Baker & Hostetler's offices in Washington Baker & Hostetler’s offices in Washington, D.C. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Baker & Hostetler has tapped a new leader for its international tax team, J. Brian Davis, who fills the void created when Paul Schmidt was elevated to firm chairman at the beginning of 2019.

Schmidt, like Davis, also handled tax matters at a Big Four accounting firm—in his case, KPMG—before going on to lead the tax team at Baker & Hostetler.

Davis, based in D.C., previously worked at PwC; as a partner at the tax law firm Ivins, Phillips & Barker; and as a director of international tax at Viacom. His clients include multinational companies across several industries, including chemicals, consumer products, industries, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and technology and media, his new firm said in announcing his hire.

Davis also previously taught courses on corporate taxation at George Mason University.

“Coming off a full rewrite of the U.S. tax laws and with many rules still being worked out, I’m excited to join BakerHostetler’s acclaimed tax group, where I’ll be able to offer clients the full scope of legal services required to navigate today’s regulatory landscape,” Davis said in a statement. “Having access to the firm’s highly regarded tax attorneys and its well-connected policy team will allow our clients to attack the most complex tax matters from all angles.”

Davis wasn’t immediately available to discuss the move. Jeffrey Paravano, chair of Baker & Hostetler’s tax group and managing partner of its D.C. office, said in a statement that he was “thrilled” to have Davis come aboard.

“There are few attorneys with the broad international tax experience and the proven leadership skills that Brian brings to the table,” Paravano said in a statement.

In another D.C. move, Baker & Hostetler last week added Kevin Edgar to its federal policy team after he spent 12 years as an attorney with the House Committee on Financial Services.

The firm added a net 35 lawyers overall last year, while trimming its equity partnership by a net of five partners and nudging gross revenue and profits per partner up by more than 3%. Schmidt previously called 2018 a “year of growth and investment” for the firm.