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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United States, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for six consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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United States > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The $1.5tn debt-financed US tax reform that was signed into law by President Trump on December 22 marked the biggest change in national tax law since 1986. The swift preparation of the 500-page document resulted in a considerable number of glitches that were not anticipated by the lawmakers, which will require additional rulings during 2018. US tax practices have been kept busy staying up to date with the changes and briefing clients on how the new legislation affects each of them individually.

In general terms, the heaviest impacts come from the permanent reduction in corporate tax from 35% to 21%, the repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax, and the various tax cuts for individuals (set to expire in 2026) that will mostly provide tax relief to America’s top earners. Ninety percent of US companies are structured as pass-through entities - either ‘S-corporations’ or limited-liability companies - and will instead receive a financial boost from a temporary 20% tax decrease on their first $315,000 of qualified business income until 2025. The real estate industry benefits from a reduction on tax on dividends from REITs, which might also result in lower net operating losses, and is further exempt from the 30% EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) limitation on net interest expense deductions.

In the context of tax controversy, the new bill’s reported ambiguities are likely to generate numerous questions and thus the potential for disputes. In particular, lawyers have been busy thinking about how the bill will impact the relationship between federal and state tax laws, with the latter perhaps acquiring a more prominent role in future.

The IRS has been subject to increasing pressure due to budget constraints. For this reason, legal proceedings before the IRS are likely to decrease, and taxpayers will increasingly be expected to go to court to solve their tax controversies. Other key areas from a controversy point of view are IRS reviews of private equity, transfer pricing and advance pricing agreement transactions. Alongside a number of big international firms, such as Mayer Brown and Morrison & Foerster LLP), tax controversies are typically handled by smaller specialist practices with a focus both on federal and state tax law - these include Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry and Miller & Chevalier Chartered.

The Trump administration’s new tax bill was the pivotal event of 2017 in the context of international tax also. Specifically, the lowering of the corporate tax rate will create a major incentive to repatriate offshore funds to the US, and there will likely be significant implications for cross-border M&A and private equity transactions. In addition, the tax bill has created considerable uncertainty overseas, with tax authorities in Europe and elsewhere unsure how to respond.

International tax lawyers reportedly spent a large part of 2017 trying to anticipate the developments envisaged by the tax reform and advising clients accordingly. 2018 is expected to be a year of adjustment, in which major changes included in the bill will be gradually implemented. Besides advisory work on tax reform, international tax practices have kept themselves busy with transfer pricing, BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) and offshore structures. Firms at the forefront of international tax work are typically those with large international networks, such as Baker McKenzie LLP, McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP, although there are some notable exceptions, such as two-office firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Fenwick & West LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are increasingly prominent.

The recent tax reforms also contained few direct changes to the laws governing financial products. Any increase in work will stem from how the clients, particularly the major financial institutions, structure their investments and products as a result of changing behaviours. The debt markets will be particularly affected, as the use of debt to take money out of the US will be curtailed. At the time of writing, lawyers were still taking a wait-and-see approach as the market gradually digested the full impact of the reforms, but other anticipated changes included an increase in structuring work that might previously have gone to offshore tax havens.


Financial products

Index of tables

  1. Financial products
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Financial products clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has an excellent track record advising a wide range of financial services clients, including commercial and investment banks, insurance companies and funds. The firm is also noted for its expertise in the structuring of securitization vehicles, having previously advised the Treasury and IRS on developing the taxation regime for asset-backed securities. Linda Swartz heads the highly regarded five-partner team from New York. Gary Silverstein, also in New York, recently represented PennyMac Financial Services in a transaction to finance its Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights through a $400m private notes issuance. Mark Howe in Washington DC also advised Olden Lane on the launch of its first series of unit investment trusts. Washington DC-based special counsel Jason Schwartz is also highly recommended.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has a hugely versatile practice that handles capital markets and liability management transactions on both the debt and equity side. The firm also has a strong niche advising sovereigns on bond issuances; recent examples include assisting Iraq and Argentina with the complex tax structuring of their respective recent bond offerings worth $2bn and $15bn. The firm advised the underwriters, including Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Nomura, on 265 REMIC transactions totaling over $99.7bn for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae. The team also advised on 70 CLO transactions worth over $35bn. Key partners include Erika Nijenhuis, James Peaslee (‘as good as it gets’), and William McRae. Counsel Doug Borisky and senior attorney Derek Wallace have also made good names for themselves. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Clifford Chance’s practice is noted for its expertise in structuring CLO and CDO products. The lawyers are also experienced in derivatives, funds, insurance and bonds-related tax advice. Recent highlights include the firm’s work for Fannie Mae, where a team led from Washington DC advised on a potential new structure for its benchmark Connecticut Avenue Securities (CAS) credit risk transfer program, which should help expand the investor base for CAS securities due to existing tax constraints that exist for REITs and foreign investors. The firm also advised Petroperu, as issuer, on US tax matters linked to its $2bn inaugural international bond offering, one of the largest Latin American bond offerings in recent years. New York-based Richard Catalano leads the highly rated team, which also includes Philip Wagman, Avrohom Gelber, David Moldenhauer (‘an oracle of expertise’) and Michael Seaton. In June 2018, Will Cejudo moved to Dechert LLP.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has a strong track record in capital markets and financial products related matters. The firm advises clients on complex Up-C IPOs, as well as hedging and over-the-counter transactions, including equity monetization strategies, tax-efficient share repurchase programs and cross-border hybrid transactions. Morgan Stanley is a major client and over the course of the year used the firm in over $40bn in SEC-registered global note offerings. The firm also advised a major bank on $2.5bn-worth of structured product offerings linked to various assets, including commodities, currencies, rates and equities. The firm has a deep bench of talent that includes Po Sit, Michael Farber and Lucy Farr, all based in New York.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is a top choice for a range of major financial institutions, including Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Bank of America, UBS and Barclays. The firm’s standing in the financial products arena is reflected in its role as counsel to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). A major highlight in the past year was in the firm’s representation of the estate of Andrew J. McKelvey, the founder of Monster.com, in which Washington DC-based partners Kristen Garry and Robert Rudnick led the client to a major victory at the Tax Court in a $41.3m dispute concerning two variable prepaid forward contracts. On the capital markets side, team head Michael Shulman advised Viacom on two $650m fixed-to-floating rate junior subordinated debenture issuances. The up-and-coming Nathan Tasso was promoted to partner in January, 2018.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a well-stocked New York-based team of tax partners, highly experienced in structuring capital markets and related financial products. Pamela Lawrence Endreny has a strong market reputation and recently advised Stanley Black & Decker on its $3bn commercial paper note programs and a $675m equity offering. On the underwriter side, Victor Hollender led the team advising Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities and Itau BBA USA Securities as global co-ordinators in Azul’s $645m equity offering on the New York and Sao Paulo stock exchanges, the first such dual listing by a Brazilian company since 2011. Kirk Wallace is also recommended.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s financial products team is led by the extremely well-regarded Ronald Creamer, who divides his time between the firm’s New York and London offices. Recent work for the team includes advising Bayer on the tax aspects of bond issuances linked to the financing of its $66bn takeover of Monsanto. Another highlight was advising Vornado Realty Trust on the tax-free spin-off of its Washington DC real estate business, in which Vornado shareholders will own a 74% stake. David Hariton comes highly recommended and recently advised Ascent Resources Subsidiaries on the tax aspects of its $1.5bn high-yield bond offering.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a strong two-partner practice jointly led by Robert Scarborough in New York and Claude Stansbury in Washington DC. The group represents a variety of clients, including leading underwriters such as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Securities, UBS and RBC Capital Markets. Recent highlights include representing a special committee of the board of directors of Two Harbors Investment in a $1.4bn spin-off of assets into the newly formed REIT Granite Trust, which will do an IPO. On the underwriter front it advised Citigroup Global Markets on 10 new CLO transactions worth $10bn. In New York, recently promoted counsel Dennis Caracristi and Reed Carey also have good reputations.

Mayer Brown provides an ‘excellent service in terms of time, cost and quality of response’ and the highly rated Mark Leeds is a ‘global leader in the tax aspects of financial products and an excellent source of tax information’. The team works across offices in New York, Chicago and Charlotte for a broad range of clients, including CarVal Investors, Societe Generale and Macquarie Group. Recently the team advised NationStar Mortgage on the tax aspects of the $400m securitization of a pool of non-performing reverse mortgages. Another highlight was advising Ally Bank on an offshore Irish issuing vehicle for a $535m securitization of US receivables to access foreign markets. Key partners include Chicago-based George Craven and Steven Garden, Jeffrey Cantrell in Charlotte, and New York’s Michael Marion. The firm’s ambitions in this area were demonstrated by the recruitment of two extremely well-regarded partners from Morrison & Foerster LLP, leading lawyer Thomas Humphreys in New York, and Remmelt Reigersman in Palo Alto.

The ‘outstanding’ team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is praised by clients for its ‘exceptional technical expertise, responsiveness and practicality’. The team includes the ‘exceptional’ William Pomierski and Andrea Kramer in Chicago and Peter Faber, John Lutz, Arthur Rosen and David Taub in New York. Aside from advising on capital markets, derivatives and structured finance transactions, the firm has a strong niche in the tax and derivatives aspects of municipal insolvencies and has a notable showing in related state and local tax issues. The firm represents an array of major financial institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Citibank. Mark Yopp and Alan Schwartz are also names to note.

Dentons has a good reputation for tax advice linked to swaps and other financial products as well as domestic and international capital markets transactions. The firm also has strong expertise in insurance-linked securities, prepaid forward contracts and structures including investment funds and REITs. Recent highlights include advising Xerium Technologies on the tax structuring of a $480m senior secured note offering. It also advised Mizuho Trust & Banking on a $500m cross-border securities loan involving the US, UK and Belgium. Timothy Santoli is well regarded, although the firm will miss Jeffrey Koppele, who joined Ashurst LLP’s New York office.

The team at Linklaters LLP is praised for its ‘willingness to really explore issues in depth and provide clear and consistent advice’. The firm advises on a variety of capital markets transactions, including SEC-registered, public international issuances and private placements of debt and equity. Recently the firm advised the Bank of Communications as issuer on the establishment of its $5bn euro commercial paper and certificate of deposit programme. New York-based counsel Shane Milam is ‘an excellent adviser with a very solid grasp of global tax concepts, which informs his analyses’.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has plenty of experience in REITs, RICs, securitizations and insurance company products. The firm is a popular choice with major financial institutions and investment managers, and recently advised JP Morgan Asset Management on the complex structuring and establishment of a $1.2bn fund-of-one for a sovereign wealth fund and the simultaneous co-investment by the fund-of-one with a US ERISA fund for the acquisition of US real estate. New York-based Jeffrey Uffner heads the team, which also includes Michelle Jewett and Micah Bloomfield.


International tax

Index of tables

  1. International tax
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International tax clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

The sizable team at Baker McKenzie LLP provides tax and legal advice to multinational companies on a wide range of international tax matters, including multi-jurisdictional post-acquisition supply chain integration and other restructuring matters. New York-based Thomas May and others have been advising FedEx on tax matters relating to its post-acquisition integration with TNT Express, while Washington DC’s James Wilson has been assisting luxury fashion brand Coach with its post-acquisition integration with Kate Spade. Johnson & Johnson and McCormick are other key clients. Jonathan Martin and Kai Kramer in Houston, Jeff Maydew and Julia Skubis Weber in Chicago, Dallas-based Melinda Phelan and Palo Alto’s Stewart Lipeles are also recommended.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

The ‘very strong team’ at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP advises on multinational M&A transactions, foreign direct investment, international capital markets transactions, new financial products, tax structuring, restructuring and other matters. Corey Goodman and Jason Factor advised long-term client Google and its parent company Alphabet on a number of cross-border transactions, including Google’s $1.1bn business agreement with HTC and an $800m investment into Alphabet company Verily Life Sciences by Temasek in exchange for a minority stake. Yaron Reich, who assisted Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management with its investment into real estate trust ARC Hospitality, is also recommended. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

New York-based Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP advises clients on the full gamut of tax issues associated with international business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures and private equity deals. Lauren Angelilli and Stephen Gordon assisted multinational chemical company Ashland with the tax-free separation of its Valvoline business into an independent publicly traded company, while Andrew Needham advised British American Tobacco on its $97bn merger with Reynolds American. Of counsel Michael Schler is also recommended. Christopher Fargo and recently made partner Kara Mungovan are stars of the future.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP handles complex tax matters related to cross-border acquisitions (including post-acquisition integration) and joint ventures, reorganizations of multinationals, and inbound and outbound investments. Avishai Shachar’s team advised the Houston- and London-based Baker Hughes on an agreement to create a North American land pressure pumping company with CSL Capital Management and West Street Energy Partners. Assisting ExxonMobil with matters related to the $2.5bn acquisition of InterOil Corporation is another highlight. Neil Barr, Michael Mollerus and Menlo Park-based Rachel Kleinberg are other names to note. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise specified.

