Resolving your most complex tax challenges
With years of experience achieving successful resolutions, our global tax controversy team is widely recognized as a leader in tax disputes and litigation. We will be your reliable strategic partner, helping you resolve the most difficult and complex tax controversy matters you will ever face in any jurisdiction.
Globally, tax authorities are raising more challenges against taxpayers. And they are collaborating more with each other through information sharing, multi-country task forces, joint audits, and initiatives such as the OECD’s International Compliance Assurance program.
This means you need a robust and strategic approach to managing tax risks and responding to challenges.
Our clients include multinational corporations in a range of industries, privately owned companies, partnerships, limited liability companies, high-net-worth individuals, and family offices.
We help with all aspects of complex and sophisticated tax controversies, including criminal tax investigations. Our services include audit defense, penalty-mitigation strategies, litigation and trial advocacy, advance pricing agreements, ICAP agreements, defense files, and mutual agreement procedures.
“I have personally worked with the DLA Piper tax team for close to 15 years now and it has been a remarkable experience. The key strength of the team is the solution-oriented mindset, and prompt and anytime response at very short notice.”
In addition to significant experience before taxing authorities, tax tribunals and courts across the world, we have experience in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including formal and informal mediations, and arbitration.
Clients often face similar issues in multiple jurisdictions. Close cooperation between our 40+ international offices and teams in other areas of law means we can provide comprehensive, collaborative support on cross-border controversies.
We design a centralized strategy to achieve the best resolution possible for each client, ensuring this aligns with local best practices, is consistent with long- and short-term objectives, and addresses individualized concerns such as cost, timing, operational impact, reputational risk, and multi-year impact.
Our lawyers and economists are repeatedly recognized as leaders in tax disputes and tax litigation by Chambers, World Tax and The Legal 500. Many have more than 20 years of experience in private practice and have served as trial advocates or in leadership roles for the IRS or the US Department of Justice.
We will work closely with you to ensure a strong local defense, mitigate global exposure, and achieve an effective resolution.
Awards and recognition
- Leading firm, Nationwide Tax: Controversy, Chambers USA 2022
- Ranked Tax practice, Chambers Global 2022
- Leading firm, US Taxes: Contentious, Legal 500 2022
- Top ranked firm, UK Transfer Pricing, International Tax Review Awards 2018-22
- Impact Deal of the Year, Asia Pacific, International Tax Review Awards 2021
- UK Transfer Pricing Firm of the Year, International Tax Review Awards 2017-19
- Representing Fortune 100 multinationals in defense of European Commission State Aid investigations regarding tax matters.
- Advising and representing a German bank and its subsidiaries in connection with an official investigation regarding possible intentional evasion of VAT.
- Assisting numerous clients (high-net-worth individuals, estates and financial institutions) in becoming compliant with US (and state) tax laws through voluntary disclosure initiatives relating to previously undisclosed foreign financial accounts; also representing clients in civil tax audits and criminal tax investigations relating to undisclosed foreign financial accounts and transactions.
- Acting for a leading US apparel company in a transfer pricing enquiry. We advised on a reset including grouping issues into two baskets, agreeing with the UK tax authority to address one basket initially. This helped to focus the tax authority’s mind on our client’s best points and the tax authority read our submissions and closed the enquiry with no adjustment, without the need to look at the second basket of issues.
- Advising a defense sector client on a multi-year issue with the UK tax authority relating to funding of new facilities needed to deliver one of its major and most important projects, including the interplay between accounting and tax treatment and the intricacies of procurement considerations, contracting and pricing frameworks.
- Advising a software company on a transfer pricing valuation of intellectual property transferred from Sweden. The matter involved a local Swedish tax litigation case and a mutual agreement procedure.
- Advising a Romanian distribution service client in analyzing the legal provisions on compliance obligations in the areas of waste packaging and electronic equipment placed on the market.
- Advising Telecom Italia, the most important telecommunications company in Italy, on the definition of the transfer pricing policy to be applicable to intercompany transactions entered into by the headquarter with subsidiaries operating in over 30 jurisdictions.
- Representing Svenska S Holding 2 in a EUR16 million tax dispute linked to the Swedish interest deduction regulation.
- Advising DropBox on transfer pricing in a controversial tax audit and subsequent objection/appeals procedure.
- Acting as the tax representative of a reputable global household goods distributor on its Hong Kong offshore claim matter for the years of assessment of 2008/09 to present. We assisted our client in formulating a viable offshore claim, gathering documentary evidence, and handling enquires from the Inland Revenue Department, and we represented our client in their tax audit and in restructuring their current operations to enhance tax efficiency.
- Advising and assisting Credit Suisse in discussions with the Dutch tax authorities regarding the potential RETT exposure regarding a restructuring of EUR600 million of real estate assets.
- Representing an offshore investment fund in connection with an IRS audit and trial in the US Tax Court on whether the fund had a US trade or business among other issues. The case was tried in the Tax Court in late 2020 and was the first virtual trial via Zoom.
- Representing three municipal governmental agencies of a US commonwealth that issued “direct payment” municipal bonds, in an IRS audit and appeal to the IRS Office of Independent Appeals.
- Representing one of the largest computer software and services providers in a US Tax Court matter involving a complex patent dispute. Our client received a subpoena for testimony and documents in connection with our client’s payment (pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement) to a company characterized by some as a “patent troll”, which apparently treated our client’s payment as a contribution to capital rather than as settlement income. We successfully limited our clients document production and testimony and ensured that all documents retained their confidentiality and that our client’s testimony took the form of a Confidential Declaration in Lieu of Testimony.
- Representing a multinational hospitality company in its claims for federal tax refunds of over USD80 million resulting from the domestic production activities deduction (DPAD) under Section 199 of the Code. The extent to which software is eligible for deduction under Section 199 is a highly contested issue with the IRS, with several cases pending in the US Tax Court.
- Representing a multinational pharmaceutical company in connection with an IRS audit of its migration of intellectual property to a foreign partnership. The audit, which resulted in a highly favorable result for the client, was the first IRS audit of a company under Notice 2015-54, designed to govern transfers to foreign partnerships with related partners.
- Representing a multinational oil company in a US-Switzerland bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) renewal involving cross border trading in oil and oil products.
- Representing an internationally known multinational consumer brand in its ongoing US tax controversy matters, including before the IRS, Independent Office of Appeals and in IRS audits. We successfully resolved the transfer pricing dispute and other cross-border issues at an amount materially below the asserted amount. We continue as lead tax counsel in several transactions related to the company’s global operating structure.
- Advising a multinational automobile manufacturer in an ongoing IRS audit and a restructuring transaction with subsequent operational model. The matter presents one of the most significant liabilities that could impact the company. We are exploring alternative dispute resolution approaches with the IRS to mitigate associated publicity and related business risks and are working closely with the company to consider its future global structure and make future operational changes with a view towards mitigating the prior year risk.
- Representing a multinational motorcycle manufacturer, including a bilateral US-Japan APA. This APA is important as an alternative dispute resolution procedure as the client and IRS previously were in litigation over the same transfer pricing issues covered by the APA.
- Representing prominent high-wealth individuals and families, many of whom are internationally known in business, investing, and the Arts. These matters are the most significant tax controversy matters that these individuals and families face, as their net worth, and in some cases their liberty, is at risk.