Emily M. Lam is co-head of the firm’s global Tax Group. She advises clients on a broad range of tax controversy matters, focusing on complex audits and appeals, closing agreements and creative resolution of tax disputes. Drawing on her prior experience at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and more than two decades of practice, she provides clients with sophisticated tax counseling on the most sensitive matters.


Ms. Lam, who began her career in Skadden’s Washington, D.C. office, rejoined the firm in 2010 after serving as an attorney adviser in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. While at the Treasury Department, Ms. Lam worked closely with the Internal Revenue Service on administrative guidance, consulted with congressional staff regarding legislation and interfaced with other government agencies on various tax policy matters.

Ms. Lam also advises tax-exempt organizations and counsels on charitable giving issues.

On the strength of her professional achievements, Ms. Lam has been recognized numerous times as a leading tax lawyer in California and nationwide, including being selected annually for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The Daily Journal also has named her several times to its list of Top Women Lawyers in California and previously recognized her as one of the state’s top 20 Lawyers Under 40.

Additionally, Ms. Lam was named to Lawyers of Color’s inaugural Law Firm Leaders list in 2022, a “comprehensive directory of minority law firm leaders who are either managing partners, executive committee members, or practice group heads.” She also has been recognized in The Legal 500 U.S., Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Expert Guide and Expert Guides’ Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisers and is annually listed in the International Tax Review’s World Tax and Women in Tax Leaders guides. In addition, she has received a Women in Business Law award from Euromoney and Legal Media Group, recognizing her as one of the country’s outstanding tax dispute resolution attorneys. The Silicon Valley Business Journal also has named her one of its Women of Influence.

Ms. Lam is a frequent speaker and panelist before private bar and industry groups, including the Tax Executives Institute and the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation.

Ms. Lam is active in recruitment, development and retention and diversity initiatives within Skadden and serves on the firm’s Ethics and Pro Bono committees. She also serves as a member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s highest governing body, and previously served as head of Skadden’s Pal Alto office.



  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 2004 (Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, S.J. Prize)
  • J.D., Yale Law School, 2000
  • B.A., Yale University, 1997 (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa)


  • California
  • District of Columbia


  • Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel
  • Board Member, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley

Government Service

  • Attorney Adviser, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Treasury (2007-2010)

Emily M. Lam