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HNW Guide
Firm Profile

Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Firm Profile

Washington, DC

  • One Thomas Circle NW
  • Suite 1100
  • Washington, DC
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20005

Firm profile submitted by Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Chairman: Beth Shapiro Kaufman
Number of partners: 35
Number of lawyers: 64
Languages: English, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian


Founded by former IRS commissioner Mortimer Caplin, Caplin & Drysdale is headquartered in Washington DC, with an office in New York City. For more than 50 years, the firm has provided a full range of tax, tax controversy, litigation, and related legal services to companies, nonprofit organisations and individuals throughout the United States and around the world. Caplin & Drysdale also provides counseling on matters relating to private clients, exempt organisations, bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, political activity, employee benefits, corporate law and white-collar defence.
For more information, visit www.caplindrysdale.com.

PRACTICE AREASPrivate Client Exempt Organisations Tax Controversies International Tax Bankruptcy Business, Investment & Transactional Tax Complex Litigation Corporate Law Employee Benefits Political Law Tax Crimes Tax Litigation White Collar Defence
A primary goal of Caplin & Drysdale’s private client group is to assist clients with their estate plans, always with an eye toward wealth preservation through tax efficiency. The firm counsels individuals and families on domestic and cross-border tax and estate planning issues, including the use of trusts, partnerships, corporations, foundations and wills and the application of tax treaties. The group also represents domestic and international clients in disputes with the IRS regarding their income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax liabilities. The firm helps individuals with their tax compliance issues, including pre- and post-immigration issues for international clients. Caplin & Drysdale is one of the few firms with a focus on expatriation.

Members Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Michael G. Pfeifer and Anne J. O’Brien draw on their nearly 100 years of combined experience to advise clients on tax planning and tax controversies. Ms Kaufman previously served as the associate tax legislative counsel at the Treasury Department, responsible for all estate, gift and generation-skipping matters. Mr Pferifer was a special assistant to the assoicate chief counsel (international) where he was a principal architect of the 1996 foreign trust tax rules and the Clinton Administration’s expatriation tax proposal. Ms O’Brien has more than 25 years of experience in private practice. Kirsten Burmester brings significant experience in PFIC and CFC rules, as well as the throwback rules applicable to foreign trusts. Dianne C. Mehany adds substantial knowledge in expatriation and compliance matters. They are further supported by members Jonathan S. Brenner and James E. Salles, and senior counsel Stafford C. Smiley, all of whom bring considerable experience with the taxation of individuals and closely held businesses. Talented associates Megan E. Wernke, Alison F. Egan, William D. Fournier, Victor A. Jaramillo, Arielle M. Borsos, Sae Jin Yoon, and Joseph P. Brothers provide additional legal resources and depth to the group. The firm’s attorneys draw upon their vast experience both in private practice and in government service to bring a uniquely informed perspective to Caplin & Drysdale’s representations.

The following illustrates the tailored legal counsel Caplin & Drysdale offers clients:
■ The firm keeps clients up to date on legislative developments and IRS guidance and guides them through interactions with the IRS
■ Caplin & Drysdale’s private client group engages in sophisticated, tax-sensitive estate planning for clients with domestic or cross-border issues, including expatriation, changes of residence, investments in the US and elsewhere, treatment of foreign corporations and foreign trusts, and tax compliance/controversies
■ The firm’s attorneys help clients seeking private letter rulings, competent authority relief and other advice from the IRS. The group takes on difficult technical issues relating to estate and gift taxes, generationskipping transfer tax, income taxation of individuals and trusts and estates
■ Caplin & Drysdale has a reputation for consulting with the IRS on matters of tax policy and procedure
■ The firm’s attorneys also serve as expert witnesses in various high-profile international trust and expatriation cases
■ The group draws upon the considerable know-how of Douglas N. Varley and Sharon P. Want – of the firm’s exempt organisations group – to help clients with philanthropic planning, setting up private foundations and advising clients on contribution limits
■ In estate and gift tax controversy cases, as well as income tax audits of wealthy individuals, the group teams up with Charles M. Ruchelman, Christopher S. Rizek, Scott D. Michel, Mark E. Matthews, Niles A. Elber, and Matthew C. Hicks – members of the firm’s tax controversy group – to bring both substantive and procedural experience to the case

Contact: Beth Shapiro Kaufman
Tel: +202 862 5062
Email: [email protected]

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