Corporate Taxation Advisory Board

think and code's Corporate Taxation Advisory Board is comprised of esteemed professionals from renowned corporations, universities, and government entities. Below is a listing of our current board members.

William Alexander, Esq. (Chair)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

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Mr. Alexander formerly served as associate chief counsel (corporate) of the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel. He had been with the Office of Chief Counsel since 1990, serving as associate chief counsel (corporate) since November 2001. In this role, he was the chief adviser to the IRS on interpretations of the corporate tax laws, such as provisions dealing with corporate mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, corporate-shareholder relationships, the use of corporate losses and consolidated returns of corporate groups. Mr. Alexander played a major role in the government’s development of published and private guidance, and in developing and implementing the IRS’ enforcement positions in these areas.

Mr. Alexander is a frequent speaker on corporate tax issues at bar association programs and other tax conferences.

Prior to joining the IRS, he worked in private practice in New York.


Peter H. Blessing, Esq.
KPMG LLP

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Peter Blessing is Head of Cross-Border Corporate Transactions in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice (WNT). Prior to joining KPMG, Blessing served 25 years as a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP, a leading international law firm.

Prominent in the area of cross-border taxation, Blessing has received numerous accolades and recognitions from both peers and clients during the course of his career. He is ranked highly in various surveys, including "Best Lawyers of America 2012," Euromoney's "Best of the Best USA 2012" and Chambers and Tax Directors' Handbook. Blessing is the editor of Kluwer's recently published two-volume set Tax Planning for International Mergers, Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, and Restructurings.

Blessing is a member of the Permanent Scientific Committee of the International Fiscal Association and the Executive Committee of IFA USA Branch. He is active in various other professional organizations as well, having held leadership roles in a number of them (including his position as former chair of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section). He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.


Julie Divola, Esq.
Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw Pittman LLP

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Julie Divola’s practice focuses on corporate and partnership taxation, with particular emphasis on U.S. and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and restructurings.

Julie, the leader of Pillsbury’s San Francisco Tax practice, is experienced in federal income tax planning for business and financial transactions. She advises on the tax aspects of all manner of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and restructurings. Julie currently serves as an officer for the American Bar Association Section of Taxation. She is a Lecturer at Berkeley Law, where she teaches Corporate Tax and is a frequent speaker at tax conferences.


James W. Forsyth, Esq.
Cozen O'Connor

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A Member at Cozen O'Connor, James W. Forsyth works primarily with business and corporate tax matters and the taxation of pass-through entities. He represents publicly and privately held enterprises in analyzing the federal, state and local income tax consequences of corporate transactions, including corporate reorganizations, divisions, debt restructurings, joint ventures and other business transactions.

Jim devotes a significant amount of his practice to resolving taxpayer disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. He particularly enjoys working with business clients to develop the practical solutions that will help them achieve their financial and operational goals.

In addition to being named a “Top Rated Lawyer in Taxation,” Jim has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. Also, Jim was recognized in Pittsburgh's Top Rated Lawyers (2012-2014 editions) for Business, Corporate and Taxation law by The Legal Intelligencer.


Stuart J. Goldring, Esq.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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Stuart J. Goldring is a partner in Weil’s global Tax practice and a nationally recognized authority on federal income tax matters involving financially troubled companies. He has extensive experience in advising debtors, creditors, potential acquirers, and investors in troubled companies, both within and outside of the bankruptcy context. Mr. Goldring also regularly advises on the structuring of acquisitions, dispositions, and other transactions involving corporations and multi-corporate groups.


Michael Kliegman, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Michael Kliegman is currently a Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in New York. Mr. Kliegman was a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers for more than 20 years in the Transaction Services/M&A division. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University and at New York Law School. He recently served as Tax Committee Chair, Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. Prior to joining PwC, Michael was an attorney with Lane & Edson, as well as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service's Corporate Reorganization Branch.


Andrew W. Needham, Esq.
Cravath, Swain & Moore LLP

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Andrew W. Needham is a partner in Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s Tax Department. His practice concentrates on tax advisory work in mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, private equity and hedge funds, partnership taxation and general tax planning for the preservation of net operating losses and other tax attributes.

Mr. Needham’s clients have included BDT Capital Partners, Cincinnati Bell, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Martin Marietta and Weyerhaeuser, as well as numerous investment banking firms.

In 2012, Mr. Needham served as Chair of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section and is currently a member of its Executive Committee. He is also a member of The Harvard Tax Club, the Private Investment Funds Tax Forum and the REIT Tax Club, as well as a frequent speaker at various tax conferences.

Mr. Needham has been repeatedly recognized as a leading tax practitioner by, among others, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2008 through 2017; Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2014-17; The Legal 500 from 2007 through 2017; The Best Lawyers in America from 2011 through 2017; and Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Tax from 2011 through 2017.