The ‘excellentDebevoise & Plimpton LLP team advises on tax issues relating to M&A, private equity (including fund formation), financing transactions, capital markets deals, derivatives and insurance matters. The ‘very creative, responsive and smartPeter Schuur assisted American International Group (AIG) with the sale of its Japan life insurance business, AIG Fuji Life Insurance, to FWD Group, while Peter Furci advised the private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition of Capco from FIS, a global leader in financial services technology, which involved significant US and UK tax planning. The ‘outstanding’ Gary Friedman is also strongly recommended. Rafael Kariyev was promoted to partner in July 2017. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s areas of strength include advising multinational corporations on complex tax matters associated with cross-border M&A and other deals as well as assisting such clients with international tax controversies. Washington DC-based practice head Nicholas DeNovio assisted the UK public company Ensco with its acquisition of Atwood Oceanics, a Houston-based offshore drilling contractor. Another highlight was advising the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its first-ever international sukuk issuance, worth $9bn, making it the largest in history. Jiyeon Lee-Lim and Jocelyn Noll in New York and Los Angeles-based Samuel Weiner are other names to note.

The ‘outstanding’ group at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is adept at handling the US tax aspects of cross-border transactions, international tax planning, cross-border tax controversies, and complex and potentially contentious transfer pricing arrangements. The team assisted London-based offshore drilling contractor Ensco with a large controversy before the IRS concerning a $700m transfer pricing adjustment received by the client in connection with the contribution of rigs to a UK partnership. The client portfolio also includes Honeywell, Procter & Gamble and Walmart. Chicago-based practice head Lowell Yoder is ‘an eminent practitioner with an impeccable nationwide reputation and is a fabulous person to work with’, and Damon Lyon (also in Chicago) is an ‘exceptional’ professional with ‘a deep mastery of international tax issues and a quick intellect’.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP specializes in designing tax strategies and advising clients on various corporate and transactional tax matters, with a focus on the interplay between the US tax system and those of other major financial centres in Canada, Europe and Asia. Jeffrey Samuels and Patrick Karsnitz have been assisting Qualcomm with its subsidiary’s acquisition of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors. Brad Okun advised Minnesota-based frozen food company Bellisio Foods on its $1.07bn sale to Thailand-based agro-industrial conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods, while Scott Sontag acted for Lendlease in its establishment of a $5bn infrastructure joint venture with Japan-based SoftBank to develop telecom infrastructure assets in the US. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advises clients on a wide range of cross-border transactions and structuring issues, including acquisitions, dispositions, spin-offs, joint ventures, transfer pricing arrangements, restructurings and financing deals. Washington DC-based Jessica Hough and Cliff Gross and Boston’s Moshe Spinowitz assisted MassMutual International with the tax aspects of its $1.7bn sale of MassMutual Asia (Hong Kong) to an investor group led by Yunfeng Financial Group (Hong Kong). Washington DC’s Hal Hicks has been advising Liberty Mutual Group on tax matters concerning the acquisition of a foreign corporation, including corporate work and related international tax planning. Of counsel Paul Oosterhuis, who is also based in Washington DC, is a widely recognized expert in international and corporate tax law.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is noted for its tax planning expertise and its skill in resolving tax controversies, and has a particular focus on strategic and complex cross-border deals. Practice head Ronald Creamer has been advising Bayer AG on the tax aspects of its acquisition of Monsanto, and has been assisting the Canadian multinational energy transportation company Enbridge with tax issues pertaining to its merger agreement with Houston-based Spectra. Advising US-based multinational industrial gases company Praxair on the tax aspects of its merger of equals with German chemical company Linde AG was another key matter, led by Davis Wang. Of counsel Andrew Solomon and Isaac Wheeler, who was made partner in November 2017, are other names to note. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

The ‘terrificFenwick & West LLP handles transfer pricing, cross-border M&A and joint ventures, international inversion transactions and international tax controversies. Recent highlights include acting for a consortium of more than 40 leading financial institutions from over 15 countries that made a $107m capital investment in R3, the largest consortium of global financial institutions collaborating to develop a platform and commercial applications for distributed ledger technology; and assisting US-based life sciences company Grail with the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Cirina. ‘US tax starJames Fuller and the ‘extremely intelligent and responsiveDavid Forst are strongly recommended, as are Larissa Neumann and Andrew Kim. All attorneys mentioned are based in Mountain View, California.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a strong focus on public M&A and private equity deals, and is also extremely adept in restructurings, reorganizations, financings, executive compensation arrangements and other transactions with complex tax implications. New York’s Dean Shulman and Chicago’s Mike Carew advised global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals Huntsman on its combination agreement with Swiss-based global specialty chemical company Clariant through an all-stock tax-free cross-border merger, with enterprise value of approximately $20bn. Assisting global pediatric nutrition business Mead Johnson with its $17.9bn cross-border sale to UK-based consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser is another recent highlight. Chicago-based Todd Maynes is also recommended, as is Lee Morlock, who recently joined the Chicago office from Mayer Brown.

Mayer Brown delivers ‘a high level of service’ in transactional tax matters, tax planning, transfer pricing, and cross-border tax controversies. The firm acted as co-counsel to multinational power management company Eaton (along with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP) in a tax court victory against the IRS in which it was determined that the IRS’s cancelation of two advanced pricing agreements (ABAs) was an abuse of discretion; the ABAs governed the transfer pricing of products manufactured by Eaton in its Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic facilities and sold to its US subsidiaries. Other recent highlights include advising TransCanada on the sale of its US Northeast Power business to Helix Generation. The ‘excellentJason Bazar in New York, Chicago’s James Barry and Washington DC-based Kenneth Klein and Jason Osborn are all recommended. Lee Morlock moved to Kirkland & Ellis LLP in August 2017.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is well versed in international tax planning and in advising on complex cross-border transactions and tax controversies for global corporates, financial institutions and other clients. Washington DC-based Ethan Harris and Nathan Tasso, who was promoted to partner in January 2018, advised GE on its agreement with Baker Hughes to create a world-leading oilfield technology provider. Menlo Park’s Larry Crouch assisted the Toronto-based financial holding company Fairfax with its acquisition of the Swiss insurance broker Allied World Assurance. New York-based Laurence Bambino is another name to note.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advises on complex cross-border M&A, financing and capital markets transactions, fund formation, financial products and restructurings for multinational companies, banks, investment funds and other clients. Robert Holo assisted Minnesota-based Mosaic Company with its acquisition of Brazilian fertilizer company Vale Fertilizantes, while John Hart advised Blackstone on the sale of 25% of the shares of Hilton Worldwide to Chinese tourism industry group HNA for $6.5bn. Alibaba and CVC Capital Partners are other notable clients. Jonathan Goldstein is also recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

The largely New York-based team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises on the tax implications of cross-border M&A and restructurings. Kenneth Heitner assisted the board of directors’ transaction committee of tobacco manufacturer Reynolds American with the tax aspects of the $60.6bn sale to British American Tobacco, while Kimberly Blanchard and Stuart Goldring have been advising the US arm of Japan-based auto parts company Takata on the tax aspects of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the related $1.6bn asset sale to Key Safety Systems. Mark Schwed acted for the Chinese HNA Group regarding tax issues relating to its $6.5bn acquisition of a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings from affiliates of Blackstone.

White & Case LLP’s cross-border expertise covers tax planning, transfer pricing, tax controversy, post-acquisition integration, investigative matters and tax legislative initiatives. The team advised Saudi Arabia’s national petroleum company Aramco on its joint venture with Dow to build and operate a $20bn integrated chemicals complex in Saudi Arabia, and assisted public Chinese company Shenzhen Pharmaceutical and its US subsidiary Hepalink with the acquisition of Scientific Protein, a global manufacturer and supplier pharmaceutical ingredients. Washington DC’s Kim Boylan and New York’s William Dantzler are the main contacts.

At the ‘highly respectedCaplin & Drysdale, Chartered, Clark Armitage, Patricia Lewis and David Rosenbloom specialize in transfer pricing, with a particular emphasis on the negotiation of advance pricing agreements between taxpayers, the IRS and foreign tax authorities. Kirsten Burmester, the ‘absolutely phenomenalScott Michel and the ‘knowledgeable and experiencedMark Matthews are well versed in tax controversies arising from inbound and outbound operations. ‘"Go to" tax lawyerMark Allison and Jonathan Brenner lead the cross-border transaction team from New York, which is also where ‘great resourceZhanna Ziering is based. Michael Pfeifer and Anne O’Brien focus on expatriation planning. Attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise indicated.

Clifford Chance is ‘among the very best’, according to one client, and is noted for advising clients on a wide range of international financial and business transactions, including those relating to investment funds, private equity funds, employee co-investment and management equity arrangements, corporate acquisitions and restructurings, real estate, joint ventures and various forms of financing. David Moldenhauer, who has ‘excellent all-round knowledge’, and Avrohom Gelber assisted Mubadala Development Company and Public Investment Fund with their respective $15bn and $45bn investments in SoftBank Vision Fund’s $100bn technology-focused investment fund. Richard Catalano advised Empire State Realty Trust on a $622m investment through which Qatar Investment Authority acquired a 9.9% interest in the REIT on a fully diluted basis. Philip Wagman is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

DLA Piper LLP (US) has ‘incredible depth of knowledge’ across a number of tax-intensive areas, including cross-border tax planning, M&A, financing, real estate deals, investment fund structures, remuneration planning and corporate reorganizations as well as international tax audits, controversies and criminal proceedings. Boston’s ‘very responsive and helpfulMichael Hardgrove has been assisting the technology company MKS Instruments with the structuring and post-acquisition integration of Newport Corporation via design and implementation of an internal reorganization and repatriation. Another highlight for the team was advising online backup service Carbonite on post-acquisition integration following the 2016 acquisition of a Nasdaq-listed software company. San Francisco’s Sibel Owji, Silicon Valley’s Sang Kim and New York’s Philip Rogers are other key contacts.

The ‘highly skilled and very professional’ team at Dentons handles matters for US and multinational companies across multiple jurisdictions, focusing on outbound, inbound and international investment, transfer pricing and compliance, as well as on project financing, restructuring and tax treaty interpretation. Washington DC-based John Harrington led a US-Canadian team’s advice to BW Canada Holdco regarding its acquisition of the assets of Ottawa-based digital advertising company MaxBounty. The client portfolio also includes Mizuho Trust & Banking and James Hardie International Finance. New York-based Marc Teitelbaum, Rich Williams and Jon Hutchens, who was promoted to partner in April 2017, are other key contacts.

Dechert LLP’s areas of strength include financial services, asset management and investment funds, structured finance and securitization, as well as middle-market private equity. Daniel Dunn has been assisting global hedge fund investor EnTrustPermal with its ongoing cross-border restructuring, including complex treaty, tax sharing, risk allocation and tax credit work, while Steven Clemens advised independent financial services company ECN, headquartered in Toronto, on the sale of its US commercial and vendor finance business to PNC Bank for approximately $1.25bn. Andrew Bloom and Boston’s Adrienne Baker are leaders in asset management matters. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise specified.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP advises clients on international corporate structuring, transfer pricing, M&A, joint ventures and partnerships, reorganizations, private equity matters, capital markets transactions and structured finance, among other matters. New York’s ‘very knowledgeableRobert Scarborough assisted SEC-registered investment adviser MSD with the tax aspects of the formation of a joint venture with private equity firm KKR to acquire German research firm GfK, while Washington DC’s Claude Stansbury advised London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) on its $685m acquisition of The Yield Book and Citi Fixed Income Indices from Citigroup. Washington DC’s Reed Carey is a rising star.

Linklaters LLP provides tax advice across all manner of planning and structuring issues as well as in M&A, private equity, capital markets and financing transactions. New York-based Andrew Morris handled SoftBank’s launch of the SoftBank Vision Fund, the world's largest-ever private equity fund having raised $93.15bn. The practice also regularly assists investment company Triton with respect to its largest funds and most important deals. David Brockway, who heads the Washington DC office, is also recommended.

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz works with large international businesses on the tax aspects of corporate reorganizations, acquisitions, dispositions, financings, restructurings and joint ventures. Jodi Schwartz assisted Ireland-based Medtronic with its $6.1bn sale of a portion of its patient monitoring and recovery division to Cardinal Health, while Eiko Stange handled Tesla Motors’ acquisition of German machine industry company Grohmann Engineering. Joshua Holmes is another name to note, as is Tijana Dvornic, who assisted Canada-based multinational Valeant Pharmaceuticals with the $1.3bn sale of its CeraVe, Ambi and AcneFree brands and related assets to L'Oréal USA.

