District of Columbia


Practice area

World Tax Reviews

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s Washington DC tax practice focuses on matters ranging from international and domestic tax planning to M&A and tax policy. The team is also very strong in tax controversy. Rafic Barrage, based in DC, is a principal player in Baker McKenzie’s North America tax practice group. He has extensive experience in international tax planning. 

In the controversy space, the team represented Sunoco on its appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit of a US Court of Federal Claims' decision denying Sunoco income tax refunds arising from its 2004-2009 tax years. Other key clients include the Altera Corporation.  

Crowell & Moring

Crowell & Moring’s Washington DC tax practice focuses on large US and foreign corporations and provides services in consultancy, planning and partnership tax. In addition, the team is very active in controversy. David Blair is the practice group leader. He focuses on the area of federal tax litigation and controversy. The team works on an array of sectors including the energy, communications, technology, hospitality and pharmaceutical sectors.  

During the research period, the team represented Vesta before the US Tax Court and it assisted BrokerTec in BrokerTec v Commissioner before the US Tax Court. 

In terms of lateral moves, the team made the addition of senior counsel Bradford Anwyll hired from Steptoe & Johnson. 


Dentons’s Washington DC tax practice excels in the tax controversy practice area. The team represents clients in all phases of civil tax controversy against the IRS. In addition, the tax team is very active in structuring foreign investments. The firm advises companies on operations in multiple jurisdictions on a range of matters, including foreign acquisition, joint ventures with foreign partners, restructuring of foreign operations and cross-border finance strategies and tax treaties. Jeffrey Erney is the chair of the US tax controversy. 

During the research period, the tax team worked on many tax controversy matters, successfully advising companies in different sectors including technology and real estate.  

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown’s Washington DC-based tax practice focuses on international structuring, tax reform advisory and transfer pricing. The tax team has a strong reputation for its tax controversy practice. The group works on a variety of tax matters, including IRS examination and before IRS appeals. It assists very large companies on complex transactions and controversy matters.

During the research period, the tax team worked on impressive tax controversy matters. A standout cross-border case was the representation of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on the deductibility of certain settlement expanses and their proper allocations. All other matters remained confidential. 

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery’s Washington DC tax practice has a focus on tax controversy, administrative appeals and tax litigation. In addition, the team offers services on the tax aspects of M&A deals and corporate restructuring. A key contact at the team in Washington DC is Stephen Kranz. 

During the research period, the team successfully assisted Starbucks, arguing that it properly collected and paid its taxes to the State of New York. Another interesting mandate saw the team representing various companies, including Ahold, Exxon Mobil, Hess, Shell, Honeywell, Pfizer and Eli Lilly that appealed tax deficiencies issued by the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. 

Miller & Chevalier Chartered

Founded in 1920 in Washington DC, Miller & Chevalier Chartered is a leading law firm with a strong tax practice. It excels in the transfer pricing and tax controversy practice areas in an array of sectors, including oil and gas, automotive, pharmaceutical, retail and telecommunications. The team regularly advises well-known international companies.

During the research period, the team worked on remarkable tax matters. An outstanding case was the representation of Coca-Cola before the US Tax Court in both the controversy and transfer pricing areas. In addition, the team advised ExxonMobil Corporation on an income tax refund suit.

In terms of lateral moves, the team welcomed Loren Ponds and Jorge Castro. Ponds served as tax counsel to the US House of Representative Committee on Ways and Means. Castro, a tax policy expert, served on the staff of senior Democratic members of both the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means.  

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

A leading firm in the tax controversy and transfer pricing areas, Morgan Lewis & Bockius represents taxpayers in transfer pricing matters before the US Tax Court and federal courts. It also advises on the tax structuring of multibillion dollar acquisitions and tax-exempts. Sanford Stark oversees the Washington DC-based tax practice and together with John Magee, he leads the transfer pricing controversy and litigation practices.

Over the research period, the group served as lead counsel in two remarkable tax controversy and transfer pricing cases that went to trial, involving Coca-Cola and Amazon. In addition, the team was the lead counsel for Hi-Lex Controls.  

In terms of lateral moves, the tax team in Washington DC hired Kathryn Hambrick from Squire Patton Boggs. 

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s Washington DC tax group is regularly involved in the most significant transactions representing many of the world’s largest companies across different industries. Due to the firm’s reputation in M&A it is no surprise that it is among the key players in tax transactional matters. In addition, the group is very active in strategic tax planning and in tax controversy and litigation practice. Jessica Hough heads the tax group in DC. Hal Hicks is the global head of the Skadden’s international tax practice. Eric Sensenbrenner is the co-head of the firm’s global tax group. 

During the research period, the tax group represented American International Group on its acquisition of Glatfelter Insurance Group. The team provided assistance on different tax matters, including tax due diligence and negotiation of the tax provisions of the acquisition agreement. In another remarkable matter, the team advised Brookfield Business Partners on its $1 billion sale of Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions to CCMP Capital Advisors. The transaction had many different tax issues, including a complicated cross-border partnership tax provision. In its tax controversy practice, key clients were Amazon, Eaton Corporation and FirstEnergy. 

In terms of lateral moves, the tax team hired counsel Scott Rabinowitz from PwC and associate Josh Rabon from the Internal Revenue Service. The group lost counsel John Breen who went to Deloitte. 

Vinson & Elkins

Vinson & Elkins’s tax team is very strong in corporate and international tax. In addition, it is very active in tax controversy. It represents clients in various industries with an emphasis on real estate. Partners Gary Huffman, Natan Levya and Chris Mangin are key contacts at the firm based in Washington DC. 

During the research period, a standout deal was to provide tax counsel to Enbridge. Another remarkable mandate was to advise the Canadian-based company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates on tax aspects regarding its $3.6 billion acquisition of US DigitalGlobe.  

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Weil Gotshal & Manges’s Washington DC tax practice excels in tax corporate and partnership tax issues. Joe Pari is co-chair of Weil’s tax department and is based in Washington DC and New York. Partner Devon Bodoh heads the firm’s international and cross-border tax practice. He is based in Washington DC. The group is very strong in all tax aspects of domestic and cross-border transactions, restructuring and recapitalisation, real estate and real estate investment trusts.  

Over the research period, the team worked on significant tax matters. A standout case was to advise Dow on tax aspects of its $40 billion spin-off from DowDuPont. Another remarkable mandate was to advise Brookfield Asset Management on the tax aspects of its $4.8 billion acquisition of a 62% stake in the Oaktree Capital Group. Other clients included the Campbell Soup Company. 

In terms of lateral moves, the tax team significantly strengthened itself with the addition of Joe Pari and Devon Bodoh. They both left KPMG. 

White & Case

White & Case’s Washington DC tax practice excels in the tax controversy and transfer pricing areas. Kim Marie Boylan heads the tax controversy practice and is also the global head of the firm’s tax practice. Boylan has extensive experience as a tax litigator and she effectively utilises the IRS’s administrative appeals procedures, fast track, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes. Its tax dispute practice has an emphasis on civil tax disputes, both domestic and international. In addition, the team represents different companies on domestic and international tax matters. 

During the research period, the team worked on complex tax controversy matters. All the other matters remain confidential.