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United States > Tax > Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities) > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities)
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers
  5. Rising stars

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Rising stars

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Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Loeb & Loeb LLP has a top quality national practice that provides the full range of advice to non-profit organisations. Of recent note, the team advised Fidelis Care, its corporate members, and the Catholic Dioceses of New York on the $3.3bn sale of Fidelis Care to Centene Corp, the nation's largest Medicaid managed care plan provider; this marked the largest-ever non-profit sale in New York and helped create Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, the state's largest charitable foundation, which the firm continues to advise. The firm also served as examiner's counsel in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of WonderWork, which was one of the largest non-profit bankruptcies in recent history. New York-based co-chair Jason Lilien and Washington DC-based partner Marcus Owens have both previously held high-ranking government positions; department co-chair Diara Holmes and Los Angeles-based tax expert Leah Bishop are also recommended.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has 'great depth of experience in advising a wide range of tax-exempt organizations', including major public charities and foundations, trade associations, colleges and universities, hospitals, museums, and low-income housing organizations. Based primarily in the firm's Washington DC office, the team is jointly led by Celia Roady, who provides 'wise and thoughtful advice on issues that extend beyond purely legal issues', Matthew Elkin, who has particular expertise in transactional matters, and San Francisco-based tax head Barton Bassett. The group's work for some of the world's largest foundations is demonstrative of its standing in the market, particularly when it comes to investment-related issues with for-profit companies. Moreover, its service covers the full range of matters, including tax compliance, corporate structuring, and governance. Alexander Reid is also recommended.

New York-based Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP has 'deep knowledge of non-profit issues' and is commended for its 'broader commitment to the field of philanthropy and the charitable sector'. Robin Krause ('a great thought partner for complex tax and legal problems') and Tomer Inbar jointly lead the five-partner group, which also includes John Sare ('an expert in art issues'), Laura Butzel, and recently promoted partner Megan Bell. Non-profit is a dedicated industry sector for the 200-lawyer firm, which services the sectors across all of its legal departments, such as corporate, employment, tax, real estate, and litigation. Recent highlights include advising a group of private foundations on the establishment of an investment fund vehicle to raise capital for pooled program-related investments. Key clients include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Wildlife Conversation Society, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Teach for America.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's exempt organizations group is 'a leader in the field' that provides 'sophisticated, thoughtful advice in a timely manner'. Headed by New York-based David Shevlin ('an industry expert supported by an equally qualified team'), the eight-lawyer group acts for a mix of private foundations, public charities, social welfare organizations, and governing boards in relation to audits and investigations, tax matters, endowment issues, and disaster relief. Recent highlights include advising the Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation on its $350m donation to MIT to fund the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. The team also advised Atlantic Philanthropies on its $177m grant to create the Global Brain Health Institute. Other clients include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is instructed by a broad range of tax-exempt clients, including healthcare organizations, universities, private foundations and charities. The firm's Washington DC-based lawyers work closely with colleagues in New York, who have considerable experience acting for high-net-worth individuals, and together the cross-office group has expertise in areas such as tax, corporate, employment, regulatory and governance. On the transactional side, the firm was involved in several significant deals in the healthcare and micro-finance sectors. Other notable highlights include advising the Wounded Warrior Project on a variety of tax issues, including fringe benefit rules added by the 2017 tax bill. Other key clients include the National Park Foundation, INSEAD University, Economic Innovation Group, and the American Astronomical Society. Catherine Wilkinson jointly leads the team together with Suzanne McDowell and Ruth Madrigal, who are 'both excellent lawyers with significant and varied experience in addressing the issued faced by tax-exempt organizations'.

Venable LLP is praised for its 'practical approach and true teamwork', but clients note in particular that the firm is 'not concerned with billable hours, but just with making sure its clients are taken care of'. The seven-partner team is led out of Washington DC by the 'very patient' Cynthia Lewin, who has enviable experience of the sector, and is known to 'guide clients toward the outcomes that protect their organizations'. Other key partners include regulatory head George E Constantine, who stands out for his 'significant stature in the entertainment industry', where the firm has an impressive track record advising on issues such as IP and contractual rights. On the transactional front, the team advised The Common Application, an undergraduate college admissions organization, on its acquisition of Reach Higher, the college access campaign established by Michelle Obama. Other key partners include Eric Berman and Andrew Price, and Baltimore-based Yosef Ziffer and Robert L Waldman.

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Adler & Colvin is a highly rated San Francisco-based boutique with a strong focus on not-for-profit organizations. Indeed, the firm advises not-for-profits on the full range of matters, including tax-emption status, formations, mergers, revenue generation, grant making, governance issues, charitable gift planning, and the tax treatment of lobbying and other political issues. The department's client base is impressively varied, and includes names such as the Jerry Garcia Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation, the California Hospital Association, the California Labor Federation, the University of California Berkeley Foundation, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Robert Wexler has a significant standing in the market and regularly advises non-profits and donors on corporate and tax matters. Erik Dryburgh is recommended for his work with charitable gift planning and endowments, while senior counsel Gregory Colvin is noted for his advice on political and lobbying activities and fiscal sponsorship.

With offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC, Arent Fox LLP is a popular choice among tax-exempt organizations. The team is led out of Washington DC by Richard Newman, a leading authority on municipal bonds and tax-exempt financing, who has 'extensive knowledge of all aspects of the legislative, regulatory, and political affairs that impact the not-for-profit world'. The firm has developed a very strong track record for advising non-profit organizations on real estate finance matters. It recently advised the American Psychiatry Association on a highly complex property lease with an option to purchase a to-be-built office, which involved a forward interest rate swap transaction. In addition, the team advised the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute on its bid to acquire a site near the White House for classroom, office and museum use. Key team members include Richard Krainin in New York, and Sean Glynn and counsel Davis Sherman in Washington DC.

The New York-based team at Proskauer Rose LLP has 'decades of experience' advising a diverse range of tax exempt organizations, including clients in the healthcare, sports, and education sectors. It is also praised for its 'expertise advising family foundations with international operations'. Tax advice remains the bedrock of the 'very dedicated and knowledgeable' team, coupled with other complementary skills, such as executive compensation, corporate transactions and governance, and litigation. Standout highlights included advising Los Angeles 2028 on its successful bid to host the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic games. On the transactional side the firm was involved in several significant deals in the healthcare space. Team leader Amanda Nussbaum is 'very focused on ensuring her clients have the best experience', while David Miller is also highly experienced in this area.

Working across the firm's Boston and Washington DC offices, the team at Ropes & Gray LLP has an extremely strong reputation in the market for its advice on tax-exempt issues. The firm is especially recommended for its advice to major universities and healthcare organizations. In the healthcare sector it advised not-for-profit Emory Healthcare, the clinical arm of Emory University, on a collaboration with Kaiser Permanente (KP) to develop a new care model that makes Emory's hospitals the primary hospitals for KP members and physicians. The group also advises Stanford University, and its healthcare division, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, on a wide range of issues. Kendi Ozmon leads the team, which also includes the highly respected Washington DC-based counsel Carolyn Ward.

Praised for its 'strong client service orientation', Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP has 'a deep bench of excellent lawyers who specialize in non-profit tax and corporate issues'. Jointly led by David Ulich in California and recently promoted Tamar Rosenberg in New York, the team has 'legal experience across a broad range of complex non-profit issues'. Also recommended is Jay Gerzog, who has an excellent track record advising non-profits in the healthcare sector on transactional issues. A standout highlight included acting for the Bishops of the Dioceses of the Catholic Church of New York, as a corporate member of Fidelis Care, in relation to the sale of Fidelis Care to Centene Corporation for $3.8bn, the proceeds of which will establish one of the largest healthcare grantmaking foundations in the US. The firm was also involved in several significant matters in the education sector, which included changing the for-profit status of several charter schools. Other active clients include Montefiore Medicine Academic Health System, Childhelp, and the Fire Family Foundation.

Arnold & Porter enters the rankings on the back of a strong practice jointly led by Bridget Weiss and tax co-chair James Joseph in Washington DC. The firm acts for a broad range of tax exempt organizations and foundations, including the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. Recently the firm has been lead counsel for Time's Up, a non-profit initiative that supports safe, fair, and dignified workplace environments for women. The firm also advises the United Nations Foundation on the full range of matters, including the establishment of special purpose vehicles for joint projects with other organizations.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP acts for a range of clients, including private foundations, religious organizations, healthcare groups, sports organizations, museums and medical research bodies. The team provides comprehensive support on tax-related matters, as well as lobbying, political campaign activity, mergers, and business income issues. Keith Kehrer jointly heads the team out of St Louis, alongside Kansas City-based partner Gino Serra, who has a strong track record advising non-profit clients in the life sciences sector. Also of note, firm's cross-border offering was enhanced through its merger with Berwin Leighton Paisner, which has a highly rated charities team based in London.

Acting across an extensive network of US offices, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is regularly instructed by family, corporate and independent private foundations, healthcare organizations, museums and cultural institutions, schools and universities, social service providers, and charitable trusts. The practice group is led by Seattle-based Laverne Woods and has sector-specific experience in commercial joint ventures, M&A, governance and compliance, tax, and litigation. Other key partners include Jean Tom in San Francisco and J. J. Harwayne Leitner in New York.

Farella Braun + Martel LLP has a strong San Francisco-based practice that acts for over 100 philanthropic organizations with a range of interests and backgrounds. Led by Barbara Murphy, the sector-dedicated team advises on non-profit formation and reorganization, governance, employment law, fundraising and revenue generation, IP, real estate and litigation. High profile clients include Walt Disney Family Museum and Family Foundation, the Burning Man Project, and NextGen Action. Other names to note include Cynthia Rowland and senior associate Courtney Therien.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP acts for a range of local and national charities, foundations, healthcare organizations and other tax-exempt entities. The team's clients include the Barnes Foundation, an educational institution dedicated to art and horticulture, which it advises on a range of involving real estate, governance, and trust and estate law. Another key client is the Annie E. Case Foundation, which has assets of over $2.5bn and an annual charitable spending portfolio of over $170m; the team advises the client on ongoing IP portfolio management issues, and also recently assisted with the planning and corporate structuring of a mixed-use urban development project. Counsel Joseph Lundy leads the practice group from the firm's Philadelphia office.

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