Firms To Watch: US taxes: contentious

Chicago-based Moore Tax Law Group is highly recommended for its contentious tax practice, covering civil tax disputes, criminal tax defense, and IRS appeals.
The tax controversy team at Alston & Bird LLP is noted for its experience in administrative appeals, as well as appellate litigation and alternative dispute resolution, both through mediation and arbitration.

US taxes: contentious in United States

Baker McKenzie LLP

Concentrated in Chicago, Palo Alto, New York, and Washington DC, the tax litigation team at Baker McKenzie is known for its breadth of work, representing multinationals on both international and domestic US tax, covering audits, appeals, and litigation. DC-based practice chair George Clarke is experienced in both civil and criminal tax litigation, acting on behalf of multinationals and high-net-worth individuals on international and federal tax, as well as transfer pricing; Chicago’s Mark Oates is known for his work on international tax litigation cases involving Subpart F and foreign tax credits, and DC’s Duane Webber specializes in tax dispute resolution with the IRS and other tax authorities. In Dallas, Robert Albaral focuses primarily on international and domestic tax litigation and alternative dispute resolution. In New York, leader of the SALT sub-practice Maria Eberle, Lindsay LaCava, David Pope, and Scott Brandman focus on state and local tax controversy and litigation, while Dan Rosen is a key resource regarding international tax controversy. In Palo Alto, Scott Frewing covers complex civil and criminal tax investigations and litigation mandates.

Practice head(s):

George Clarke

Other key lawyers:

Mark Oates; Duane Webber; Robert Albaral; Maria Eberle; Dan Rosen; Scott Frewing; Lindsay LaCava; David Pope; Scott Brandman

Testimonials

‘Business partners with deep technical and negotiation skills.’

‘Technical skill, ability to translate and drive solutions.’

Key clients

Facebook

Valvoline, Inc.

Best Buy Stores, L.P.

B&H Photo & Electronics

Facebook

Valvoline, Inc.

Best Buy Stores, L.P.

B&H Photo & Electronics

Work highlights

  • Represented Facebook in a transfer pricing case valued at $9bn.
  • Defended Valvoline in a breach of contract action related to tax matters following Valvoline’s spin-off from Ashland.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland represents clients in disputes in the United States Court of Appeals, state supreme courts, and negotiations. Clients include major players in the media and technology, e-commerce, and utilities sectors, as well as Fortune 500 companies. The team is especially strong representing clients on SALT, energy, and excise tax matters. In Washington DC, Jeffrey Friedman covers state and local tax planning and advocacy to Fortune 100 companies, while Jerome Libin covers tax controversy before the US Supreme Court. Operating out of Chicago, Breen Schiller leads the tax team there and covers state and local tax audit defense and litigation, with particular strengths in e-commerce and cloud computing tax issues. Eric Tresh leads the TMT team in Atlanta and focuses on SALT matters, as does associate Alla Raykin. In New York, Sarah Paul litigates in cryptocurrency and general litigation. Expert in contentious and information reporting work Jonathan Sambur joined from Mayer Brown in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Robert Chase

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Friedman; Breen Schiller; Jerome Libin; Eric Tresh; Sarah Paul; Alla Raykin; Jonathan Sambur; Maria Todorova

Testimonials

‘The team is very dynamic and creative. They address our issues in a very strategic way. Their people are exceptional.’

‘Eric Tresh and Maria Todorova are excellent with audit defense and litigation strategies.’

‘Deep industry knowledge and experience, plus a diverse team with SMEs in key states which is critical for state/local tax controversies.’

‘Eric Tresh is a thought leader in the technology and telecommunications tax space. Extensive experience in numerous states and issues. Alla Raykin is a great litigation strategist and is always well-prepared.’

They are unique because they have lawyers that are not only experts in the State and Local Tax practice, procedure, etc. but are also have broad based knowledge, understanding, and expertise in the telecommunication/internet industry and how things generally operate in internal corporate tax departments.’

Eric Tresh has specific expertise in State and Local Tax Law, a broad understanding of how internal tax departments operate, and has a broad understanding of how others in the industry operate.’

Key clients

T-Mobile

Charter Communications

Vitol, Inc.

Chemoil Corporation

Duke Energy Corporation

Sprint Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented T-Mobile in a number of significant tax disputes, including securing a precedent-setting declaratory judgment for T-Mobile at the Virginia Corporation Commission with respect to the proper taxation of T-Mobile’s property in Virginia.
  • Advised Charter Communications on a wide range of strategic and legal considerations relative to state and local tax and the regulatory aspects of the company’s business.
  • Represented Vitol, Inc. in litigation involving the alternative fuel mixture credit.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP represents clients on US and cross-border corporate tax disputes, fraud allegations, and US federal and SALT tax controversies. In Washington DC, practice leader Miriam Fisher is a highly regarded tax litigator, representing multinationals and high-net-worth individuals in federal and state tax controversy matters, ranging from high-value tax claims to allegations of fraud. She works alongside Jean Pawlow, noted for representing major American companies in federal trial and appellate courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution involving transfer pricing, foreign tax credits, and research credits. In Boston, Brian C. McManus specializes in cross-border and offshore tax disputes and litigation, as well as criminal tax charges on behalf of multinationals, financial institutions, and Fortune 500 companies. Tax controversy counsel Andrew Strelka rejoined from the Office of the White House in September 2021; tax accounting dispute counsel Joshua Wu rejoined in March 2021 from the US Department of Justice, Tax Division.

Practice head(s):

Miriam Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Jean Pawlow; Brian McManus; Andrew Strelka; Joshua Wu

Testimonials

‘Latham’s tax controversy practice is the finest I have worked with. They have deep technical tax expertise, a strong team (top to bottom), and are exceptional litigators and negotiators that deliver superior results. I think they key to their success if their team-first approach. They appear to operate in an ego-free zone, with Partners simultaneously empowering Associates yet providing plenty of client contact. I know the Associates because they speak up and say helpful things, but Associates are not the only people one hears from. The team is diverse from the senior partners down to the first year associates. That diversity of perspective informs both their client-focused approach and their record of success.’

‘Global Chair, Miriam Fisher, is widely recognized as one of the finest tax controversy professionals working today, capable of handling everything from a thorny exam negotiation to the closing argument at a trial with billions of dollars on the line. In my mind she IS the best. Brian McManus may be the finest litigator and strategic thinker I have ever worked with from any firm. On multiple occasions I have seen him devastate opposing witnesses on cross-examination and develop creative winning solutions to difficult tax controversy problems. Jean Pawlow’s tenacity and brilliant legal mind serve her clients interests well, although I have worked somewhat less with her than with Miriam and Brian. These partners are supported by an excellent team. In particular, I have had great experiences with Andrew Strelka.’

‘I have been dealing with the head of the Contentious Tax practice in relation to an offshore trust. This partner and her assistant’s grasp of the complexities of the structure, mostly involving an appreciation of foreign law considerations, has been exceptional.’

‘Miriam Fisher’s attention to detail and her ability to coordinate her international legal team’s response to matters of great urgency and delicacy has been extraordinary. Her discretion and acumen mark them out for the highest praise.’