Based out of New York, Allen & Overy LLP’s international tax practice advises clients on the federal income tax aspects of major domestic and cross-border financial and corporate transactions, including in relation to regulated funds, hedge funds, infrastructure funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and structured funds. Jack Heinberg assisted Credit Suisse Securities’ managers with the issuance of RMBS notes by Towd Point Mortgage Funding 2016-Vantage 1 PLC, the payments for which are made from revenue received from a portfolio of loans secured by UK residential properties. Dave Lewis advised Thomson Reuters on tax, HR, antitrust and IP aspects of the sale of its intellectual property and science business to Onex and Baring for $3.55bn. The client portfolio also includes Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and DXC Technology. Associates John Hibbard, Caroline Lapidus and Brian Schultz are other names to note. Craig Cohen moved to Chapman & Cutler LLP in April 2017.

Baker & Hostetler LLP is well versed in transfer pricing, tax treaty, inversion regulations and foreign tax credit issues, as well as in tax controversy. The international tax practice is based in Washington DC, with Paul Schmidt, John Bates and John Lehrer as the main contacts. Other partners are based in New York, Philadelphia and Denver.

Eversheds Sutherland, which results from the February 2017 merger between Sutherland Asbill & Brennan and the UK-based Eversheds, has ‘strong technical expertise combined with great client service and pragmatism’. Jeffrey Friedman, Robert Chase and Michele Borens in Washington DC and Atlanta-based Eric Tresh are key partners in the group, which advises global businesses on structuring and restructuring cross-border transactions and joint ventures as well as on cross-border withholding tax, application of bilateral income tax treaties, overseas currency, taxable presence and transfer pricing matters. Comcast Corporation, Cox Enterprises and Great-West Life are notable clients.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s Christine Lane assisted glass manufacturer PPG Industries with the $755m carve-out of its entire flat glass business to Mexico City-based Vitro, a producer of flat glass and specialty products. New York’s Jeffrey Tolin acted for multinational Valeant Pharmaceuticals in the sale of its subsidiary Dendreon to privately owned Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group. The client portfolio also includes Cisco Systems and 21st Century Fox. Siobhan Rausch in Silicon Valley and San Francisco-based Babak Nikravesh are other key partners. Attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC except when otherwise indicated.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered is a leading Washington DC-based tax boutique and advises multinational clients on global tax optimization, transfer pricing and cash management planning, as well as on cross-border M&A, joint ventures and contentious tax matters. David Zimmerman, Layla Asali and Rocco Femia advised British American Tobacco on the $49bn acquisition by its US subsidiary BATUS Holdings of Reynolds American’s publicly held stock. Coca Cola and oil company Merey Sweeny are other notable clients. Other key contacts include George Hani, Kevin Kenworthy and Jarrett Jacinto, who was made partner in January 2018.

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, New York-based Thomas Humphreys and San Francisco’s Remmelt Reigersman have been advising Bank of America and its affiliates on tax issues related to various securities offerings across US, UK, Canada, Australia and other jurisdictions. San Francisco’s Bernie Pistillo assisted the government of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek with its investment into Verily Life Science, Alphabet’s health-focused subsidiary. The client portfolio also includes British multinational infrastructure group Balfour Betty and Royal Bank of Canada.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP advises on global tax planning, transfer pricing, joint ventures, private equity transactions, cross-border M&A (particularly in the energy, finance, and healthcare sectors) and contested tax matters, among other things. The practice, which is led by Houston’s Andrius Kontrimas, has gained 14 new tax partners from the June 2017 merger with Chadbourne & Parke. New York’s William Cavanagh assisted Enel Américas (formerly known as Enersis), in a $22bn corporate reorganization to organize its electricity generation, distribution and transmission businesses by geographic focus, which involved the demerger and subsequent re-merger of two spin-off companies. The Kingdom of Bahrain, Enbridge Energy and Brookfield infrastructure are other notable clients.

Paul Hastings LLP’ areas of strength include the complex tax aspects of large-scale cross-border restructurings, M&A transactions, private equity deals and high-profile financing transactions. The practice caters for international market leaders in entertainment, real estate, venture capital, aircraft finance and cross-border investments. Andrew Short acted for multinational Prudential Real Estate Investors (known also as PGIM Real Estate) in relation to its formation of a real estate debt fund anticipated to generate more than $1bn of capital commitments, while Joseph Opich assisted animal health company Elanco US with an agreement to acquire a biopharmaceutical asset portfolio from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. David Makso, who was made partner in November 2017 and is active in the firm’s Latin America practice, is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York, but tax partners are also located in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Orange County, Chicago and Houston.

At the ‘responsive and extremely knowledgeableProskauer Rose LLP, Stuart Rosow and Martin Hamilton advised Barcelona-based global healthcare company Grifols on a number of transactions, including the $1.85bn acquisition of the blood screening business of Hologic and the acquisition of a 44% interest in GigaGen. Another recent highlight was assisting AccorHotels in its agreement with Brazil Hospitality Group (BHG) and its shareholders in which the client will take over the management of 26 hotels currently owned or managed by BHG. Ares Management and Pacific Exploration & Production are other notable clients. Tax department chair Ira Bogner and David Miller are other key contacts. Malcolm Hochenberg and Boston’s Brian Huber were promoted respectively to partner and senior counsel in November 2017. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP is well versed in tax-efficient cross-border M&A and reorganizations, foreign tax credit utilization, migration of intellectual property to tax-favored jurisdictions, capital structures and repatriation strategies, and transfer pricing, among other things. Douglas Stransky and his team assisted Spain-based publicly traded bank Alantra with its merger with CW Downer, an investment bank based in Boston with offices in Germany and France. Ameek Ashok Ponda has been advising Equinix, a public company operating data centers globally, on its REIT compliance from a tax and structuring perspective. Attorneys mentioned are based in Boston.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team specializes on taxation within the energy sector, advising upstream, midstream and downstream companies as well as energy-focused private equity funds. M&A, business reorganizations and joint ventures are particular areas of strength. Houston’s John Lynch assisted Canada-based diversified energy infrastructure business AltaGas with tax aspects of its agreement and merger plan to acquire public utility holding company WGL in a $6.4bn all-cash transaction. Dallas’ David Peck advised Saudi Arabia-based petroleum and gas company Aramco as one of ten member companies providing a $1bn pioneering investment in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative to address climate change. Houston-based George Gerachis is another key contact.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is especially adept in energy and technology taxation and often advises on the tax aspects of a variety of cross-border transactions. The practice is led by Houston-based Richard Husseini and Derek Green. Washington DC’s Tamar Stanley assisted global media and entertainment company Starz with its sale to Lionsgate for a combination of cash and stock totaling $4.4bn. Don Lonczak, who is also located in Washington DC, advised Houston-based oilfield equipment and service private equity firm Pelican Energy on its significant growth equity investment in Alberta-based Quinn Artificial Lift Services.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s team advises on the tax aspects of cross-border restructurings, workouts and other distressed situations, as well on M&A, spin-offs, inversions, Reverse Morris Trust transactions and joint ventures. Linda Swartz advised Procter & Gamble on an $11.4bn tax-efficient Reverse Morris Trust transaction with multinational beauty products manufacturer Coty. Together with Edward Wei, she also acted as international and restructuring counsel for the ad hoc committee of convertible noteholders in a cross-border transaction involving the restructuring of approximately $780m of vodka producer Roust’s bond liabilities alongside the provision of new money by existing stakeholders. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

The client base of the ‘very responsive, pragmatic and knowledgeableCurtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP includes private and public corporations, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, investment and private equity fund managers, and states and state-owned entities, which are advised on cross-border investments, acquisitions, restructurings, fund management, compliance as well as on tax controversies. The practice has been assisting the government of India with a prominent tax controversy involving a bilateral investment treaty dispute brought by Vodafone against the Indian government over its contested liability for a $2.6bn tax transfer of assets. Merrill Lynch and Glencore are other notable clients. Co-chairs Klas Holm and Marco Blanco, who divides between the New York, Paris and Geneva offices, are recommended. Counsels Kuang-Chu Chiang and Olga Beloded are other names to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York except when otherwise indicated.

The ‘excellentGreenberg Traurig, LLP’ areas of strength include international tax planning, the US federal tax aspects of cross-border M&A and corporate reorganizations, taxation of real estate investments, securities offerings by US and foreign corporations, as well as treaty issues, foreign tax credits and withholding taxes. New York’s Mary Voce heads the practice. Miami’s Seth Entin advised Southern Ports Holdings, which owns a more than 50% interest in the Colombian port operator Compañía de Puertos Asociados (Compas), on the $136.5m sale by the client’s former joint venture partner, Grupo Argos, of its remaining equity interests in Compas to investment funds managed by Goldman Sachs. Miami’s Erika Litvak and Washington DC’s Robert Simon are other names to note.

The New-York based practice at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP advises clients on the tax aspects of multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures, bankruptcies, reorganizations, placement of off-shore investment funds, securitizations and securities offerings. Equipment and aviation finance is another area of strength. Andrew Braiterman acted for Wafra Capital Partners in its acquisition of Oxford Finance, a specialty finance firm that provides senior debt to life sciences and healthcare services companies, and assisted the Republic of Paraguay with its first sovereign bond issuance since early 2016. Spencer Harrison is another key partner.

At the ‘excellentReed Smith LLP, James Tandler assisted an independent music company with its acquisition of a leading independent music publisher, and acted for a publicly traded technology company in the sale of its commercial satellite communications division to an Australian company. Partners David Hryck and Elan Keller, who joined from Arnold & Porter in April 2017, and associates Matthew Maggiacomo and Brent Vegliacich are other names to note. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP assists public and private clients with a number of international tax issues, including tax treaties, foreign tax credits, internal restructuring transactions and debt/equity issues. Recent highlights include assisting a US-based conglomerate with various domestic and international tax matters, including analysis of operating agreements; and advising numerous high-net-worth individuals on corporate, partnership and individual tax matters with significant cross-border aspects. Practice chair Philip West, Amanda Varma, Lisa Zarlenga and Robert Rizzi, who are all based in Washington DC, are the names to note.

Thompson & Knight LLP advises multinational corporations and overseas-based businesses and families on the tax aspects of migration out of or to the US, as well as on cross-border estate planning, executive compensation and employee benefit plans, IRS appeals and various private equity matters. The practice is also strong in mergers and acquisitions, with a specific focus on offshore oil and gas services companies and equipment providers. Dallas-based John Cohn and Todd Keator assisted London-based investment group Warwick Capital Partners with its US investments, including oil and gas acquisitions, divestitures and restructurings. Oil India and EnCap Investments are other active clients. International principal Joe Rudberg, who is also based in Dallas, is another key contact.


US taxes: contentious

Index of tables

  1. US taxes: contentious
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which US taxes: contentious clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Baker McKenzie LLP advises multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals at various stages of state, federal and state tax controversies, handling matters which involve transfer pricing, R&D credit, worthless stock deductions, tax penalties and tax fraud allegations. Palo Alto-based Andrew Crousore has been acting for Facebook in an audit and IRS summons regarding assets transferred to Facebook Ireland in 2010. Washington DC’s George Clarke has been assisting petroleum and petrochemical manufacturer Sunoco with its appeal to the Federal Circuit over a Court of Federal Claims decision denying Sunoco income tax refunds arising from its 2004-2009 tax years. The client portfolio also includes Nike and Summa International. Dallas-based practice chair Robert Albaral, Palo Alto’s Scott Frewing, Robert Walton and Patricia Rexford in Chicago and New York-based Daniel Rosen are other key contacts. Thomas Linguanti and Jenny Austin moved to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in August 2017.

At the ‘absolutely top-shelfCaplin & Drysdale, Chartered, ‘exceptional individual and outstanding tax lawyerScott Michel and New York-based Mark Allison specialize in civil and criminal tax controversies. Clark Armitage is well versed in transfer pricing and Michael Pfeifer is the key contact for expatriation planning. The practice has a client portfolio of multinational companies, financial institutions and high-net-worth families and individuals. Recent highlights include the conclusion of the team’s representation of all but two of seven separate Swiss financial institutions in the DOJ’s program to provide Swiss banks with a path to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the US. Of counsel Peter Barnes, Matthew Hicks, the ‘superbChristopher Rizek and the ‘top-flightNiles Elber are other names to note. New York’s Zhanna Ziering was promoted to partner in October 2016. Attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise specified.

At the ‘terrificLatham & Watkins LLP, Washington DC-based Miriam Fisher has been advising Weyerhaeuser Company on litigation initiated in late 2016 in the US Tax Court contesting the IRS’s characterization of a 2008 joint venture transaction entered into by Plum Creek Timber (which was acquired by Weyerhaeuser in 2016) as a disguised sale. Boston’s ‘excellent’ and ‘smartBrian McManus has been defending Millennium Drilling in a jury trial in the District of Nevada against allegations of fraud related to oil and gas investments. The client base also includes NBC Universal/DreamWorks Animation and Musa Brothers. Jean Pawlow, who has deep financial industry and international tax controversy experience, joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP in January 2018 and splits her time between Washington DC and Silicon Valley.

The ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ team at Mayer Brown includes Chicago-based Thomas Kittle-Kamp, who has been advising Altera on an IRS appeal seeking to overturn the Tax Court’s decision agreeing with the client that the IRS equity compensation regulation is invalid due to procedural and substantive faults under the Administrative Procedure Act. Joel Williamson and John Hildy (both located in Chicago) have been acting for Hyatt Hotels in a Tax Court case concerning the treatment of Hyatt’s customer loyalty program. New York-based Brian Kittle, a ‘clear star’, has been assisting Canada Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) with a matter involving the deductibility of certain settlement expenses and the allocation of such expenses among CIBC’s various entities in Canada and the US. Palo Alto’s Larry Langdon and Washington DC’s Gary Wilcox are other notable names.

The ‘outstandingMcDermott Will & Emery LLP advises corporate clients, banks, insurers and financial other services companies on multi-state tax controversies. Recent highlights include assisting Illinois-based agricultural cooperative Growmark with two pending tax cases at the Tax Court challenging an IRS determination that the client owes millions in taxes, and advising Fortune 100 healthcare and medical insurance company Aetna on a dispute over whether Aetna’s HMO subsidiaries are insurance companies for New York City tax purposes and whether they are subject to the city’s corporate income tax. The client base also includes Apple, Caterpillar, Citibank and Walmart. Dallas-based practice head Todd Welty as well as counsel Roger Jones and Jane May in Chicago are recommended. Dallas-based Kristina Novak was made partner in January 2017. Jean Pawlow moved to Latham & Watkins LLP in January 2018.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is noted for disputes relating to transfer pricing, R&D tax credit and payroll tax. Washington DC-based John Magee, Sanford Stark and Saul Mezei are advising Coca Cola on a matter regarding a $9.4bn income adjustment relating to the company’s 2007-2009 transfer pricing, which has been designated for litigation by the IRS. Thomas Linguanti and Jenny Austin, who both joined the Chicago office from Baker McKenzie LLP in August 2017, have been acting for Medtronic in a $1.36bn transfer pricing dispute with the IRS, which appealed the Tax Court’s decision to slash the client’s tax deficiencies from $1.36bn to $14m in a transfer pricing matter involving its Puerto Rico operations. Litigating at the Tax Court on behalf of Steel Dynamics in a matter regarding R&D tax credit is another highlight.

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At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, a team including practice head Raj Madan successfully represented Amazon at the Tax Court in a transfer pricing case involving e-commerce; Madan was also involved in representing Fidelity Investments in a dispute concerning a partnership that produced and sold refined coal. John Williams and David Foster advised Marvel Entertainment on an appeal from the US Tax Court to the US Court of Appeals regarding the application of the cancelation of debt rules for companies that file consolidated returns and have net operating losses. Of counsel Fred Goldberg is another distinguished team member. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC.

The ‘top-flightChamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry handles a wide range of tax controversy matters, from IRS audits and appeals to litigation and appeals in all federal forums, federal circuit appeals courts and the US Supreme Court. It provides specialist expertise in the areas of insurance, tax penalties, cryptocurrencies, R&D credit and employment, among other things. Houston’s ‘brilliant and gifted’ Juan Vasquez and ‘outstanding’ San Antonio-based Jaime Vasquez acted for global entertainment company Live Nation/Ticketmaster against the IRS in a Tax Court case regarding international withholding issues. Kimberly Clark and Saratoga Homes are other active clients. Among the strongly recommended professionals, Houston’s Larry Campagna is ‘an absolutely phenomenal tax lawyer’, San Antonio’s Charles Muller ‘has a tremendous understanding and sensitivity’ to clients’ needs, and Atlanta’s David Aughtry is ‘one of the best civil tax litigators in the country’.

Eversheds Sutherland is ‘superb’ and is commended for its ‘strategic advice, technical knowledge and team depth’. Washington DC-based practice head Jeffrey Friedman, Atlanta’s Eric Tresh and others have been assisting global telecoms conglomerate Comcast in a number of major tax controversies, including a dispute with the Mississippi Department of Revenue concerning the proper computation of the client’s capital value for corporate franchise tax purposes and a multi-year appeal involving numerous California tax issues, including ‘apportionability’ of income, combination and sourcing. The client base also includes Verizon and Microsoft. New York’s Marc Simonetti, Atlanta’s Maria Todorova, and of counsels Jerome Libin and Jerold Cohen, who are based in Washington DC and Atlanta respectively, are all recommended. Susan Seabrook joined the Washington DC office from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in August 2017.

At Washington DC-based Miller & Chevalier Chartered, Kevin Kenworthy, Steven Dixon, Rocco Femia and Jarrett Jacinto, who was made partner in January 2018, have been acting for Coca-Cola before the Tax Court in transfer pricing litigation filed in response to an IRS determination that the client owes an additional $3bn in US income taxes for the years 2007-2009. Practice head George Hani is part of a team representing ExxonMobil in an income tax refund suit filed in the Northern District of Texas in which the IRS denied the client’s deduction for approximately $1bn of federal fuel excise taxes. James Gadwood joined as counsel from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in September 2016.

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, ‘best-of-class’ Craig Fields has been assisting Agilent Technologies in an ongoing matter in which the Colorado Court of Appeals has held that the Colorado Department of Revenue cannot force the client to file a combined tax return with its subsidiary, a holding company, that derived its income solely from investments in foreign entities. US science and technology conglomerate Du Pont is another key client. Mitchell Newmark, senior counsel Hollis Hyans and the ‘friendly, detailed, high-intellect and responsive’ associate Nicole Johnson are also recommended. Washington DC-based of counsel Edward Froelich specializes in federal contentious tax matters. Andres Vallejo moved to Reed Smith LLP in February 2017. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise indicated.

Houston-based Baker Botts L.L.P. represents clients from the energy and technology sectors in tax disputes at the state and federal level, including estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax controversies against the IRS. Practice head Richard Husseini has been assisting MoneyGram with its appeal of a 2016 Tax Court decision stating that the client was not a bank for the purposes of Section 581 and 582 of the US Tax Code. Renn Neilson has been assisting Archrock in more than 700 property tax lawsuits pending in over 120 Texas counties; the lawsuits concern various districts’ refusal to treat Archrock’s natural gas compressors as ‘dealer’s heavy equipment inventory’ under the Texas Tax Code. John Porter and Keri Brown are other key contacts.

The ‘very bright’ tax controversy team at Fenwick & West LLP successfully represented French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, which also has headquarters in the US, in a court case focusing on the client’s UK-based worldwide joint venture with Merck and the applicability of UK and French treaties within the US in the context of such a joint venture. Analog Device and VF Corporation are other key clients. The ‘extremely intelligent and responsiveDavid Forst is highly recommended. Jim Fuller and Larissa Neumann are other names to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in Mountain View.

The ‘excellentKirkland & Ellis LLP assists clients at all stages of the tax controversy process, from pre-audit planning to audit through administrative appeals and post-appeals mediation. Chicago-based Todd Maynes and Natalie Keller have been acting for WR Grace in bankruptcy court litigation seeking a refund from the IRS of excess interest collected on an income tax deficiency. Rachel Cantor and JoAnne Nagjee, who are also located in Chicago, are other key contacts.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP advises clients on multi-jurisdictional competent authority disputes, audits, IRS appeals, summons enforcements and state and local property tax controversies. Robert Morris and Stephen Kuntz have been acting for global oilfield service company Baker Hughes in a Federal district court refund action related to the IRS’s disallowance of a $52m bad debt deduction in Houston. Morris and of counsel Charles Hall have been defending Bluescape Resources at the Tax Court against IRS determinations, which have disallowed around $800m in deductions and costs. The client portfolio also includes Vega Energy and Diamond Offshore Drilling. Jasper Taylor is another name to note. All attorneys mentioned are based in Houston. Since publication, Rob Kovacev had joined from Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

Reed Smith LLP acted for a client against the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in relation to the proper classification and sourcing of electronic service receipts for the purposes of New York corporation tax. Another highlight has been advising a client on a dispute with the Utah State Tax Commission involving the proper methodology for attributing loans issued by the client to Utah. The names to note are practice head Lee Zoeller, Frank Gallo, Andres Vallejo (who joined in San Francisco from Morrison & Foerster LLP in February 2017), and Kenneth Levine, who was promoted to partner in January 2018. Attorneys mentioned are based in Philadelphia unless otherwise specified.

At Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington DC’s Walker Johnson has been defending pharmaceutical company Perrigo against IRS assertions that transfer pricing adjustments are necessary with regard to inter-company transfers of some of the client’s over-the-counter generic drugs. In the Phoenix office, Pat Derdenger has been assisting US electricity generator Calpine with a challenge to the property taxes imposed by the state of Arizona and Mohave County on the client’s South Point Energy Center. Delaware Gas & Electric is another key client. Other key contacts include practice heads Lisa Zarlenga and Robert Rizzi as well as Brad Anwyll, all of whom are based in Washington DC.

Thompson & Knight LLP regularly works on IRS audits, protest letters and position papers contesting tax adjustments and penalties, administrative proceedings, assessment appeals, federal and state tax refund and deficiency litigation, disputes on foreign companies and their US affiliates, as well as estate and gift tax controversies. Mary McNulty has been representing Peregrine Group in a Tax Court suit concerning the client’s request for a refund resulting from an adjustment to the basis of property contributed to and sold by the group’s partnership. Alongside senior counsel Emily Parker, McNulty has also been acting as Energy Future’s special counsel at the District of Delaware’s bankruptcy court regarding various matters, including the resolution of certain historical and ongoing IRS controversies. Associate Lee Meyercord is another name to note.

The ‘great value’ team at Winston & Strawn LLP is headed by Lawrence Hill, who joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP in February 2017 together with of counsel Richard Nessler. The two lawyers have been acting for HSBC witnesses in relation to three criminal trials involving unreported bank accounts, unreported income and/or failure to file foreign bank account reports (FBARs), and have assisted an international conglomerate with an IRS examination and IRS appeal of a so-called ‘inversion case’ involving an almost full IRS concession of a multibillion-dollar adjustment. The client base also includes Quest Diagnostics, Deutsche Bank and Elan Pharmaceuticals. San Francisco-based head of state and local tax Charles Moll, Edmund Cohen and Deborah Goldstein are other names to note. Attorneys mentioned are based in New York unless otherwise specified.

At Cooley LLP, Kathleen Pakenham and senior counsel Stephen Gardner negotiated a favorable settlement for dental, medical and veterinary products distributor Henry Schein in a transfer pricing dispute following an IRS determination stating that the client had underreported its 2009-2011 income by more than $120m and establishing penalties of over $16m. The team also acted for RERI Holdings I before the Tax Court to challenge the IRS’s disallowance of a $33m deduction based on a novel interpretation of valuation tables. American Express and Shell are other active clients. Adriana Lofaro Wirtz was made partner in January 2018. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

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.

Dentons handles the full spectrum of IRS actions, including appeals, post-appeals, mediations and fast-tracked matters, and represents clients in a wide range of tax-related civil and criminal disputes before the Tax Court, the US Court of Federal Claims and federal district courts. James Mastracchio, who chairs the practice with Jeffry Erney, advised a prominent Caribbean financial institution on a cross-border investigation between the US and Caribbean regions. Managing associate Sanpreet Dhaliwal is another name to note. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Vinson & Elkins LLP provides ‘excellent coverage and consistent delivery of high-quality commercial tax advice’. Areas of expertise include the Internal Revenue Code, state and local tax laws, international tax and tax treaties, financial products, accounting methods, partnerships, and tax credits. The ‘technically skillful and robustGeorge Gerachis and David Cole, who are based in Houston, successfully represented Energy Transfer Equity in a dispute in which the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the Delaware Chancery Court’s post-trial opinion confirming the client’s right to terminate a proposed $38bn merger with the lawsuit’s initiator, The Williams Companies, due to the failure of a precedent condition. SoCal SportsNet, Anadarko Petroleum and Core Laboratories are other notable clients.

The ‘excellentAkerman LLP has been assisting Citibank with four litigation matters before the Illinois Department of Revenue concerning refunds of sales tax attributable to sales made in Illinois that resulted in bad debts on private label credit cards. Other key clients include Global Mail/DHL eCommerce and Expedia. Practice heads Peter Larsen and Michael Bowen, David Otero and Chicago-based David Blum are ‘highly intelligent lawyers skilled at litigation strategy’. Attorneys mentioned are based in Jacksonville, Florida, unless otherwise indicated.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s team advises on, among other things, partnership taxation, securities issuances, international taxation, inter-company pricing, withholding taxes, foreign tax credit issues and deductibility of takeover and divestiture expenses. Mario Verdolini, who divides his time between New York and Washington DC, successfully acted for Citibank before the New York Supreme Court, obtaining the dismissal of a qui tam lawsuit filed against the client for an alleged violation of the New York False Claims Act, with the plaintiff in the case asking for $2.4bn in damages. PepsiCo and General Electric are other notable clients.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is known for its expertise in eggshell audits, employment tax examinations and appeals, offshore voluntary disclosures, tax fraud and tax compliance matters, as well as tax disputes at the domestic and international level. The practice is headed by New York-based Barbara Kaplan. New York’s Scott Fink and San Francisco-based Bradley Marsh and Michelle Ferreira are other key contacts.

