Invited speakers

Werner Blockmans photo
Werner Blockmans
Nevia Čičin-Šain
Jeff Connell
Dmitrieva photo
Irina Dmitrieva
Thomas Eisgruber
unnamed (1)
Ziemowit Kukulski
Błażej Kuźniacki
Krzysztof Lasiński-Sulecki
Filip Majdowski
Filip Majdowski
Joe Maden_Photo
Joe Marden
Adolfo Martín Jiménez_Photo
Adolfo Martín Jiménez
Carlo Romano
Carlo Romano
zdjęcia biznesowe i fotografia korporacyjna
Wojciech Śliż
Photo_Francesca Vitale
Francesca Vitale
Adam Zalasiński
SZ picture (1)
Sonia Zapata

Werner Blockmans is a policy official at the European Commission, Directorate General for Taxation and Customs, VAT Unit. He has been involved in VAT at EU level for about 20 years.
Before joining the European Commission he worked for the VAT Administration of the Ministry of Finance in Belgium; initially as a local auditor and later as a policy official at the Headquarters.

Nevia Čičin-Šain is currently a senior teaching assistant at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She holds an LLM from the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne, as well as a double-degree PhD from both the University of Zagreb and Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne. Before joining academia, she worked at law firms both in Zagreb and in Paris. She passed the Croatian Bar Exam. Dr Čičin-Šain is a member of IFA – France.

Jeff Connell is Global Direct Tax Advice Manager at Shell where he heads up the team dealing with cross border direct tax matters. Jeff is based in London and has been with Shell over 17 years, during which time he’s had various roles including Group Tax Reporting Manager, Head of UK Tax and Regional Tax Manager for UK, Africa and Middle East. Prior to joining Shell Jeff qualified as a Chartered Accountant with a small London firm before spending 3 years in an international tax team at PwC. Jeff has been Chair of the committee of the UK Branch of IFA since April 2017, having served on the committee for the previous 5 years.

Irina heads our tax practice in White & Case’s Moscow office. She has been advising on Russian and international tax matters since 1995, primarily focusing on greenfield investments, M&A, private equity, corporate restructuring and reorganizations, real estate and structured finance transactions.
Irina has developed a reputation as one of the best tax advisers in Russia based on her profound understanding of Russian legal realities, unparalleled experience in international tax structuring and the active participation in Russian tax legislation development.
Irina is recognized as one of the top tax practitioners in Russia by Chambers Europe, World Tax, International Tax Review and Who’s Who Legal. Chambers Europe in its recent edition describes Irina as “a market-leading tax law expert”, “sharp and systematic in her approach”. “Everyone knows her as one of the top advisers in Russia”, clients say.

Head of Department for International Taxation,
Bavarian State Ministry of Finance and Regional Identity
Head of the International Tax Center
Member of the German IFA Board

Thomas Eisgruber studied Law at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. He joined the Bavarian Tax Administration in 1987. After being Head of Tax Audit Divisions, he became a member of the research group "Federal Tax Code" at the University of Heidelberg of Prof. Paul Kirchhof. Since 2006 Thomas is Head of the Department for Corporate Tax, Trade Tax and Tax Audit. Since 2011 he is also in Charge for International Taxation. Since 2013 Thomas additionally became Head of the new founded International Tax Center, which is unique in Germany and specialised in supporting cross-border audits.
He is a well sought after lecturer for tax issues in Germany. Outside Germany, he has given lectures in Austria, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Ghana, China and the USA. He is a lecturer of LL.M. Corporate Tax Law at the University of Cologne, editor of the NWB Comment on the Conversion Tax Act, co-editor of the ISR, author of the Kirchhof Kompakt Comment and Hermann/Heuer/Raupach Comment. He is the author of textbooks on Income Tax and various articles in finance and tax journals. He is President of the International Tax Audit Forum Munich.