Key clients

Netflix

Occidental Petroleum

Microsoft Corporation

Citigroup

Siemens Corporation

Coca-Cola

Peloton

Webb Creek Management Group

Paycom

Robert “Hunter” Biden

Work highlights

  • Represented Netflix in putative class action lawsuits brought by cities in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Nevada. Kentucky, New Jersey, and Georgia, alleging that Netflix and other on-demand streaming service providers owe franchise fees when their subscribers access video content over Internet connections located in the public rights-of-way.
  • Represented Occidental in a significant US Tax Court litigation relating to deductibility of the largest environmental remediation settlement in history.
  • Acted as co-lead counsel to Microsoft Corporation with respect to significant transfer pricing issues covering tax years 2004 through 2014 currently pending before the IRS on audit.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown engages in high-profile tax litigation and resolution matters involving bet-the-company tax disputes, with cases before the US Tax Court and federal and state courts. Its expertise includes SALT covering all 50 states, especially in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois. Co-leads Joel Williamson and Thomas Kittle-Kamp operate out of Chicago while co-lead Brian Kittle is based in New York. The SALT team is lead by Leah Robinson from New York, and supported by New York’s Zal Kumar and Palo Alto-based Larry Langdon and Paul DiSangro. The team also is noted for its work on international advance pricing agreements, lead by John Hildy in Chicago. In a notable move, federal tax controversy specialist Jenny Austin joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Brian Kittle; Thomas Kittle-Kamp; Joel Williamson

Other key lawyers:

Larry Langdon; John Hildy; Leah Robinson; Zal Kumar; Paul DiSangro; Jenny Austin

Testimonials

‘Our Mayer Brown advisor has been very helpful in assessing tax risk on IRS audit controversary. His research and positioning has been outstanding. Very client focused. He listens to feedback and other ideas and works as a partner with my team.’

Key clients

Yum! Brands, Inc.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation

FMR LLC (Fidelity)

Tribune Media Company/Nexstar

Hyatt Corporation

GSS Holdings Liberty, Inc.

R.O.P. Aviation, Inc. (subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes)

Eaton Corporation

Abbott

Scotia Bank

Work highlights

  • Represented Nexstar Media in Tax Court.
  • Represented Fidelity in Cross Refined Coal LLC v. Commissioner.
  • Represented Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Kerr-McGee Corporation in a dispute regarding the deductibility of payments made in 2015 to settle litigation arising from the bankruptcy of Tronox.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP

The tax controversy team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is highly experienced in IRS audits, administrative appeals, and trial and appellate litigation. The team is particularly strong in SALT and transfer pricing disputes and litigation. Clients are primarily multinationals, including a large number of Fortune 100 companies. In Chicago, practice lead Jane Wells May focuses on SALT matters for clients in the healthcare, energy, and manufacturing industries. She works alongside Jenny Johnson, a specialist in negotiated resolutions with the IRS and DoJ; Andrew Roberson, an expert in representing clients before the IRS Appeals Office and Examination Division; federal and SALT litigator Roger Jones; and Catherine Battin, who often represents multinationals in SALT controversies. In Washington DC, Stephen Kranz is a noted expert in state tax reform and digital goods and services tax disputes, and in Boston, Richard Call specializes in SALT litigation, both before administrative and judicial bodies. San Francisco-based Charles Moll focuses on SALT tax controversy resolution, often before California tax authorities.

Practice head(s):

Jane Wells May

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Johnson; Andrew Roberson; Catherine Battin; Stephen Kranz; Richard Call; Charles Moll; Roger Jones

Key clients

Genentech

US Chamber of Commerce

Sunstone Hotel Investors

PDV Holdings, Inc.

Growmark, Inc.

Dropbox

GBX Group

Work highlights

  • Represented the US Chamber of Commerce in challenging a new law that was passed by the state of Maryland that levies a digital advertising tax on technology companies.
  • Represented Sunstone Hotel Investors, a real estate investment trust, in a dispute involving the nationwide issue of the proper methodology for assessing hotel property.
  • Represented PDV Holding, Inc., the parent company of CITGO Petroleum Corporation, in two cases in the US Tax Court and Federal district court in Texas. Both cases involve the issue of whether PDV is entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars related to fuel excise taxes it paid to the government.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is well-regarded for its tax controversy and litigation support for tax-exempt organizations, high-net-worth individuals, multinationals, and foundations. Covering transfer pricing controversies, administrative appeals, and litigation, the team also has strong IRS and international alternative dispute resolution programs. Based in San Francisco and Silicon Valley respectively, Barton Bassett and Rod Donnelly lead the tax litigation practice on the West Coast. In Philadelphia, Daniel Carmody represents in audits and appeals before the IRS for tax-exempt organizations, while in New York Mary Hevener specializes in payroll tax and employment tax litigation. Washington DC-based William Nelson deals with tax controversies related to partnerships and joint ventures, while Alex Sadler is an expert in R&D tax credit controversy and litigation. Tax litigation expert Tom Linguanti leads the Chicago practice. Sanford Stark, Saul Mezei and Terrell Ussing departed in November 2021. John Magee retired in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Barton Bassett; Daniel Nelson

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Carmody; Mary Hevener; William Nelson; Alex Sadler; Tom Linguanti

Key clients

The Coca-Cola Company

Perrigo Company

Western Digital Corporation

Innovation Ventures LLC, Manoj Bhargava

CSX Corp.

Medtronic plc

Best Buy

Work highlights

  • Represented The Coca-Cola Company in a docketed transfer pricing case involving approximately $10bn in income deficiencies (approximately $3.5bn in income tax deficiencies) asserted by the IRS against the Coca-Cola Company for its 2007-09 tax years.
  • Represented Perrigo in Perrigo Company v. The United States involving the 2006 transfer of a contract from a United States entity to a related Israeli entity, relating to the manufacture of a drug in Israel and its distribution in the United States, occurring before the filing for FDA approval was made.
  • Represented Western Digital in transfer pricing litigation involving two docketed cases and over $3bn in asserted income deficiencies for the taxpayer’s 2008-2012 tax years.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is well-regarded for its global tax controversy work, including dispute resolution with tax authorities on topics involving competent authority and transfer pricing disputes, as well as federal, and SALT matters. Its expertise covers audits, administrative appeals, mediation and arbitration, and tax litigation. The team also handles tax investigations and defense in tax-related class actions. Raj Madan leads the Washington DC tax team and is noted for his defense work in federal district court and tax court. He works alongside Royce Tidwell, an expert in transfer pricing disputes; Armando Gomez, a specialist in federal tax and SALT controversy; and tax litigator David Foster. Counsel Fred Goldberg is also noted in the DC office for his expertise in dispute resolution work for tax-exempt businesses. Emily Lam leads the Palo Alto office and is a key resource regarding complex appeals. Also in the Palo Alto office are tax litigator Christopher Murphy and transfer pricing specialist Nathaniel Carden. In May 2021 international tax controversy and transfer pricing expert David Ferhat joined the DC office from Ernst & Young LLP.

Other key lawyers:

Raj Madan; Royce Tidwell; Armando Gomez; David Foster; Emily Lam; Christopher Murphy; Nathaniel Carden; Fred Goldberg; David Ferhat

Key clients

Altria Group Inc.

The Coca-Cola Company

DraftKings Inc.

FanDuel

Gate Holdings, Inc.

NCROT

Eaton Corporation

Fidelity Investments

First Energy Corp.

