Simone Bridges

Simone Bridges

Partner
Baker & McKenzie

Biography

Simone is a Partner in the Sydney office of Baker McKenzie, and holds a leadership role on the Firm's Global Indirect Tax Steering Committee.

She is ranked by Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner and is listed as a Women Leader in Tax by the International Tax Review. Simone is also an author and contributor to Thomson Reuters and CCH tax commentary.

She has been a guest speaker at University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, and is a regular panelist and presenter at Global Taxation Executive Institute events, the Global Tax Disputes Forum and the Asia Pacific Tax conference.

Simone is a go-to person for advising companies in the digital economy / tech industry, investing/selling into Australia and managing cross border tax disputes. She has worked on the West Coast of the United States, advising US based multinationals and technology companies on Australian tax issues.

She is known for being at the forefront of tax policy and tax law developments, understanding the application to a variety of business structures and supply chains.  She has recently been appointed by the Australian Treasury to a group of experts providing input on tax policy and law.

Practice Focus

Simone advises both international and Australian domestic businesses. She focuses her practice on tax planning (specialising in indirect taxes such as GST, stamp duty and customs), restructuring, acquisitions and managing tax controversies in Australia. The Legal 500 has noted "Simone Bridges is a standout name for cross-border GST and duty matters" - Legal 500 (2020).

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised a leading technology multinational on the application of Australia's GST, stamp duty and multinational anti-avoidance laws to its acquisition of a USD 1 billion Australian business and its subsequent restructure (2019).
  • Defending a US based multinational on a material Australian tax audit from a GST, transfer pricing and permanent establishment perspective (2020).
  • Advised Broadcom on its acquisition of Symantec (2019).
  • Advised Elanor Commercial Property Fund (with Australian commercial property worth approx. AUD 300 million) on the stamp duty aspects of its successful listing on the ASX.
  • Advising on the acquisition of a large scale suite of data centres in Australia from a stamp duty and GST perspective. 
  • Advised AccorInvest on the AUD 300 million disposal of a 23-hotel portfolio (2019).
  • Advised SK E&S on the acquisition of a 25% interest in the Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG from Santos, part of a bundle of assets Santos is acquiring from ConocoPhillips for AUD 2.2 billon (2019).
  • Represented over 20 multinationals on the application of Australia's multinational anti-avoidance law by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Provided strategic landholder duty advice on an acquisition by a foreign company on interests in Australian land interests.
  • Advised a board and company directors on the personal liability of directors for unpaid taxes (including PAYG/super/payroll) and GST.
  • Advised a pharmaceutical company on global restructuring and defended the structure during a transfer pricing audit (2019).
  • Defended one of Australia's largest property developers in a land tax dispute (2019).
  • Obtained a favourable customs duty advance pricing ruling for an in-bound supplier of luxury consumer goods.
  • Representing a company in responding to offshore information notices issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Representing a fast moving consumer goods corporate group in a corporate tax governance review by the Australian Taxation Office. 
  • Advised Morrison & Co on the duty and GST aspects of its acquisition of water utility Flow Systems (2019).

Professional Honors

  • Next Generation Partner, Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018-2020
  • Women in Tax Leader, International Tax Review, 2016-2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Taxation Institute of Australia - Member
  • Law Society of New South Wales - Member
  • International Fiscal Association - Member

Admissions

  • New South Wales~Australia (2009)

Education

  • University of Sydney (LLM) (2017)
  • University of Wollongong (LLB Business Commerce <p>Honors &amp; Distinction</p>) (2008)

Languages

  • English