Raj Madan concentrates in the area of federal tax controversy and litigation. He has represented clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, and in all stages of IRS administrative practice, as well as federal district court and tax court litigation.


Mr. Madan has experience in a wide range of complex tax issues, including foreign tax credits, structured finance, transfer pricing, cross-border withholding, life insurance, investment tax credits, and business purpose doctrine and partnership disputes.

He has been recognized as one of the leading tax controversy lawyers in the U.S., including:

  • named Law360’s 2017 MVP for Tax;
  • ranked by Chambers USA in Band 1 for Nationwide Tax Controversy and described as a “superstar” who is “fantastic, strategic, creative and committed to the client”;
  • member of the practice group named 2018 White Collar/Regulatory Litigation Department of the Year by The American Lawyer;
  • named as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America;
  • repeatedly included in the International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders Guide;
  • repeatedly included in Washingtonian’s Top Lawyers list as one of the best lawyers in Washington, D.C.;
  • repeatedly listed in The Best Lawyers in America and The Legal 500 U.S.; and
  • profiled in an article by The American Lawyer (“Rough Crossing”), which highlighted prominent litigators who have made a seamless transition from public to private practice.

Mr. Madan’s recent and ongoing cases include:

  • Eaton Corporation v. Commissioner (U.S. Tax Court) In 2017, victory in the first case involving a court’s review of an IRS decision to retroactively cancel an advance pricing agreement that had settled taxpayer’s transfer pricing dispute.
  • Amazon.com, Inc. v. Commissioner (U.S. Tax Court) In 2017, victory in the U.S. Tax Court involving one of the largest transfer pricing cases in decades and the first involving e-commerce.
  • Starr International Company, Inc. v. United States (U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit) Review of the U.S. Competent Authority’s decision to deny a Swiss company’s request for reduced U.S. withholding tax on dividends from a U.S. subsidiary pursuant to the discretionary benefit provisions of the U.S.-Swiss Income Tax Treaty (1996). The government also has counterclaimed in an attempt to recover an allegedly erroneous refund paid to Starr International.
  • Athene USA Corp. v. United States (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa) Refund case involving the IRS’s disallowance of a change in method of accounting relating to Athene’s treatment of the cost of options purchased to hedge its fixed indexed annuity products. Ongoing; trial set for April 2019.
  • Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. v. United States (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) Trial court decided in the government’s favor in a lawsuit involving an interpretation of the U.S.-U.K. Tax Treaty. Case settled while pending appeal.
  • Santander Holdings USA, Inc. v. United States (U.S. District Court, Massachusetts; U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit) Case involving the IRS’ disallowance of foreign tax credits in context of a cross-border financing. In 2016 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit overturned an earlier $234 million victory by Santander in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Currently appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representative cases in which Mr. Madan has served as a principal participant prior to joining Skadden include:

  • The Dow Chemical Company v. United States (U.S. District Court, Michigan; 6th Circuit). Involved corporate-owned life insurance and economic substance.
  • GlaxoSmithKline Holdings (Americas) Inc. v. Commissioner (Tax Court). Involved transfer pricing.
  • Nestle Holdings, Inc. v. Commissioner (Tax Court). Represented the IRS in a matter involving transfer pricing and valuation.
  • Riggs Nat’l Corp. and Subsidiaries v. Commissioner (Tax Court). Represented the IRS in a matter involving foreign tax credits.



  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 1992 (with honors)
  • B.A., New York University, 1990


  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Sixth, Ninth and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • Litigation Counsel of America

Raj Madan

Partner, Tax Controversy and Litigation