in the drafting of the legislation, are likely to lead to significant changes in the way arrangements will be structured both on an individual and corporate level.
What’s the big development to look out for in 2016?
BEPS implementation is obviously a big issue in international taxation for 2016 and onwards and considering the focus of my work there is a lot of interest around how Action 6 (treaty abuse) is going to be resolved, insofar as it relates to treaty access for private equity and hedge funds (non-CIVs). Funds clearly weren’t the main focus of these measures and it has been a long road just to ensure that the OECD recognised the need for possible solutions for such funds beyond the current proposals. However, this remains a work in progress and could lead to significant structural change for funds in the future. 
If you could make one change to UK tax or a practice what would it be?
More concise and targeted anti-avoidance legislation please! HMRC guidance is wonderful but it has now become essential as a result of the over extensive ambit of some recent anti-avoidance measures.
Finally, you might not know this about me but…
I am a keen tennis player. With apologies in advance to the younger readers, I was fortunate enough to play doubles recently against Buster Mottram (ex-British no. 1 and world no. 15) in the British grass court tournament at Wimbledon (obviously for vets!). Much to our surprise, we narrowly defeated Buster and his partner (although in fairness Buster’s partner was clearly the weakest player on the court and Buster himself didn’t miss a ball). I grew up watching Buster play at Wimbledon on TV, so it was a special experience for me. Sadly, that was as far as we progressed in the tournament and were soundly thrashed in the next round.  
Issue: 1293
Categories: One minute with