Hogan Lovells US LLP acts for domestic and international clients in tax audits and appeals before the IRS, as well as in mediation and litigation, focusing on transfer pricing disputes, restructurings and private letter rulings. The client portfolio includes Translational Research Institute, Rural Telephone Finance Corporation and Open Networking Foundation. Team head Siobhan Rausch, Todd Miller and Christine Lane, who are all based in Washington DC, are the names to note.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s practice is led by Michael Kosnitzky, who joined the Miami office from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP alongside Keith Blum in February 2017. The team has been assisting privately held organics management company Harvest Power with a tax controversy matter in Orange County, Florida concerning the limited application in Florida counties of a special assessment rule for pollution control devices to calculate the annual ad valorem tax on tangible personal property. Other key clients include City National Bank of Florida, Cosmetic Dermatology and Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Tax controversy matters handled by Shearman & Sterling LLP include tax treatment of financial products, international corporate reorganizations and cross-border financings, tax accounting methods, transfer pricings and interest computations. Kristen Garry, Robert Rudnick and Nathan Tasso, who was made partner in January 2018, successfully acted for the estate of Monster.com’s founder Andrew McKelvey in a case before the Tax Court involving the extension of two variable prepaid forward contracts, which was followed by an IRS deficiency determination. The team has also been assisting an affiliate of Susquehanna International at the Tax Court, which has potential tax liabilities of nearly $300m. Thomas Johnston is also recommended. Lawrence Hill and of counsel Richard Nessler moved to Winston & Strawn LLP in February 2017.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s team is led by New York’s Ronald Creamer. Washington DC-based of counsel Donald Korb, who has significant experience in tax fraud and tax penalty cases, has been assisting venture capital firm Foundry Group with an IRS audit related to management fee waivers. Other highlights include acting for Fiat Chrysler Automobile in an ongoing EU investigation regarding a transfer pricing arrangement with Luxembourg, which has been declared by the European Commission to be unlawful state aid. Tamares Real Estate and GS Group are other notable clients. Counsel James Gadwood moved to Miller & Chevalier Chartered in September 2016.

At White & Case LLP, Washington DC-based tax global head Kim Boylan has been representing Swiss bank DZ Privatbank before the DOJ in the framework of the department’s program for non-prosecution or non-target letters for Swiss banks. Calpine, Pfizer and The Walt Disney Company are other active clients. New York’s William Dantzler and Washington DC’s Brian Gleicher, who specializes in transfer pricing, are also recommended.


US taxes: non-contentious

Index of tables

  1. US taxes: non-contentious
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which US taxes: non-contentious clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

The ‘very bright and extremely responsive’ New York tax group of ‘top-firmCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides high-level tax advice relating to domestic and international M&A, finance and investment, restructuring, real estate and funds matters. Particularly deep expertise exists in the financial services and banking sector. A major new matter was the representation of General Motors during the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to PSA Group for €2.2bn. The team also advised longstanding client TPG on the respective multibillion-dollar acquisitions of RCN Telecoms Services and Grande Communications, as well as on the formation of its new fund TPG Asia VII. Elsewhere, Jason Factor handled matters on behalf of Warburg Pincus, and Corey Goodman continued acting as outside counsel for Google/Alphabet. ‘Top-notch’ international tax experts Yaron Reich and James Duncan are ‘very bright and thorough’ and have ‘good risk judgment’. Erika Nijenhuis focuses on income tax, financial products and representations in the private sector. Meyer Fedida is also a key name. Former partner James Peaslee moved into senior counsel role.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s six-partner tax department in New York provides crucial support in relation to M&A transactions, spin-offs, company formations, security and debt offerings, as well as financial transactions. Recently Lauren Angelilli and Stephen Gordon advised Disney on its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Another highlight for Angelilli and for Christopher Fargo was advising on Cable One’s acquisition of NewWave Communications. Andrew Needham and Leonard Teti were active for key client IBM in several matters, including the acquisition of Verizon Communications’ cloud and managed hosting service. Teti also advised Johnson & Johnson on its $4.32bn acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics. Kara Mungovan made partner in January 2017.

The tax group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advises on transactions as well as handling standalone tax planning. Key areas of activity include M&A, joint ventures, spin-offs, acquisition finance, real estate, capital markets and restructurings. The technology and energy sectors were especially well represented in recent highlight matters. Department head Neil Barr and transactional lawyer David Schnabel advised Technip on its $17bn merger with FMC Technologies, while Avishai Shachar and newly promoted partner William Curran assisted with the combination of client Baker Hughes and GE’s oil and gas business. Po Sit and Lucy Farr supported Morgan Stanley with SEC-registered global notes offerings with an overall value of $40bn. Michael Mollerus advised Reckitt Benckiser on its acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition for $17.9bn. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘proactive and thoughtful’ New York-based team, ‘one of the top in tax’, mainly provides support on transactions and also assists with structuring and planning in connection with private equity fund formation, financial services, insurance and other areas. The ‘outstandingPeter Schuur, who is ‘very creative, responsive and smart’ advised International Paper on its partnership with Graphic Packaging worth $1.8bn, while Peter Furci assisted Clayton, Dubilier & Rice with its $2.5bn purchase of HD Supply’s Waterworks Division via a carve-out transaction. Gary Friedman ‘provides solid, practical advice’, for example during the $14.6bn acquisition of Scripps Network Interactive by client Discovery Communications. Michael Bolotin supported Elliott Management with its $540m preferred-stock investment in Roadrunner Transportation Systems. Pacific Life Insurance Company and Schneider Electric are other active clients. Rafael Kariyev was promoted to partner in July 2017.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s New York- and Washington DC-based tax team is ‘excellent in all regards’, with a ‘great ability to understand business’ and a ‘practical knowledge of markets’. The practice is best known for its hedge and equity fund formation, asset management, public M&A and financing tax work. David Shapiro assists BlackRock Investment Management with the activities of its Global Renewable Power Fund II, including investments into renewable energy projects in OECD member countries. Another recent highlight was advising on the sale of client Humana to Aetna for $37bn. Corporate tax partner Alan Kaden has ‘unbelievable tax knowledge, problem-solving ability and a talent to convey complex tax rules in an understandable manner’, and the ‘easy-to-work-withMichael Alteris great at presenting complicated issues’. Also recommended are the ‘smart and creativeRobert Cassanos, and Joseph Fox, who is ‘very good in the debt instrument area’. Associate Reid Thompson is also worthy of note.

The ‘excellent and professional’ tax team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘extremely knowledgeable in tax structuring and provides very detailed and quick responses to questions’. Public and private M&A, restructuring and real estate taxation are the primary areas of activity. A recent highlight was advising on the sale of client Avista to Canadian energy company Hydro One for $5.3bn. The ‘responsiveGregory Gallagher in Chicago regularly represents Bain Capital Private Equity, for example during its sale of Consolidated Container to Loews for $1.2bn. Dean Shulman in New York and Mike Carew advised Micro Focus International on acquiring Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business via a Reverse Morris Trust for $8.8bn, while Todd Maynes assisted LINN Energy with its bankruptcy-related reorganization plans, which contained $8bn of funded indebtedness. Also recommended are Rachel Cantor, Lee Morlock and Kevin Coenen. Named attorneys are based in Chicago unless otherwise specified.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s tax practice, which has partners spread across its multiple US offices, typically advises on transactions within the technology, retail, pharmaceutical and banking sectors, among others, as well as on restructuring, finance, private equity and real estate matters. In Los Angeles, Pardis Zomorodi and Laurence Stein supported Entercom Communications in its $4bn Reverse Morris Trust merger with CBS Radio. Another highlight from this office was Samuel Weiner’s work for Golden Entertainment during its acquisition of American Casino & Entertainment Properties. Michael Brody, who structured the $7.6bn purchase of DuPont Fabros Technology for client Digital Realty Trust, is also recommended. In San Francisco, global head of tax Kirt Switzer advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on acquiring a 48% stake in GlobalLogic from Apax Funds. Andrea Ramezan-Jackson In Washington DC, Joseph Kronsnoble in Chicago, David Raab in New York and Timothy Fenn in Houston are other key advisers.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s New York tax practice is very deal-oriented and has expertise in M&A, finance, capital markets, private equity and bankruptcy matters. The partners also provide long-term strategic advice to clients. Co-chair Brad Okun served as a key adviser to Apollo Global Management in 2017 and supported the client during the financing of its acquisition of ClubCorp for $2.2bn, while Jeffrey Samuels represented the Tao Group regarding the purchase of a 62.5% equity stake by The Madison Square Garden Company. Another highlight was David Sicular’s advice to WaveDivision Holdings on the $2.36bn sale of Wave Broadband to RCN Telecom Services. Patrick Karsnitz assisted General Atlantic with its minority investment in Torchy’s Tacos. Scott Sontag and David Mayo are also key partners. Richard Bronstein retired at the end of 2016.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s tax group is split between New York and California and focuses on the tax aspects of domestic and cross-border M&A deals, as well as capital market issuances, other types of fund raising and real estate matters. Rob Holo represented The Mosaic Company in its cash-and-stock acquisition of Vale’s Fertilizantes business for $2.5bn. Another highlight was Gary Mandel advising Team Health on its sale to funds affiliated with Blackstone for $6.1bn. Nancy Mehlman was active for Invitation Homes during its IPO of common stock shares worth $1.77bn, while Katharine Moir in Palo Alto advised Microsoft on its offering of senior notes worth $17bn. John Hart, who assisted CVC Capital Partners with the formation of their seventh private equity fund in Europe and North America, is recommended. Jonathan Goldstein is another name to note.

The multi-locational tax practice of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP covers tax planning, state and local tax (SALT) matters, and a wide variety of transactions, including M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, investments and financing. Washington DC-based Cliff Gross advised Mars Foods on its sale to Preferred Brands International, while Jessica Hough advised The Advisory Board Company on the sale of its healthcare business to OptumInsight for $2.6bn. Eric Sensenbrenner in Washington DC heads the practice; he assisted Gilead Sciences with its $11.9bn purchase of Kite Pharma. Steven Matays and Brian Krause are also key practitioners based in the New York office.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has ‘one of the top tax departments on Wall Street’, with ‘great market knowledge and a high level of responsiveness’. The team is especially active advising on M&A deals, but also advises on tax and regulatory aspects of capital markets and other financial transactions. Other industry strengths include real estate and oil and gas. Ronald Creamer advised Enbridge on its $43bn merger with Spectra Energy, while Andrew Mason and Isaac Wheeler, who was promoted to partner in January 2018, assisted AT&T with its purchase of Time Warner for $108.7bn. David Hariton advised PayPal on its spin-off from eBay as part of a structural reorganization. Further recommended are Eric Wang and the ‘very smart and creativeJeffrey Hochberg. Named attorneys are based in New York.

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s team comprises 11 lawyers and handles both corporate and real estate transactions, as well as reorganizations and financial matters. Practice lead Jodi Schwartz provided advice to CenturyLink during its acquisition of Level 3 Communications for $34bn, and also represented CBS in the Reverse Morris Trust sale of CBS Radio to Entercom Communications. Deborah Paul assisted Apollo Global Management’s affiliated funds with the $5.1bn purchase of West Corporation. Eiko Stange, who acted for United Technologies during the $30.3 acquisition of Rockwell Collins, is another name to note.

The ‘very responsive’ practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLPgives very practical advice’ in relation to M&A, capital markets, private equity, investment funds, bankruptcy, restructuring and REITs matters. Major highlights included Kenneth Heitner advising Reynolds American on its $60.6bn sale to British American Tobacco, and Stuart Goldring’s work on the $9.8bn Chapter 11 of client Westinghouse Electric. Chayim Neubort advised General Electric on selling GE Industrial Solutions to Swiss company ABB for 2.6bn. In the funds space, Stanley Ramsay assisted Genstar Capital with the formation of its eighth buyout fund. The ‘solution-oriented and business-savvy’ Mark Schwed, who in 2017 advised on several M&A transactions for American Securities, and fund taxation lawyer Robert Frastai are also recommended. All mentioned partners are based in New York. In March 2018, Noah Beck joined from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

The five-partner team at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP advises on corporate transactions, bankruptcies, M&A and capital markets transactions, as well as financing deals and funds work. Linda Swartz acted as tax counsel during client Ashford Hospitality Trust’s $1.27bn unsolicited, non-binding proposal to acquire FelCor Lodging Trust. Together with Edward Wei, Swartz also advised real estate developer Howard Hughes on its private Rule 144A/Reg S offering of senior notes worth $800m. Another highlight for Swartz was advising Genpact on its acquisition of TandemSeven. Mark Howe, Gary Silverstein and Jason Schwartz, who was made a partner in January 2018, focus mainly on capital markets, real estate and funds matters. The attorneys are based in New York and Washington DC.

