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Kimura
  • Articling Student

Could anyone chime-in with some information on exit opportunities from Bay St for tax lawyers? Thanks!

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Chambertin
  • Lawyer

It depends on if you're a planner or litigator. 

If a planner, tons. You can work for banks or big institutional clients, insurance, oil, basically your former clients. That is what Bob did.

For a litigator, there really isn't, other than moving to DOJ. There really isn't a role for a tax litigator that's not private firm or DOJ. If there is, tell me about it!

 

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Kimura
  • Articling Student

Does the MOF or DOJ hire tax solicitors by any chance? I know at least one instance of a 7-sister tax associate moving over to CRA. 

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Pendragon
  • Lawyer
37 minutes ago, Kimura said:

Does the MOF or DOJ hire tax solicitors by any chance? I know at least one instance of a 7-sister tax associate moving over to CRA. 

https://www.chbalegal.com/jobs/legal-counsel-ministry-of-the-attorney-general-ministry-of-finance-legal-services-branch 

The Ministry of Finance very rarely hires external candidates. Generally, you need to article at the MAG and be hired back as Counsel to have a chance at working there. They hire external Assistant Crown Attorneys all the time, but most of the other divisions hire internal candidates only and job opportunities are scarce and only available when there is a vacancy (which rarely opens up as most public sector lawyers stay until retirement). These job postings will also ask for more senior lawyers to apply. So, if you didn't article at the MAG and have less than 5 years of experience in the field they are asking for, you will not get in. 

I have only seen tax litigators get into the DOJ. They also rarely have job postings for external candidates and the application process is long and rigorous. You might apply in 2021 and only be hired there in 2023. So, if you want to work in government, you should try to get in there from law school. Otherwise, your chances are very slim after that unless you are open to pursuing non-legal positions like policy analyst roles.

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On 10/25/2021 at 2:27 PM, Kimura said:

Does the MOF or DOJ hire tax solicitors by any chance? I know at least one instance of a 7-sister tax associate moving over to CRA. 

Province of BC will hire external solicitors.   Your best bet is probably talking with the head of the practice area so you are on their radar and they bother to post a job externally if they have an opening.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Fiona Apple
  • Lawyer

Perhaps a dumb question but what's the lateral market like if you're thinking about going abroad? (i.e. NY, London, etc.) Obviously tax is not like corporate law, but does it happen at all?

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Deadpool
  • Lawyer
3 hours ago, Fiona Apple said:

Perhaps a dumb question but what's the lateral market like if you're thinking about going abroad? (i.e. NY, London, etc.) Obviously tax is not like corporate law, but does it happen at all?

I have not seen any tax laterals, but if you do the Tax LLM from NYU, you can get into a US Big law firm, or a Big 4 accounting firm. It is considered the best tax program in the country and therefore competitive to get into, but worth doing if you want to be a tax lawyer in the US.

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Chambertin
  • Lawyer

Alta Energy tomorrow. Fingers crossed SCC makes the right decision (that decision being bureaucrats at CRA can't usurp Parliamentary authority in respect of tax treaties.)

It's up to Finance to decide if they don't like the deal they struck with Luxembourg anymore. 

 

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Songbird
  • Lawyer
17 hours ago, Chambertin said:

Alta Energy tomorrow. Fingers crossed SCC makes the right decision (that decision being bureaucrats at CRA can't usurp Parliamentary authority in respect of tax treaties.)

It's up to Finance to decide if they don't like the deal they struck with Luxembourg anymore. 

 

Well thank god that's done. Taxpayer wins. 

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On 11/25/2021 at 1:56 PM, Chambertin said:

 

It's up to Finance to decide if they don't like the deal they struck with Luxembourg anymore. 

 

 

But renegotiating tax treaties is hard.... *whinging voice*

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer
23 minutes ago, Kurrika said:

 

But renegotiating tax treaties is hard.... *whinging voice*

Would you even need to renegotiate? Couldn’t you just change the implementing legislation and then deal with it if the Luxembourgers kicked up a fuss? 

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Chambertin
  • Lawyer
On 11/27/2021 at 3:09 PM, Kurrika said:

 

But renegotiating tax treaties is hard.... *whinging voice*

Sounds like Finance is filled with a bunch of gros bébé la la's. 

Seriously, it is hard, absolutely, but it's the right way to do it. You can't let the maniacs at CRA negotiate your treaties for you, that's banana-pants crazy! 

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Chambertin
  • Lawyer

And Loblaw Financial is coming Friday! 2 SCC tax cases in one week! Oh my!

 

I don't understand why they chose to hear Loblaw, the provision has seen been altered so it's not relevant except to Loblaw Financial and perhaps a couple other taxpayers at best. My only thinking is to opine on FAPI for which there is no SCC guidance but then why this case?

