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Tax Controversy and Litigation

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;
  • priceline.com 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 extensive experience in government, including as commissioner of the IRS, U.S. Tax Court judge, assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department, chief counsel and national chief of appeals for the IRS, and deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice. In addition, Skadden’s attorneys have served as senior staff members to the U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation and the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Skadden was named 2015 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year for tax and received the 2015 Chambers USA Award for Excellence, recognizing our Tax Group as the nation’s top tax practice. Our tax controversy practice and its leaders are repeatedly recognized in the top bands of Chambers USA and the Tax Directors Handbook. Several of our attorneys also are repeatedly selected as Tax Controversy Leaders by the International Tax Review’s Leaders Guide.