Liberty Global

Medtronic plc

Microsoft Corporation

Oakbrook Land Holdings LLC

Ornstein-Schuler

Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining and Marketing, LLC

Renaissance Technologies LLC

Safari (Aventis)

Susquehanna International Group, LLP

 

Work highlights

  • Represented Altria Group Inc. in its dispute with a Michigan state taxing authority that is challenging the inclusion of a $4.7bn gain on the sale of its ownership interest in a foreign entity in its apportionable tax base.
  • Represented The Coca-Cola Company in challenging a U.S. Tax Court ruling imposing more than $3bn in additional tax liability from 2007 to 2009 and threatening billions more for later tax years.
  • Represented DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel, digital sports entertainment and gaming companies, in connection with an effort to obtain guidance to resolve potential disputes with the IRS regarding the applicability of federal excise taxes to fantasy sports contests, and other related issues.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is a key resource for federal tax controversy and litigation, especially for clients in the energy, technology, and financial service industries. The team is particularly strong in the appellate courts, as well as offering longstanding expertise in estate and gift tax controversies against the IRS. The SALT practice also covers state audits, appeals, and litigation. In Houston, state and local tax chair Renn Neilson specializes in defence on sales tax controversies, while senior partner John Porter covers estate and gift tax controversies and administrative appeals. Located in San Francisco, William Gorrod covers SALT controversy, while Jon Feldhammer is noted for representing clients before the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board on income, estate, gift, and international tax disputes. Richard Husseini departed in August 2021.

Practice head(s):

Renn Neilson

Other key lawyers:

John Porter; William Gorrod; Jon Feldhammer

Testimonials

‘Responsive, great listeners, extremely capable and effective communicators.’

‘Personable, extremely knowledgeable, willing to take the time to explain options and consequences so that the client can have a say in the direction that will be taken. Jon Feldhammer in particular has been a pleasure to work with. His experience and demeanor instills confidence that the approach to be taken will be the most effective path forward for the client.’

Key clients

Archrock Services, L.P.

Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Howard Energy Partners

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Lorraine Bean and Northern Trust Co.

Midcoast Energy, LLC

MoneyGram International, Inc.

Texas Instruments Incorporated

USA Compression Partners LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Howard Energy Partners and MasTec on their tax assessment, which ultimately settled in January 2021 for $7m.
  • Represented Midcoast in more than 40 property-tax valuation suits against county appraisal districts across Texas for the 2019, 2020, and 2021 tax years dealing with inflated appraisals by those counties of pipeline assets purchased in 2018.
  • Represented Lockheed Martin in an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court of a franchise-tax refund suit that was denied at the trial court level and again at the court of appeals.

Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Noted for its experience regarding unreported offshore assets, as well as both criminal and civil matters involving conservation easements, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered has represented clients before the IRS, Department of Justice, and US Attorneys Offices. In Washington DC, practice co-lead Scott Michel represents high-net-worth individuals and corporate clients in criminal and civil tax disputes, particularly involving undisclosed offshore bank accounts and assets, while co-lead Christopher Rizek deals with conservation easements, estate and gift taxes, and captive insurance issues. Also working out of DC are Niles Elber, who covers both civil and criminal tax controversies, including IRS examinations, appeals, and federal court proceedings, and Charles M. Ruchelman, an expert in corporate income tax and transfer pricing disputes and litigation. In New York, Mark Allison represents multinationals, high-net-worth individuals and sovereign wealth funds involving cross-border tax controversy and litigation. In 2021 Dianne C. Mehany departed in July, Zhanna A. Ziering departed in May, and Rachel L. Partain departed in June.

Practice head(s):

Scott Michel; Christopher Rizek

Other key lawyers:

Niles Elber; Charles Ruchelman; Mark Allison

Testimonials

‘C&D is definitely a top tier firm for tax controversy work. From leading lawyers like Scott Michel and Chris Rizek, to younger leading practitioners like Niles Elber and others, they have one of the top, if not the best, benches in the field.’

‘Scott Michel is as effective and personable as anyone who has ever done taxpayer defense. Chris Rizik is one of the most effective and organized advocates available for tax matters. Niles Elber is on a very short list of top practitioners for sentencing and other criminal issues.’

‘I have engaged Scott Michael and Niles Elber for clients who have US exposure in cases relating to tax evasion. They are knowledgeable, accessible and compassionate in dealing with clients who are vulnerable.’

Work highlights

  • Represented US Pension Plan defendants against the Danish Tax Authority, seeking $2.1bn in tax refunds.
  • Represented one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States who recently concluded a public Non-Prosecution Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Represented client in significant tax court litigation involving a so-called micro-captive insurance transaction.

Chamberlain Hrdlicka

Chamberlain Hrdlicka represents Fortune 100 corporations, multinationals, and high-net-worth individuals on federal and state litigation and criminal tax defense. The team also covers IRS litigation, audits, and appeals before Federal Circuit Courts and the Supreme Court. Houston-based co-chair Lawrence Sherlock specializes in negotiating and litigating federal tax disputes. He works alongside tax controversy co-chair Juan F. Vasquez, Jr. and Larry Campagna, a highly regarded tax defense expert. San Antonio-based federal and SALT controversy specialist Jamie Vasquez is also noted. In Atlanta, David Aughtry is noted for both criminal and civil tax controversy and litigation, and Hale Sheppard focuses on conservation easement and captive insure matters, while in Philadelphia tax litigation specialist Philip Karter covers high-profile matters including federal income tax, excise tax, and estate and gift tax. Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Eva Guzman joined in August 2021, practicing out of Houston and San Antonio, and is particularly strong in SALT litigation.

Practice head(s):

Juan F. Vasquez Jr.; Lawrence Sherlock

Other key lawyers:

David Aughtry; Philip Karter; Eva Guzman; Hale Sheppard; Larry Campagna; Jaime Vasquez

Testimonials

‘Their team is universally viewed as one of the leading tax controversy teams in the country.’

‘To me, what makes Chamberlain stand out in this space is the depth of their bench; and they are great people to work with, very responsive and pleasant in addition to being on top of their game.’

‘Larry Campagnia has tremendous technical insight and case judgment.’

‘World-class attorney Hale Sheppard and a number of other partners and associates who have varied backgrounds whether that be private practice, Treasury, the IRS, or DOJ. The team has veterans and new blood coming into the firm which along with its benchmark, positive client settlements and tax court wins put it at the top of the tax controversy field.

I think one of their innovations is compiling rich case data and sample evidence from all sources in a discipline so they leave no stone unturned when trying to craft a defense for their clients.’

I believe Chamberlain is up there at the very top tier of tax controversy firms.’

‘Hale Sheppard is just a world class attorney who never lets his ego in the way to include how he manages his government counterparts on the other side, is fearless in terms of seeking justice for clients and not worried about expending his firm’s capital or relationship capital in pursuit of what’s right, realistic in terms of shooting for great outcomes but not ones that take unreasonable risk, fair on client billing, and highly resourceful in terms of fashioning a fair defense. Hale is also easy to work with and generous in terms of his flexibility to meet or talk with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Represented clients in Tax Court litigation against the IRS by filing petitions for dozens of partnerships that donated conservation easements to qualified organizations, claimed the corresponding charitable tax deductions, and allocated such deductions to their partners.
  • Advised a restaurant group on various tax issues associated with the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other applicable tax issues, helping to ensure these businesses can survive and keep its many workers employed.

