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Covington’s tax group advises our multinational clients on their most significant and challenging tax issues. Most members of our group have extensive government experience, including several who have held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Senate. This experience, combined with our focus and creativity, enable us to develop bespoke solutions for sustained tax minimization in an increasingly regulated world. And, when our clients find themselves in a dispute with the tax authorities, we secure favorable results by efficiently resolving matters as early in the administrative process as possible, and before they are made public. Of course, when unable to achieve a desired outcome in this manner, we litigate.

Our team has experience across all tax disciplines, regularly working on bespoke issues with some of the largest multinational corporations, global financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, sports teams and leagues, and foreign governments. We work closely with our clients on matters including structural tax planning for global businesses; transactional tax planning for mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and restructurings; government representation before the IRS, Treasury, and Congress; resolving domestic and international tax controversies in the Exam, Appeals, litigation, and treaty processes; and the development, documentation, and defense of transfer pricing policies.

Our senior lawyers include:

  • Sean Akins is lead tax counsel in a number of pending Tax Court cases, including the Boston Bruins’ case, and is a co-author of Kafka, Cavanagh & Akins, Litigation of Federal Civil Tax Controversies, Second Edition (2015).
  • Kurt Baca advises clients on a variety of sophisticated financing transactions, both public and private, and structured transactions involving financial products for dealers, traders, and others.
  • Howard Berger is a former Senior Adviser to the Director of Transfer Pricing Operations and Special Counsel to the Assistant Chief Counsel (International) at the IRS.
  • Michael Caballero is a former U.S. International Tax Counsel, U.S. Treasury Office of Tax Policy, where he was responsible for some of the most important legislative, treaty-based, and regulatory projects affecting multinational corporations and financial institutions.
  • Michael Chittenden advises clients on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), information reporting and withholding, payroll taxes, and fringe benefits.
  • Rob Culbertson  is a former IRS Associate Chief Counsel (International). He also served on the Joint Committee on Taxation during the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and participated in the development of key U.S. international tax rules, including those regarding subpart F, the foreign tax credit, and transfer pricing.   
  • Guy Dingley leads our London-based tax practice, with a particular emphasis on corporate taxation and VAT, taxation of investment funds, global mobility, and the establishment of incentive arrangements and employee benefits.
  • Marianna Dyson, a former Senior Attorney in the Office of IRS Associate Chief Counsel, is among the leading U.S. lawyers for payroll tax, fringe benefits, and information reporting issues.
  • Caitlyn Jacobs advises clients on a variety of domestic and international tax issues, with a particular focus on controversy matters, including at IRS Appeals and in the IRS's Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) program.
  • Lee Kelley, a former Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate) at the IRS, led legislative and regulatory projects, including guidance that implemented codification of the economic substance doctrine. At Covington she advises clients on corporate and partnership transactions and restructurings.
  • Susan Leahy leads our tax-exempt organizations practice, focusing on formation, internal policies, and governance, and practices of exempt organizations, including political activity compliance.
  • A former member of the IRS Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC), Michael Lloyd focuses on information reporting, withholding, and penalties issues, FATCA, and a range of other federal and state tax issues.
  • Chair of the tax group, Dan Luchsinger is a leading adviser on partnership tax, international tax, and related subjects.
  • Former trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Starling Marshall advises on tax controversy matters, litigates tax cases in multiple forums, and provides pre-litigation advice to clients, including regarding privilege and document retention issues.
  • Sam Maruca, former IRS Director of Transfer Pricing Operations, had oversight during his government service of transfer pricing compliance nationally and double tax cases arising under U.S. tax treaties. He was also deeply involved in the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) initiative. He advises clients on both controversy and planning matters involving transfer pricing issues.
  • Ed McClellan leads the firm's tax legislative and regulatory advocacy practice. He previously served as Tax Counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and as a Senior Policy and Technical Advisor to two Chairmen of the committee.
  • Ansgar Simon leads our transactional tax practice. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Section and Co-Chair of the Committee on Cross-Border M&A of the New York State Bar Association, and a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel.
  • Lead of the firm’s sports tax practice, Jeremy Spector is outside tax counsel to the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer.
  • Foreign tax credit adviser Dirk Suringa previously served in the Treasury Department’s Office of International Tax Counsel and is the Vice President—Finance for the U.S. Branch of the International Fiscal Association.
  • Former U.S. Supreme Court clerk Emin Toro is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, is a member of the Inns of Court, and has co-authored “Examination and Appeals,” Practical Guide to U.S. Transfer Pricing, Third Edition (December 2016). His practice focuses on controversy matters to multinational clients.
  • Jeffrey White focuses primarily on advising sports leagues and teams on their state and local tax obligations and representing them in disputes with state revenue authorities.

Our lawyers have in-depth expertise in international tax planning for both U.S. and non-U.S. based companies. We develop tailored, tax-efficient structures that help meet our clients’ goals and that can be integrated in their current business operations. To address tax issues involving multiple jurisdictions, we rely on our own experience, and on our network of correspondent firms (including top tax advisory firms in each country) or on our clients’ regular foreign advisors.

Covington’s tax controversy experience includes very large case audits; advance pricing agreements, private letter rulings, and competent authority proceedings; fast track settlements, administrative appeals, and post-IRS appeals mediation; Administrative Procedure Act challenges; and U.S. Tax Court and other litigation involving a broad array of subject matter areas. We understand that efficient resolution of tax controversies requires creativity and a complete understanding of the impact of the controversy and potential resolutions on our clients and their operations.

Working from our Washington, New York, and London offices, our tax lawyers play an integral part in the firm’s M&A and corporate transactions practice and regularly counsel clients on major corporate and partnership transactions. Our expertise includes advising clients on various acquisition structures in public and private mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs and distributions, tax-efficient capitalization of new and existing subsidiaries, and joint venture and fund formation.

Through our practice in the taxation of financial products and investment funds, we regularly advise a diverse group of clients on tax issues raised by new financial transactions and products, including credit derivatives, structured debt, and hedging strategies.

Members of Covington’s tax legislative and regulatory advocacy group regularly represent clients before the U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS, and Congress. Members of our group have extensive and high-level government experience in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government, and bring unparalleled understanding of the policy-making process.

Covington’s tax practice as a whole, and our tax lawyers individually, have been ranked as among the best in the United States and internationally, receiving honors from multiple leading publications.

  • Chambers USA (2017) nationally ranked in the tax corporate and finance category and leading DC tax practice.
  • Legal 500 US (2017) ranked in Tax: Financial Products, International Tax, and U.S. Taxes (Contentious and Non-contentious) categories.