Michael Murphy

Mike Murphy helps clients get to the finishing line. Unsurprisingly, clients attach great importance to achieving their commercial objectives. It is rare for transactions and projects not to give rise to tax issues. In almost all cases these can be overcome and should not be seen as a 'deal breaker'. Extensive transactional experience enables Mike to analyse tax problems within their commercial context and to advise as to how tax risks should be dealt with or mitigated with a view to concluding the transaction or project in a way which is commercially desirable to all parties.

Mike advises on joint ventures, equity and debt capital raisings and corporate reorganisations and restructurings for a wide range of clients including listed and unlisted funds. He also advises entrepreneurs, private equity investors and venture capitalists in relation to tax issues on investment and on exit and employees on equity-based incentive arrangements.

Mike has advised a number of LSE listed investments trusts and various closed-ended off-shore listed funds in relation to their IPO, subsequent equity financings and corporate restructurings, including restructurings allowing investors a continuity option or to exit tax-efficiently.

He is interested in the commercial imperatives behind a transaction and always advise in the context of what is driving the deal. An awareness of company, finance and employment law issues enable him to position his tax advice in the light of other considerations which may be at play.

He has experience of advising in relation to the transactions involving many different asset classes including mining and natural resources, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, real estate, publishing and media and insurance and financial services.


Designing a demerger structure from a company law perspective meant that assets could be returned to shareholders tax-free. Sadly the government has now put a stop to that type of structure.

More recently advising on an acquisition structure and suggesting a restructuring to deliver an improved accounting but tax-neutral position for the client.


Listed and unlisted funds. Listed and unlisted companies. Financial institutions. Entrepreneurs and senior executives.


Advising on UK tax in relation to a series of transactions for a US listed insurer embarking on a European "buy and build" strategy.

Restructuring and exit planning in connection with the takeover of an AIM listed international precious metals exploration and development group.

Advising in relation to demergers to optimise the tax treatment of shareholders with different tax profiles.

Advising on employee participation in M&A transactions to maximise UK tax efficiency.

Structuring a refinancing transaction to meet lender and investor requirements on a tax efficient basis.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2020

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, Consultant
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co LLP, partner
  • 1996

    • Career
      Lawrence Graham, partner
  • 1993

    • Career
      Lawrence Graham, associate
  • 1987

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
    • Career
      Slaughter and May, associate
  • 1984

    • Education
      University of Southampton LLB (Hons)
  • 1975

    • Education
      Stonyhurst College