DLA Piper LLP (US)

The tax dispute specialists at DLA Piper LLP (US) represent corporates and high-net-worth individuals on a broad range of tax mandates, including complex SALT and federal tax litigation, international transfer pricing disputes, and audit defense. Based in New York, practice co-lead Ellis Reemer is an expert in civil and criminal tax disputes at all court levels. He works alongside co-lead Diana Erbsen, who concentrates her work on federal and SALT tax controversy, as well as criminal tax matters. In Los Angeles, Michael Patton is a key resource regarding transfer pricing disputes and advanced pricing agreements. Boston-based Tamara Shepard specializes in handling appeals, both in the federal appellate courts and IRS appeals. Splitting his time between Silicon Valley and Sacramento, Joseph Myszka covers the intersection of international tax controversy and tax-efficient operation organizational work.

Practice head(s):

Ellis Reemer; Diana Erbsen

Other key lawyers:

Michael Patton; Tamara Shepard; Joseph Myszka

Testimonials

‘DLA specifically Ellis Reemer and Diana Erbson develop well planned strategies taking into account most if not all of the potential curves that we could encounter. They understand my ultimate goal, help me refine it or uncover things that need to be protected or implemented to accomplish the goal.’

‘Both Dianna Erbson and Ellis Reemer are honest caring and good natured people. They want to truly understand your concerns and help make them go away. They have an interest in the broader business and help protect it.’

‘The matter the firm handled was an estate tax litigation and the partner in charge is Ellis Reemer. He is highly knowledgeable and answers questions directly and clearly, which is difficult in an esoteric tax matter. He is driven to get the best result for the client and I highly recommend him.’

‘DLA Piper is specialized not only on federal taxes but also state and local taxes, as well as international taxes and transfer pricing issues. All cases handled by this team were 100% successful and to our satisfaction.’

‘I am personally working with the DLA tax team for close to 15 year now and it has been a remarkable experience. The key strength of DLA tax team is the solution oriented mindset, prompt and anytime response at very short notices/ tight corners. And this too, with wealth of experience, great experience in audit management, honestly in tax planning (what is possible and not possible), and transparency in dealing.’

‘Diana Erbsen, Ellis Reemer, and their team of tax controversy attorneys are highly respected tax controversy practitioners with extensive and high level experience within the IRS and DOJ Tax Division. They are brilliant, thoughtful, and careful advisors who have a strong command of emerging tax controversy enforcement priorities. Practitioners around the country seek out members of this team as co-counsel and conflict counsel.’

‘DLA Piper’s team has exceptional knowledge and experience in negotiating APAs with US tax authorities. No other company we worked with could offer anything similar.’

‘DLA Piper’s team is well organized and extremely responsive. They always keep deadlines and follow-up when needed. They do not require detailed instructions; it is enough to give them a target and they are capable of deciding how to achieve it. Mike Patton’s technical knowledge and confidence contributes to a smooth performance.’

Key clients

YA Global Investments, LP and Yorkville Advisors, LLC

Watts Holdings, Inc.

Intercom, Inc.

American International Group (AIG)

TeleCommunication Systems

Work highlights

  • Represented YA Global in its dispute with the IRS’s position that the offshore investors in the Fund had income effectively connected with a US trade or business and that, as a result, the fund is liable for withholding tax and penalties in excess of $100m.
  • Represented Intercom, Inc in specific responses to numerous state revenue agency inquiries regarding potential sales and use tax obligations.
  • Represented TeleCommunication Systems in a case against the Florida Department of Revenue, asserting an income tax return filing obligation for out-of-state subsidiaries based solely on the existence of sales tax nexus.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

The team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is well-regarded for its tax controversy work, ranging from audit and administrative resolution to trial proceedings and appeals. Its experence covers cross-border transfer pricing, investigations, and tax compliance. Clients include major players in technology, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, and financial services industries. California-based Michael Desmond and Washington DC’s Sanford Stark   were jointly appointed to lead the team. Stark is an expert in federal tax controversy and litigation and joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in November 2021, while former Chief Counsel of the IRS Desmond joined in May 2021 and and is a highly regarded specialist in tax controversy. Tax controversy experts Saul Mezei and Terrell Ussing also joined the Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in November 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Desmond; Sanford Stark

Other key lawyers:

Saul Mezei; Terrell Ussing

Key clients

Western Digital Corporation

The Coca-Cola Company

United Therapeutics Corporation

SES GLobal Americas Holdings GP

Maxim Healthcare Services

The Chamber of Digital Commerce

Work highlights

  • Represented Western Digital Corporation in a case involving transfer pricing and Subpart F issues, two docketed cases that have been consolidated, and over $3.5bn in income adjustments for the 2008 through 2012 tax years.
  • Represented The Coca-Cola Company in a high-profile docketed transfer pricing case involving approximately $10bn in income adjustments and approximately $3.5bn in income tax deficiencies asserted by the IRS for the company’s 2007 – 2009 tax years.
  • Represented Maxim in a large employment tax case involving a Maxim subsidiary and multiple novel legal issues, including jurisdictional issues, over approximately $10m in employment taxes.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The tax disputes team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a ‘strong deep bench for tax disputes’ in federal and state courts, administrative appeals, and dispute resolution before litigation stage. It is especially experienced in transfer pricing controversy proceedings and representing private equity funds in tax audits and proceedings. Based in Houston, practice co-lead Richard Husseini represents public and private companies and high net worth individuals before the IRS, courts, and regulatory bodies. Operating out of Chicago, co-lead Natalie Keller is experienced in transfer pricing disputes, particularly for clients in automotive, medical product, and pharmaceutical industries. She works alongside Todd Maynes, a tax litigation, debt restructurings, and insolvency specialist, and counsel JoAnne Nagjee, who represents clients in administrative appeals and post-appeal mediation.

Other key lawyers:

Todd Maynes; JoAnne Nagjee

Testimonials

‘Strong deep bench for tax disputes.’

‘Richard Husseini is a national leader in tax disputes and excellent lawyer.’

‘The teams strengths relate to their depth of knowledge in the tax area. I like that they all the resources necessary within the firm to handle the most complex foreign and domestic tax issues.’

‘I work primarily with Richard Husseini. Richard has the best memory of anyone that I have worked with in the tax legal and accounting world. He has a way of synthesizing various components of the IRS Code and Treasury regulations to formulate novel and powerful arguments to sustain complex income tax positions. In short, I have been working within corporate income tax departments for over 20 years and without a doubt, Richard is the best tax attorney I have ever worked with. On top of that he is a thoughtful, kind person. So, the combination of brilliance coupled with his interpersonal skills has resulted in excellent tax outcomes.’

Richard Husseini has assisted me with several very large deals in the oil and gas sector. His knowledge of the sector is very high. So, I have confidence that he understands the language and unique aspects of the commercial side of the industry, as well as the income tax side. Therefore, I can entrust him to draft and perform deal reviews with the highest level of confidence.’

