Tax Adviser of the Year Awards 2020

 

The Tax Institute's Tax Adviser of the Year Awards honour the best and brightest in the Australian tax professions, across all levels of experience.

They are judged by an independent expert panel that comprises leading members of the tax profession.

The finalists for the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards, Australia's most prestigious awards program for tax professionals, have been announced.

Chartered Tax Adviser

This award recognises inspirational and successful tax professionals who hold leadership roles and have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas. All applicants must be a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) with more than 15 years’ tax experience, have outstanding involvement in the tax community and high ethical standards.

 

Matthew Cridland, CTA, K&L Gates

Matthew Cridland, CTA, K&L Gates

Matthew is a leading tax lawyer who is regularly sought out for comment on indirect tax issues. A partner at K&L Gates, Matthew has 20 years experience with an exclusive focus on indirect taxes including value-added tax (VAT / GST), stamp duty, land tax, payroll tax, wine equalisation tax (WET), luxury car tax (LCT), customs duty and excise. Matthew provides both transaction and dispute resolution support to clients navigating complex and often sensitive issues, including acting on litigation matters. Matthew is a member of the Indirect Tax Committees of the Property Council of Australia and the Financial Services Council.

Peter Feros, CTA, Clayton Utz

Peter Feros, CTA, Clayton Utz

Peter specialises in providing front-end strategic income tax advice to significant Australian and foreign corporates and domestic and foreign funds. As one of the leading M&A tax lawyers in Australia, Peter has provided tax advice on some of the most significant M&A transactions in the Australian market in recent years. Peter commenced his career in 1995 at Price Waterhouse, eventually becoming a partner of PwC in 2006. He then led the direct tax team at Gilbert + Tobin from 2008. In 2016, Peter became a partner in the Clayton Utz tax team. He is recognised for his tax expertise in leading guides including Chambers Asia-Pacific and Best Lawyers Australia.

Julianne Jaques, CTA, Victorian Bar

Dr Julianne Jaques, CTA, Victorian Bar

Julianne is a barrister with over 25 years experience as a tax adviser. She spent five years with each of Coopers & Lybrand and Freehills before becoming senior tax adviser to the Federal Assistant Treasurer during the introduction of GST and business tax reforms. A barrister since 2002, she advises and acts for both taxpayers and the Commissioner and has appeared in all superior Victorian, New South Wales and Federal Courts. She holds a doctorate from the University of Melbourne for her thesis on corporate taxation. In 2019, Julianne was a member of the Tax Practitioners Board regulating tax practitioners, and a member and then acting chair of the Board of Taxation giving tax policy advice to the Federal Government from a business and community perspective.

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Manuel Makas, CTA, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Manuel is the Managing Partner and Head of Real Estate at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills. He joined the firm in early 2014 after working as a Partner at an international accountancy firm for over a decade. Manuel has broad expertise in tax matters, with a focus on the real estate, funds management and infrastructure sectors. Manuel has extensive experience in providing advice to clients on managed investment trust structures, stapled structures, debt and rights issues, equity raising, mergers and acquisitions, inbound and outbound investments, restructuring and IPOs. Manuel is also an active participant in the tax reform process, mainly through his involvement in the Property Council Income Tax Committee. 

Corporate Tax Adviser

This award is open to members of The Tax Institute who have advised corporate clients for more than 5 years. It showcases members with exceptional tax expertise, who contribute to the profession and have a high ethical standard.

 

Cameron Blackwood, ATI, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Cameron Blackwood, ATI, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Cameron brings more than a decade of transactional tax expertise to his role as Partner in Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills’ Sydney office. He specialises in advising clients on the tax complexities of mergers, acquisitions and restructures, including capital management and cross-border issues, and all aspects of employee share schemes. Cameron has also been heavily involved in recent ATO and Treasury consultation on capital management, crossborder and employee share scheme issues. Cameron is a member of The Tax Institute’s Large Business and International Committee and NSW Technical Committee, and regularly presents at The Tax Institute forums. Cameron is admitted as a solicitor in New South Wales.

Daryl Choo, ATI, EY

Daryl Choo, ATI, EY

Daryl leads EY’s transaction tax practice within the financial services group. She is a tax partner with over 25 years of tax consulting experience with EY. Daryl has extensive Australian and international tax experience including a 5 year secondment to EY London. Daryl specialises in providing tax advice on the structuring of international and domestic funds/products; tax due diligence on the acquisition of international and domestic entities; IPO of international and domestic entities; and pre and post transaction restructures. She has previously advised on a number of high profile transactions. She is a member of the Property Council of Australia’s international and capital markets’ committee and actively participates in Treasury and ATO consultation groups.

