FIRM OVERVIEW: Founded by former IRS commissioner Mortimer Caplin, Caplin & Drysdale has long been a boutique tax law firm with offices in Washington, DC and New York. It also maintains practices in the fields of tax-exempt organizations, creditors' rights and bankruptcy litigation, and political activity law. The firm's tax practice focuses on international planning for businesses and private clients, tax controversies of all kinds (civil and criminal), employee benefits, and trusts and estates. Caplin & Drysdale represents a full spectrum of tax-exempt organizations and counsels a diverse clientele in compliance with political activities law, government ethics rules, and lobbying registration and disclosure requirements. The firm's litigators have extensive experience in asbestos-related bankruptcy cases, class actions for resolving mass tort liabilities, fraudulent conveyance suits, and other business controversies.
MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Tax Controversies, Tax Crimes & Tax Litigation: Caplin & Drysdale has been engaged in this practice area for over 45 years, with significant experience in all phases of tax controversy, fraud and tax litigation. The firm also has a robust practice in the area of voluntary disclosures, particularly involving undeclared offshore accounts, which has been an increasing focus of IRS enforcement efforts.
International Tax: Caplin & Drysdale advises clients on matters relating to the taxation of international transactions, operations, and investments and transfer pricing, including tax-efficient structuring of cross-border investments and transactions, as well as optimum use of tax treaties, foreign tax credits, tax deferral, and entity classification.
Tax Exempt Organizations: Serving some of the nation's most prominent private foundations, public charities and other non-profit organizations, the firm has handled a wide range of operational and governance issues for exempt organizations. The group counsels clients on political and lobbying issues, assists clients in raising revenue through a variety of business structures, advises regarding unrelated business tax issues, and monitors relevant legislative and regulatory activities. The firm also represents clients in high profile, complex IRS examinations.
Creditors' Rights & Complex Litigation: Caplin & Drysdale has served as creditors' committee counsel for asbestos victims in approximately 20 major corporate reorganizations under Chapter 11. The firm also has substantial experience in other forms of complex litigation, including class actions leading to global mass-tort resolutions, investor suits for securities fraud, creditors' challenges to corporate spin-offs under the law of fraudulent transfers and successor liability, and other business disputes.
Political Law: The firm regularly counsels clients on the laws pertaining to government ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance. The group's attorneys have represented clients on both sides of the political aisle, including corporations, trade associations, connected and non-connected political action committees, political parties, private individuals, presidential campaigns and high profile federal, state, and local candidates.
Private Client: Caplin & Drysdale counsels individuals and families on domestic and cross-border income and estate planning issues, including the use of trusts, foundations and wills and the application of tax treaties. The firm represents domestic and international clients in disputes with the IRS regarding their income, estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax liabilities.
Employee Benefits: The firm provides legal advice to employers and plan service providers in the following areas: design and administration of qualified plans, legislative and regulatory changes, representation before the Internal Revenue Service, compliance with Title I of ERISA, executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, tax-exempt and governmental employer representation, financial institution and service provider counseling, and employee benefits dispute resolution.
Clients in Offshore Account Matters: Caplin & Drysdale is currently representing numerous clients in various phases of the IRS's continuing enforcement push against undeclared foreign accounts. The firm is advising a number of clients who are involved in criminal investigations or civil audits arising out of IRS actions. It is also representing over 400 clients in various phases of the voluntary disclosure process. These cases have come from all over the United States and at least 11 foreign countries.
General Electric: The firm provides advice to General Electric and its affiliates in the areas of transfer pricing, tax treaty interpretation, the mutual agreement procedure, foreign tax credit questions, and a variety of other domestic and international issues.
PETROBRAS: The firm has given advice to PETROBRAS in regard to tax treaty matters and a variety of other matters relating to US-Brazil relations in the field of taxation.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.: Tax: The firm has provided a variety of tax and related legal advice to JP Morgan Chase and its affiliates, with respect to such matters as transfer pricing, the foreign tax credit, tax treaty interpretation, the mutual agreement procedure, and other international and domestic tax issues.
NAACP: Caplin & Drysdale successfully guided the organization through a confrontational and highly visible IRS examination for alleged political campaign activity arising out of the 2004 election. By employing creative procedural and technical arguments, the review was brought to an extraordinary close without the NAACP providing any access to its books and records and without any change to the organization's tax status.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.: Political Activity Law: The firm counsels JPMC on issues of federal, state, and local political law. This includes providing general prospective advice regarding campaign finance and government ethics rules policed by federal, state, and local government ethics agencies, conducting training sessions on the new federal lobbying disclosure rules, and advising on the creation and execution of compliance policies to guide its employees and executives before specific issues arise.
Private Client Matter: Caplin & Drysdale attorneys assisted a French client in structuring a gift of shares in a foreign corporation to a US child and her children. Issues included characterization of a French usufruct interest, avoidance of PFIC characterization, and obtaining a ruling from the IRS on domestic tax issues.