Richard Ward is Chair of the firm’s UK Tax practice. A broad-gauged UK corporate and transactional tax lawyer, Mr. Ward has advised an array of multinational clients on mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, financing transactions, and private equity fund formation and operation.

Mr. Ward is ranked as a leading individual for Tax in Chambers Global (2024), Chambers UK (2024) and Chambers Europe (2024). The guides have quoted clients saying he is “an incredibly skilled and creative professional who gives efficient, effective advice.” He is also said to be “incredibly commercial, very focused,” “peerless as a tax adviser,” “outstanding on difficult technical points” and is said to have “a planetary-sized intellect.” He is described as “superbly clever,” “very technical, clear and logical” and “extremely easy to work with, his style is very reassuring and his feedback is immediate.” Clients note that he is “calm, brilliant and just remembers everything.” He is a “tax practitioner who really stands out - he is very knowledgeable, practical, extremely responsive and is so attentive that he makes us feel like we are his only client.” Clients have also highlighted his ability to “distil complex tax principles into comprehensible advice.” He is noted in The Legal 500 UK (2024) which also includes him in its Hall of Fame. Clients say he has “immense current knowledge in tax,” “very good judgment” and he is “very wise and sensible,” “technically skilled” and an “outstanding tax lawyer” with “broad perspectives and insight.” Previous editions of the guide have also described him as “a go-to person with incredible knowledge and solutions available on the spot” and as one of the “best tax brains in the City.” He is a member of the international tax and tax reporting working group of Invest Europe (previously the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association).

Mr. Ward is the author of a number of articles, including articles in the Corporate Tax Review on U.S./UK hybrid vehicles and the tax treatment of telecommunications assets. He is a co-author of “AVCA Legal & Regulatory Bulletin: The OECD BEPS Action Plan and Tax Considerations for Investors,” AVCA Legal & Regulatory Bulletin (February, 2019); “BEPS: LPs React To New Tax Environment,” Private Equity International (December/January, 2018); “The anti-hybrids rules and private equity fund structures,” Tax Journal (June, 2017); “State Aid And BEPS: Countering The Honey Trap,” PLC Magazine (January, 2017); “10.5 Things To Know About UK’s New Disguised Fee Taxes,” Law360 (June, 2015); “United Kingdom – Fund Formation,” Getting the Deal Through: Private Equity (2012, 2013 and 2015); and “United Kingdom – Transactions,” Getting the Deal Through: Private Equity (2015).

Mr. Ward served as Co-Managing Partner for Debevoise’s London office from 2014 to 2023. He received his B.A. from Oxford University in 1982, where he was an Open Exhibitioner at St. Edmund Hall. He qualified to practise in England & Wales in 1985.


  • University of Oxford, 1982, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Solicitor, England & Wales