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JonathanO 217

About Jonathan

Jonathan Ortner is a partner in the firm’s taxation group and practices in all areas of direct and indirect tax with a particular focus on the taxation of trusts and corporate income tax and mergers and acquisitions.

Jonathan has also advised extensively on cross-border taxation issues; employment taxes, including the tax treatment of employee share schemes, termination payments and fringe benefits; and the GST implications of transactions and dealings in the development of property. 


Using his technical tax knowledge, Jonathan works with clients to obtain commercial and practical outcomes.  He has particular experience in dealing with the Australian Taxation Office on complex tax issues in a dispute resolution context.


Jonathan is a keen and active member of the tax community. As well as presenting on tax topics at various sessions and authoring a number of published articles, papers and bulletins, Jonathan is an active member of the Tax Institute’s GST and SME committees.


In 2017, Jonathan won 'Emerging Tax Star' in the Tax Institute's "Tax Adviser of the Year" Awards and was a finalist in the 2018 Lawyers Weekly “30 Under 30 Awards” in the Tax category.


Prior to joining Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2012, Jonathan worked in a financial advisory role at a top investment bank and a top four accounting firm. He was appointed as a partner effective July 2019.


Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales. In addition, Jonathan completed his Masters of Tax at the University of Sydney in 2017.

“I was thoroughly impressed with Jonathan’s professionalism, responsiveness and above all, his commerciality and ability to see the bigger picture.”

Client quote, Professional services firm

Practice focus

Jonathan’s practice focuses on the following areas:

  • advising clients on, and managing, all stages of ATO audits and reviews of clients' income tax and GST affairs (mainly in relation to large business, high wealth and private group audits) and resolving disputes with the ATO
  • advising on the GST implications of property transactions, cross border transactions and on the sale of businesses
  • advising clients on, and managing, all stages of making a voluntary disclosure, including liaising with the ATO
  • corporate and international income tax, including the Australian tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, consolidation, group restructuring (solvent and insolvent), investment into and out of Australia, and the application of Australia's tax treaty network
  • taxation issues affecting individuals including the taxation of offshore assets and structures, issues and disputes concerning tax residency and advising on asset protection
  • taxation of trusts and funds advice, and
  • employee incentive arrangements and employment related taxes.


Jonathan has acted for both domestic and international clients in a wide range of taxation matters, including:

Corporate clients

  • Arrium Limited: Advising KordaMentha and the company on the complex pre-sale restructure of the East Coast Steel business and the implementation of the various ground-breaking deeds of company arrangement as well as sale documentation and diligence issues
  • Specialty Fashion Group: Provided tax advice to Specialty Fashion Group Limited in relation to the strategic sale of its Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers portfolio of businesses to Noni B
  • Cyberinc: Advised Silicon Valley based Cyberinc on the Australian taxation aspects of the sale of the Australian arm of its Identity and Access Management business to KPMG
  • Various listed companies: in relation to the design and implementation of employee share scheme arrangements – including structuring tax-efficient carried interest and executive co-investments
  • AsheMorgan: in relation to taxation issues arising from a series of refinancings/debt restructures in the property sector
  • Various property funds in relation to managed investment trust structures and fixed trust matters
  • Vector Limited: in relation to the cross-border taxation issues arising from the roll-out of smart meters for the supply of electricity in NSW, Australia, and
  • Large domestic and international financiers: in relation to structuring and taxation advice for various domestic and cross-border lending arrangements.

Private clients

  • High-net-worth clients: in relation to complex tax disputes with the Commissioner of Taxation in all stages of the dispute process including seeing the matter through to the AAT or court
  • Various high net worth individuals: in relation to the lodgement of voluntary disclosures with the ATO as well as general taxation advisory work
  • Various not-for-profit clients: in relation to applications for income tax exempt and deductible gift recipient status and in relation to the establishment of Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) and Public Ancillary Fund (PuAFs)
  • Establishing property holding structures for foreign property developers, including advising on group funding issues relating to debt and equity, thin capitalisation, loans to related parties and transfer pricing, and
  • The structure and reporting obligations of private practice partnerships, including service trust arrangements, Everett assignments and small business concessions.

Directorships & memberships

Jonathan is:

  • a fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia
  • a member of the Tax Institute’s GST and SME committees, and
  • a member of the International Fiscal Association. 

Awards & recognition

Jonathan is recognised as a leading lawyer by an international guide to lawyers and law firms:

  • Legal 500 Asia Pacific: tax.

“Jonathan is able to decipher complex taxation issues quickly and is completely across all matters for my clients when required.”

Client quote, Accounting firm

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Recognition & publications

Take a look at Insights & News articles referencing Jonathan Ortner