Key clients

Chesapeake Energy Corporation

HcPerf Holdings BV, owned by Lime Rock

Honeywell International Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Honeywell International Inc. in its dispute with former subsidiary Garrett Motion Inc. The dispute included a complex transition tax issue under Section 965 of the Code, as governed by the parties’ Tax Matters Agreement, along with other contested tax issues. The issue was resolved as part of Garrett’s court-supervised Chapter 11 proceeding.
  • Advised Chesapeake Energy Corporation in an appeal against the IRS with respect to domestic tax issues relating to oil and gas partnerships including complex subchapter K rules, hedging rules and The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) rules.
  • Advised HcPerf Holdings BV, owned by Lime Rock against Oil States in a dispute over a stock purchase agreement relating to tax refunds generated by net operating losses.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered

The Washington DC-based tax controversy team at Miller & Chevalier Chartered represents Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 clients, as well as clients active in the oil and gas, aviation, and pharmaceutical industries before all courts. It is also experienced in tax dispute resolution short of litigation. Practice co-chair Kevin Kenworthy is a tax litigation expert, advising multinationals on high-value disputes while co-chair George Hani focuses on tax accounting controversies. Alan Horowitz specializes in appellate litigation and Maria O’Toole Jones is noted for her work in tax controversy concerning taxation of insurance companies. Adam Feinberg covers federal excise tax and related tax litigation; Lisandra Ortiz is a specialist in international tax and transfer pricing disputes, as well as tax refund litigation cases; and James Gadwood is particularly strong representing clients on IRS examinations and private letter rulings. Tax controversy expert Joseph Rillotta joined from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

George Hani; Kevin Kenworthy

Other key lawyers:

Maria O’Toole Jones; Lisandra Ortiz; Adam Feinberg; James Gadwood; Joseph Rillotta; Robert Kovachev

Key clients

British Airways PLC

ExxonMobil

Equilon

Highmark Inc.

Motiva

Railroad Holdings, LLC; Flat Rock Property Holdings, LLC; Lodge Holdings, LLC.

Redleaf

Valero Marketing and Supply Company

British Airways PLC

ExxonMobil

Equilon

Highmark Inc.

Motiva

Railroad Holdings, LLC; Flat Rock Property Holdings, LLC; Lodge Holdings, LLC.

Redleaf

Valero Marketing and Supply Company

Work highlights

  • Counsel of record in three docketed cases involving a legal issue common to the oil and gas industry. In these cases, the IRS denied the taxpayer’s deduction for federal fuel excise taxes as part of its cost of goods sold.
  • Represented Railroad Holdings, LLC; Flat Rock Property Holdings, LLC; and Lodge Holdings, LLC before the U.S. Tax Court on the donations of charitable easements that were designated as transactions-of-interest by the IRS.
  • Represented a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in a federal income tax refund suit.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

The Washington DC-based tax controversy team at Steptoe & Johnson LLP represents clients in litigation before state and federal courts as well as tax authorities. Practice co-chair Phil West is noted for his work in both federal and international tax controversies. Walker Johnson and Gregory Kidder are both highly regarded for their federal tax litigation experience, while Amanda Pedvin Varma focuses on IRS appeals and tax-related litigation before trial and appellate courts. Steven Dixon focuses on federal tax litigation, representing Fortune 500 taxpayers before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, and federal district courts, especially in energy, consumer goods, and defense industries. Based in New York, Lawrence Hill joined as co-head of tax controversy from Winston & Strawn LLP in June 2021. He focuses on civil tax disputes, white-collar investigations, and criminal tax litigation. Suzanne McDowell retired in late 2021.

Practice head(s):

Phil West

Other key lawyers:

Walker Johnson; Gregory Kidder; Amanda Pedvin Varma; Steven Dixon; Lawrence Hill

Key clients

Cross-Refined Coal (Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.)

Dillon Trust Co.

Work highlights

  • Represented Cross-Refined Coal in a case of first impression in the US Tax Court involving the validity of refined coal tax credits claimed under section 45 of the IRC, delivering bench trial win in what was only the second federal tax case in US history that held in favor of the taxpayer where there was no pre-tax profit.
  • Represented Dillon Trust Co. in a tax refund suit of first impression in the US Court of Federal Claims, involving transferee liability related to a purported Midco transaction.
  • Represented and provided counsel to a foreign government in an investigation of digital taxes by the Office of the United States Trade Representatives.

Akerman LLP

Akerman LLP represents major players in the financial, automotive, and technology industries on SALT and federal tax disputes. The team also represents clients before the IRS regarding international tax compliance, as well as administrative appeals, trials, mediation, and appellate litigation. Based in Jacksonville, practice chair Peter Larsen specializes in high stakes tax disputes, especially regarding emerging technologies and telecoms. In Chicago, deputy chair David Blum often represents US and multinationals before the IRS and state and local tax agencies, while in Jacksonville chair of the state and local tax practice Michael Bowen is a specialist in SALT controversy and litigation. 2021 saw the practice growing with executive compensation specialist Gabriel Marinaro joining from Katten in May; in November, SALT controversy specialist Lorie Fale and international tax specialist John Buckun joined from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and accountant firm Miller, Cooper & Co, respectively. Additionally, special counsel Liz Hughes joined from Greenspoon Marder LLP in November as well.

Practice head(s):

Peter Larsen; David Blum

Other key lawyers:

Michael Bowen; Gabriel Marinaro; Lori Fale; John Buckun; Liz Hughes

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable in automotive leasing law and practice. Prompt and detailed responses to legal questions. Written such a way so non legal individuals can understand the response. Provides great assistance with audit issues. Very detailed.’

‘Peter Larson is very knowledgeable and always available.’

Key clients

Deutsche Post DHL Group

Brookdale Senior Living

Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc.

Ally Financial (formerly General Motors Acceptance Corporation)

DriveTime Automotive Group

Capital One

Hertz

Verizon

Carvana LLC

Toyota Motor Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Global Mail, Inc, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, in litigation brought by the Illinois Attorney General.
  • Represented Carvana before the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in a case relating to the impact of a motor vehicle sales tax law change on Carvana’s compliance processes.
  • Represented Hertz in multiple state and local tax audits and tax claims in its bankruptcy case.

Holland & Knight LLP

Holland & Knight LLP has a strong reputation for representing clients in high-stakes tax disputes at IRS administrative, federal, and state levels, as well as appeals. Its clients include oil and energy companies, tax-exempt organizations, high-net-worth individuals, and Native American tribes. August 2021 saw the merger with Texas-based Thompson & Knight, adding practice co-head Mary McNulty, Abbey Garber, and Lee Meyercord to the Dallas team. McNulty frequently represents major oil and gas companies in federal tax disputes, Garber is noted for his work in IRS appeals, and Meyercord is a key resource regarding high stakes SALT litigation. Based in Atlanta, Bill Sharp represents financial institutions in international tax enforcement and compliance. Tax controversy expert Joshua Odintz joined the Washington DC team from Baker McKenzie in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Mary McNulty; Bill Sharp

Other key lawyers:

Abbey Garber; Lee Meyercord; Joshua Odintz

Testimonials

‘Outstanding service and responsiveness to client. Excellent collaboration and counsel.’

‘Holland & Knight’s Dallas-based tax controversy team is second to none, particularly for energy issues. They are legal experts who deliver correct advice on technical, tactical and strategic advice that, as a practical matter, clients can follow.’

‘Mary McNulty and Lee Meyercord are top-notch tax controversy lawyers that I trust with advice on material issues for all aspects of federal income tax controversy, from audit through litigation.’

Key clients

ExxonMobil Corporation

American Airlines Inc.

