Head office (London, UK)

Ray Smith

Partner, London


+44 (0) 20 7876 6145

Main office

+44 (0) 20 7876 5000
+44 (0) 20 7876 5111
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Ray is the head of the UK tax practice. He is dual qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia and as a solicitor in England. He is a member of the VAT Practitioners Group and of the corporate tax expert panel of the Quoted Companies Alliance (“QCA”) and is the author of the practice note on Insurance Premium Tax published by PLC. He has written many published tax articles, including for the Tax Journal and Insurance Day, and is listed in Chambers UK 2011 as a Notable London Tax Practitioner.

Ray advises on tax planning, tax litigation and the full range of taxes in relation to corporate, commercial, financing and property transactions. He also advises on SDLT, VAT and Insurance Premium Tax.

He also advises on regulatory issues relating to the ownership of ships and has extensive experience in negotiating shipbuilding and ship financing documents. His clients are either shipping entrepreneurs or, in the case of John’s superyacht work, high net-worth individuals, superyacht builders, designers and banks.


  • AMTrust Financial Services – advising on the tax aspects of its recent cash purchase from Genworth Financial Inc. of its European mortgage-insurance business (tangible book value of the operations circa USD 155 million)
    BRF S.A. (the world’s seventh largest food company by market capitalisation) – advising on tax aspects of its joint venture with the UK’s INVICTA Food Group
  • AMTrust Financial Corporation Inc. – acting for the purchaser in relation to an integrated Lloyd’s vehicle (managing agent and capital provider for both a life and non-life Lloyd’s syndicate) and a Cayman reinsurer (transaction value circa GBP 256 million)
  • Cathedral Group – Circus Street Project: advising the developer, Cathedral, on a major regeneration project in Brighton involving the Council and the University
  • VPS Healthcare (Middle East Healthcare giant) – advising on the tax aspects of its recent acquisition of and the future development plans for the Royal Masonic Hospital in Hammersmith which will create a new cancer centre, and create 2,000 jobs. (The VPS group now owns a network of hospitals, pharmacies and medical support services across the Middle East and India with over 7,500 staff)
  • International Airlines – advising two well-known international airlines on the tax aspects of the largest UK landing-slot transaction to date


  • Tax

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