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Scott Farrell, ATI, KPMG

Scott is a senior Tax Partner at KPMG. He brings extensive experience and provides high quality service in advising on transactions in the Real Estate and Infrastructure sectors and is able to proactively resolve tax and commercial issues impacting these transactions. Alongside Scott’s exemplary client work, he also works closely with the industry through consultation with the Australian Taxation Office on a range of issues impacting his specialised area of Real Estate & Infrastructure. Specifically, Scott was involved in the recent amendments to the Attribution MIT regime, stapled structures and the tax related changes to Australia’s Foreign investment practices. Scott is a valued member of The Tax Institute and the Property Council of Australia’s International Tax Committee.

Matthew Popham, CTA, Newmont Goldcorp Australia

Matthew Popham, CTA, Newmont Goldcorp Australia

Matt is the current Director of Taxation for the Asia Pacific operations for Newmont Mining Corporation, a US listed gold mining group. Prior to joining Newmont in April 2019, Matt was an International Tax Partner at KPMG in Perth for 9 years, specialising in providing international tax and transfer pricing advice to multinational groups in a range of industries including Energy & Natural resources, the mining and engineering services sector and energy infrastructure groups. Matt also specialized in advising not-for-profit organisations on a range of taxation matters. Matt is a regular speaker at The Tax Institute's events and is a past Chair of WA State Council. He also guest lectures at Curtin University on International tax.

Norah Seddon, ATI, PwC

Norah Seddon, ATI, PwC

Norah is a partner at PwC and with the firm for over 27 years. She is currently the leader of the People & Organisation Tax team and is a member of the Tax Leadership Team for PwC. She works with clients to navigate the complex international and Australian tax matters that arise from moving people around the world and cross border tax matters.  Her clients include multinational companies, expatriates, individuals and family groups. She has deep technical expertise developed through her experience and wide client base.  Her expertise includes corporate, employment and individual tax. She has a passion for the opportunities arising from the impact of technology on the tax profession and on developing diverse talent for the next generation of the tax profession.

Adrian Varrasso, ATI, MinterEllison

Adrian Varrasso, ATI, MinterEllison

Adrian is the head of MinterEllison's tax practice and also leads their corporate tax offering. He is a corporate tax specialist with extensive experience in commercial transactions across a full range of sectors, and a client base that spans many international markets. Adrian's key areas of expertise are tax and structuring advice for mergers, acquisitions, divestments and demergers, and advising on infrastructure transactions. He is also on the Executive of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, having previously been National Chair of the Law Council of Australia's Taxation Committee, a member of the National Tax Liaison Group and the Consultation Steering Group, and continues to sit on the Commissioner's Remedial Power Panel, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Taxation Committee and the Melbourne Law School Advisory Council.

SME Tax Adviser

This award is open to members of The Tax Institute who have advised SME clients for more than 5 years. It showcases members with exceptional tax expertise, who contribute to the profession and have a high ethical standard.

 

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Joanne Casburn, FTI, Australian Taxation Office

Joanne has 28 years experience in the tax industry, including 9 years as an Assistant Commissioner in the ATO, mainly working in the Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals area, where she has lead teams across Australia engaging with SME clients. She also developed an expertise in Property & Construction, having set up and chaired the ATO’s external Property & Construction forum. Before joining the ATO, Joanne held senior positions in accounting and law firms in Sydney and Brisbane and has Economics Law Degrees and a Masters in International Taxation. She is a State Councillor of the Queensland division of The Tax Institute and a member of the Women's Tax Collective initiative being jointly driven by The Tax Institute and the Brisbane tax community. 

Natalie Claughton, MC Tax Advisors

Natalie Claughton, MC Tax Advisors

Natalie is a Director and Co-Founder of MC Tax Advisors, a boutique tax advisory firm that assists accountants with complex tax matters. Prior to forming MC Tax Advisors, Natalie was a Senior Tax Manager in the tax consulting division of Pitcher Partners. Natalie has extensive experience in advising the SME market on a wide range of taxation issues. She consults on varied transactions and matters, including mergers and acquisitions, structuring and restructuring, taxation of trusts and corporate taxation. Natalie has a Bachelor of Business and Laws (with Honours) from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, is admitted as an Australian lawyer to the Supreme Court of Victoria and is a registered tax agent. 

Leanne Connor, CTA, WGC Business Advisors

Leanne Connor, CTA, WGC Business Advisors

Leanne is a Director of WGC Business Advisors Pty Ltd, a chartered accountancy firm specialising in taxation and strategic advice to SMEs and high net worth individuals. Leanne has over 30 years experience providing accounting, business advisory, strategic superannuation and taxation services. Leanne’s areas of expertise include tax and superannuation planning, business restructuring and understanding the fundamental issues relating to SMSFs, family trusts and private companies.