Partnership for Conservation

Work highlights

  • Represented ExxonMobil in a $1.5bn tax case.
  • Represented American Airlines Inc in a case challenging the failure of the Illinois Department of Revenue to exclude from the Illinois Retailer’s Occupation Tax sales of aviation fuel that were purchased for the purpose of temporarily storing the fuel in Illinois prior to its transportation and consumption thereafter solely outside of Illinois.

Kostelanetz & Fink

The boutique tax controversy team at Kostelanetz & Fink primarily represents clients in tax-related civil, criminal, and white collar defense cases. It also defends against IRS audits and investigations into areas such as structured transactions and conservation easements. New York-based practice co-head Bryan Skarlatos represents individuals and corporations in federal and state tax appeals and litigation, as well as criminal tax investigations. In Washington DC, co-head Caroline Ciraolo specializes in civil tax controversies and tax litigation. She works alongside Jay Nanavati, an expert in tax-related white collar criminal matters. Megan Brackney operates out of New York and works on the intersection of civil and criminal tax controversies, while Sharon McCarthy is also in New York, and a specialist in tax, accounting, and securities fraud. Lawrence Sannicandro departed in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Bryan Skarlatos; Caroline Ciraolo

Other key lawyers:

Jay Nanavati; Megan Brackney; Sharon McCarthy

Testimonials

‘K&F has a deep bench. Collectively, the team at K&F has seen it all and has the relationships to achieve great results.’

‘A well-coordinated, smart team of people with wide range of technical skills in both US and international areas.’

‘Smart, hard working, and practical.’

Key clients

American College of Tax Counsel

Graham Trusts

Work highlights

  • Represented a client who is a whistleblower alleging unreported income and substantial tax liabilities with respect to large multi-national corporations and involving the use of offshore multipurpose entities.
  • Represented ACTC as counsel of record in U.S. v. Jane Boyd, No. 19-55585 (9th Cir.), challenging the Government’s interpretation of the calculation of the civil penalty for failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The tax controversy team at Norton Rose Fulbright represents clients in SALT litigation, IRS appeals, competent authority disputes, and audits. Its expertise encompasses advance pricing disputes, transfer pricing, and competent authority matters regarding international tax. Operating out of Houston, tax practice co-head Robert Morris focuses on IRS examinations, appeals, and fast track mediations, as well as litigation in the Tax Court and federal district courts. New York’s Mayling Blanco is a white collar defense and commercial litigation specialist, as well as an expert in FCPA and criminal tax matters.

Practice head(s):

Robert Morris

Other key lawyers:

Mayling Blanco

Testimonials

‘The team is very experienced in dealing with IRS controversies. They have key relationships with industry professionals who are helpful with unique approaches to resolving issues as well as understanding potential opportunities to reach agreement without further litigation.’

‘Robert Morris is able to make the taxpayer’s position and arguments clearly and straightforward.’

Key clients

Noble Corporation plc

Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.

Adam Offshore Services

Bluescape Resources Company

Transocean Offshore Drilling

HP

Work highlights

  • Advised Bluescape Resources, an energy investment company, in U.S. Tax Court challenging the IRS’s disallowance of $800m in deductions and costs, plus penalties.
  • Advised Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc, an offshore drilling contractor, in US competent authority proceedings related to multiple countries, including Australia, Egypt, Mexico and the United States, as well as refund claims for foreign tax credits.
  • Advised ADAMS, a foreign diving and marine services company, against allegations by the IRS that Adams Offshore owes in excess of $75m in tax deficiencies plus penalties.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP represent clients on high-value and sensitive cases, including litigation and dispute resolution before the IRS and DOJ Tax Division. The team is especially strong in SALT, but is noted for its work in international tax dispute resolution with the IRS and foreign tax authorities. Practice leaders Jim Mastracchio and Susan Seabrook joined in January 2021 from Eversheds Sutherland. Splitting his time between Washington DC and New York, Mastracchio represents public and private companies involving complex multi-jurisdictional tax investigations by tax authorities. In Washington DC, Seabrook covers global tax controversy, including transfer pricing disputes. Additionally, DC-based counsel Todd Betor joined from Eversheds Sutherland in March 2021. He specializes in SALT litigation. Lawrence Hill  and Richard Nessler departed in June and July 2021.

Practice head(s):

James Mastracchio; Susan Seabrook

Other key lawyers:

Dean Hinterliter; David Stauber; Angela Russo; Todd Betor

Key clients

Norwich Commercial Group, Inc.

Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual in connection with a tax dispute in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals relating to the IRS seeking written permission before enforcing penalties.
  • Represented a large American insurance company in connection with an IRS appeal involving the U.S. competent authority.
  • Represented Norwich Commercial Group, Inc., in connection with U.S. Tax Court litigation adverse to the Commissioner of the IRS.

BakerHostetler

Baker & Hostetler LLP represents domestic and international clients on IRS appeals, tax audits, and litigation. It has particular expertise representing tax exempt organizations and representing in SALT-related litigation. Firm-wide chair of the tax group Jeffrey Paravano is based in Washington DC and focuses on multi-jurisdictional tax disputes and audits, as well as IRS appeals. He works alongside associate Nicholas Mowbray, who covers tax controversy for clients in the oil and gas industry. Based in Ohio, Edward Bernert is an expert in SALT controversy at all levels of court, while chair of the firm Paul M. Schmidt represents clients in IRS audits. In Cleveland, tax controversy co-lead Michelle Hervey represents major players in manufacturing, real estate, and agriculture. New York office leader Elizabeth Smith is a specialist in cross-border tax representation for clients in the financial services sector. In 2021 tax controversy specialists Alexander Reid and Matthew Elkin joined the DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in July and August, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Paravano

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Mowbray; Edward Bernert; Paul Schmidt; Michelle Hervey; Elizabeth Smith; Alexander Reid; Matthew Elkin

Key clients

The Archer Daniels Midland Company

Parker Hannifin

The Timken Company

Mars, Inc.

The Carlyle Group

AECOM

Verizon, Inc.

Wyndham Worldwide

Commonwealth Brands, Inc.

American Greetings Corporation, LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Pacific Gas & Electric in bankruptcy cases relating to California wildfires.
  • Represented Sherwin-Williams and Progressive Insurance in proceedings relating to tax consequences arising from the fall-out of an alleged $800m Ponzi scheme involving twelve investors in more than 30 funds that invested in mobile solar generators with DC Solar Solutions.
  • Represented as lead tax counsel in Moore v. United States, a tax refund action currently pending in federal district court.

Blank Rome LLP

The nationwide SALT controversy practice at Blank Rome LLP represents represents both high-net-worth individuals and Fortune 50 companies regarding corporate franchise and income tax, personal income tax, and excise tax. Its clients include major players in the automotive, technology, consumer finance, and industrial manufacturing industries. In New York, practice head Craig Fields, Nicole Johnson, and Mitchell Newmark specialize in SALT controversy and litigation before state high courts, administrative tribunals, and appellate courts. Senior counsel Irwin Slomka is also noted for his expertise in New York tax controversy matters.

Practice head(s):

Craig Fields

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Johnson; Mitchell Newmark; Irwin Slomka

Testimonials

‘The Blank Rome team is completely invested in their client’s business. They take the time to totally understand your business, which gives them the background to consistently provide the best service possible.’

‘We work with Nicole Johnson and Craig Fields for state and local tax expertise. Nicole and Craig are superior advocates. They proactively keep us informed of the latest changes in state and local tax and help us conform to the new rules in a tax efficient manner. We know that Nicole and Craig are always looking out for our best interests.’

