The Legal 500

Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Work +1 202 862 5000
Fax +1 202 429 3301
Washington DC, New York

United States


United States: Finance

Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 7

Under the leadership of Elihu Inselbuch, Caplin & Drysdale’s restructuring practice has a strong creditor bent and is recognized for its niche expertise in advising official committees of asbestos claimants in bankruptcy proceedings. Clients highlight lawyers as ‘knowledgeable, thorough, hard-working and zealous’. In particular, litigator Trevor Swett is singled out as ‘extremely articulate, intelligent, sensible and diligent’, and James Wehner is ‘excellent in analytical endeavours and possessed of a great deal of common sense’. Recent representative clients include the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants of W R Grace & Co, the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants of Garlock Sealing Technologies and the Pittsburgh Corning Unsecured Asbestos Creditors Committee.

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Within Not-for-profit (non profit and tax exempt organizations), Caplin & Drysdale is a second tier firm,

Described as ‘the premier Washington DC tax boutique’, Caplin & Drysdale is ‘top quality’ and has ‘a deep bench’. Its exempt organizations team benefits from several former high-ranking IRS officials, and has represented a broad range of nonprofit organizations including private foundations, charities, US affiliates of foreign charities, churches and trade associations. The firm focuses on establishing and restructuring exempt entities, especially with regard to operational and governance issues and ‘does excellent, high-quality, timely, and cost-effective work’. Before joining the firm in 2000, highly respected and ‘very accessible’ Marcus Owens spent his entire professional career at the IRS and was the director of its Exempt Organizations Division for 10 years. He ‘transitioned well from government to private practice’ and ‘breathes life into’ the firm’s nonprofit practice. Former IRS Deputy Commissioner Mark Matthews joined the firm recently and is a member of its tax controversies and tax litigation practices. Owens recently filed a complaint with the IRS, charging American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) with illegal lobbying and partisan violations, that should lead to revocation of its tax exemption. William Klimon has advised over 500 nonprofits in the last decade and focuses on corporate governance and transactions.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within Employee benefits and executive compensation, tier 5

Caplin & Drysdale advises employers and plan service providers on the design and administration of qualified plans, legislative and regulatory changes, representation before the IRS, compliance with Title I of ERISA, executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, tax-exempt and governmental employer representation, financial institution and service provider counseling, and employee benefits dispute resolution. Washington DC-based Richard Skillman and Joanne Youn are both highly experienced practitioners.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax: East Coast, tier 5

The level of service is outstanding’ at Caplin & Drysdale. The firm is recognized for its clear strength in tax controversy and its exempt organizations group. Predominantly based in Washington DC, the firm is also present in New York, where the ‘very experienced’ Mark Allison is the key partner. The team was recently strengthened with the addition of Elan Keller, former tax director of Macquarie Holdings, in September 2012. In Washington DC, David Rosenbloom has considerable experience in international tax planning and controversies. The firm further strengthened its bench in Washington DC in 2012 with the addition of Mark Matthews from Morgan Lewis and senior counsel Felix Laughlin from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Marcus Owens, Douglas Varley, Diara Holmes Michael Durham and William Klimon are the names to note for tax-exempt work.

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Within International tax, Caplin & Drysdale is a third tier firm,

Caplin & Drysdale’s ‘outstanding’ tax practice is ‘very responsive’ and ‘timely’. The five partner international team was strengthened by the arrival of Elan Keller to the New York office. Keller was previously managing director and tax director of Macquarie Holdings. Senior counsel Felix Laughlin joined the Washington DC office in 2012 from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. David Rosenbloom is very highly regarded and advises multinational corporations and financial institutions on tax matters in the US, Brazil, Australia and throughout Europe. Patricia Lewis is recognized for her strength in transfer pricing matters. Scott Michel and Cono Namorato have considerable experience in matters relating to US taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts. Lucy Lee left the firm to work as international tax counsel at GE.

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Within Tax controversy, Caplin & Drysdale is a third tier firm,

Based in Washington DC and New York, Caplin & Drysdale is one of the few tax controversy practices with expertise in voluntary disclosures. The boutique law firm remains in the forefront of offshore-related matters, and is composed of a ‘very talented team’ of ‘real trial lawyers’ with ex-governmental and treasury experience. Scott Michel, president of the firm, is recognised as a prominent figure advising on matters arising from the government's recent crackdown on undeclared foreign accounts. On the international side, David Rosenbloom is advising multinational corporations and financial institutions located in the US, Brazil, Australia and Europe. Cono Namorato is also highly recommended. In February 2013, Matthew Hicks was promoted to partner and Lucy Lee departed for General Electric.

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