Karen Rooke, CTA, Australian Taxation Office

Karen Rooke, CTA, Australian Taxation Office

Karen Rooke is an Assistant Commissioner in the Tax Counsel Network of the Australian Taxation Office. She has over 32 years experience in tax law, spanning private legal practice, academia and now in the public sector. Karen Joined the firm then known as Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) in 1987, and attended her first Tax Institute convention that year.  She became a partner of the firm in 1995, retiring in 2004 to take up a teaching position at the University of Sydney in the postgraduate tax program.  In 2007 she returned to King & Wood Mallesons as a consultant, combining teaching at the University with private practice until  2017, when she joined the ATO.

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Tania Waterhouse, Waterhouse Lawyers

Tania Waterhouse is the founding member of Waterhouse Lawyers, a boutique law firm dealing exclusively in tax. Tania always wanted to be a tax lawyer, however, she was a late starter to law, graduating from Monash University at 40. She was lucky enough to do her articles with Mallesons Stephen Jacques where she specialised in tax and superannuation. Tania then joined the ATO for ten years where she worked in the International Branch, Review and Dispute Resolution. After a brief break from tax, Tania started working as an Associate to the Hon. Justice M. Slattery at the Supreme Court of NSW. This was a great privilege. At the ripe old age of 60 Tania commenced her own law firm.

Chris Wookey, CTA, Chris Wookey Chartered Accountants

Chris Wookey, CTA, Chris Wookey Chartered Accountants

Until February 2019 Chris was a principal in the tax consulting division of Deloitte Private in Melbourne. He now operates his own consultancy firm. He has over 30 years' experience in the chartered accounting profession, is a chartered tax adviser and a member of The Tax Institute's SME & Tax Practitioner Technical Committee and the Victorian State Technical Resource Committee as well as a regular presenter at its events. His experience, centred on issues encountered by private groups, includes extensive involvement with the ATO and Treasury in the development of changes to Div 7A since 2010 and, more recently, was a member of the Board of Taxation’s Reference Group for its 2019 review of small business tax concessions.

Emerging Tax Star

Open to members and non-members with less than 5 years tax experience, this award recognises inspirational young tax professionals who are already proving themselves as future leaders in the profession.

 

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Christopher Annicchiarico, WRP Legal & Advisory

Chris is a Senior Associate at WRP Legal & Advisory, specialising in taxation and commercial law. He advises businesses, high net worth individuals, family groups and listed entities on a range of taxation, transactional, business structuring and commercial law matters, and works closely with accountants and other professional advisors. Chris sits on several Tax Institute committees, is a member of the South Australian division’s Emerging Leaders Program and regularly contributes to Institute events. Further to his professional pursuits, Chris is presently undertaking a Master’s degree in Taxation at the University of New South Wales and is due for completion later this year.

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Melissa Bader, ATI, KPMG Law

Melissa is a Senior Lawyer in KPMG Law’s Tax Dispute Resolution & Controversy team. Melissa represents clients in tax disputes and litigation with the Australian Taxation Office, Innovation and Science Australia, and State and Territory tax authorities. Melissa acts for a variety of taxpayers, including domestic and multinational corporate taxpayers and high wealth individuals from a wide variety of sectors, including pharmaceutical, resources, financial services, agriculture, sports/leisure and entertainment. She has achieved successful outcomes at the transaction, risk review, audit, objection and litigation stages of revenue disputes. Prior to working as a legal and tax practitioner, Melissa worked as an on-site mechanical engineer in the mining and resources sector.

Donovan Castelyn, Curtin University and Curtin Tax Clinic

Donovan Castelyn, Curtin University and Curtin Tax Clinic

Donovan is the Co-Founder and Clinic Supervisor of the Curtin Tax Clinic, Australia’s first pro-bono tax clinic and the impetus for the National Tax Clinic Program. Donovan is also an Associate Lecturer at Curtin University where he teaches into the taxation major and LLB streams with a primary focus on international taxation and Australian tax jurisprudence. Donovan’s research interests include comparative taxation, tax pedagogy and policy and design. Holding qualifications in both law and commerce, Donovan is admitted as a Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Having recently completed his Masters in International Taxation, Donovan now intends to further his studies through the CTA qualification and doctoral research in the field of taxation law.

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Amy Liu, CTA, Kelly Partners

Amy is a tax advisor with diverse experience across both direct and indirect taxation, especially in GST, advising clients on cross-border transactions, merger & acquisitions, restructures, inbound & outbound investments, and property development transactions. Amy’s practice also involves liaising with revenue authorities across tax controversy and audit matters. Amy has worked extensively with clients in the SME and large private group space dealing with trusts, succession planning issues and employee share schemes. Amy holds a Master of Laws and Bachelor of Law/Commerce from the University of Sydney and was admitted to practice as a lawyer in NSW in 2016. In addition, Amy is a Chartered Tax Advisor of The Tax Institute since 2019. 