The ‘terrific’ tax team stationed in Fenwick & West LLP’s Mountain View office comprises ‘good listeners and client-collaborators’ who focus on public company M&A transactions in the technology, retail and pharmaceutical sectors. Other areas of activity include strategic tax planning and joint venture deals. Recent highlights include assisting Cisco with its acquisition of AppDynamics for $3.7bn, and advising an international consortium of more than 40 financial institutions on its $107m capital investment into R3. The client base also features Symantec and Grail. ‘Solid and dependable US tax starJames Fuller, David Forst, Larissa Neumann and Andrew Kim are the names to note.

Mayer Brown’s tax practice ‘always delivers a high level of tailored service and has a strong bench of talent to call upon’. Its core clientele includes financial institutions, funds and international corporations, which it assists with tax planning, M&A, financing transactions, securitizations, derivatives taxation and SALT matters. Major highlights included advising Altice USA on its $1.9bn IPO on the NYSE and assisting TransCanada with the sale of its US Northeast Power division for $2.2bn. Macquarie, Nestlé and Société Générale were also clients in 2017. In New York, Jason Bazar is ‘quick to understand issues and very easy to deal with’ and transactional partner Michael Marion is also recommended. Chicago-based James Barry heads the practice together with Bazar. In February 2018, the practice was boosted by the arrivals of former Morrison & Foerster LLP attorneys Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman, who joined in New York and Palo Alto respectively.

The ‘outstanding’ tax department at McDermott Will & Emery LLP provides ‘excellent service and quality responses and is full of technical strength’. The focus on the practice is less on singular deals, but rather on a long-term strategic tax approach for corporations, private clients and tax-exempt companies. The team also handles financial tax issues, SALT matters, joint ventures, restructurings and M&A transactions. Regular clients include Procter & Gamble, which is advised on transactions and supply chain tax issues related to foreign income, as well as Johnson & Johnson. Recent highlights include advising JAB on its $7.5bn acquisition of Panera Bread and acting as special tax counsel to Tyco International in relation to its $20bn merger with Johnson Controls. Based in Chicago, Lowell Yoder is ‘an eminent practitioner with an impeccable nationwide reputation’ and Damon Lyon has ‘a quick intellect and the ability to incorporate financial and other constraints in international tax issues’. The ‘best of the best’ team also includes SALT practitioners Chicago-based Jane Wells May, Arthur Rosen in Miami and Steve Kranz in Washington, DC.

Paul Hastings LLP’s team advises on real estate, capital markets, project finance and private equity tax matters. Andrew Short assisted Prudential Real Estate Investors with tax structuring concerning the formation of a real estate debt fund worth more than $1bn, while Chicago-based Ziemowit Smulkowski advised GI Partners on the acquisition of ViaWest by the client’s portfolio company Peak 10. The team advises key client Brack Capital Real Estate on the US tax implications of its real estate investments, and recently assisted with the investment structure regarding the restructuring and renovation of a Manhattan property. The ‘outstanding’ Joseph Opich advised Elanco US on its acquisition of a $900m biopharmaceutical asset portfolio from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. David Makso made partner in February 2018. Named lawyers are based in New York except where otherwise indicated.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s ‘first-rate’ tax team is ‘extremely responsive, proactive, efficient and user-friendly’. Clients appreciate the lawyers’ ‘superior technical knowledge’, as well as their private equity and M&A expertise. Other areas of activity include capital markets, REITs, the financing of sports teams, healthcare, fund formation and advice to tax-exempt entities. Martin Hamilton and Stuart Rosow assisted Spanish healthcare company Grifols with several transactions, including the $6.3bn financing used to acquire the NAT blood donor screening unit from Hologic. David Miller, who is ‘top of the field in the financial instruments area’, advised Waypoint Capital, an investor in SimpliVity, on Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s $650m acquisition of SimpliVity. The ‘invaluableAmanda Nussbaum, who ‘looks out for the client’s needs during negotiations’, advised Church & Dwight on its $1bn acquisition of Water Pik, while ‘careful, methodical thinker’ Anne Kim advised on the $4bn acquisition of American Capital by client Ares Management. Malcolm Hochenberg made partner at the beginning of 2018. All mentioned practitioners, except Kim in Los Angeles, are based in New York.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s six tax partners devote most of their time to advising on international M&A and private equity transactions as well as financing matters. Ethan Harris in Washington DC advised General Electric on the $32bn merger of its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes and advised on the stock-for-stock exchange acquisition of client Straight Path Communications by Verizon for $3.1bn. New York-based Michael Shulman, who leads the tax department with Menlo Park-based Laurence Crouch, advised Viacom on Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s offer to acquire its membership interests in EPIX. Laurence Bambino in New York assisted American Axle & Manufacturing with the $1.6bn acquisition of Metaldyne Performance Group.

White & Case LLP is best known for its M&A and private equity tax work, particularly in the energy, pharmaceutical and entertainment industries, while another focus is tax advice to sovereign wealth funds. William Dantzler advised NeuroDerm on its $1.1bn all-cash sale to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, while David Dreier assisted Sempra Energy with its $18.8bn acquisition of Energy Future Holdings. Ray Simon acted for The Walt Disney Company in several matters, including the establishment of its $4bn euro medium-term note program. Dantzler also advised Roark Capital and its portfolio company, restaurant group Arby’s, on the latter’s acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.9bn. James Hayden and Sang Ji are also key M&A tax partners. All mentioned practitioners are based in New York.

The large tax group at Baker McKenzie LLP is recommended for its ability to handle multi-jurisdictional tax matters, including cross-border M&A transactions and internal restructurings, and also handles SALT and long-term planning. Jonathan Stevens in New York advised Johnson & Johnson on several sale transactions, including the disposal of its Codman Neurosurgery business to Integra Life Sciences for $1.05bn. Stewart Lipeles in Palo Alto assists Western Digital with ongoing tax planning. Jonathan Martin in Houston, Jeff Maydew in Chicago and Melinda Phelan in Dallas lead the practice. John McDonald in Chicago is a ‘top-notch lawyer for international planning and tax reform issues’.

The ‘very good’ tax team at Clifford Chanceprovides a one-stop shop for clients’, especially when it comes to REIT, private equity, private investment fund and M&A matters. Richard Catalano represented Colony NorthStar in the $327m sale of its mortgage business Colony American Finance to Fortress Investment, while Mike Seaton advised Enstar Group on the formation of and capital raising for reinsurance company KaylaRe. ‘Very calmDavid Moldenhauer, who has ‘excellent all-round knowledge’, assisted Swiss company TBG with the acquisition of Telvent DTN from Schneider Electric for $900m. Philip Wagman acted for titanium dioxide producer Cristal during the sale of its TiO2 business to Tronox for $1.7bn and 24% equity interest. All mentioned lawyers are based in New York.

Eversheds Sutherland’s tax team ‘provides excellent legal service from a technical law as well as business perspective’. It is most renowned for its expertise in the TMT industry, where its lawyers advise on transactional tax, SALT issues, planning and investment tax structuring. Recent highlights include Robert Chase advising Philip Morris International in various public debt offerings with an aggregate value of $6bn. The ‘honest, down-to-earth and trustworthy’ Jeffrey Friedman and Michele Borens in Washington DC ‘have a deep and thorough understanding how the technical tax laws practically apply to technology companies, especially when it comes to emerging issues in this rapidly growing industry’.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s tax practice provides expertise in the energy, healthcare, real estate and financial sector, with key areas including private equity and transactional taxation, joint ventures, investment tax, fund formation, as well as capital markets tax matters. Paul Issler in Los Angeles advised Hawaiian Telcom Holdco on its $650m cash-and-stock merger with Cincinnati Bell, while David Rosenauer in New York assisted CVC Capital Partners with the disposal of its $2.5bn interest in Alix Partners to a consortium of new investors. Romina Weiss served as tax counsel during client MidAmerican Energy Company’s $850m two-tranche registered first mortgage bond offering, and Dallas-based David Sinak acted as tax counsel to Merit Energy Company regarding the closure of one of its oil and gas private equity funds. James Chenoweth joined the newly opened Houston office from Baker Botts L.L.P. in April 2017.

The seven-partner team at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP handles M&A, private equity, investment fund, financial restructuring, executive compensation and employee benefits taxation matters, and its sector expertise spans energy, space, transportation and telecoms. Russell Kestenbaum in New York assisted SEACOR Marine Holdings with the equity spin-off of its offshore marine services business, and also represented Boart Longyear in the key creditor negotiations for a recapitalization agreement. New York-based Andrew Walker served as special counsel in client KKR’s senior secured term loan facility structuring, which was used to acquire Staples in a $6.9bn leveraged buyout, while Los Angeles-based Michael Duff advised affiliates of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Berkshire Hathaway Energy as tax-equity investors on the financing of a wind generation construction project in Texas.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is ‘a very solid firm with attorneys who are great people to work with’. The tax team is best known for its expertise in the energy and healthcare industries, and received a boost in financial services and renewable energy expertise in July 2017 through its merger with Chadbourne & Parke, which added 14 tax partners. Recent highlights include advising on the $400m merger of client Rosemore and Tema Oil and Gas Company, and representing the lenders in the $290m financing of Block Island Wind Farm, which is the first successful offshore wind project deal in the US. The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ William Bowers in Dallas is recommended. Steve Kuntz in Houston and Michael Masri in New York are notable joiners from Chadbourne & Parke. Robert Phillpott and Ron Scharnberg moved to Baker Botts L.L.P.’ Houston office in February 2017.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s ‘responsive, extremely knowledgeable and business-savvy’ tax team is split between California and New York and focuses on the technology, entertainment, financial services, insurance and renewable energy sectors. Recent highlights include Jeff Walbridge and Robert Fisher advising UltraTech on its sale to Veeco Instruments for $815m, and Robert Blashek and Luc Moritz assisting DigitalGlobe with its $2.4bn sale to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. Arthur Hazlitt in New York advised Citicorp North America on purchasing preferred equity interests in the Mississippi Solar II project. Alexander Anderson, who joined in New York from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in October 2017, is a ‘top-notch M&A tax lawyer’ and ‘provides clients with significant value’.

The tax department at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPimpresses with its professionalism, knowledge and high service levels’. It has particular strength advising on tax matters related to projects, energy, capital markets, structured finance and public finance. In San Francisco, practice lead Charles Cardall and George Wolf assisted Goldman Sachs Urban Investment and Calvert Foundation with the $25m purchase of the first environmental impact bond in the US, issued by the DC Water and Sewer Authority. Wolf also advised Black Belt Energy on pre-financing natural gas supply in Alabama via gas revenue bonds. Eric Wall, also in San Francisco, advises Cisco Systems on an ongoing basis regarding tax-driven compensation matters related to acquisitions. New York partners Richard Chirls and John Narducci are also key lawyers.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP handles transactional, restructuring, SALT and international planning work, with particular experience in the insurance, construction and private client sectors. Additionally, the team regularly advises its clients on tax policy issues before Congress and the Treasury, which is sometimes followed by legislation reform advocacy. Washington DC-based Lisa Zarlenga, Ruth Madrigal, Amanda Varma and Phil West are key partners for this type of work, as is Zvi Hahn in the New York office.

The tax practice at Baker Botts L.L.P. focuses on M&A and restructuring work in the energy and technology sectors, and further specializes in advising MLPs on their IPOs. Recent highlights include Tamar Stanley advising Liberty Media on its acquisition of Formula One for $8bn from CVC Capital Partners, and Don Lonczak advising Westar Energy on its $14bn merger of equals with Great Plains Energy; both practitioners are based in Washington DC. Houston-based Michael Bresson is another key partner. Robert Phillpott, who advised Delek US on its $2.8bn acquisition of Alon USA Energy, joined the Houston office with Ron Scharnberg from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in February 2017, while James Chenoweth joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in April 2017.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s team mainly advises on M&A transactions for public companies and technology start-ups, but also assists with leverage buyouts in the private fund space and with tax compliance matters for growing companies. Recent matters include New York partners Gerald Rokoff and Drew Young advising Tilman J. Fertitta on his $2.2bn acquisition of the Houston Rockets NBA franchise. Other highlights included Silicon Valley-based Stacy Paz assisting Wind Point Partners with multiple transactions, such as its sale of Novolex to Carlyle Group. New York-based Frank Mugabi advised LLR Partners on various M&A matters, including its stock purchase of Codiscope for $10m. REIT and income taxation specialist Robert LeDuc in Minneapolis is recommended.

