X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Big-shot lawyers often come to Washington to help their clients fend off the probing tentacles of the federal government. But last week, lawyers with connections to two of America’s mightiest firms found themselves on the receiving end of a public dressing-down by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations. Testifying before the Senate panel were former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner Lewis Steinberg and Bryan Cave D.C. partner John Barrie. The two tax lawyers had both issued legal opinions to ultrawealthy clients justifying a now-discredited scheme, involving shell corporations in the Isle of Man, that generated tens of millions of dollars in capital losses that were used as tax write-offs. The loss-generating plan, known as POINT, was promoted by Seattle investment company Quellos Group, an organization also at the center of the tax-shelter scandal that has ensnared KPMG and Sidley Austin and has resulted in 19 indictments, as well as KPMG’s agreement to pay the government $456 million. Barrie and Steinberg maintained they hadn’t been given all of the relevant information about the POINT plan when they wrote the opinions. But Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) called the plan, which allowed one investor to purchase a $1.4 billion tax write-off for $50 million, as “phony as a three-dollar bill.” Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson said the problem of offshore tax schemes wouldn’t be fixed through more enforcement actions by his agency. “The real answer is making sure the professionals aren’t providing lousy advice,” Everson testified.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected]

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.