Dorsey & Whitney loses tax team to litigation boutique

A team of tax litigators led by partner Simon Whitehead have quit the US firm Dorsey & Whitney for litigation boutique Hage Aaronson.

Simon Whitehead
Simon Whitehead

Tax litigation chief Whitehead has left the London office along with partner Paul Farmer, a former tax official for the European Commission who joined the firm in 2007. They will be joined by solicitor Robert Waterson and barrister Philippe Freund. The exits will leave Dorsey without a tax litigation team in London.

Whitehead has been with the firm since 2003 when he joined from Landwell (10 February 2003), he was joined in 2007 by Farmer (8 November 2007).

Whitehead is a prolific litigator and last year appeared in the Supreme Court dispute between the Franked Investment Income Group Litigation and HMRC, listed as one of the cases to watch in 2012 (2 January 2012). The outcome of the dispute was divided leaving Whitehead to claim a partial win last May for the appellants (18 June 2012).

The US firm’s London co-head Barry Glazer told The Lawyer that there were no immediate plans to replace the team. “While we’re sorry to see the team leave it was a stand alone group and has no spill over effect on the rest of our core practice areas,” he said.

Hage Aaronson, which is home to two principals, could not be reached for comment but the firm has taken new office space in Holborn. The boutique signed a 15-year lease to take the seventh floor of 280 High Holborn in a move that signals expansion at the firm.