Key clients

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

H&R Block, Inc.

Caterpillar Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in proceedings that reversed the Virginia Department of Taxation’s denial of refund claims.
  • Represented H&R Block in the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s Complaint in the Chancery Court to attempt to enforce its administrative subpoena seeking large volumes of confidential documents that contained business and trade secrets and filing methodologies the company used for its tax returns in states other than Mississippi.
  • Successfully represented Solar Turbines Inc in refund claims in Louisiana.

Dentons

Dentons represents multinational clients active in retail, manufacturing, and energy industries in civil and criminal SALT litigation, including pre-trial investigation, pleadings, and trial. In Washington DC, co-head Jeffry Erney specializes in tax litigation and dispute resolution, often acting as lead counsel on major tax disputes and private letter rulings. Based in Louisville, co-lead Mark Lloyd covers areas such as administrative protest and settlement, federal excise tax, tax litigation, and appeals. DC-based managing associate David Mayhall is a key resource regarding civil tax controversies before the IRS as well as advising on tax legislation. Tax controversy expert Linda Pfatteicher joined from Squire Patton Boggs in June 2021. Scott Brian Clark departed in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jeffry Erney; Mark Loyd

Other key lawyers:

David Mayhall; Linda Pfatteicher

Key clients

Ashland Specialty

T. Ryan Legg Irrevocable Trust/Reliance Trust Co.

LaFarge North America

Valvoline, Inc.

Kroger Limited Partnership

Ventas, Inc.

Clint Deckard

Work highlights

  • Represented Kroger in a property tax appeal on Kroger’s property located in Scott County Kentucky.

Jones Day

Led by Kathryn Keneally and Frank Jackson, the New York-based tax controversy team at Jones Day focuses on representing multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals in US federal tax controversies before the IRS, US Tax Court and other federal courts. Connected to a global network of offices to provide full coverage regarding tax disputes, the team is also experienced in administrative investigations and grand juries, as well as civil tax disputes. Michael Scarduzio is a specialist in SALT controversy and criminal tax litigation, while Charles Hodges is an expert in federal tax litigation, especially cross-border tax disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Keneally; Frank Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Charles Hodges; Michael Scarduzio

Testimonials

‘The team is thorough and thinks out of the box.’

‘Kathy Keneally and her team leave no stone unturned. They will find the creative winning solution that others overlook.’

‘Kathy Keneally is an outstanding criminal defense tax lawyer. Extremely smart, strategic, funny, and knowledgeable.’

Frank Jackson is an exceptional attorney and is very responsive to his clients.’

Key clients

Red Oak Estates, LLC & Cottonwood Place, LLC

Lowe’s Home Centers LLC (Washington State)

Work highlights

  • Representing a high-profile tech CEO in an indictment by the Department of Justice concerning activities in connection with an offshore trust structure.
  • Represented Red Oak Estates, LLC and Cottonwood Place, LLC in their multimillion-dollar conservation easements to conservation groups.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

With multidisciplinary experience in areas such as transfer pricing disputes, tax accounting methods, and tax treatment of financial products, Shearman & Sterling LLP represents US and foreign clients before the IRS, US Tax Court, and federal courts. The team is noted for representing clients in front of congressional committees on sensitive criminal tax investigations and tax matters. In Washington DC, Kristen Garry covers tax controversies involving IRS audits and administrative appeals, as well as tax litigation, while counsel Robert Rudnick focuses on tax controversy at the administrative and litigation levels, often acting for clients in the telecoms and hospitality sectors. Richard Gagnon represents both international and US clients before the IRS and DOJ, as well as in federal courts.

Practice head(s):

Michael Shulman; Larry Crouch

Other key lawyers:

Kristen Garry; Robert Rudnick; Richard Gagnon

Key clients

Estate of Andrew J. McKelvey, the founder of Monster.com

Work highlights

  • Represented the Estate of Andrew J. McKelvey, the founder of Monster.com in a case of first impression, in the U.S. Tax Court.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP represents clients in financial services, health care, real estate, and energy industries on both domestic and international tax disputes before tax authorities, as well as tax disputes between private parties. The firm has seen an increase in representing partnerships often owned by high-net-worth individuals or major corporations, as well as filing amicus briefs. Based in Houston, tax controversy team lead George Gerachis represents clients in Tax and Federal District Courts. He works alongside David Cole, who specializes in tax controversy, ranging from audits to IRS appeals and litigation. In Washington DC, Gary Huffman focuses on high-profile financial institutions and oil and gas corporations, and is a key resource regarding tax dispute resolution matters.

Practice head(s):

George Gerachis

Other key lawyers:

David Cole; Gary Huffman

Testimonials

‘George Gerachis is one of the finest attorneys available to represent large companies in IRS disputes or tax transactional planning.’

Key clients

Energy Transfer LP

Otay Project L.P. (Oriole Management LLC)

Work highlights

  • Represented Energy Transfer LP in litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery involving claims by The Williams Companies for billions of dollars in damages and a $410m termination fee.
  • Represented Otay Project, L.P., a California-based real estate developer, in Tax Court litigation involving novel issues of partnership taxation.

Asbury Law Firm

Based in Atlanta, the boutique tax controversy team at Asbury Law Firm represents corporations and high-net-worth individuals in federal tax litigation, especially the defense of syndicated conservation easements and IRS penalty assessments. Anson Asbury is a tax litigation specialist, with expertise ranging from criminal tax prosecutions to constitutional implications of tax statutes. Tax litigator Brian Gardner  has appeared before the US Tax Court and Court of Federal Claims.

Practice head(s):

Anson Asbury

Other key lawyers:

Brian Gardner

Testimonials

Practical and very knowledgeable.’

The team’s tax knowledge is amazing. They are very good at communicating and explaining items that need it.’

The team is strongest in tax litigation, specifically in the area of conservation easement litigation. They handle lots of other tax controversies, but that is the largest part of our practice.’

Individual strengths include knowledge of the law, relationships with IRS, and finding creative resolutions for clients. I’d like to highlight specifically Brian Gardner and Anson Asbury.’

Asbury Law Firm has built an incredible team that understands the client’s urgency in any situations and responds to the needs accordingly.’

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The tax controversy team at Morrison Foerster handles audits, appeals, and dispute resolution proceedings before federal and state authorities and the IRS. Additionally, the team has represented corporations relating to tax shelter transactions and criminal enforcement proceedings. In New York team chair Anthony Carbone and counsel Rebecca Ulich-Balinskas focus on SALT controversy. In Washington DC, tax controversy leader and counsel Edward Froelich specializes in tax litigation, particularly involving complex corporate refund matters. San Francisco-based Bernie Pistillo takes the lead on international tax controversy work.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Carbone

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Ulich-Balinskas; Edward Froelich; Bernie Pistillo

Testimonials

Edward Froelich stood out in my mind, first and foremost, for his expertise and experience in navigating a tax related cases such as mine and offering not only solutions but a variety of options in achieving the desired result.’

‘The team has deep industry-level knowledge, particularly in the financial services area. Their real-world experience and practical insights allows team members to provide excellent legal services.’

‘Ed Froelich is my main point of contact at the firm. His character, attention to detail, and extensive experience practicing before the IRS makes him one of the best tax lawyers in the United States. Ed is a practictioner I know I can trust. His judgment and keen insights ensure we achieve the right results efficiently and with excellence.’

