Stephen Banfield

Partner, Withers KhattarWong*

Withers KhattarWong LLP is a Singapore law practice, affiliated with Withers LLP.

Stephen is a partner in the private client and tax team.

Stephen is a partner in the Private Client and Tax team and has over fifteen years’ experience in international tax. He has spent roughly half of that time in Singapore and has developed deep expertise in Singapore connected tax planning. Stephen commenced his career in Australia with a market leading taxation firm, and has also practiced in the United Kingdom and Papua New Guinea. This combination of experience from both developed and emerging markets has given Stephen a unique insight into the practical considerations associated with the deployment of a regional tax strategy.

Stephen continues to advise clients across a broad range of industry sectors from biotech to upstream resources companies. He has a particular knowledge in emerging technologies (including blockchain and cryptocurrencies) and the asset management sector. He has helped to structure regional private equity and real estate funds, as well as advising on co-investment and club deals. He not only helps to design these structures, but also with their implementation. This includes assisting to obtain tax incentives for funds managed in Singapore and for local asset management companies.

Stephen regularly works with other partners of the firm with private client engagements. These often involve the establishment of Singapore family office structures which can be highly effective as a flexible asset management, family governance and succession planning platform. He also advises on related operational tax matters such as compliance with the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS) and the newly introduced mandatory disclosure rules which have been implemented to combat CRS avoidance.

With a strong background in Australian taxation, Stephen remains active in advising on Australian tax matters. These include advising on inbound planning strategies for both corporate clients and HNWs.




Advising a pan-Asian asset manager on the acquisition of real estate assets throughout the region. This includes structuring the purchase of properties and collateralized debt over assets located in Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Assisting an Indonesian based MNC with the recovery of erroneously remitted royalty withholding tax on payments made by its Singapore subsidiary.

Advising a Philippines based MNC on the establishment of a regional financing structure, and with the structuring of inbound investments into Indonesian power assets.

New South Wales, 2003

Registered Foreign Lawyer, Singapore, 2015

‘Choosing the right fund and tax structures’ - 2 July 2020, co-presenter



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