Mohamed Serokh on Deloitte's award-winning Transfer Pricing offering

01 March 2023 8 min. read

Last year, industry publication International Tax Review (ITR) named Deloitte the year’s ‘Leading Transfer Pricing Firm in the Middle East’. Six months down the line, we spoke with Deloitte’s Transfer Pricing Leader Mohamed Serokh about the firm’s services and track record in the domain, and some of the key highlights since receiving the top tier ranking.

To start off, how does Deloitte position its Transfer Pricing practice within the landscape?

Deloitte's Transfer Pricing practice is positioned as a market leader in the Middle East and one of the leading Transfer Pricing practices globally. We have a deep understanding of the local market and regulatory environment and have established relationships with key stakeholders, including tax authorities and industry bodies.

Mohamed Serokh, Transfer Pricing Leader, Deloitte

Our expertise extends beyond traditional Transfer Pricing services to include related areas such as global tax management, supply chain optimization, and customs and trade. By leveraging our global network of Transfer Pricing professionals, we are able to provide clients with integrated solutions that address their specific needs and challenges.

Ultimately, our goal is to help our clients navigate the complexities of the Transfer Pricing landscape, mitigate risks, and manage their tax position, while complying with local tax and Transfer Pricing regulations and global best practices.

At the ITR Awards, Deloitte in fact managed to retain the crown for the second year running. How does the firm in your eyes differentiate itself from the rest?

At Deloitte, we believe that our success in the Transfer Pricing domain is attributed to our innovative and customized approach to client services. Our team of Transfer Pricing professionals combine an in-depth understanding of the Middle East market with global expertise to provide tailored solutions for our clients.

We also pride ourselves on our commitment to quality, timely and efficient delivery, and maintaining the highest ethical standards.

Our reputation for excellence has enabled us to attract and retain some of the best talent in the industry, who bring their diverse experience and insights to every engagement. This is how we continue to differentiate ourselves and deliver exceptional value to our clients year after year.

In the jury report, Deloitte was lauded for “its role in shaping the Middle East Transfer Pricing services market.” What kind of contributions are they referring to, and as the practice leader, what are you most proud of?

We are very proud of our contributions to shaping the Transfer Pricing services market in the Middle East. Over the years, we have been actively involved in various initiatives to promote knowledge sharing, capacity building and thought leadership on tax and Transfer Pricing in the region. For instance, we regularly host training sessions and seminars for tax authorities, industry associations, and clients to promote awareness and understanding of Transfer Pricing regulations and practices.

We have also been instrumental in supporting the development of Transfer Pricing regulations in the region, providing input and feedback to regulatory bodies and helping clients navigate the evolving regulatory landscape.

As Deloitte Middle East’s Transfer Pricing practice leader, I am most proud of our ability to drive innovation and value for our clients. We have developed a number of proprietary tools and methods that enable us to provide customized solutions that are tailored to each client's unique needs and circumstances. We have also invested heavily in technology and data analytics to enhance our capabilities and deliver insights that help our clients make informed business decisions.

Our commitment to excellence and innovation has enabled us to build long-standing relationships with clients and to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. It is an honor to be recognized for our contributions and we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the Transfer Pricing space.

The Transfer Pricing team is known to work have worked on dozens of high-profile cases. What are notable engagements the team has recently worked on?

As a professional services firm, we are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of our clients and their engagements. However, I can provide some general examples of the types of high-profile cases that our Transfer Pricing team has worked on recently.

One of the notable engagements that we have worked on this year is advising a large multinational corporation on the Transfer Pricing implications of a major acquisition in the Middle East. Our team helped the client to develop a comprehensive Transfer Pricing strategy that aligned with its overall business objectives, while ensuring compliance with local regulations and global best practices.

We have also worked on several Transfer Pricing controversies, helping clients to navigate tax authority audits and disputes. For instance, we have assisted clients in preparing robust Transfer Pricing documentation, supporting them in responding to tax authority queries, and negotiating favourable settlement outcomes.

In addition, we have worked with clients across various industries, including oil and gas, financial services, private business, and technology, media, and telecommunications on a range of Transfer Pricing matters such as supply chain optimization, intellectual property planning, and global tax management.

Our team takes pride in delivering tailored and innovative solutions that help our clients achieve their business goals, while minimizing tax risks and complying with local regulations.

In your address after receiving the prize, you gave a special thanks to the global Tax team. How does Deloitte’s international network help the Middle East practice with client delivery and progressing?

Deloitte's global network of professionals is a key enabler of our Transfer Pricing practice in the Middle East. We work closely with our colleagues in other regions to provide clients with access to a wealth of expertise and insights from around the world.

For instance, when working on cross-border Transfer Pricing matters, we leverage the experience and knowledge of our global network to help clients navigate the complexities of different tax regimes and cultural nuances. This enables us to develop Transfer Pricing strategies that are globally integrated, yet locally relevant.

In addition, we collaborate with our global colleagues to stay ahead of emerging trends and developments in the Transfer Pricing space, such as changes in tax regulations, new technologies, and innovative Transfer Pricing methods. This helps us to anticipate and respond to the evolving needs of our clients in the Middle East.

At the same time, we recognize that the Middle East has its unique characteristics and challenges, and our local expertise and insights are critical to our success. By combining our global capabilities with our thorough understanding of the local market, we are able to deliver exceptional value to our clients and help them achieve their business objectives.

Our global network is therefore an essential component of our ability to deliver high-quality client services and to progress as a practice. We are proud of the strong partnerships we have built with our colleagues around the world and the positive impact this has had on our clients in the Middle East.

2023 is set to be a busy year for tax professionals in the region. What are the ambitions of your team?

As we look ahead to the rest of 2023, our ambition is to continue to provide exceptional value to our clients and to strengthen our position as the market leader in the Transfer Pricing space in the Middle East.

One of our key priorities is to stay ahead of the evolving regulatory landscape in the region, which is expected to see significant changes in the coming year. We are closely monitoring these developments and working with our clients to develop strategies that align with their business objectives, while mitigating tax risks and complying with the changing tax landscape.

We are also focused on leveraging technology and data analytics to enhance our capabilities and deliver insights that help our clients make informed business decisions. We have made significant investments in this area and will continue to explore new tools and methodologies that can improve our service delivery and create value for our clients.

In addition, we are committed to developing the next generation of Transfer Pricing professionals in the region. We will be investing in local talent development and knowledge sharing initiatives to ensure that our team remains at the forefront of the Transfer Pricing space in the Middle East.

Overall, our ambition for the rest of 2023 is to build on the success of the past year and to continue to deliver exceptional value to our clients, while maintaining the highest ethical standards and a commitment to excellence in everything we do.