Sonnenberg gains PwC team

A three-partner team has broken away from PricewaterhouseCoopers in South Africa to join Sonnenberg Hoffmann Galomibk’s tax advisory practice.

The team led by partners Bernard du Plessis, Gerhard Badenhorst and Christo Landmen cited the renewed emphasis on auditor independence in a tax advisory environment as the reason for its departure from the accountancy giant.

Sonnenberg has significantly grown its tax advisory group, after hiring a 15-strong team from KPMG last year, which included both lawyers and accountants. The PwC team includes one lawyer and seven accountants.

Sonnenberg director Deon de Klerk said that he believed a tax advisory practice sat much better within a law firm than within an accountancy firm because there was no conflict of interest. “I think eventually tax advice will no longer be provided by audit firms,” he said.

Commenting on his decision to join the law firm, du Plessis said: “Sonnenberg was one of the first law firms to successfully integrate attorneys and tax advisors with an accounting background.”

The team first approached the law firm in around April this year. Although the accountants can not legally join Sonnenberg as partners, they will be remunerated in exactly the same way as the firm’s partners. They will join Sonnenberg within the next couple of months.