Doctor of laws (with post-doctoral degree), professor at the Tax Law Department at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Lodz. Since 2011 deputy head of the Centre of Tax Documentation and Studies. Member of the European Association of Tax Law Professors (EATLP) and the Anti-Tax Avoidance Council (GAAR panel). Secretary of the Scientific Board at the National Chamber of Tax Advisors. Author and co-author of articles, publications and commentaries in the field of domestic, international and EU tax law, including English-language publications. Speaker and participant of numerous tax conferences and seminars in Poland and abroad. Lecturer at foreign universities: Luarasi University in Tirana (Albania), Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Shanghai Finance University (China), Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic), Caucasus International University in Tbilisi (Georgia), University of Szeged (Hungary), University of Vigo (Spain), and University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom).

Błażej Kuźniacki currently works for the Ministry of Finance (Poland) as a Deputy Director at the Income Tax Department in the various exciting areas of direct taxation and an application of technology to tax law. Being an academic and tax practitioner with qualifications of PhD and attorney-at-law and the main expertise in the field of cross-border income taxation, Błażej has been collaborating with the various scientific, business and governmental institutions and private clients, in particular in the domains of national, comparative and international tax law and the future development of artificial intelligence systems assisting in the work of tax experts. He is also a frequent author and speaker at conferences and seminars across the globe. Błażej’s past membership in the international research project entitled “Sustainable Tax Governance in Developing Countries through Global Tax Transparency”, financed by the Research Council of Norway, allowed him to obtain an experience in cooperative teamwork with prominent tax law experts from 7 universities across three continents and two hemispheres. Błażej obtained his PhD from the University of Oslo (2017) and conducted his post-doctorate research on anti-BEPS measures at the Singapore Management University (2017-2018). He speaks English, Norwegian, Russian and Polish, his native language, and has some knowledge of Portuguese.

Krzysztof Lasinski-Sulecki - Head of the Centre of Fiscal Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland) and associate professor at the Department of Public Finance of this university, from 2011 to 2012 senior visiting tax researcher at the Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien; Krzysztof has also lectured at Masarykova univerzita, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien and Universität Salzburg; tax advisor (formerly at Big Four), legal counsel, in the years 2012-14 a member the VAT Expert Group of the European Commission, from 2014 to 2016 a member of the Consultative Council on Tax Law advising the Ministry of Finance; author of over 250 papers in the field of tax and customs law.

Filip Majdowski is a deputy director in the Tax System Department at the Polish Ministry of Finance.
He manages works on tax aspects relating to the digital economy, sharing economy, e-commerce and new technologies. He represents Poland at the European Union and international fora in the above arears.
Prior to joining the public service he gained professional experience in ‘Big Four’ tax advisory companies and the business (financial sector). Filip is a graduate of master and doctoral studies at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw in Poland (cum laude) and a member of the International Fiscal Association (Polish branch). He is the author of several publications in the field of tax law in Polish and foreign tax journals.

Joe Marden is a UK Chartered Tax Advisor with over thirty years of indirect tax experience, the last ten years of which have been spent at Shell. Having started his career with HM Customs and Excise (now HMRC), he has since worked both within the Big 4 and industry, advising multinationals operating complex supply chains within the EU and across the external border. In addition to his knowledge of the EU indirect taxes environment, Joe has extensive practical experience of approaches to interstate and intrastate transactions in indirect tax jurisdictions around the world.

Adolfo Martín Jiménez (Ph.D. European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 1997; LL.M. University of Wisconsin, US, 1995) is a professor (full-tenure) of Tax Law at the University of Cádiz (Spain) and was the holder of the EU Commission Jean Monnet Chair (2014-2018) on EU Tax Law. He specializes in international taxation, including transfer pricing, and EU tax law and is author and co-author of several books and more than seventy articles in these fields, which have been published in different countries and often translated to other languages. Adolfo often participates as a speaker in international tax events in different countries around the world, including academic or professional conferences.
He has a broad practical experience in transfer pricing, international taxation and EU tax law and frequently acts as a consultant for multinational groups, law firms, Tax Administrations and
Governments or International Organizations (e.g. from 2015 to 2019 he was a member of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum, has coauthored the UN Portfolio on Rents and Royalties). Since June 2018, he is the chairman of the European Association of Tax Law Professors.

