David Wheat is a tax partner in the Houston and Dallas offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. David focuses his practice on corporate tax, mergers and acquisition tax, transactions involving partnerships and LLCs, and tax controversies. He provides clients with transactional planning and advice, document preparation, and preparation of tax opinions on federal and state tax implications of business transactions, including corporate mergers and acquisitions and the formation and operation of partnerships and limited liability companies.

David has been recognized by Chambers USA, and according to clients quoted in the directory, he is “an authority on partnership transactions, corporate tax and the tax aspects of M&A” and he “knows how to use the knowledge he has for the benefit of the client.” Additionally, David has been named a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500 U.S., and according to clients quoted in the directory, his “knowledge of tax law affecting energy transactions is extremely broad.”


Thought Leadership


Energy, Climate, ESG, Environmental and Tax Matters in the First 100 Days of the Biden Administration,” Kirkland Webinar, May 2021  

“Innovative and Tax-Efficient REIT Structures for the Midstream Sector,” Midstream REIT Seminar, Houston, February 2020

“Structuring Leveraged Buyouts,” Practicing Law Institute, Los Angeles, December 2019

35th Annual Texas Federal Tax Institute, June 2019

“Honey, I Shrunk the Tax Year,” University of Chicago Tax Conference, November 9, 2018

“Mergers & Acquisitions After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” Tulane Tax Institute, New Orleans, November 1, 2018

“Impact of Tax Reform on Distressed Corporations,” Affiliated and Related Corporations Committee, ABA Tax Section, Washington D.C., May 2018

“Current Tax Issues in LBOs,” Practicing Law Institute, Los Angeles, December 2017

“Accelerating Stock and Property Losses in the Oil Patch,” National Association of Petroleum Accountants, Dallas, Texas, May 2017

“Worthless Stock Deductions for Affiliated Corporations,” Affiliated and Related Corporations Committee, ABA Tax Section, Washington, D.C., May 2017

“Current Issues in Tax-Free Spin-Offs,” Dallas Bar Tax Section, May 2017

“Pass-through Corporations and Publicly Traded Partnerships,” Practicing Law Institute, New York, October 2016

“Tax Issues in Purchase and Sale of a Closely Held Business,” Dallas CPA Society, December 2015

“Interesting Transactions of the Past Year,” Practicing Law Institute, Chicago, IL, November 2015

“Dispositions of Subsidiaries and Business Units,” Tax Executives Institute, November 2015

“Use of Tax Partnerships in the Oil Patch,” UT Law, LLCs, LPs and Partnerships, July 2015

31st Annual Texas Federal Tax Institute, June 2015

“Tax Issues in Negotiating M&A Agreements,” Dallas Bar Association, June 2015

“Like-Kind Exchanges,” North American Petroleum Accounting Conference (NAPAC), May 2015

“Oil and Gas Partnerships,” ABA Section of Taxation 2015 Midyear Meeting, January 2015

“Interesting Transactions,” Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLC, Joint Ventures & Other Strategic Alliances 2014, April 2014


Dallas 500 by D CEO, 2020–2021

Dallas Tax “Lawyer of the Year,” The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc., 2011

The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Tax Law), 1999–2012, 2014–2016

Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisors

Chambers USA by Chambers & Partners (Tax Law), 2004–present

“Leading Lawyer,” The Legal 500 US by Legalease (Domestic Tax: Central), 2014–2015

Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (Tax), 2003–2016, 2019–2020

Most Influential Leaders in North Texas (Law: Tax), D CEO The Dallas 500, 2015

Top 100 Overall, Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters, 2006–2010

Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Region, Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters, 2003–2004, 2006–2009, 2011

Tax Directors Handbook, The Essential Guide to the World's Premier Tax Law Firms, 2014

Best Lawyers in Dallas (Tax: General), D Magazine, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008–2009, 2011–2016, 2019, 2022

Best Business Lawyers in Dallas (Tax), D Magazine, 2009

Who's Who Legal: Texas by Law Business Research Limited (Corporate Tax), 2007–present

The International Who's Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers, 2011, 2014–2015

Expert Guides: Guide to the World's Leading Tax Lawyers, 2015

“Recommended Attorney,” The Legal 500 U.S. by Legalease (Industry Focus: Energy: Transactions), 2015, 2019

“Recommended Attorney,” The Legal 500 U.S. by Legalease (US Taxes: Non-Contentious), 2019

“Recommended Attorney,” The Legal 500 U.S. by Legalease (Tax: Domestic Tax), 2015

“ICFM Leading Lawyers 500,” Intercontinental Finance magazine, 2013

Memberships & Affiliations

Council Director, American Bar Association Tax Section

Chair, American Bar Association Corporate Tax Committee, 2003–2004; Chair-Elect, 2002–2003; Vice-Chair 2000–2002; Chair of Subcommittee on Taxable Distributions, 1997–2000

Chair, State Bar of Texas Section of Taxation, 2004; Chair-Elect, 2003–2004; Chair of the Corporate Tax Committee, 1997–1998; Council Member, 1999–2001; Treasurer, 2001–2002; Secretary, 2002–2003

Chair, Dallas Bar Association Taxation Section, 2002; Council Member, 2000–2001; Treasurer, 2001

Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel Fellow, Texas Bar Association

Fellow, Dallas Bar Foundation

Member, College of the State Bar of Texas

Trustee, Southern Federal Tax Institute

Director, Vice President, Texas Federal Tax Institute


Admissions & Qualifications

  • Texas
  • Louisiana (inactive)


  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Tax Court


  • New York University School of LawLL.M., Taxation1989

    Graduate Editor, Tax Law Review

    Wallace Scholar

  • Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law CenterJ.D.1988

    Order of the Coif

    Chancellor's List

    Louisiana Law Review

  • Louisiana State UniversityB.S.with Honors1985

    Beta Gamma Sigma