WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 3, 2013) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery today announced that it has named Stephen P. Kranz as a partner in the Firm’s State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice Group. Mr. Kranz, who will be joined by a team of lawyers, including newly named McDermott Counsel Diann Smith, will be based in the Firm’s new, 229,112 square-foot Washington, D.C. office building on Capitol Hill, blocks from the United States Capitol and Tax Court.
Mr. Kranz, who joins from an AmLaw Top 100 firm, focuses on state tax controversy and tax policy matters. He engages in all forms of taxpayer advocacy including audit defense and litigation, legislative monitoring, and the formation and leadership of taxpayer coalitions. Mr. Kranz defends clients in tax audits through the appeal and litigation cycles, and is experienced in handling audits by the Multistate Tax Commission. In addition to traditional tax controversy matters, he represents clients before state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, and the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board.
Of particular note, in December 2011 Mr. Kranz was recognized by State Tax Notes as one of the Top 10 Tax Lawyers and as one of the Top 10 Individuals who influenced Tax Policy and Practice for 2011.
Ms. Smith focuses her practice on the full range of situations in which state and local tax challenges arise including compliance, controversy, planning, and legislative activity. She regularly counsels clients on multi-state unclaimed property compliance and voluntary disclosure opportunities. Ms. Smith is also heavily involved in representing client interests before the Multistate Tax Commission. She was formally a tax partner at McDermott from 1995 to 1998.
“We are excited to welcome Steve and Diann to the McDermott family and believe that they will help us build the premiere State & Local tax practice in Washington,” said Jane Wells May, partner and head of McDermott’s State & Local Tax Practice Group. “Steve’s mix of seasoned state tax and policy experience makes him an ideal fit for this market, and we believe that his exceptional relationships with the state tax community will generate increased demand for McDermott’s legal services.”
During his career, Mr. Kranz has served as General Counsel to the Council On State Taxation (COST), a trade association based in Washington, D.C., which represents the interests of more than 600 of the nation’s largest taxpayers on issues of state and local taxation. He began his legal career as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, where he spent six years litigating tax cases in U.S. District Court. Mr. Kranz then served as Chief Counsel for the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue, where he represented the city on tax policy and administrative matters.
McDermott was recently named "Law Firm of the Year" in Tax Law in the 2013 ”Best Law Firms” rankings published by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers. In 2012, the Firm expanded its prominent tax team with 11 new partners, including the arrival of prominent Washington tax controversy attorney Dwight Mersereau who previously served inside the Internal Revenue Service, and international tax partners Cym H. Lowell and Mark R. Martin, who joined our Houston office as part of a seven-member, full-service tax controversy team. In addition, two of the country's most highly regarded tax litigation lawyers, Roger Jones and Andrew Roberson, joined McDermott’s Chicago office.
About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,100 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach to Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.