Cadwalader’s Adam Blakemore Speaks on Global Financing Panel at IBA’s 11th Annual Finance and Capital Markets Tax Conference

March 08, 2022

Cadwalader partner Adam Blakemore last week participated as a speaker at the IBA’s 11th annual Finance and Capital Markets Tax Conference. The event, held virtually this year, is an annual gathering for finance professionals and academics to learn about the latest advances in corporate finance, tax and capital markets.

Blakemore’s panel, “The Impact of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) on International Finance,” focused on the impact of BEPS on international finance. He was joined by a group of international panelists, including Sylvia Dikmans, a partner at Houthoff; Mark H. Leeds, a partner at Mayer Brown; Stefan Mayer, a partner at Gleiss Lutz; Michael Nordin, a partner at Schellenberg Wittmer; Rebeca Rodriguez Martínez, a partner at Cuatrecasas; and chair Guglielmo Maisto, a partner at Maisto e Associati.

More specifically, Blakemore addressed the following:

  • The trends over the last two years that have been followed by UK companies, and their advisers, to access tax relief for financing costs. In particular, Blakemore considered the scope of (and exemptions from) the UK’s corporate interest restrictions legislation, the utilisation of the UK’s regime for securitisation companies and the forthcoming regime in the UK for Qualifying Asset Holding Companies, which is focused on investment funds and the institutional investment sector, and which will be operational from April 2022.
  • The case law developments in this area, while noting the importance of sound contemporaneous documentation in evidencing the decisions of company directors in arranging finance, and thereby preventing later arguments with taxation authorities that the action taken by a company in seeking tax deductions was motivated by tax avoidance.
  • A consideration of whether interest withholding tax was still problematic in the UK in 2022.  As Blakemore noted, while there are numerous exemptions from UK withholding tax, HMRC have been active in looking at whether certain non-UK resident companies facing UK borrowers enjoy beneficial ownership in the interest being paid from the UK. In turn, this led to a discussion on the adoption and practical impact in the UK of the “principal purpose test” which, since the OECD BEPS project, has been inserted into the UK’s double tax treaties.

“The IBA’s annual Finance and Capital Markets Tax Conference has fast become an unmissable event in UK tax practitioners’ calendars,” Blakemore said. “It offers an excellent opportunity to discuss a wide range of taxation questions and challenges in a finance and capital markets context with clients and other professionals. With the challenges of a post-pandemic world and an increasingly inter-connected business landscape, the topics discussed at the conference are of paramount interest for professionals who must keep up to date with this essential area of taxation law.”

A tax partner in Cadwalader’s London, Blakemore advises on the taxation aspects of structuring domestic and cross-border corporate and financing transactions, including securitisations, hybrid capital issuances, repackagings, credit linked instruments, stock lending arrangements and a variety of financial products. His practice also involves acting on restructurings in solvent and distressed debt situations, corporate reorganisations and reconstructions, with a particular interest in the structuring and restructuring of investment funds, asset management entities and private equity financings.