The Tax Controversy and Litigation Group at Skadden assists clients in resolving high-stakes, complex tax controversies. Our clients include corporations, partnerships, estates, individuals and government entities facing every kind of tax liability.

We have played a leading role in several of the most significant litigated tax cases in the United States, both at trial and on appeal. However, the vast majority of our successes are achieved quickly and privately, through the administrative process. We represent clients at every level and in every type of dispute resolution with taxing authorities, including at audit, in administrative appeal, in mediation and arbitration, and in international matters in competent authority situations. In addition to these traditional tax controversies, we are experienced in representing clients in the regulatory arena, in novel prefiling agreements, in congressional investigations, as third parties under subpoena, in criminal investigations and under criminal indictment. We also represent clients in commercial disputes over the terms of tax sharing agreements.

Our litigation engagements include representing:

  • Transocean in a transfer pricing case where the IRS conceded in full;
  • several clients in international tax cases involving foreign tax credits;
  • G-I Holdings, Inc. in its victory in a closely watched partnership case before the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey;
  • in dozens of litigations involving state and local tax issues around the country;
  • clients in trials involving the compensatory nature of stock options, nuclear decommissioning and the taxation of life insurance companies;
  • tax professionals in connection with investigations by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility; and
  • clients in important tax appeals before the Second and Tenth Circuits. We also filed a brief amicus curiae before the Supreme Court in litigation over whether tax accrual workpapers are protected attorney work product.

Our group includes attorneys with prior experience in senior government positions, including as IRS commissioner, U.S. Tax Court judge, assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department, IRS chief counsel and national chief of appeals, and deputy assistant attorney general in the Tax Division of the Department of Justice. In addition, Skadden’s attorneys have legislative counsel experience with the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The firm ranked No. 1 for tax in Vault’s Law 100 Rankings from 2010-2019, every year since the rankings’ inception. We were selected as The American Lawyer’s 2018 White Collar/Regulatory Litigation Department of the Year, the New York Law Journal’s 2018 Litigation Department of the Year, and Transatlantic Tax Team of the Year by The American Lawyer and Legal Week at the 2018 Transatlantic Legal Awards. Skadden was named among Law360’s Tax Groups of 2016, and ranked in the top-tier for tax law in U.S. News — Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2017. Our tax controversy practice and its leaders are repeatedly recognized in the top bands of Chambers USA, Tax Directors Handbook and Legal 500. Several of our attorneys also are repeatedly selected as Tax Controversy Leaders by the International Tax Review’s Leaders Guide.