Transfer pricing

Guidelines rooted in economics

Our transfer pricing work involves analysing the economics of business transactions, the key sources of value in them, and how you would expect value to be allocated among parties under the OECD’s arm’s length principle.

A different perspective

We provide new evidence and supporting arguments based on a fresh economic perspective, complementing industry expertise and forensic accounting techniques.

We advise OECD tax authorities and taxpayers across the world on transfer pricing issues, spanning a wide range of sectors including:

  • FMCG
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Finance
  • Mining


Expert witness services

We provide independent advice, underpinning expert reports and oral testimony at Court to the highest evidential standards. We acted as an expert witness in DSG vs HMRC (2009) – the first and still the only substantive transfer pricing case to be heard in the UK Courts.

Our analysis explains what outcomes would be expected at arm’s length by forming views on:

  • the strength and relevance of existing comparables;
  • the appropriate delineation of the transaction;
  • the assets, capabilities and risks borne by each of the parties in the transaction, including relative scarcities;
  • the appropriate arm’s length counterfactuals; and
  • the resulting pricing and tax outcomes at arm’s length.
Pre-litigation support

Established processes exist to reach advance pricing agreements with tax authorities, and/or to reach agreements in disputes before these move to litigation. Equally, mutual agreement procedures can be required to resolve cross-border tax issues with multiple tax jurisdictions.

We apply the same rigorous analysis and approach in these situations as we do in litigation, to help establish the range of settlement outcomes that would be consistent with arm’s length.

Our approach and independent advice provides new insights to longstanding disputes. Our strategic analysis and technical support means we are well placed to ensure settlements are reached efficiently and to the satisfaction of all parties, without resorting to formal litigation processes.

Design and documentation

Internal arrangements put in place by taxpayers should be consistent with the arm’s length principle, and this should be a central tax consideration, particularly when setting up internal structures, renewing internal service agreements, and when planning how international transactions should be structured and financed.

We advise whether existing or planned arrangements are consistent with arm’s length, giving a timely assessment of the risk of future challenge and the types and strength of evidence required to support existing or proposed arrangements, including the strength of evidence provided through standard documentation processes.