Press Release (July 10, 2007)
Eileen J. O'Connor Joins Pillsbury as Partner
in Washington, D.C.Will Lead New Federal
Tax Controversy and Tax Policy Team
July 10, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP today announced that
Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice from July 2001 to June 2007, has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington, DC office. O'Connor will lead Pillsbury's new firmwide Federal Tax Controversy and Tax Policy Team.
"Lee is one of the most highly respected federal tax attorneys in the country," said
Jeff Vesely, firmwide leader of Pillsbury's Tax Practice. "Her three decades of experience in federal tax law, ranging from representing clients before the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service to leading the Justice Department's Tax Division for nearly six years will be a tremendous asset to our clients."
As head of the Tax Division, O'Connor oversaw the litigationcivil and criminal, trial and appellateof the Division's approximately 350 attorneys. Significant litigation during this time included that involving the Internal Revenue Service's corporate and individual tax shelter enforcement initiatives, its professional firm promoter penalty investigations, and offshore shelter compliance programs, among others. O'Connor instituted a civil-criminal coordination program in the Tax Division, resulting in the government's obtaining injunctions against the promotion of tax fraud and the preparation of fraudulent returns.
As Assistant Attorney General, O'Connor represented the United States in oral argument before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits, and was a member of the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force.
"Lee O'Connor was an outstanding head of the Justice Department's Tax Division, an exceedingly popular administrator, and a tireless advocate for her clients, the people of the United States," said Theodore Olson, former Solicitor General of the United States.
And Mark Everson, who served as Commissioner for Internal Revenue from May 2003-May 2007, says of O'Connor: "I worked with Lee O'Connor for four years, a period of real partnership between the IRS and the Department of Justice. Lee was stalwart in advancing the interests of sound tax administration."
Early in her career, O'Connor was a corporate tax law specialist with the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service. And for more than 20 years, O'Connor, who is also a CPA, was a national tax consultant with several top national accounting firms. She has taught in the graduate tax law program of Georgetown University School of Law, and was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University School of Law.
O'Connor says that one of her key goals will be to round out Pillsbury's already strong tax practice by building a firmwide Federal Tax Controversy and Tax Policy Team. This team will engage the experience and skills of Pillsbury's tax lawyers, its litigators, members of its public policy practice and other disciplines to ensure each Pillsbury client receives the fullest possible range of tax advice and representation.
"I am delighted to be starting the next chapter of my career at Pillsbury," said O'Connor. "Pillsbury's sterling reputation for integrity and professional excellence made joining the firm an easy choice for me."
Pillsbury's is one of the leading tax practices in the United States, advising and representing many of the nation's largest corporations. From planning to transactions to administrative controversy to litigation and beyond, Pillsbury attorneys advise and represent their clients on all aspects of federal, state, and foreign income, excise, property, sales and use and other taxes in connection with mergers and acquisitions, estates and trusts, employee benefits and executive compensation, real estate and investments, and much more. In its 2007 national ranking of Pillsbury's tax practice, Chambers USA wrote that "clients found this team to be 'fantastic at representing us in IRS audits and appeals' and that the 'lawyers understand where you want to go and get you there.'"
"Over the past six years, Lee has worked hard to defend the integrity of federal tax laws and to advance United States tax policy. Given her outstanding experience as a tax advisor, representative and litigator, and her superior management skills, she was the clear choice to lead our new team," said Vesely.
O'Connor received her B.S. in Business Administration from Columbus State University and her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America.
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