Managing Partner: Eric R. Fox
Number of partners: 17
Number of other lawyers: 12
Founded in 1935 by two of the original members of the United States Board of Tax Appeals (now the Tax Court), Ivins, Phillips & Barker is a tax, benefits and compensation, and estate planning specialty law firm for domestic corporations, US and foreign-based multinationals, and individuals with significant wealth. The firm’s decades of focus on the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code and Department of Labor regulations has led numerous Fortune 500 companies, as well as smaller companies, tax-exempt organizations, and high net worth individuals to rely on it for answers to their most complicated and sophisticated tax planning problems as well as for complex tax litigation. Its experience has taught the firm that while the tax code is ever-evolving, for most taxpayers it remains dauntingly complex; the firm keeps up on the latest developments in tax reform so that it can provide timely advice on how changes to the law will affect its clients and their businesses.
Main Areas of Practice:
Corporate Tax Planning & Advice:
Ivins, Phillips & Barker handles all types of corporate transactions, including internal restructurings, acquisitions, dispositions, spinoffs and joint ventures, for both public and closely held companies. The firm has extensive experience in obtaining advance rulings from the IRS and consulting with IRS and Treasury officials regarding tax policy matters. The firm also advises corporate clients on issues that arise daily in corporate tax departments.
Benefits & Compensation:
Few firms of any size can match the resources Ivins, Phillips & Barker has dedicated to ERISA, executive compensation and other employee benefits. The practice covers the spectrum of employee benefits matters, including: design, implementation and compliance work for tax-qualified pension, savings and welfare benefit plans (including 401(k) and cash balance plans, VEBAs, and cafeteria plans), non-qualified deferred compensation plans, golden parachutes, stock options programs, rabbi trusts, and executive welfare benefit programs. The firm’s work also involves negotiating and drafting employee benefits aspects of acquisitions, spinoffs and other divestitures, as well as practice before the IRS, Department of Labor and PBGC, and ERISA litigation. The firm also has considerable experience managing the special problems facing multinationals that must deal with conflicting foreign regulatory schemes.
Estate & Closely Held Business Planning:
For nine decades, Ivins, Phillips & Barker has represented individuals and families, often for multiple generations, and designed arrangements to help implement their financial and family goals. In particular, the firm helps clients address complex issues involving closely held businesses and other assets in light of estate, gift and income tax considerations. Each client has unique priorities, family situations, and business and philanthropic interests, and the firm’s lawyers work closely with clients to understand fully their thoughts on long-term planning and on the legacies — both financial and non-financial — they seek to provide. The firm makes estate planning recommendations tailored to achieve each client’s goals, prepares the documents necessary to implement such plans and reviews the plans periodically for appropriate revisions.
Income Tax Accounting:
Unlike most law firms, Ivins, Phillips & Barker has developed nationally-recognized expertise in tax accounting issues, including: issues pertaining to inventories (particularly dollar-value LIFO and the uniform capitalization method), income and expense accruals, accounting for long-term contracts (government and non-government), accounting for R&D costs, capitalization versus deduction issues, timing of deductions for employee benefit programs, and financial transactions. The firm’s work ranges from planning and consulting on design and establishment of cost accounting systems as they affect tax compliance, to handling accounting method changes, to controversies with the IRS.
Ivins, Phillips & Barker is involved in all issues concerning United States taxation of international business, including issues pertaining to foreign tax credits, subpart F income, treaties, tax-favorable foreign corporate structures and financing techniques, foreign acquisitions and restructurings, FSCs, sourcing, section 936 corporations, and transfer pricing and other section 482 issues. The firm’s lawyers analyze these issues in connection with international business operations, proposed transactions, foreign corporate restructuring activities and controversies with the IRS.
Federal Tax Policy:
Headed by Hank Gutman, former Treasury Deputy Tax Legislative Counsel and former Chief of Staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the firm’s federal tax policy group provides clients with timely notification about developments in federal income and wealth transfer tax legislation and regulations; coordinates the early identification of relevant issues concerning proposed and pending legislation, regulations, rulings, and other administrative pronouncements; prepares responses and comment letters to proposed legislation and regulations; and provides insight and advice with respect to possible legislative or regulatory changes and the potential impact of such changes on tax planning and administration.
Tax Controversies, Litigation & Arbitration:
Ivins, Phillips & Barker regularly represents taxpayers undergoing IRS audits and the IRS Appeals process and litigates tax cases at both the trial and appellate levels. The firm has been successful with the IRS and in court in the overwhelming majority of these cases, often settling such cases favorably without a trial. The firm’s lawyers also serve as expert witnesses and as arbitrators in commercial disputes involving tax issues (including disputes involving tax sharing agreements).
Abbott, AIG, Allegheny Technologies, Inc., Allied Universal Services, ASGN Incorporated, Bayer AG, BKD, Blackstone, Boston Properties, Capital Group Companies, Cargill, CarMax, Castle & Cooke, Chrysler Group, Comcast NBCUniversal, Con Edison, Crowe, Dole Food Company, Dole Packaged Foods (Itochu), Dominion Energy, Dresser/GE Oil & Gas, First American Financial Corporation, Franklin Resources, GE, General Mills, General Motors Corporation, Girl Scouts of the USA, Grant Thornton, Hallmark Cards, Henkel of America, HP, Husqvarna, IBM, Inter-Con Security, International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association, ITG Brands, LLC, Jacobs Engineering, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melwood, Mercer, Merck & Company, Microsemi, Milliken & Company, National Fuel Gas Company, Nissan North America, Nokia, Owens & Minor, Prudential, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), Red Hat, Inc., River and Mercantile Group, RSM, Ryan, SABIC, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), SC Johnson, Shiseido Company, Ltd., Smithsonian Institution, Southern Wine & Spirits, The Cheesecake Factory, The Dixie Group, United States Golf Association, United Technologies, Valero, Vulcan Materials Company, Weather Analytics