A top team from Sherrards Solicitors were among the 138 delegates from 78 independent accounting and law firms in 38 countries who were in attendance in Madrid for the 2019 Worldwide Conference of Alliott Group, the firm’s international alliance.
During 2019, the alliance has enjoyed record membership growth, with 21 new firms joining in 16 countries. This surge in membership was reflected in the high turnout for the conference (23-26 October) which also marked the alliance’s 40th anniversary.
The alliance’s growth strategy was outlined by new COO Giles Brake who is targeting the expansion of the group’s membership to 100 countries within three years to ensure Alliott Group member firms can offer a truly global solution to clients involved in or considering international business activity.
Participation in the alliance’s conference programme ensures that our professionals can form trusted personal relationships with senior advisors at like-minded professional firms across the world who will handle our clients’ business with maximum care and efficiency and who have expert knowledge of their local jurisdiction’s tax, government and legal systems.
Involvement in the conference also immersed professionals from Sherrards Solicitors in global practice groups focused on sharing knowledge and developing joint capability and new opportunities in areas including M&A, Real Estate, International Private Wealth, Global Mobility and Business Law.
Paul Marmor, Sherrards’ International Partner and Head of Litigation, comments: “Membership of Alliott Group is an investment we make on behalf of our clients and professional staff. The world is now global and the rate of technological and regulatory change is unprecedented- it is vital that we are connected to accountants, lawyers, tax advisers, auditors and other business professionals who will provide new insights. Our ongoing participation in Alliott Group’s activities gives us additional inspiration and high calibre professional contacts that will ensure our firm and our clients are future-ready.”
Conference highlights included Declan Curry, the former business presenter on BBC One’s Breakfast TV, leading a panel discussion (which included Paul Marmor) that explored business, economic and political issues such as Brexit, the impact of the China/US trade war on supply chains, slowed growth in Europe and China, and recessionary fears in the US and Hong Kong. The conclusions of the panel were that we live in a time of uncertainty, growing protectionism and regulations sometimes getting in the way of business.
Declan Curry comments: “We had a pretty robust and wide-ranging discussion, putting the world to rights on some quite testing areas, and I was delighted to host this panel for the Alliott Group. It was refreshing to hear so many informed and authoritative perspectives from different parts of the world; it was immensely helpful in rounding out our knowledge.”
Local experts Luis Alvarez from Spain’s Ministry for the Economy & Business and Maria Jesus Fernandez, Executive Director at ICEX-Invest in Spain, explained that Spain is very much open for business. The country has a competitive corporate tax rate of 25%, GDP growth of 2.1% (projected), a thriving international M&A market with deals valued at over €107,400 million in 2018, and Foreign Direct Investment flows at record highs of €55,300 million (2018). The energy sector, particularly renewables, was highlighted as a particularly attractive opportunity for foreign investors.
Managing Partner and Property & Real Estate lawyer, Alasdair McMillin, chaired a special interest group focusing on property-related matters, attended by over 40 members. Alasdair reflected: “It’s a great opportunity to get so many like-minded professionals, who are passionate about real estate, in one room together – I couldn’t have been happier.”
Head of Private Client, Nicole Marmor, made her mark at the international private wealth special interest meeting, giving insights into cross-border issues which often arise on intestacies, where somebody dies without leaving a Will. Nicole comments: “There is no doubt that having connectivity and access to professionals all over the globe is incredibly useful in today’s climate, with so much more fluidity and movement in terms of families owning assets in multiple jurisdictions, with all the issues that that can entail in terms of succession planning.”
Melissa Vangeen, Immigration Specialist, loved attending her first Alliott Group conference and giving her views to the global mobility group on some of the implications, from an immigration perspective, arising out of Brexit, speaking to over 40 professionals: “What a group – such talent around the table. Our international reach and ability to share know-how is really enhanced, and with what is happening with Brexit the need for such reach has never been more important than ever before in my professional lifetime.”
Jean-Paul da Costa, Head of Corporate, had much to say in the corporate and M&A session, reinforcing the importance of English commercial law when it comes to international contracts, making it clear that the UK remains a centre of excellence, and indeed a magnet for inbound investment – including, and in particular, in the area of fintech.
Nicole and Alasdair teamed up with Jürgen Philipp of Stuttgart law firm, Dachs Bartling Spohn & Partner, to present a case study to the group, explaining a matter which they all worked on together concerning a Bundesliga football player moving from one agent to another, and although the deal was all German-based, the rules were governed by English law and the English FA, requiring input from Sherrards’ Employment team and German desk, headed by Nicole.
Founded in 1979, and with some 150 member firms in 65 countries, Alliott Group (www.alliottgroup.net) is an award winning international alliance of independent accounting and law firms that need access to a larger resource base on an international basis to develop reputation, visibility and new business. Alliott Group provides services to help its member firms position themselves as the ‘go to’ firms in their local markets for businesses and private individuals with multi-market business interests.
For more information
To find out more about how Sherrards Solicitors can provide professional advisory support to clients doing business in different markets around the world, please contact Paul Marmor (+44 (0)207 478 9010 / email@example.com) or visit our website www.sherrards.com