International law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP today announced the appointments of renowned international tax lawyers Cym H. Lowell and Mark R. Martin as part of a seven-person, full-service transfer pricing team in Texas. The team, whose practice focuses on designing and defending the allocation of income and expense in cross-border transactions, is joining the Firm from Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. In his new role, Mr. Martin will serve as the head of McDermott’s transfer pricing practice.
Mr. Martin, partner John T. Woodruff and associate Mark Horowitz will be based in McDermott’s Houston office. Mr. Lowell and three professional advisors (Hiroaki Furuya, Managing Director, Tracy Gomes, Economist, and Haiyan Zhang, Financial Analyst) will practice out of a satellite office in Dallas.
Mr. Lowell, who is ranked by Chambers USA in Band 1 for Tax (Litigation), works across a wide range of planning and controversy matters for U.S. and foreign-based multinational companies as well as wealthy individuals. He has handled transfer pricing cases with proposed adjustments in the billions, structured advance pricing agreements on a global basis and advised clients on the full range of international tax planning matters. Mr. Lowell is Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Taxation Commission, as well as a member of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and U.S. Council of Business. He has been a consultant to U.S. tax writing committees, an expert witness for the United States in treaty litigation, as well as a former Council Director, ABA Section of Taxation (responsible for international committees).
Mr. Martin was named an “Up and Coming” lawyer in Chambers USA 2011. A leader in resolving transfer pricing matters through unilateral and bilateral processes, his global practice includes multinational energy, construction, and chemical clients. Mr. Martin has particular specialization in resolving critical transfer pricing issues through emerging dispute resolution processes in the U.S. and other countries. He is the incoming Chair of the Transfer Pricing Committee of the American Bar Association and formerly served as Chairman of the International Tax Committee (Tax Section) of the State Bar of Texas. Mr. Lowell and Mr. Martin have co-authored several important treatises on U.S. international transfer pricing, U.S. international practice and procedure, and U.S. international taxation.
“I am truly excited about this unique opportunity to welcome Cym, Mark and their excellent team to McDermott,” said Lowell D. Yoder, partner and head of McDermott’s U.S. and International Tax Practice Group. “McDermott has long had the most prominent tax law brand in the country. The Firm is widely recognized for excellence in international planning, M&A, partnerships, financial products, closely held companies, and tax controversy. Our new transfer pricing team enhances the McDermott brand of excellence, rounds out our full-service client capabilities on a global basis and adds particular strength in the area of tax litigation.”
“These important additions will help us dramatically expand the Houston office and our offerings to clients,” said Steven G. Spears, partner-in-charge of McDermott’s Houston office. “Transfer pricing knowledge has become increasingly important in Texas as oil companies and suppliers with significant international operations seek to adapt with more tax efficient structures. This group provides us with a highly-branded tax practice and a strong platform to build our tax capabilities in this very important market.” In May, McDermott added prominent antitrust lawyers Allan Van Fleet and Nick Grimmer to its Houston office.
Transfer pricing is a critical element of the tax planning of multinational companies. It is also a material issue for all countries in defending their tax base, and therefore creates a significant amount of interest and controversy, even attracting front-page New York Times coverage. The relationship of multinational companies and tax administrations with respect to transfer pricing (especially in developing nations such as the BRIC countries) is perhaps the most important current international tax issue.
This new McDermott team is at the forefront of this evolution in transfer pricing. As one of the largest law firm-based transfer pricing practices in the United States, it has in-depth experience in negotiating advance pricing agreements and handling competent authority cases between the U.S. and its treaty partners. A significant part of their practice is international, and they work with foreign advisors and governments in countries such as Canada, U.K. and the Netherlands to negotiate advance pricing agreements and resolve competent authority cases. In addition, the team has extensive experience handling inbound and outbound transfer pricing and controversy matters in Japan.
“The combination of our in-depth experience in transfer pricing and McDermott’s brand and global reach will enhance service to our clients, current and future,” Mr. Martin observed. “Indeed, our expanded team has its fingers on the pulse of the transfer pricing world as it is evolving. I look forward to working with such a great international team of professionals,” Mr. Lowell added.
In addition to Mr. Yoder and Mr. Spears, the transfer pricing team will work closely with Tom Scott, the new head of the London office Tax Department, across a broad range of international and domestic corporate/commercial tax issues.
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