Description

The Team

Employee Benefits Group 


The team consists of two Partners and 3 Associates.  The team, led by Jeremy Edwards, has significantly developed its client base in recent years and is a prominent UK team, a position that is reflected in the calibre of the group's UK client base.  The team is also part of a wider international share plan team (Baker McKenzie's Global Equity Services), forming a leading global share plan team.

Core areas

The core practice of the Employee Benefits Group includes advising on the implementation of share plans for numerous UK, US and European multinationals and advising in connection with employment tax issues and tax planning for expatriate employees and their employers. The core practice continues to grow. Regular client instructions continue as before and we have seen an increase in initiatives relating to the launch of international share plans.  

There is a continued focus on assisting companies understand and comply with their tax withholding and reporting obligations in relation to employee share plans. This is particularly the case with respect to internationally mobile employees, and we expect this to continue.  Allied to this, we expect increased focus on global mobility issues, working alongside colleagues in our market-leading Employment team and our Immigration practice as a combined mobility offering.

The Employee Benefits Group also advises companies on takeovers, redomestications and IPOs- with the Employee Benefits Group supporting both the London corporate and corporate tax groups and providing support  on overseas transactions led by other offices (and sometimes for stand alone clients).

The London practice puts considerable effort into getting to grips with new areas of law and considers it important to be at the cutting edge of developments. This emphasis is reflected in the internal and external training courses that it provides (see below). As well as mobility issues, another current area of focus is remuneration structures in increasingly regulated sectors, such as financial services.

The London practice is particularly known for its ability to service the needs of international companies launching share plans into both the UK and internationally. 

International strength


The Employee Benefits Group is part of Baker McKenzie's leading international global share plan practice, the Global Equity Services Group. 

The Global Equity Services Group has 8 dedicated partners in the USA alone and a dedicated  partner in each of the other leading European and Asian jurisdictions (and many more partners who provide input into specialised employee share scheme areas, as needed). The global group also has a strong continental European practice, which the London practice is actively involved in. Our European and US practices work together closely and our global and European groups undertake many joint initiatives such as seminars and webinars.

Wide client base

The Employee Benefits Group deals with a wider range of clients than most London share plan teams as a result of the firm's international network. As a consequence,  the London practice prides itself on its ability to provide detailed tax and legal advice which is both practical and delivered efficiently. 

The Employee Benefits Group's client base includes many of the world's leading companies. The leading practitioners in the London practice will advise over 100 clients each in the course of a year. The list of clients named in the submission is only intended as a sample of our extensive client base.

The Role

The role will be complex and wide-ranging, it will include (for instance):

  • Advising on all aspects of the implementation and operation of share plans for UK, US and European multinationals;
  • Advising on PLC development and advising on takeovers and mergers and other transactions;
  • Advising on complex employee tax issues and tax planning;
  • Advising on tax withholding and reporting obligations in relation to employee share plans; 
  • Assisting on international reviews and international launches of plans;
  • Understanding and communicating trends in the sector and their impact on the client's position to clients;
  • Undertaking some BD activity consistent with the team's wider strategy, including attending industry training and networking events;
  • Preparing client updates on developments of interest to our client base;
  • Drafting legal documents that are structurally consistent and accurately reflect relevant instructions;
  • Taking responsibility for thinking ahead and checking that matters are progressing according to the timetable and communicating appropriately with clients;
  • Maintaining regular dialogue with the Partner/Senior Associate on performance against budget;
  • Recognising actual or potential sensitive client issues;
  • Matching 'time spent' to value and interpreting financial data to understand individual/matter profitability;
  • Taking a role in analysing and interpreting billing/realisation data to assess level of profitability and reviewing pre-bills where required; and making preliminary recommendations on difficult ethical/conflict issues and referring to Partner(s)

Key Skills and Skills Required

We are ideally looking for a Senior Associate with the following skills and experience:

