Practice Area


Representative Experience

Working on teams with their colleagues in other departments, our tax attorneys enhance the firm’s capabilities in numerous areas:

  • In real estate, they assist owners in structuring like kind exchanges, advise developers on the tax consequences or optimal tax structures for development properties and assist domestic and foreign investors in the purchase and sale of previously developed real property. Many clients come to the firm especially for advice of this nature, as well as advice on minimizing the tax costs associated with restructuring the debt or ownership of troubled properties and the entities that own them. In this regard, the firm is proud of its accomplishments in minimizing the state and local taxes that may be imposed on the transfer of interests in real property that often accompany such restructurings.
  • With the firm's employee benefits lawyers, our attorneys design and negotiate tax efficient stock option plans, deferred compensation agreements, and executive employment contracts, and provide income and estate tax counseling for executives with regard to employer provided benefits.
  • Handling the unique tax problems of not for profit institutions is one of Patterson Belknap's strengths. We regularly counsel tax-exempt clients on investment matters, including joint ventures with for-profit organizations, the potential excise tax on prohibited transactions, and other excise tax issues raised by such investments.
  • We review on behalf of tax-exempt clients the tax implications of participating in real estate, venture capital, hedge fund and other investment programs to minimize the tax on unrelated business income and to protect private foundation clients from excess business holdings and self dealing excise taxes. We have secured noteworthy rulings from the IRS on issues of first impression involving such questions as the tax consequences of trading in stock index futures and other arbitrage programs. Our attorneys are charter members of a small group of nationally based lawyers, sponsored by the not for profit community, that deals directly with the Treasury in legislative and regulatory projects.
  • In conjunction with attorneys in the Trusts and Estates Group, we counsel wealthy individuals and families on preserving capital and restructuring family wealth in a way that will minimize gift, estate and generation skipping taxes while disturbing their existing financial picture as little as possible. We have considerable experience in the use of trusts, including, charitable split-interest trusts, as a method for reducing both transfer and income taxes and in handling estates involving substantial pension benefits.