A merger between two corporate tax prep firms in Australia aims to give new competition to the Big Four.

Greenwoods & Freehills and Shaddick & Spence are set to merge on June 1, creating the largest specialist tax firm in Australia, with over 60 professionals.

The merged firm will continue under the Greenwoods & Freehills name. The firm plans to offer corporate clients a quality and highly differentiated alternative to the Big Four accounting firms, with a focus on M&A, cross-border tax disputes and general corporate tax.

"This merger will sharpen competition in the local market for specialized corporate tax work," said managing director Andrew Mills in a statement. "G&F will have a significantly increased capacity for client projects, and will offer a broader range of tax services at the same time as increased depth of experience."

Partner Ken Spence cited the complementary nature of the two practices. He noted that Greenwoods & Freehills is particularly strong in finance, property and infrastructure, whereas Shaddick & Spence has a predominance of resources and manufacturing clients.

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