Hogan Lovells US LLP is especially strong in corporate, finance and public M&A tax work, as well as REIT and capital market taxation matters. Prentiss Feagles and Cameron Cosby advised Colony Capital as tax and Maryland counsel on its $17bn public merger with NorthStar Asset Management and NorthStar Realty Finance, while Mark Weinstein in New York advised The Anschutz Corporation on the $3.6bn sale of Regal Entertainment to Cineworld. Jasper Howard, who joined from Linklaters LLP in February 2017, acted as tax counsel to KSL Capital Partners and affiliates of Aspen Skiing Company concerning their acquisitions of Intrawest Resorts and Mammoth Resorts. The client roster further includes United Healthcare, Marvell Technology Group and Orbital ATK. Siobhan Rausch heads the team, which also includes Scott Lilienthal and Todd Miller. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC except where otherwise indicated.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s New York tax practice covers M&A, spin-offs, bankruptcy and restructuring, investment fund work, capital markets offerings, as well as equipment and aircraft finance. Employee benefits, trust and estate planning are other areas of activity for the five-partner team. Andrew Braiterman advised Wafra Capital Partners on its acquisition of Oxford Finance, a service firm specializing in the healthcare industry, and also acted for Madison Square Garden in its $181m purchase of a majority stake in TAO Group. Other highlights included advising the Republic of Paraguay on its sovereign bond issuance worth $500m and the legal guidance provided to Smithfield Group concerning Pure Safety’s simultaneous acquisitions of the British safety-equipment producer Guardian Fall Protection and Houston-based Web Devices.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s practice spanning Dallas, Houston and New York specializes in tax advice to energy and real estate clients, handling master limited partnership (MLP), trust and estate, and executive compensation work. Practice lead Thomas Ford acted for the underwriters in Hess Midstream Partners’ $390m IPO and, together with Allison Mantor, represented GSO as affiliate to Sanchez Energy in its $2.3bn purchase of Eagleford Shale assets in South Texas via a 50/50 joint venture with Blackstone Energy Partners. Robert McNamara and Angela Richards were active for NuStar Energy during its acquisition of Navigator Energy Services for $1.47bn, while Thomas Popplewell in Dallas advised Independent Bank Group on purchasing Carlile Bancshares for $434m. Six Flags is a notable client for New York-based Andrew Feiner. Terri Lacy is the key partner for personal tax planning, while Anthony Eppert handles executive compensation matters. Will Becker moved to Locke Lord LLP’s Dallas office in January 2018. Named attorneys are based in Houston except where otherwise indicated.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered in Washington DC is best known for its tax expertise in transactions, reorganizations and financial products for institutional clients in the utility, natural resources, manufacturing and financial services sectors. David Zimmerman and Layla Asali led the advice to British American Tobacco during its US subsidiary’s $49bn acquisition of Reynolds American’s publicly held stock. Zimmerman also advised Assured Guaranty on its $450m acquisition of CIFG Holding. Team head George Hani, Rocco Femia and James Warren are the other key partners.

The tax practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is particularly experienced in the energy, life sciences, real estate and financial sectors, advising on M&A, partnership and joint venture, private equity, hedge fund and investment taxation, as well as SALT and planning matters for tax-exempt organizations. Boston-based practice lead Daniel Nelson advised PGGM Investment Management on the restructuring of its joint venture with Monogram Residential Trust, as the latter was acquired by Greystar Growth and Income Fund, while Richard Zarin in New York represented Pearson in selling its 22% stake in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann. In the Washington, DC office, Bill McKee and Scott Farmer are the key partners. Casey August in Philadelphia made partner in October 2017.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s tax practice is experienced in M&A, real estate, financial products taxation, and SALT matters. San Francisco-based Bernie Pistillo acted for SoftBank concerning its $1bn investment in OneWeb. Other highlights included Temasek’s investment of $800m in Verily Life Sciences, AccuShares’ ongoing fund share offerings, as well as client Restoration Hardware’s $117m acquisition of home appliance company WaterWorks. Bank of America is a regular client for security offering tax work. Thomas Humphreys and Remmelt Reigersman moved to Mayer Brown in February 2018, while in June 2018 Anthony Carbone joined from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s tax practice covers corporate and transactional tax for public and private companies as well as private equity, mutual, sovereign wealth and hedge fund taxation and advice relating to tax-exempt entities. New York partners Leo Arnaboldi and Adam Greenwood assisted Lightower (LTS Group Holdings) with its sale to Crown Castle International for $7.1bn. David Saltzman in Boston acted for Multi Packaging Solutions International in its $2.28bn sale to WestRock, while Jay Milkes in New York represented Kohlberg & Company in the formation of its eighth private equity fund worth $2.2bn. Boston-based team lead Elaine Murphy advised Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan Trust Fund on its $150m structured equity investment in the recapitalization of the development project ROW DTLA in Los Angeles. Investment fund tax lawyer James Brown, who joined the New York office from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in January 2017, is recommended.

The investment fund space is a core area for the New York-based team at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, which is hailed as ‘a top-notch firm for tax advice to US hedge funds’. M&A transactions, reorganizations and real estate matters are other areas of focus. Recommended tax co-chair Alan Waldenberg assisted Cerberus Capital Management with the formation of several flagship funds worth more than $7bn which invest in distressed assets. He also advised YP Holdings on its acquisition by Dex Media. Kurt Rosell represented Keane Group in its $508m IPO and later in its acquisition of RockPile Energy Services for $284m. Shlomo Twerski acted for Great Elm Capital concerning its $17bn merger with Full Circle Capital, while Philippe Benedict advised Oxford Properties on its joint venture with The Related Companies for the lease and development of $15bn real estate project Hudson Yards. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s ‘extremely knowledgeable’ tax team ‘provides a very high level of service, including complete and timely responses to queries’. Ameek Ashok Ponda, David Kaplan and Brian Hammell, the latter of whom made partner in January 2018, all have ‘very deep knowledge of REIT taxation rules’, which is the practice’s core area of expertise and covers tax compliance, transactions, capital markets offerings and REIT conversion tax. Other focus areas include M&A and estate planning, for which Christopher Curtis is recommended. Transactional tax planner Richard Jonesresolves issues in a very favorable manner’. Recent highlights include the representation of Equinix in its $7.7bn acquisition of 29 data center buildings from Verizon Communications, which was financed through cash, debt, equity and at-the-market offerings. American Tower Corporation, Hospitality Properties Trust, Iron Mountain, Senior Housing Properties Trust and Select Income REIT are notable clients in the REIT space. All mentioned attorneys are based in Boston.

Thompson & Knight LLP impresses with its ‘excellent, timely service, as well as helpful and up-to-date tax advice’. Key areas include private equity funds, SALT, private partnerships and internal restructuring, especially in connection with energy-related transactions and real estate projects. Todd Lowther in Houston represented EnCap Flatrock Midstream, which acted as a financial sponsor to EagleClaw Midstream Ventures during its $2bn sale to funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, while Dean Hinderliter in Dallas advised publicly traded MLP Star Gas Partners on a potential ‘check-the-box’ tax election in order to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. ‘Very knowledgeable’ Dallas-based team lead John Cohn is recommended, as is Roger Aksamit in Houston, who is ‘very creative in assessing issues’. Brandon Bloom re-joined the Dallas office in August 2017 after having spent several years as managing tax counsel at Vistra Energy.

Vinson & Elkins LLP handles capital markets and M&A taxation, as well as MLP and fund formation matters, especially in the energy, transport and real estate industries. Washington DC-based Gary Huffman represented Sunoco Logistics Partners in its merger with Energy Transfer Partners, whereby the former acquired the latter in a $20bn unit-for-unit transaction. Other highlights included John Lynch’s work on client AltaGas’s $6.4bn cash acquisition of WGL Holdings. David Peck in Dallas assisted Saudi Aramco with its investment in the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative. The current client roster further includes Royal Dutch Shell, Blackstone Energy Partners, Concho Resources and Hess Midstream Partners. George Gerachis leads the practice from the Houston office.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘excellent’ tax team is ‘very good at finding solutions in complex matters’, particularly in relation to private equity, M&A transactions, financings, SALT and other tax planning issues. ‘Innovative thinkerEdmund Cohen, Deborah Goldstein and ‘rising star’ Rachel Ingwer in New York advised Renaissance Technologies on tax planning regarding several of their managed funds, including the Medallion Fund. Cohen also assisted the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust with the foundation of the Berggruen Institute. Robert Heller’s highlights included the all-cash acquisition of Fidelity & Guaranty Life by client CF Corporation for $1.8bn. Chicago-based team lead Louis Weber, who represents JZ Capital Partners in tax planning and cross-border structuring matters, is recommended for his ‘business approach to tax issues’.

Arnold & Porter’s 2017 combination with Kaye Scholer brought complementary expertise in executive compensation, trusts and estates, and corporate and REIT-related tax matters. Other focus areas include nonprofit and charitable tax advice and tax planning issues in the California region. Washington DC-based co-lead James Joseph acts as primary tax counsel to Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, providing advice on its tax-exempt status, as well as in relation to intellectual property, employment, charity and partnership issues. Another ongoing work highlight is the representation of the New Venture Fund in its operations, including tax advice on funding structures and implementation. The current client portfolio also includes the United Nations Foundation. Laurie Abramowitz jointly leads the practice from the New York office.

Bracewell LLP’s main sector strengths are in energy, finance, technology and tax-exempt, in relation to which the team advises on transactions, MLPs, investments, restructuring, project development and financing. Tax chair Elizabeth McGinley and Michele Alexander in New York advised Great Plains Energy on its $14bn stock-for-stock merger of equals agreement with Westar Energy. McGinley also acted for DCP Midstream regarding the tax planning for the $11bn MLP combination of all assets and debt of DCP Midstream with DCP Midstream Partners, while Alexander represented Hydro One during its $5.3bn acquisition of Avista. Another highlight was Houston-based Gregory Bopp’s work for client Kinder Morgan regarding a $1.3bn joint venture between its investment funds managed by EIG global Energy Partners and Elba Liquefaction Company. Castleton Commodities, Philips 66 and HPS Investment Partners are other active clients.

Dechert LLP’s ‘excellent’ tax department offers a ‘quick turnaround, industry knowledge and sensible solutions’. It is best known for its expertise in advising asset management and healthcare companies on their transactions, as well as handling securitization, structured finance, private equity transactions and fund matters from a tax perspective. Practice lead Daniel Dunn advised HVAC Holdco on its sale of Service Logic to affiliates of Warburg Pincus. Andrew Bloom regularly represents Apollo Global Management, such as in the $729m reset of its 2012 CLO, and Steven Clemens assisted ECN Capital with the disposal of its US commercial and vendor finance business to PCN Bank for $1.25bn. Michael Rufkahr in Washington DC acted for Fannie Mae in the securitization of single-family rental loans worth $944.5m. Investment tax lawyer Adrienne Baker in Boston is recommended. Joseph Riley joined from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in February 2017. Named lawyers are based in New York except where otherwise specified.

Washington DC-based firm Ivins, Phillips & Barker serves as tax counsel in corporate, M&A, spin-off, joint venture, partnership, restructuring, tax planning, accounting, policy and FATCA matters. Recent highlights include the representation of Bayer in agreement negotiations, due diligence and integration planning regarding its $66bn acquisition of Monsanto. The team also advised Bayer’s American subsidiary on its $200m joint venture with Ginkgo Bioworks, as well as on another joint venture worth $100m with CRISPR Therapeutics. Practice head Jeffrey Moeller led the tax aspects on all three matters. Heléna Klumpp joined from her in-house position at Baxter International in March 2017.

Jones Day mainly covers tax advice in relation to M&A, joint ventures and spin-offs, as well as assisting with private equity fund, structured finance, bankruptcy and SALT matters. New York lawyer Edward Kennedy assisted Reynolds American with the acquisition of 57.8% of its common stock by British American Tobacco, and Joseph Goldman in Washington DC provides regular advice to Celgene Corporation, including in relation to its acquisition of Triphase Accelerator’s proteasome inhibitor assets. With his specialization in the pharma industry, Goldman also represented Ambry Genetics in its $1bn sale to a joint venture between Konica Minolta and Innovation Network. Long-term clients also include Marathon Petroleum and The Sherwin-Williams Company. Richard Nugent joined the New York office from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in February 2017, while former Reed Smith LLP partner Michael Wynne joined in Chicago three months later. New York-based Stephen Parrinello made partner at the beginning of 2017.

The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ tax team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLPtakes time to understand its client and ensures that its advice is geared specifically to them’. The practice has strong expertise in sports and entertainment transactions, as well as in relation to real estate and private equity deals. The ‘trustworthy and focused’ partners Howard Rothman and Pamela Capps are ‘unbeatable as a team’ and ‘able to explain complex issues clearly and concisely for laymen’. They represented an international music management company in its spin-off transaction, while Capps also advised a regulatory compliance and management service provider on the $60m sale of interests in a technology company to a private equity fund. Barry Herzog acted for the first-lien note holders in the $11bn Caesars Entertainment Operating bankruptcy, which involved a spin-off and a tax-free reorganization. All mentioned individuals are based in New York.