Carlo is leading the PwC Tax Controversy and Dispute Resolution practice. In his role, Carlo is in permanent contact with the tax authorities.
Carlo has an extensive experience in managing tax audits, tax litigation cases, negotiating settlements and advising multinational clients on defensive and tax dispute strategies. He has significant ruling experience assisting in the preparation of advance pricing agreements (APAs) and assisting in disputes relating to transfer pricing.
He has gained significant experience in representing and assisting clients before Tax Courts, the Italian Supreme Court and before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
Carlo is a Professor at the former Scuola Superiore dell’Economia e delle Finanze (now Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione, SNA) and scientific director of the LLM in international tax law. Carlo is a board member of the Italian branch of the International Fiscal Association. He is the worldwide co-founder of the Young IFA Network (YIN).
Carlo is doctor in International and Comparative Tax Law (Ph.D. cum laude from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands), and his dissertation, titled Advance Tax Rulings and Principles of Law. Towards a European Tax Rulings System, was published in 2002 as part of the IBFD Doctoral Series. Formerly, he was a visiting scholar at New York University (NYU). In 2015, he took part as an expert in the Workshop on tax rulings organized by the European Parliament Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures in Nature or Effect.
He is author of various publications in International, European and Comparative Tax Law and is a speaker for several courses and conferences in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, the Netherlands, UK and the US.

Wojciech Śliż is a director in the VAT Department at the Polish Ministry of Finance. He is responsible for legislation and coordination of a multifaceted plan to reinforced the VAT system
being implemented recently in Poland. He has been involved in VAT for about 20 years. Before joining the public service he gained professional experience in ‘Big Four’ tax advisory companies.

Wojciech is a Member of the State Examination Commission for the Tax Advisory. He has been a judge at Supreme Disciplinary Court of National Chamber of Tax Advisers. Nominated for the Pro
Bono Lawyer of the Year Awards for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013.

Ms Francesca Vitale, Head of International Department – Italian Revenue Agency

Ms Francesca Vitale currently heads the International Department in the Taxpayers’ Compliance and Enforcement Division of the Italian Revenue Agency; as such, she is responsible for international cooperation, the interpretation and implementation of international tax legislation and best practices, as well as for the relationships with the international organisations. From 2015 to 2018, she was head of the International taxation – VAT and other indirect taxes Office. Before completing in 2014 the fast-track programme for public managers run by the Italian School of National Administration, Francesca had already gained several years of experience in the field of international taxation, in particular working for the International Taxation Offices of the Italian Revenue Agency. She had been appointed as delegate and Vice-Chair of the OECD’s Working Party 9 on Consumption Taxes, and had negotiated a number of DTCs and tax Directives and Regulations.

Francesca, who holds a law degree and a Ph.D. in company tax law from LUISS University of Rome, from 2010 to 2011 worked at the Secretariat of the Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information, which operates within the OECD Secretariat.

Adam Zalasiński is a Legal Officer in the Legal Affairs - Direct Taxation Unit of the European Commission in Brussels. He holds a PhD and a habilitation degree in law from the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland).

Mr Zalasiński has published extensively on various aspects of EU and international tax law. He co-authored the EU Report on the taxation of foreign passive income for groups of companies for the 2013 IFA Congress and the General Report on direct tax rules and the EU fundamental freedoms for the 2006 Congress of the Fédération Internationale pour le Droit Européen (FIDE). He has also written several Polish National Reports for the congresses of the International Fiscal Association (2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018), the FIDE (2006) and the European Association of Tax Law Professors (2006 and 2009).

Mr Zalasiński is the EU Reporter for 2019 IFA Congress in London (Subject 1 Interest deductibility: the implementation of BEPS Action 4).  He teaches EU Taxation at various European Universities.

Sonia Zapata has been Group Tax and Transfer Pricing Director in Yara International since 2006 and has over 20 years of experience in international tax. Following her time as Senior Research Associate at IBFD, Amsterdam, Zapata has previously held Senior Tax Manager positions in the international tax practice of Ernst & Young in the Netherlands and France. She is a lawyer and also holds an LLM degree in International Taxation from the University of London. Zapata has published articles in known international tax journals and contributed to books dealing with various international tax topics. She is the author of, and correspondent for, the Brazil chapter of the “Permanent Estabishment” IBFD publication.