‘The breadth and depth of experience of the Controversy practice makes it uniquely strong and capable of handling a wide variety of U.S. tax controversy matters. This attribute distinguishes MoFo from many of its competitors. The innovative ways in which the firm seeks to resolve tax controversies and their unparalleled dedication to a client’s best interests also set them apart.’

‘I’ve been particularly impressed by Ed Froelich, one of the firm’s Washington, DC controversy attorneys. Ed’s ability to handle any stage of the controversy process (from IDRs to Appeals to potential litigation) and experience with a wide variety of substantive tax issues ensures that he both understands the tax issues at hand and can advise clients as to the relative merits of different means of resolving the dispute. His commitment to his clients is, frankly, unparalleled. I look forward to working with Ed again in the future.’

‘Ed Froelich is an outstanding lawyer. He is very knowledgeable about a vast swath of US tax law. I’ve often gone to Ed with tricky tax questions / issues, and he invariably has meaningful insights for me. In particular, he is knowledgeable about many of the procedural aspects of US tax controversy. I will also note that he has had remarkable insights for me on the Altera transfer pricing / cost sharing / equity compensation that I simply have not heard anywhere else. I highly recommend Ed Froelich.’

‘We worked with Edward Froelich at Morrison & Foerster. Ed was very professional and knowledgeable. His prior experience with the IRS was priceless. Ed successfully defended our position and the IRS dropped their case against us.’

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP specializes in SALT litigation, with particular strength in representing Fortune 100 clients on both coasts. The Northern California team includes practice head Jeffrey Vesely and Carley Roberts, both highly regarded experts in SALT litigation. Annie Huang and Robert Merten are also noted in the San Francisco and Sacramento offices, respectively, for their impressive SALT controversy expertise. Merten was promoted to partner in December 2021. Additionally, Marc Simonetti is highly regarded for his SALT litigation expertise in New York. Peter Elias departed in February 2021, while Dana Newman has retired.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Vesely

Other key lawyers:

Carley Roberts; Annie Huang; Robert Merten; Marc Simonetti

Testimonials

‘My work with Pillsbury is California tax specific. They have the reputation of being the premier California tax law experts and I have found them to be exactly that – extremely knowledgeable and very well connected to the people working to enforce the tax laws at the Franchise Tax Board and the Office of Tax Appeals. The connection to the people is immeasurably important.’

‘Carley Roberts is incredibly bright and knows California tax law inside and out. She is easy to work with, very much has the client’s best interest front and center and will always go the extra mile for the client. She also has a long history of working in this particular field and her contacts and connections are equally important. Robert Merten is also very knowledgeable of California tax law and has the same client focus that Carley has. Having Robert on Carley’s team is a true asset.’

‘Jeff Vesely and Annie Huang of Pillsbury’s San Francisco office are both top-notch State & Local Tax experts, and incredibly important to have in the State of California. They represented our company on a significant tax dispute with California, providing insightful advice and direction, and positioning the case where the State dropped the case entirely.’

‘Cutting-edge expertise in SALT law, very responsive to client, and very effective in representation.’

Key clients

Fidelity National Information Services

HSBC

Johnson & Johnson

Lyft

McKesson

Microsoft Corporation

Moddy’s

Pfizer

The Kraft Heinz Company

The Walt Disney Company

Work highlights

  • Represented a Fortune 500 global manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products in a California corporation franchise tax case involving research and development credits for tax years 2013-2014.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 diversified industrial conglomerate before California’s tax authorities in a series of sales and use tax disputes covering tax periods 1997 to 2009, resulting in a 90% abatement of the $30m exposure.
  • Spared a Fortune 50 multinational conglomerate from a $49m tax assessment in a settlement of a California corporate income/franchise tax dispute.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP represent asset management firms and clients in life sciences and fintech industries on complex federal and SALT litigation and appeals. The team provides mock audits, drafts formal and informal guidance on reporting and withholding of taxable income, and regularly represent clients in bankruptcy courts and before grand juries. Based in Boston, practice group leader Loretta Richard represents both corporations and high-net-worth individuals in general tax litigation matters, both in District Courts and Federal Court of Claims.

Practice head(s):

Loretta Richard

Key clients

Veolia Energy Boston, Inc.

Monomoy Capital Management

Republic of Ireland

National Amusements

TJX Companies

Tribune Company Master Retirement Savings Trust

Ivory Investment Management, LP

Perfect Form Manufacturing LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Ivory Investment Management, LP in two related U.S. Tax Court cases, achieving a complete concession defending the limited partner exception to self-employment (“SECA”) tax contained in Section 1402(a)(13) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Argued the Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of Plaintiff Perfect Form in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • Represented the Republic of Ireland’s Office of the Revenue Commissioners as international tax experts in multiple disputes against taxpayers involving the tax treatment of certain U.S. entities and related party transactions.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP

The Boston-based tax controversy team at Sullivan & Worcester LLP represents clients in the manufacturing, software and tech, R&D, and security sectors on tax audits, administrative appeals, and litigation. Practice head David Nagle specializes in tax disputes with the IRS and Massachusetts Department of Revenue, but is experienced in a broad range of SALT-related controversy work; Richard Jones leads the tax group and covers corporate nexus, domicile, and other SALT controversy matters; and Daniel Ryan is a strong federal and state tax litigator. Counsel Judith Edington is an expert in domicile planning and defense of tax-exempt organizations. International tax controversy counsel Lewis Greenwald joined from Alvarez and Marsal in November 2021, while tax counsel Natasha Varyani joined from the faculty of New England Law.

Practice head(s):

David Nagle

Other key lawyers:

Richard Jones; Daniel Ryan; Judy Edington; Lewis Greenwald; Natasha Varyani

Key clients

Akamai Technologies, Inc.

TTI, Inc.

Oracle USA, Inc.

Microsoft Licensing GP

Work highlights

  • Represented Oracle in Oracle v. Commissioner of Revenue.
  • Represented Akamai in litigation before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.
  • Represented State Street Bank & Trust Company, together with many of its software vendors, in 21 litigation actions before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board seeking tax refunds in the aggregate amount of approximately $7.2m.

White & Case LLP

Connected to a global network of experts and regularly appearing before the IRS and foreign tax authorities, White & Case LLP is highly experienced in US and cross-border tax controversy resolution, particularly regarding transfer pricing disputes on behalf of Fortune 100 companies. The team is experienced in appeals and alternative dispute resolution procedures involving international tax treaties. Based in Washington DC, practice head Kim Marie Boylan is an expert in transfer pricing disputes, often appearing before IRS with alternative dispute resolution and administrative appeals expertise; Brian Gleicher leads the transfer pricing practice and regulatory represents multinationals in transfer pricing disputes through mutual agreement processes and advance pricing agreements.

Practice head(s):

Kim Marie Boylan; Brian Gleicher

Testimonials

‘Genuinely honest and diligent.’

‘The White and Case team is technical, intelligent, and strategic. They analyze facts and law and determine the most strategic path to resolution of tax controversies.’

‘Brian Gleicher is an exceptional tax controversy attorney. He quickly grasps the facts surrounding the issue at hand and he is exceptional at navigating the various paths of issue resolution to drive successful results.’

Key clients

Valero Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Valero Energy Corporation in a federal income tax refund action.