Peter Scott, FTI, Arnold Bloch Leibler

Peter Scott, FTI, Arnold Bloch Leibler

Peter is a Senior Associate in Arnold Bloch Leibler’s taxation group. He provides strategic and technical tax advice to a diverse range of Australian and international clients, public corporations, private groups, and high-net-worth individuals. Peter advises across most areas of tax with a particular focus on corporate and international tax, deals, employee share schemes, trusts and tax controversy matters. Peter is a member of the Tax Institute NSW Emerging Leaders Subcommittee and was a 2019 Tax Institute Awards finalist in the Emerging Tax Star category.

Louise Van Wyk, FTI, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Louise Van Wyk, FTI, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills

Louise is an Associate at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills. Louise advises clients on a wide range of tax matters and assists clients operating in various industries, with a particular focus on the energy & resources and real estate sectors. Louise is admitted as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the High Court of Australia, and holds a Master of Taxation Law, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia. Louise is a member of The Tax Institute’s Emerging Leaders Committee in Western Australia.

Thank you to our 2020 Tax Adviser of the Year Awards judging panel:

Michael Barbour, CTA, Westpac

Catherine Dean, CTA, KPMG

Robyn Jacobson, CTA, TaxBanter

Katherine Patel, CTA, PKF Adelaide

Grantley Stevens, CTA, Nexia Edwards Marshall

Ellen Thomas, ATI, PwC

Julie Van der Velde, CTA, VdV Legal

Peter Vilaysack, CTA, EY

Kenneth Wee, CTA, Deloitte

Nominations

Nominations for the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards are accepted from individuals only. However, you can nominate a peer through our simple online nomination process.

You can be nominated for only one award category per year.

If you are a previous finalist, you are eligible to nominate again in the same category or another. If you are a previous award winner, however, you are not eligible to nominate again in the same category.

Judging

Nominations are reviewed by an independent judging panel that comprises leading members of the tax profession.

The judging uses a score-based process and finalists are advised by telephone or email.

Judges are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and ‘conflict of interest’ disclosure statement.

Confidentiality

The Tax Institute considers information provided in nominations as commercial-in-confidence.

This information is accessed only by organising staff and the judging panel. It is not published, or used for media or marketing, without the nominated party’s express permission and clearance.

Nominated parties are also expected to ensure their clients’ privacy in any examples they provide.

If you’re a finalist or winner, you will be recognised for your achievements in the tax profession.

This recognition includes the use of a special logo for your website and stationery, and promotion through The Tax Institute’s marketing and social media.

In addition, if you are a finalist, you will receive flights, accommodation and delegate registration to attend The Tax Summit 2020 in Sydney on 11-13 March. At the Gala Dinner, you will be presented with a framed certificate.

The winner in each category receives a prestigious trophy and is acknowledged as an outstanding tax leader through a range of mainstream media, social media and marketing channels.

The four award categories recognise excellence and achievement at different experience levels.

THE CHARTERED TAX ADVISER OF THE YEAR AWARD is given to a tax professional who has shown entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business expertise and innovative ideas. Nominees will demonstrate:

  • membership of The Tax Institute
  • more than 15 years’ tax experience
  • leadership in the tax profession
  • tax community involvement
  • outstanding ethics and professionalism

THE CORPORATE TAX ADVISER OF THE YEAR AWARD is given to a tax professional in the corporate environment. Nominees will demonstrate:

  • membership of The Tax Institute
  • more than 5 years’ tax experience
  • technical tax expertise
  • continuing knowledge development
  • tax community involvement
  • outstanding ethics and professionalism

THE SME TAX ADVISER OF THE YEAR AWARD is given to a tax adviser in the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) environment. Nominees will demonstrate:

  • membership of The Tax Institute
  • more than 5 years’ tax experience
  • technical tax expertise
  • continuing knowledge development
  • outstanding ethics and professionalism
THE EMERGING STAR TAX AWARD is given to a developing tax professional who has demonstrated commitment and passion in building their tax career. The winner of the 2019 Emerging Tax Star Award will receive a full scholarship into our Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law program valued at $9,900. The program provides you the expertise to offer superior professional tax advice, and undertake highly-skilled tax work across a range of contexts. Nominations are invited from members and non-members of The Tax Institute who can show:
  • completion of the CTA1 Foundations course or equivalent
  • less than 5 years’ experience in tax
  • technical tax expertise
  • tax community involvement
  • initiative in growing the tax profession
  • outstanding ethics and professionalism