KPMG dominates 2019 Asia Tax Awards but EY claims Tax Firm of the Year

14 May 2019 3 min. read
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The winners of International Tax Review’s 2019 Asia Tax Awards have been announced with Ernst & Young named Tax Firm of the Year.

After three consecutive crowns in the Asia Tax Awards’ Tax Firm of the Year category, KPMG has this year been bumped from the podium by fellow Big Four firm Ernst & Young. KPMG however retained its regional Tax Disputes & Litigation Firm of the Year title and this year pinched the Transfer Pricing Firm award from last year’s winner Deloitte, with KPMG also taking home the Asia Indirect Tax Firm of the Year award.

With a cross-border focus on corporate, indirect, disputes and compliance management tax-related matters, the International Tax Review (IRT) is a respected industry platform for tax professionals, with its annual international awards coveted by tax firms and executives. This year’s awards covered 18 jurisdictions across the Asia Pacific, as well as celebrating regional and individual winners, tax specialties, in-house teams, and specific tax cases.

At a country level, KPMG also picked up the most Tax Firm of the Year awards with six –, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and, as the only nominees, Sri Lanka and Pakistan – while Ernst & Young and Deloitte took three apiece; EY strong in East Asia in claiming China, Japan and Taiwan, and Deloitte in the Malay Archipelago with Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The remaining country titles were claimed by smaller local firms.

KPMG dominates 2019 Asia Tax Awards but EY claims Tax Firm of the Year

With country-level Tax Disputes & Litigation Firm and Transfer Pricing Firm of the year award also issued in the bulk of jurisdictions, KPMG altogether took home 18 country gongs, including a clean sweep in Hong Kong, while Deloitte, which together led the number of nominations with KPMG, achieved a total of 11. EY, meanwhile, was awarded on nine occasions, and Baker McKenzie popped up for a five of its own – adding to its International Tax Law Firm triumph. 

In respect to other regional special category awards, KPMG and EY again shared most of the spoils, the former for Tax Technology and Tax Innovator, Withholding, and Compliance & Reporting, and EY in the Tax Transaction and Tax Policy divisions. Elsewhere, the US Corporate Tax Team in Asia title was won by Baker McKenzie, while Australia’s Minter Ellison was awarded as best Global Executive Mobility Tax Team. Boutique, Transfer Pricing Solutions, was named the region’s best newcomer.

Rounding out the list were the individual leadership awards in each of the three main categories, with Asia Tax Disputes & Litigation Practice Leader of the Year ward going to Angela Wood of KPMG Australia, EY’s Singapore-based partner Luis Coronado taking the Transfer Pricing Leader title, and the overall Asia Tax Practice Leader for 2019 announced as Edmund Leow, senior partner at Dentons Rodyk – part of the world’s largest law firm.

“We’re delighted to congratulate EY China, @Japan_EY and the EY Asia-Pacific Tax team on winning awards at this year’s @IntlTaxReview Asia Tax Awards held in Singapore last night,” the Big Four’s tax team posted on Twitter, with the awards ceremony this year held at the  Singapore’s Marina Mandarin. The awards are assessed on submitted case size, complexity, innovation and impact.