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DLA Piper LLP (US)

Diana Erbsen

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DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department

Tax Controversies

Position

Partner

Career

Diana Erbsen concentrates her practice on federal, state and local tax controversies, including criminal tax matters. She returned to DLA Piper as a partner after serving as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Appellate and Review for the Tax Division of the US Department of Justice, a position to which she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 and which she held until the end of the Administration on January 20, 2017.

As one of only two Presidential appointees in the DOJ's Tax Division, Diana oversaw its largest section, the Appellate Section (responsible for all appellate litigation, including to the Supreme Court), as well as the Office of Review (responsible for civil settlements), and the Financial Litigation Unit (tasked with collecting judgments secured by the Trial Sections of the Tax Division). She was also actively involved in the management and operations of the Civil and Criminal Sections of the Tax Division and represented the DOJ on the Advisory Committee on Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. She was recognized in January 2017 by IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins with the Chief Counsel Award, the highest honor that can be conferred by that office for her leadership and oversight of the Appellate Section, particularly with respect to cases challenging IRS Regulations and other forms of published guidance. Her contributions to the precedent-setting Altera v. Commissioner case, a model for the government's defense of cases pending in the District Court and the Tax Court, were specifically noted.

Prior to her DOJ appointment, Diana had more than two decades of experience in the tax controversy area (including more than 12 years as a partner at DLA Piper) for which she was recognized by Chambers USA as a Notable Practitioner in the national tax controversy and fraud practice area and by the American College of Tax Counsel as a Fellow. She has had significant experience representing clients (public and privately held corporations, as well as partnerships, estates and individuals) in all aspects of sophisticated, challenging tax disputes.

In January, 2018 Diana was appointed to a three year term on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC). The IRSAC, established in 1953, is an organized public forum for IRS officials and representatives of the public to discuss issues in tax administration. It provides the IRS Commissioner with feedback, observations and recommendations. Diana will serve in the LB&I subgroup.

Education

LLM, New York University; JD, Northeastern University; BA, Amherst College


United States: Tax

US taxes: contentious

Within: US taxes: contentious

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s recent highlights include acting for the estate of Gerard Basquiat, father of contemporary artist Jean Michel Basquiat, with regard to several issues, including valuation and the applicability of blockage and fractional-share discounts. Ellis Reemer is ‘shrewd, savvy and able to drill down to the essential issues in every case’, and Diana Erbsen, who re-joined the practice in April 2017 from her post as deputy assistant attorney general for appellate and review at the Tax Division of the DOJ, is ‘a brilliant tax attorney and outstanding advocate’. Kathryn Keneally moved to Jones Day in June 2017.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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