Laura represents numerous taxpayers who are facing civil and criminal issues regarding their reporting of offshore financial accounts and other assets. Laura has also represented clients involved in some of the largest white-collar criminal tax evasion cases ever brought in the United States, and she regularly advises clients regarding the IRS Whistleblower Program. Her experience includes significant taxpayer victories in civil tax cases in US Tax Court and federal district courts, eliminating IRS penalties due to clients’ good faith and reasonable cause. Laura has also litigated numerous cases addressing complex jurisdictional questions under taxation statutes and setting precedent favorable to clients regarding statutes of limitations.
Represented a US taxpayer in complex, multi-year partnership litigation in connection with IRS challenges to over $1 billion in losses arising from investments in distressed Chinese assets—the first phase of litigation was the first (and the largest) distressed debt case of its kind to be brought to trial, and resulted in the rare holding that no penalties applied due to the taxpayers’ reasonable cause; assisted in this penalty defense and managed the second phase of litigation, involving 21 separate proceedings in federal district court, US Tax Court and IRS examinations, in which the US Department of Justice (DOJ) initially sought more than $300 million from the taxpayers; in settlement in 2014, DOJ conceded 95 percent of the overall alleged liability, and further agreed to abate all penalties
Representing international financial institutions, US taxpayers and their advisors regarding previously undisclosed offshore accounts, including representing more than 50 taxpayers in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative and advising taxpayers and institutions regarding DOJ’s Swiss Bank Compliance Program
Represented a large multinational company in summons enforcement litigation regarding the company’s assertion of privilege for tax advice given during high-stakes refinancing and restructuring transactions, including appellate briefing and coordination of international privilege review efforts; Second Circuit opinion affirmed taxpayer’s position and set favorable precedent for protection of tax and business advice
Successfully quashed criminal investigation of family members and estate executor regarding alleged non-disclosure of assets to IRS
Successfully avoided criminal investigation and multimillion dollar civil penalty regarding trust assets subject to threatened IRS whistleblower claim
Obtained 99 percent concession of amounts at issue from IRS Appeals in docketed Tax Court case
Represented the founder and chief executive officer of publicly traded company in US Tax Court against an IRS assertion of penalties relating to $400 million of losses arising out of a “listed” tax shelter; out of dozens of such cases, this is the only taxpayer victory in which the Tax Court found that the taxpayer was not liable for penalties because he acted reasonably and in good faith when deducting the losses
Won a trial victory reducing the client’s tax, interest and penalty exposure by approximately $130 million, or 82 percent of total amount at issue, under statute-of-limitations defense; according to the DOJ Tax Division, this was the government’s only loss out of 12 major cases litigated that year
Represented a former large public accounting firm partner, who was a member of the firm’s tax solutions group, in one of the largest criminal tax evasion cases ever tried in the Southern District of New York
Drafted briefs that resulted in dismissal of 10 counts of an indictment, and that won an unusual venue change, in a $300 million criminal tax prosecution; taxpayers ultimately were acquitted following trial
Courts / Agencies US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana US District Court for the Western District of New York US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas US District Court for the Northern District of Texas US District Court for the Southern District of Texas US District Court for the Western District of Texas US Tax Court
Do not send any information or documents that you want to have treated as secret or confidential. Providing information to McDermott via email links on this website or other introductory email communications will not create an attorney-client relationship; will not preclude McDermott from representing any other person or firm in any matter; and will not obligate McDermott to keep confidential the information you provide. McDermott cannot enter into an attorney-client relationship with you until McDermott has determined that doing so will not create a conflict of interest and until you and McDermott have entered into a written agreement or engagement letter that sets forth the terms of our relationship.