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Fiona Apple
  • Lawyer
On 11/29/2021 at 6:46 PM, Kurrika said:

What the world needs most right now is the SCC and their weirdo clerks weighing in of FAPI /sarcastic voice

That's a bit unfair...there are usually two or three non-weirdo clerks in the class of 36. (Probably the normal ones wouldn't volunteer to work on a FAPI case though.)

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Pantalaimon
  • Lawyer
On 11/29/2021 at 3:06 PM, Chambertin said:

And Loblaw Financial is coming Friday! 2 SCC tax cases in one week! Oh my!

 

I don't understand why they chose to hear Loblaw, the provision has seen been altered so it's not relevant except to Loblaw Financial and perhaps a couple other taxpayers at best. My only thinking is to opine on FAPI for which there is no SCC guidance but then why this case?

Anyone expecting 7-0? Only skimmed but the headnote seems quite... firm.

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  • 3 weeks later...
switchdog
  • Lawyer

What is practicing tax generally like at a big, Bay St. firm? I am a junior at a smaller firm and toying with the idea of trying to lateral to a big firm in the new year. Are demands similar to corporate, or are things a bit more laid back? All my big law friends are in other practice groups, so was hoping for someone to share their thoughts.

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easttowest
  • Lawyer
21 hours ago, switchdog said:

What is practicing tax generally like at a big, Bay St. firm? I am a junior at a smaller firm and toying with the idea of trying to lateral to a big firm in the new year. Are demands similar to corporate, or are things a bit more laid back? All my big law friends are in other practice groups, so was hoping for someone to share their thoughts.

I don’t know much specifically but I do know that at our shop they have a lower billable target.

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Pantalaimon
  • Lawyer
On 12/21/2021 at 9:25 PM, switchdog said:

What is practicing tax generally like at a big, Bay St. firm? I am a junior at a smaller firm and toying with the idea of trying to lateral to a big firm in the new year. Are demands similar to corporate, or are things a bit more laid back? All my big law friends are in other practice groups, so was hoping for someone to share their thoughts.

Only an articling student, but it's a little more chill because you're not typically involved in closing mechanics. So there's fewer late nights or super early mornings. That said, our group carries a larger number of files at any given time so we're just as busy as corporate in terms of hours. I wish I had a lower target 😞

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Barry
  • Law Student
On 10/7/2021 at 9:41 PM, Kurrika said:

Try to clerk because clerking is fun.

Can you elaborate on why clerking is fun? Not that I'm all that confident I'll perform well enough to be competitive to clerk, but I'm curious because I've heard about the opportunities it can lead to and doors it can open, but I've never heard it described as fun. 

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Well I clerked at the tax court which is a little different than some other courts.   Clerks are pooled and you get assignments with a bunch of different judges (instead of just one judge your entire term).

If you like tax you get to sit around thinking about high brow tax issues with access to a fantastic library and your fellow clerks (who tend to be pretty smart) and work a fairly relaxed schedule compared to private practice.  Every two weeks or so a practitioner comes in to give you a seminar on a tax topic.   You generally finish work around 4 or 5 and then head to the pub with your fellow clerks for a beer before going home (you have to organize this yourself, apparently some cohorts are weird and anti social, mine wasn't).  Some people worked longer hours if they were on a major case.  Every once in a while you'd fly to a different city (the tax court is a circuit court) for a case in Toronto or Vancouver or wherever, depending on travel budget.

 

The court has seen some turn over since I left, but generally the judges were all extremely pleasant to work for.

 

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Fiona Apple
  • Lawyer
On 12/29/2021 at 12:39 PM, Kurrika said:

Well I clerked at the tax court which is a little different than some other courts.   Clerks are pooled and you get assignments with a bunch of different judges (instead of just one judge your entire term).

If you like tax you get to sit around thinking about high brow tax issues with access to a fantastic library and your fellow clerks (who tend to be pretty smart) and work a fairly relaxed schedule compared to private practice.  Every two weeks or so a practitioner comes in to give you a seminar on a tax topic.   You generally finish work around 4 or 5 and then head to the pub with your fellow clerks for a beer before going home (you have to organize this yourself, apparently some cohorts are weird and anti social, mine wasn't).  Some people worked longer hours if they were on a major case.  Every once in a while you'd fly to a different city (the tax court is a circuit court) for a case in Toronto or Vancouver or wherever, depending on travel budget.

 

The court has seen some turn over since I left, but generally the judges were all extremely pleasant to work for.

 

Finishing work around 4 or 5? My clerking experience was very different lol. Maybe I should have gone to the tax court...

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3 hours ago, Fiona Apple said:

Finishing work around 4 or 5? My clerking experience was very different lol. Maybe I should have gone to the tax court...

Depended on how efficient you were and if you were on a big case etc...  And how early in the morning you started.  I lived across the street from the court when I clerked, so I started by 745 most mornings and ate my lunch at my desk.

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