The research period for World Tax 2017 and World Transfer Pricing 2017 has begun.
For the first time, the questionnaires will be hosted online. We expect that this will make the process of filing for the questionnaires easier and quicker for most firms, and will allow us to better compare the data submitted.
If – for any reason – you would prefer to file using a Word document, as has been done in previous years, this is no problem. You can download the form using the link above, or contact Joe Stanley-Smith, World Tax editor, on firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be happy to provide you with one.
The deadline for submissions this year is Friday, May 13 2016. This gives you more than a month to collect all of the information necessary to complete the form. If you feel you will need more time, or are likely to miss the deadline, contact Joe Stanley-Smith and he will be able to negotiate a short extension.
There have been a few modifications to the ranking criteria, which are below. There will also be new questions on industry specialisation, as we endeavour to make the directories as useful as possible for the multinational companies which use them.
This is the link to fill in the survey. Once you have completed and submitted it, a researcher may contact you over the next few months to ask you more about your firm.
The World Tax and World Transfer Pricing directories, published annually, are key resources in assisting tax and TP executives locate specialist advice. Each edition analyses and rates the tax expertise offered in more than 50 jurisdictions globally, giving tax executives the most comprehensive information about the market for tax advice.
The publications are unique among directories as they classifies professional services, law firms and other tax and TP advisory providers together, rather than looking at them separately, because they undoubtedly compete for work. This helps to present tax executives with a more holistic and comprehensive guide to inform their hiring decisions.
The fact that this competition exists is also evident in the regular moves that practitioners make between law firms and other providers. It is common for advisers to spend different periods at law firms and a Big 4 practice during their careers.
Ranking methodology changes
The ranking process for World Tax and World Transfer Pricing has changed slightly for 2017. Our researchers, based on three continents and covering more than 50 jurisdictions, will be talking to more taxpayers than ever before about which firms they hire, and why.
The corporate interviewees will be chosen from the list of clients supplied by our universal contacts and clients, as well as the clients provided by firms in this questionnaire (with their permission).
No recommendation from any adviser for their own firm or their colleagues in that firm is taken into account. Firms cannot pay to be included in the tiers or to have individuals mentioned but are offered - independently and after the tiers are finalised - the opportunity to list their professional details for a fee. See the end page for details.
The interviews researchers carry out with corporates are the most important factor in rankings, with feedback from advisers on other firms and, finally, the questionnaires themselves also taken into account.
Some of the sections from previous years will be shortened, and questionnaires will have an additional focus on industry specialisation.
Tier 1 firms are the 'go-to' firms in their jurisdiction and are praised by taxpayers and peers alike as market leaders in all key areas of tax: planning, transactions, transfer pricing, indirect taxes and litigation. They have specialists working with clients in all industries, and this is reflected by the size, spread and quality of transactions detailed in the questionnaires.
Tier 2 firms have a strong reputation in their own jurisdiction and are praised by taxpayers and peers for their work in all key areas of tax. They have strong practitioners able to give solid advice to clients across all or most industries, as evidenced by the information provided in questionnaires and feedback from clients.
Tier 3 firms have a good reputation in their own jurisdiction, and are well thought-of by taxpayers and other firms. They have specialists in most areas of tax, and have partners able to offer advice across several industries.
Tier 4 firms often operate in a niche area, having a strong reputation in one particular aspect of tax, such as transactional work or litigation (or, for example, APA negotiation or documentation filing in World Transfer Pricing), or offer a full range of services to clients in specific industries.
All jurisdictions are different, and thus the criteria for tiers are flexible. For example, in some countries having a criminal law department is vital for a full-service tax firm, while in others cross-border structuring and transfer pricing may be a far more important consideration. Firms are tiered according to their position in the market in their own jurisdiction.