Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C. offices on K Street. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)
Winston & Strawn, having hired 21 lateral partners earlier this week for a new Dallas office, has made another high-profile addition by picking up tax partner Lawrence Hill in New York.
Hill, 57, most recently served as head of the tax controversy practice at Shearman & Sterling, where he also co-lead the firm’s financial services industry group.
“Winston & Strawn has a world class litigation practice and white collar practice and they’re terrific synergies with my tax litigation practice,” Hill said Wednesday. “Additionally, they have a great tax practice that’s continuing to grow.”
Over the years, Hill has represented many of the world’s largest financial institutions, multinational corporations and high net worth individuals in civil and criminal tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Winston & Strawn will be somewhat of a homecoming for Hill, who will once again work with lawyers he once knew at now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf.
Hill joined predecessor firm Dewey Ballantine in 2003 from White & Case, where he spent five years as a partner. Before that Hill was a partner at Sidley Austin and an assistant general counsel at accounting giant KPMG, according to a 2006 story in The New York Times, which detailed Hill’s work advising clients on complex tax matters. Hill chaired the tax controversy and litigation group at Dewey & LeBoeuf, leaving the firm in May 2012 shortly before it filed for bankruptcy.
That same month, Winston & Strawn recruited a roughly 60-lawyer team from Dewey LeBoeuf in New York led by former global litigation chair Jeffrey Kessler, who now serves as co-chairman of the firm and head of Winston & Strawn’s global antitrust practice. Hill (pictured right), who at the time decamped for Shearman & Sterling, said that part of the impetus for his decision to leave that firm was the opportunity to reunite with some of his former colleagues.
“I am reuniting with many of former partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf,” Hill said. “I had great relationships with them and it’s important to work with people you respect not only professionally, but personally.”
Hill declined to comment about the retrial that began this week in New York of two former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives, Joel Sanders and Stephen DiCarmine, who are charged with criminal fraud relating to the defunct firm’s lenders and investors. (Hill appears on a list of potential witnesses and other names that may be mentioned during retrial.)
When asked about partner de-equitizations at Shearman & Sterling last year, Hill said the move by his former firm did not affect him. He will be an equity partner at Winston & Strawn. The firm’s addition of Hill comes at a time of a potential change in tax law, with Trump administration officials alluding to potential major modifications of the IRS code.
“I think that there are going to be tremendous changes [and] every time there’s significant changes, there’s always uncertainty,” Hill said. “That leads to significant amount of litigation that leads to the need for tax lawyers [to] interpret changes in the law and changes in regulations.”
Winston & Strawn, which earlier this week saw employee benefits partner Michael Falk in Chicago decamp for Kirkland & Ellis, also recently hired Duane Morris health care partner Ari Markenson and Proskauer Rose corporate partner Robin Feiner in New York.
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