  • A qualified lawyer with excellent academic credentials 
  • Strong technical skills
  • Share plan practitioner
  • With particular focus on supporting corporate tax on transactions - must be pragmatic and have sound commercial judgment and have earn out experience
  • With knowledge and interest in supporting Private Equity and funds- 
  • Must be ready and able to provide business development support (especially to corporate tax/ Private Equity area of practice)
  • Internal liaison skills
  • External facing
  • Must be interested in building practice and assisting development of other members of the team       
  • Significant experience of employee share plan issues together with wider employee tax expertise (ideally including mobility issues)
  • Will consider candidates from an accountancy background
  • Must be able to pro-actively take forward matters
  • Will be a team player, able to forge strong working relationships with external and overseas departments
  • Will be a highly credible individual with gravitas and high level of intellectual ability
  • Will have strategic awareness of business and commercial issues
  • Genuine interest in business development 
  • Will have a pro-active commercial outlook  
  • Respects and enjoys the diversity of cultural, social and academic backgrounds found in the Firm.

Why Join Us?

Baker McKenzie is a truly global law firm. Founded in 1949, we advise many of the world’s most dynamic and successful business organisations through our 13,200 people in 78 offices in 46 countries. Yet big does not mean impersonal. We work hard to ensure that everyone knows their role and has the support they need to perform it to the highest standard. Our culture encourages this - how we work, think and behave in a collaborative and fulfilling way. 

In London you will be part of a 950 person office, which is also our largest office globally. Originally opened in 1961, Baker McKenzie London is well established in the UK as a leading international law firm and is regularly involved in some of the country's most high-profile legal matters. We can offer you the work, pride and experience of being part of a leading law firm but in a local office environment that is hardworking, friendly and supportive. 

The strength of the firm and our culture is evidenced by a number of recent awards, including: 

  • Acritas’ Sharplegal Global Elite Brand Index, 2010- 2020 - ranked 1st 
  • The Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For 2011, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17: currently ranked 66th 
  • The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2018: currently ranked 65th 
  • Thomson Reuters ranked the Firm No. 1 for cross-border deals for the last 12 years. More than 70% of our deals are cross-border. 
  • For the 14th consecutive year, the Firm was ranked first for deals with emerging market involvement, by both number of announced and completed deals. 
  • Law360 ranked the Firm as the leading global law firm in its annual survey. 
  • Identified as one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, Law360 and Euromoney. 
  • Named one of Stonewall's Top Global Employers for the fourth consecutive year in 2019. 
  • Recognised in 2019 as a top 10 employer in the UK for LGBT+ equality, and named as one of 10 Top Trans Employers, in Stonewall's Top 100 Best Employers listing. 
  • Featuring in Business in the Community's Top 100 Employers for Race listing. 
  • Ranking 5th in the 2019 Social Mobility Employer Index. 
  • Winning the Best International Firm (UK), Best International Firm for Minority Women Lawyers, and Best International Firm for Women in Business Law at the European Women in Business Law Awards 2019.

Have a look at our YouTube channel to find out more about us! 

To Apply

At Baker McKenzie we welcome direct applications. 

Please click on the Apply icon to start the online application process for this role. We will then be in touch with you once we have reviewed your application. If you are unable to apply online, please contact the Recruitment Team on either 020 7919 1000 or Recruitment.London@bakermckenzie.com 

For more information about this position or to discuss any adjustments you may require during the process please contact, in confidence, David Roberts, Recruitment Manager, on 020 7072 5752 or David.Roberts@bakermckenzie.com

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Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Baker McKenzie has a culture of diversity and inclusion in its DNA - since our beginning, the differences of our people have helped us to work fluently across borders, cultures and practices. This is intrinsic to everything we do and underpins Baker McKenzie's vision to be the global law firm of choice. We understand that organisations work best when people with different backgrounds and points of view are brought together. We also know people perform at their best when they can be themselves at work. Baker McKenzie is committed to serving our clients with innovative solutions brought about by a diverse talent pool and an inclusive community.

The London office mirrors the wider firm in encouraging the best people, regardless of race, culture, religion or belief (if any), gender, gender identity and expression, disability, sexual orientation or age, to fulfil their professional aspirations with us so as to create an exciting and diverse legal environment.

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