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Ex-Deloitte employees join law firm Ashurst as tax partners


The additional accounting experience will bolster the firm’s tax controversy offering and help clients manage growing tax risk.

By Josh Needs 12 minute read

Two former Deloitte staffers have joined global law firm Ashurst as partners in its Sydney tax practice.

Ashurst’s tax practice head Costa Koutsis said the two, Colin Little and Vanja Podinic, would focus on tax disputes and helping clients manage their tax risk and governance frameworks.

“We are thrilled to welcome Colin and Vanja to Ashurst,” said Mr Koutsis. “With their combined significant experience in tax controversy work, Colin and Vanja will help grow the firm’s existing offering to clients in Australia and abroad.” 


“With ever increasing audit and review activity, we expect demand for complex advice to continue to grow in an environment where revenue collection will be key in implementing governments’ post-pandemic budget repair and where reviews are being conducted in a coordinated manner by a variety of tax offices.” 

Mr Little had over 25 years of experience as a tax practitioner and had focused on assisting public and private sector clients to resolve complex disputes such as audit negotiation and resolution to litigation. 

He had held positions at EY, PwC and Deloitte, along with a spell as a tax officer at the ATO.

“I am excited by the opportunity to join Ashurst, which has the global reach and top-tier capability needed to deliver solutions to clients,” said Mr Little. 

“Throughout my career, I have seen that my clients’ needs are international in scale and they require assistance resolving tax and legal disputes across multiple jurisdictions and legal disciplines.” 

“Ashurt’s global footprint places the firm in the best position to advise on matters across the tax dispute lifecycle. The firm’s strong offering in corporate law, dispute resolution and tax bring compelling advantages for clients with complex needs.” 

With over 14 years of experience in tax controversy in Australia and the UK, including positions at Baker McKenzie, HSBC, and PwC before Deloitte, Ms Podinic said she was looking forward to assisting a new range of clients at Ashurst. 

“I am delighted to join Ashurst, which provides an ideal global platform to grow my practice serving clients across the entire tax disputes lifecycle [sic] — from transaction stage to audit defence and through to litigation,” said Ms Podinic. 

“I am also very excited to draw on Ashurst’s broad range of practices to deliver innovative and collaborative legal solutions to my clients, who face the pressures of an ever-changing and complex tax landscape and increased public and government scrutiny.” 

The firm said she brought expertise on income tax and transfer pricing for multinational clients, including managing and resolving complex reviews and audits, as well as evidentiary issues in dealings with both Australian and foreign tax authorities. 


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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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