Catherine Gannon


Who I am

Very proud to be the Founder of Gannons which was a start up once upon a time. I am constantly fascinated by the drive of those prepared to take a risk in business. There is so much to navigate. If I can steer a client around a bad situation using my years of experience that feels good.

Practice areas:

My main focus is on the company and commercial side of the practice. I help the team with a wide range of problems where we are tasked to sort out the solution. The situations faced are daunting to clients who are often facing dealing with “the other side” for the first time. Because I have completed so many transactions in my time I am able to genuinely assure that we will work it out.

  • Re-organisations and business re-structures
  • In these scenarios the business owners are often re-organising their business in readiness for a sale or liquidation. There are tax issues to avoid on the transfer of assets which HMRC will tax as a disposal and charge tax even though cash may not be exchanged if you are not careful. Our skill is to find a way of putting in place a structure which both achieves the commercial objectives and is tax neutral. We will take away uncertainty by obtaining clearance letters from HMRC to confirm tax neutrality. HMRC clearance covers many situations typically relating to group structures, setting up a new holding company and dealing with the back buy of shares tax efficiently.

  • Corporate transactions
  • In a nutshell we sort out issues relating to share holdings in private companies. We look after issues arising between shareholders such as where is no shareholders’ agreement or the agreement does not cover the problem that has arisen, issues arising when shares are being issued in return for investment and the sale of shares for any reason by any type of shareholder. We deal with directors and employees explaining how they tax position and financial wealth can be improved. HMRC offer tax incentives for investors and we help our clients maximise the benefits. Our skill is to assess the tax situation, draft the commercial documents and implement effectively.

  • Tax indemnities and warranties
  • The purchase and sale of shares involves many different tax aspects. On a personal level the tax treatment starts with how the shares are issued and held, what type of rights are held and for how long they have been held. Every taxpayer is keen to secure business asset disposal relief (BADR) and we know if they can do this. On a corporate level the buyer of any business will want the seller to guarantee that there are no hidden tax liabilities. We are good at cutting to the core of the risk focus on the key commercial points.

  • Negotiation with HMRC on tax disputes
  • We deal with HMRC queries and guide you on what information to disclose to HMRC to satisfy the query before it escalates. We provide you with a defence barrier to HMRC. Sometimes HMRC are merely fishing, sometimes they have a point but always you will receive from us a balanced view. That takes judgement and experience on not just tax law but also HMRC practice. Depending upon the situation, HMRC do negotiate settlements. Achieving settlement is a strong point of ours and always a great relief to our client.

    Professional memberships

    • Solicitor
    • Chartered Tax Advisor
    • Catherine is a regular speaker for the Chartered Institute of Taxation on latest tax and company law developments.

    Catherine is also a committee member for the charity Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice

    I am a regular commentator on the legal world and its challenges.