B&M hires head of tax from KPMG

Baker & McKenzie has found a head of tax for its Madrid office, as the global firm builds its international tax group.

Partner Isabel de Otaola y Ubieta has joined the firm from KPMG's Spanish law firm to take over leadership of the Madrid-based tax team.

The position she fills became vacant following the departure of Abelardo Delgado to Arthur Andersen's law firm Garrigues & Andersen, which has 43 tax partners.

Otaola y Ubieta specialised in acquisitions and corporate restructuring at KPMG Estudio Juridico y Tributario.

Baker & McKenzie has also poached a high profile tax partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington DC. Peter Daub is set to join Baker & McKenzie's Washington office in January.

As part of Baker & McKenzie's recruitment spree, two senior associates from US firms are joining the firm in Zurich. Victoria Dalmas is quitting Bond Schoeneck & King's Syracuse's New York office and Rebecca Wacaser is leaving the Chicago office of Mayer Brown & Platt.

UK barrister Stephanie Jarrett is leaving Union Bank Swiss AG's head office in Zurich to head the private banking group in Geneva.

And Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong office is gaining senior associate David Hirsberg, who was a partner at US firm Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn.

Philip Marcovici, Zurich-based coordinator of Baker & McKenzie's European tax practice, says: “We are substantially building up our tax practice worldwide including in the UK, France and Switzerland.

“Spain is one of the markets where the accountants have been very aggressive.”

He says accountancy firms are Baker & McKenzie's main tax competition and his firm is using its independence as a selling point.

Baker & McKenzie has taken on 24 senior level tax lawyers this year.