Jenny L. Johnson - McDermott Will & Emery


Jenny L. Johnson focuses her practice on complex tax disputes for private clients, their trusts and estates, and closely-held businesses. To successfully navigate these controversies, Jenny draws on tools she honed over years of experience trying tax cases: earning credibility, building a compelling factual record, and – perhaps most important – understanding that the art of crafting a winning closing argument begins years before trial.

Jenny represents taxpayers in all stages of civil and criminal tax proceedings, including sensitive audits and examinations, IRS appeals, summons enforcement, search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, negotiated resolutions with the IRS and the Department of Justice, trials in federal district court and the US Tax Court, and appellate litigation. She has favorably resolved disputes involving estate and gift taxes, income taxes, excise taxes, federal and state tax credits, sales and use taxes, employment taxes, and employee plan matters.

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  • Drafting a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the American College of Tax Counsel as amicus curiae in support of the successful petitioner in Marinello v. United States*
  • Serving as lead tax litigation counsel for a $3 billion estate with respect to an alleged $150 million estate and gift tax deficiency involving transfer of interests in a professional sports team*
  • Obtaining summary judgment for the taxpayer, defeating the government’s attempt to recover what it claimed was an erroneous tax refund, with the US District Court repeatedly citing her arguments on complex aspects of the TEFRA regulations*

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  • Legal 500 US, 2021 and 2022
  • Chambers High Net Worth 2022, Band 1 in USA Nationwide: Tax, Private Client
  • Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers 2018, Crain’s
  • Super Lawyer, Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2016-2018

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  • American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow and Regent for the Seventh Circuit
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Income and Transfer Tax Planning Group, Tax Litigation and Controversy Committee, Former Chair
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee
  • Chicago Estate Planning Council
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois
  • Chicago Inn of Court


Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
Sewanee The University of the South, B.A., summa cum laude

Illinois Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Tax Court

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