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Stephen Pincus quoted in "A taxing week - especially for the pros; When Ottawa slammed the window"

November-8-2006

Area REITs and Income Securities

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Excerpt from "A taxing week - especially for the pros; When Ottawa slammed the window", by Jacquie McNish and Beppi Crosariol:

"I remembered back to Black Monday.  The markets collapsed and there was a real change after that in the nature of the work that we were doing," said Mr. Pincus, whose team at Goodmans helped structure 67 income trusts, including the first cross-border business trust, Heating Oil Partners, which effectively enabled U.S. businesses to use the novel Canadian tax-saving corporate structure.

Rather than trigger a collapse in demand for legal advice, he says, the fallout from Terrible Tuesday will likely prompt new and more innovative work from legal trailblazers who helped craft the most complex trust structures.

One service area that has already emerged, he says, is in advising private equity firms, both in Canada and the United States, on buying newly devalued trusts or even purchasing trust assets.  Mr. Pincus says he has already received calls from interested buyers in both countries.

Another likely area of focus:  Helping real estate investment trusts navigate the changed regulatory landscape, which will exempt most REITs from the new tax regime. In part, that may involve taking cues from the United States, where many property trusts that managed operating businesses such as hospitals or hotels began spinning off their operating units in response to a similar regulatory change there.