Kenneth J. Betts concentrates on a broad range of federal and state income tax planning matters, including tax issues related to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, dispositions (including spin-offs and split-offs), financings, reorganizations, restructurings, partnership transactions, private equity transactions, real estate investment trusts, and preservation and utilization of net operating losses.


Mr. Betts has advised several clients in tax controversy work before the Internal Revenue Service and has obtained IRS private letter rulings on behalf of various clients.

He has represented clients in numerous mergers and acquisitions, including:

  • Dune Real Estate Funds in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Waikiki Beach and its acquisition of several portfolios of residential properties;
  • Starwood Hotels and Resort Worldwide in connection with the sale of the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, its sale of the Bliss spa and product company to Steiner Leisure Limited, and its sale of W. Chicago to City Center of Chesapeake Lodging Trust;
  • SKBHC Holdings LCC and its wholly owned subsidiary, AmericanWest Bank, in the acquisitions of Bank of the Northwest and Sunrise Bank, respectively;
  • Revel AC, Inc., a subsidiary of Revel Entertainment Group, LLC, and its affiliates in a $1.15 billion financing, consisting of an $850 million senior secured term loan facility and a $304 million private placement of units consisting of 12% second-lien notes due 2018 and warrants to fund the completion of construction, opening and operations of Revel’s Atlantic City casino resort;
  • GFI Energy Ventures LLC, a private equity firm, in its acquisition of Energy Solutions, Inc., a provider of software to the oil and gas industries, from Inverness Graham Investments, a private equity firm;
  • Pierre Foods, Inc., a portfolio company of private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management LP, in its merger with Advance Food Company, Inc. and its joint venture Advance Brands, LLC;
  • Pfizer Inc. in its $240 million acquisition of a 40 percent stake in Laboratório Teuto Brasileiro S/A (Brazil), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical products;
  • Visa Inc. in its $2 billion acquisition of CyberSource Corporation, a provider of online payment, fraud and security management systems; and
  • Broadcom Corporation, a manufacturer of semiconductors, in its unsolicited $764 million acquisition of Emulex Corporation, a manufacturer of computer data storage networking equipment.

In addition, Mr. Betts has been actively involved in structuring real estate investment trust (REIT) offerings, as well as representing underwriters, investors and issuers. He has represented the following REITs: various REITs affiliated with Blackrock Realty Advisors and Dune Real Estate Funds and Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide, among others.

Mr. Betts was an adjunct professor in the graduate program in taxation at The John Marshall Law School for five years. He also has been listed among the “Bankruptcy Tax Specialists in the Nation’s Major Law Firms” by Turnarounds & Workouts. Mr. Betts is a member of the Skadden team that was named “Los Angeles – Tax Firm of the Year” at the International Tax Review Americas Awards in 2013. He also has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.



  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1991 (Order of the Coif, cum laude)
  • B.S., University of Illinois, 1988 (summa cum laude)


  • California
  • Illinois