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Laura Butzel

Work 212-336-2970
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Work Department

Tax-Exempt Organizations


Laura Butzel is a partner in the firm’s Tax-Exempt Organizations Group. She advises tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations on a broad range of operating issues, including corporate governance and fiduciary duties, joint ventures, program-related investments, structuring subsidiaries, unrelated business income tax and other tax issues, executive compensation, intellectual property and other issues. Her clients include private foundations as well as cultural, human and civil liberties, environmental, publishing, educational, and religious organizations. She also advises charitable clients on endowment issues, publishing and licensing issues, international and domestic grantmaking, lobbying, political activities, and the rules particular to private foundations, among other issues. An active lecturer, Ms. Butzel has presented on a wide range of issues including governance and tax concerns, investment policies and procedures, intellectual property, web site development and internet issues of charitable organizations, joint ventures and political activities of charitable entities. She serves as an officer of a number of charitable organizations and is a director of The Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and trustee of Teachers College at Columbia University. She is also a former trustee of The John B. Pierce Laboratory and The John B. Pierce Foundation, and of the Shelburne Museum.


Admitted in New York


Trustee, Teachers College at Columbia University; Member, American Bar Association (Committee on Tax Exempt Organizations); National Association of College & University Attorneys; Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Former Secretary, 1998–2000); Trustee, Shelburne Museum; Board Member, Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Former Trustee, John B. Pierce Foundation and John B. Pierce Laboratory; Secretary, Greentree Foundation


J.D., 1991, New York University School of Law (cum laude, American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence, Executive Editor, Review of Law & Social Change); B.A., 1985, Wesleyan University


Contributor to

United States: Tax

Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities)

Within: Not-for-profit (Fortune 1000 private foundations, and national trade associations and charities)

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.

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