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP in Atlanta provides an ‘excellent, proactive and professional’ tax practice, particularly for mid-market companies with transactional or operational planning needs. Timothy Pollock is recommended for his ‘expertise in structuring real estate entities for the minimization of tax consequences’. Other focus areas include healthcare, technology and capital markets. Pollock advised Preserve Properties on a $91.7m high-rise apartment development joint venture, including loan negotiations. Anthony Boggs represented Sage Software in the $260m sale of its subsidiary Sage Payment Solutions to private equity firm GTCR. Charles Beaudrot supported the REIT team with his tax work for Cole Credit Property Trust V in relation to its securities public offering.

Linklaters LLP’s tax team advises asset managers, financial institutions, private equity firms and public corporations on the tax consequences of transactions, fund structuring and reorganizations, as well as on tax planning. Restructuring and international planning partner David Brockway in Washington DC and Andrew Morris in New York, who specializes in M&A and private equity activities, are the key partners in the practice. Morris represented Sibanye Gold in its acquisition of Stillwater Mining Company for $2.2bn. KKR is also a regular client of his in the fund space, with recent work including the structuring of its Americas XII fund. Other key clients are Steinhoff International and CGG.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s team has expertise in real estate, private equity, public healthcare, partnership and private client tax structuring, M&A, financing and bankruptcy matters. Steven Meier in Chicago advised CMBS master servicer Wells Fargo on New York REIT’s acquisition of a 49.9% indirect equity interest in the office building Worldwide Plaza - the mortgage and mezzanine loans for which are serviced by the client. Meier also serves as principal tax counsel to Inland Real Estate Group regarding its alternative real estate securities investment programs. New York-based John Napoli regularly advises Mack-Cali Realty Corporation on the structuring of transactions and REIT compliance.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s four-partner New York tax team handles private equity, private investment fund and corporate M&A matters, as well as real estate and financial restructuring taxation. Jeffrey Uffner and Mayer Greenberg represented a joint venture which served as owner in the $2.15bn recapitalization of 10 Hudson Yards, which included corporate and REIT as well as property transfer tax issues. Uffner also regularly acts for JP Asset Management, including in the structuring and formation of a $1.2bn fund of one for a sovereign wealth fund and its subsequent investment to acquire property. Micah Bloomfield and Mark Levy are other key partners. Michelle Jewett joined from Morrison & Foerster LLP in March 2017.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP’s focus areas in its New York-based tax practice include M&A, private equity, partnership, fund formation and corporate reorganization support, especially in the insurance, real estate and technology sectors. Christopher Peters advised Level 3 Communications on its $34bn cash-and-stock acquisition by Century Link, while Henry Cohn assisted Colony Capital with a $17bn three-way merger involving NorthStar Asset Management and Northstar Realty Finance. Another highlight was the firm's work on the exchange offer, tender offer and comprehensive refinancing of client iPayment. James Brown and Joseph Riley moved to Ropes & Gray LLP and Dechert LLP respectively in 2017.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s multi-office tax group covers private equity and real estate investment tax, as well as SALT and internal tax restructurings during the course of transactions. Private wealth, employee benefits and tax-exempt entities are other areas of focus. Washington DC-based partners Paul Schmidt and John Bates assisted a client with its potential exit from an investment in a Luxembourg fund and further advised it on the tax consequences of its business relocation to China. Another highlight was the structuring of international permanent establishment and pricing arrangements related to a SaaS delivery for a different client. Mark Lange joined the Atlanta office from Holland & Knight LLP in April 2017.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s tax practice handles corporate and pass-through entity taxation, as well as SALT, real estate transaction and private client tax matters. Recent highlights include the advice given to Levin Furniture on its sale to Art Van Furniture, as well as the representation of Consol Energy in the spin-off separation of its coal and gas businesses into two public companies, Consol Energy (which was previously called Consol Mining) and CNX Resources. Bruce Booken in Fort Lauderdale, Richard Fox in Philadelphia and Mitchell Horowitz in Tampa are among the key individuals.

The ‘first-rate’ four-partner tax practice of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston is ‘responsive, practical and technically outstanding’. Focus areas include general tax planning and private equity investment taxation, especially in relation to the telecoms, software and pharmaceutical industries. ‘Top-class lawyer’ Louis Marett, who ‘gives advice that is easy to understand and properly applied to the facts’, assisted Bridgepoint Development Capital with acquiring Construction Claims Group from Hill International for $140m. He further acted for Riverside Partners and Bottom Line Systems during its acquisition of Medical Reimbursements of America. Timothy Becker advised Century Equity Partners on the sale of BrightClaim and its subsidiary National Vendor to Genpact International for $55m. PR Wireless, Ascenty and Ginkgo Bioworks are other active clients.

Cooley LLP’s tax practice is particularly experienced in advising start-ups and emerging growth companies throughout their tax life cycles, but it also has broad skills in M&A, investment fund and private estate planning, mostly in relation to technology and intellectual property issues. Boston-based partner William Corcoran, who joined from Canadian firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in April 2017, represented data protection company Datto in its sale to Vista Equity Partners and merger with the latter’s portfolio company Autotask, while Jeremy Naylor in New York advised Plated on its sale to grocery chain Albertsons, of which it became a subsidiary. Other highlights included San Diego-based Todd Gluth advising BroadSoft on its $1.9bn sale to Cisco, and Mark Windfeld-Hansen and Susan Cooper Philpot in New York advising Jazz Pharmaceuticals on its $575m exchangeable senior notes offering. In June 2018, former head of McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s tax practice Alexander Lee joined the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s New York tax team is best known for its energy, investment fund and family office tax structuring expertise, but also handles a wide variety of other work. Marco Blanco regularly advises Merrill Lynch on its private equity funds and new formations. Other key clients include the Government of India, Glencore, Brevet Capital Management and AxiomSL Group. Klas Holm, William Bricker and Eduardo Cukier make up the core team.

The tax team at Dentons advises public corporations and pass-through entities on M&A, tax planning, real estate and restructuring, as well as private clients on their trust and estate matters. Spire Capital Partners, Xerium Technologies and James Hardie International Finance are some of the key clients. Bruce Davison in Kansas City and Thomas Stephens in Chicago head the 13-partner team, which promoted Jon Hutchens in New York to partner in 2017.

Goodwin’s tax practice is recommended for its ‘terrific knowledge, responsiveness and great value for money’, as well as its ‘extraordinary REIT expertise’. It is able to handle corporate transactions, recapitalizations, security offerings, private equity and fund matters. Neal Sandford in Boston served as lead tax counsel to American Farmland during its merger with Farmland Partners, which created the largest public farmland REIT in the US, while Daniel Karelitz advised Lysosomal Therapeutics on its stock-purchase acquisition by Allergan US. ‘Smart and commercial’ William Weiss in New York and the ‘talented’ Kelsey LeMaster in San Francisco are noted by clients.

Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles mostly focuses on tax planning, reorganizations, M&A, bankruptcy and investment structures for both companies and individuals. Elliot Freier is the key partner in the practice, whose highlights included advising Angiotech Pharmaceuticals on its sale to a consortium of investors led by Vivo Capital and ZQ Capital, and assisting Rosa Foods with securing a $50m Series B financing from several Silicon Valley investors, such as Google Ventures. Pinnacle Entertainment, Construct Connect and Tango Films have also been represented in 2017.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s ‘excellent’ tax practice regularly advises on mid-market M&A and private equity deals, and also handles reorganizations, spin-offs, financings, management compensation, tax-exempt and real estate matters. Recent highlights include advising Sterling Partners on several transactions, including its acquisition of World Fiber Technologies, and assisting Gamut Capital Management with the formation of Investment Fund I, which was worth $1bn at its first closing. Other key clients include Deerfield Management, Sheridan Capital Partners and Ford Motor Credit Company. ‘Sharp, intuitive and user-friendly’ practice head Saul Rudo in Chicago is recommended, as is Angelo Ciavarella in New York, who joined from Reed Smith LLP at the beginning of 2017. New York-based Jill Darrowis consistently the best for transactional tax work’.

Munger, Tolles & Olson’s California-based practice advises on tax issues relating to M&A deals, joint ventures, REIT matters and private equity transactions, as well as security offerings, financing, tax-exempt organizations, executive compensation and employee benefits. In a recent highlight, Peter Boos in Los Angeles advised Berkshire Hathaway on its acquisition of a minority stake in the family business Pilot Flying J. Other key clients include Americold and Air Lease Corporation. David Goldman, Robert Johnson and Samuel Greenberg, who was made partner in January 2017, are also names to note.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP’s tax practice covers advice on M&A, finance and securitization transactions, as well as private equity, real estate, restructuring and SALT matters. Following the opening of a new office in Miami, the practice grew with the arrivals in January 2017 of Michael Kosnitzky and Keith Blum from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Together they advised Cosmetic Dermatology on a $50m, tax-free S-corporation inversion transaction in order to optimize the individual shareholders’ monetization of interests, and they also acted for Imagine Entertainment on the tax structure for a third-party investment into the company and efficient estate planning for the owners. Other key clients include City National Bank of Florida, Livionex and River Break Distributing. James Chudy leads the firmwide tax team from New York.

Roberts & Holland is a specialist tax firm in New York which handles a broad variety of matters, from corporate and real estate taxation, to SALT, personal tax planning, executive compensation and support for tax-exempt entities. The 20-partner team includes Stuart Gross, David Kahen, Howard Levine and Lary Wolf.

WilmerHale’s main areas of tax expertise are M&A transactions, international tax planning and securities offerings, as well as executive compensation and assisting private companies go public. William Caporizzo and Julie Hogan Rodgers advised Sonus Networks on its merger with Genband, which resulted in the formation of a new public company. Hogan Rodgers also assisted Analog Devices with its $14.8bn acquisition of Linear Technology, while Robert Burke advised ThermoFisher Scientific on the purchase and integration of Finesse Solutions. Staples, Hilton Worldwide and Medtronic were also key clients in 2017. All mentioned attorneys are located in Boston.

Brown Rudnick LLP in New York is best known for its expertise in the tax implications of reorganizations, debt restructurings, bankruptcies and M&A deals. Recent highlights include advising Coast Crane Company on its sale by Essex Rental Corporation to Maxim Crane Works, as well as assisting Edwards Lifesciences with its acquisition of Harpoon Medical for initially $100m. Penn America Energy and Commonwealth Equity Services are also among the client roster. Vincent Guglielmotti, Barbara Kelly and Adam Cantor make up the core team. REIT and insurance tax lawyer Nicole Bouchard was elected to partner in early 2018.

Texas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP advises on M&A, operational, financial and estate planning tax matters, especially for clients in the energy and insurance brokerage sectors. James Howard in Houston acted as transactional tax counsel to Dril-Quip in its $143m acquisition of TIW Corporation, while Michael Abbott advised the client on benefit plan taxation. The ‘knowledgeable and effective’ Val Albright in Dallas is recommended.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP provides transactional, financial, structural and operational tax advice, including on M&A integration, joint ventures, investment funds and leasing issues. Seth Entin in Miami, Manuel Rajunov in Dallas and Noam Lipshitz in Fort Lauderdale advised Viakable on a $300m joint venture between its subsidiary Magnekon and Rea Magnet Wire Company. Entin further acted for Intec Pharma on its $57.7m public offering. Mary Voce leads the practice from her position in New York. Miami-based Ozzie Schindler, real estate taxation lawyer Kenneth Zuckerbrot in New York and transaction tax partner Robert Simon in Denver are also core team members.

Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘excellent’ tax department ‘provides very responsive, accurate and business-oriented assistance and tailor-made advice’. Its main focus areas are business transactions, capital markets work and bankruptcy-related restructurings. Recent highlights include advising Lonza on its $5.5bn acquisition of Capsugel, and assisting NES Rentals with its $965m sale to United Rentals. Schneider Electric, Opus Equity Partners and General Dynamics were active clients in 2017. The ‘knowledgeable, sensible and comprehensive’ Geoffrey Davis in Chicago is recommended. He leads the five-partner practice together with Washington DC-based Christian Kimball.

Jones Walker LLP’s tax team provides a broad spectrum of advice to healthcare, hospitality, oil and gas, and energy industry clients, including on transactions, estate planning, bankruptcies, SALT, employee benefits, executive compensation and tax policy. William Backstrom, Jesse Adams and Andre Burvant make up the key partners in New Orleans.

Loeb & Loeb LLP handles transactional and structural tax matters for businesses and individuals, especially in the renewable energy, entertainment and real estate sectors. Focus areas include tax planning, M&A, joint ventures, capital markets offerings, investments, executive compensation, employee benefits, bankruptcies and SALT. Thomas Lawson in Los Angeles and Alan Tarr in New York lead the practice. Other key partners include transactional tax lawyers John Settineri in New York and John Arao in Los Angeles, as well as New York-based employment tax lawyer Marla Aspinwall.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP’s three-partner tax team in Chicago is best known for representing technology, healthcare and real estate companies, as well as family offices and other private clients in their tax matters. Areas of expertise includes SALT, compliance, transactions and investments. Federal tax experts Scott Bakal and Jeffrey Shamberg and SALT expert John Biek are the lead advisers.


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