Kirkland & Ellis is excited to announce that David Foster, one of the nation’s premier tax litigation and tax controversy lawyers, has joined the Firm as a tax partner in the Washington, D.C., office.
Mr. Foster represents clients in tax litigation and in administrative tax controversies. He advises a broad range of clients, including large corporations, private equity firms and hedge funds, partnerships, estates, exempt organizations and individuals, many of whom are subject to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Global High Wealth initiative. His practice covers a diverse range of tax issues, including international tax, TEFRA and BBA partnership audit and litigation procedures, taxation of financial products, estate and gift taxes, deferred compensation, voluntary disclosures and criminal tax.
“David has built a national reputation for his handling of some of the largest and most significant tax disputes for financial sponsors, public and private companies, and individuals,” said Jon A. Ballis, Chairman of Kirkland’s Executive Committee. “As we continue to invest in our platform, and our tax controversy practice in particular, we couldn’t be more excited to bring David on board.”
A former Supreme Court clerk, Mr. Foster has prepared briefs and argued before many of the federal courts of appeals. He obtained a rare taxpayer victory striking down a Treasury Regulation in Hewitt v. Commissioner. He represented five former IRS commissioners in a D.C. Circuit amicus brief in Loving v. IRS in support of licensing standards for tax return preparers, as well as the American College of Tax Counsel in amicus briefs in the Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
“David is one of the top tax controversy lawyers in the country and he brings outstanding experience to our strong and growing tax disputes team,” said Kirkland tax disputes partner Richard Husseini, who joined the Firm in August 2021. “As the IRS continues to ramp up audit activity, lawyers like David position us to meet our clients’ needs.”
A recognized thought leader, Mr. Foster lectures regularly to in-house tax departments and professional associations. He is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and the American Bar Foundation. He also has served as chair of the D.C. Bar’s Tax Audits and Litigation Committee and as co-chair of the ABA Tax Section’s Privileges Subcommittee of the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee.
Mr. Foster has repeatedly been ranked in Chambers USA, Chambers High Net Worth, The Best Lawyers in America and The Legal 500 U.S., and was previously recognized as one of Washington, D.C.’s Trending 40 Lawyers Under 40 by Legal Bisnow. He also has been included in Washingtonian’s Top Lawyers list since 2018.
He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and served as Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Foster was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He joins Kirkland from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he was a partner.
With 165 attorneys around the globe, Kirkland’s tax practice has an international reputation for sophisticated counseling on multinational tax issues and transactions, as well as successful representation of clients in complex tax disputes. Ranging from the largest public company to the full spectrum of private equity and sponsor-initiated transactions, Kirkland’s tax attorneys are involved in the broadest scope of transactional matters in the marketplace. Kirkland’s Tax Disputes Practice Group provides skilled and experienced advocacy on behalf of clients at every stage of the tax controversy process, from pre-audit planning, to audit through administrative appeals and post-appeals mediation, in competent authority matters, and in tax litigation in federal and state courts. Recent high-profile hires in the tax disputes practice include David Cole in 2022 and Richard Husseini in 2021.