Joseph M. Pari, Esq.
KPMG LLP

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Joe is the national principal-in-charge of Washington National Tax. Prior to joining KPMG LLP, he was a partner at the law firms of Linklaters LLP and Dewey Ballantine/Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.

Joe focuses on federal income taxation of domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, other divisive strategies, restructurings, bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy workouts, acquisition financing and the use of pass-through entities in acquisitive and divisive transactions, with a particular emphasis on corporate tax planning, the utilization of net operating losses and other tax attributes and consolidated return matters.

Joe has been selected for inclusion in publications including Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Legal 500 US, Who’s Who Legal, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers and was named Washington, D.C Tax Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers 2012.

He is on the advisory boards of the New York University Institute on Federal Taxation and the Federal Bar Association, and he is an adjunct faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a frequent speaker on tax issues relating to mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs and other divestiture strategies, corporate tax planning, workouts and consolidated return matters.

Previously, he has served as chair of the Corporate Tax Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section; council director for the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Corporate Tax Committee, Committee on Affiliated and Related Corporations, and Bankruptcy and Workouts Committee; chair of the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Committee on Affiliated and Related Corporations and its Subcommittee on Consolidated Returns; co-chair of the Federal Bar Association Domestic Corporate Tax Symposia; and member of the advisory board of the National Foreign Trade Council, Inc.

Joe holds an LL.M in Taxation from New York University School of Law, a JD, magna cum laude from Boston College Law School and BS, cum laude from Providence College.


Victor Penico, Esq.
Deloitte Tax LLP

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Victor has more than thirty years of professional tax experience, specializing in tax issues related to mergers and acquisitions, consolidated returns, and bankruptcy and workouts. Victor joined Deloitte Tax in 2006 where he leads their consolidated return practice. At Deloitte, Victor has served as a consultant to clients on the tax issues relating to their restructuring plans (in and out of court) and has assisted clients in quantifying the various tax benefits and detriments of alternative restructuring plans. Before joining Deloitte Tax, Victor was a Senior Counsel, Senior Technician Reviewer, and Branch Chief in the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate), Internal Revenue Service. While at the Internal Revenue Service, Victor was responsible for numerous items of published guidance relating to consolidated returns, reorganizations, the treatment of contingent liabilities in taxable and nonrecognition transactions, section 338 elections, and bankruptcy and workouts. In addition, Victor instituted and supervised a program in which the Internal Revenue Service reviewed bankruptcy plans of reorganization. More recently, Victor was responsible for the proposed “No Net Value” regulations which affect liquidations and reorganizations of insolvent corporations.

Victor was also a tax partner in the San Francisco office of Pillsbury Winthrop LLP, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and representing clients in dealings with the Internal Revenue Service. Victor served as tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee during the 1995-1996 budget process where he was responsible for corporate, international, financial institution and product, and tax accounting issues.


Mark A. Schneider, Esq.
Deloitte Tax LLP

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Mark Schneider is a Principal at Deloitte's D.C. office. Prior to that he was appointed as the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate) on October 24, 2005. In that position, Mr. Schneider played a key role in the administration of the U.S. corporate tax laws, including the issuance of regulations, revenue rulings, and private letter rulings, and he also provided support in litigation matters.


Mark J. Silverman, Esq.
Steptoe and Johnson, LLP

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Mark J. Silverman is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office and former chair of the firm's Tax Group. In 2005, Mr. Silverman was named one of the top ten tax lawyers in Washington by Legal Times. He is a member of The American Law Institute, Tax Advisory Group for the Study of Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code. He was formerly an advisor to the Committee on Ways and Means during their consideration of revisions to the corporate tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. He also served as a Council member of the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation and was formerly chair of the Corporate Tax Committee. He chaired the Tax Section Task Force on Leveraged Buyouts and co-authored the Tax Advisors Planning Series on Financially Troubled Businesses.

Mr. Silverman is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and is a member of the advisory boards of think and code Tax Management, Consolidated Returns Tax Report, M&A Tax Report, and Corporate Taxation magazines. Mr. Silverman is on the Editorial Board of The American Journal of Tax Policy, and is on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Federal Tax Institute. He also chairs the PLI annual consolidated returns program.

Mr. Silverman was formerly Corporate Tax Editor of The Journal of Taxation, and a member of the advisory boards of NYU Institute on Federal Taxation. He was formerly a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association and an attorney-advisor to Judge Samuel B. Sterrett of the United States Tax Court.


Philip B. Wright, Esq.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

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Philip Wright’s practice concentrates primarily on advising clients with regard to the domestic and international tax aspects of corporate acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, securities offerings and related tax matters; including structuring, negotiation, and documentation in respect of same. He also advises clients in controversy matters with the Internal Revenue Service principally regarding issues involved in acquisitions and divestitures.

Mr. Wright serves as an adjunct professor in the Masters Tax Program at Washington University Law School where he has taught both Corporate Reorganizations and Federal Taxation of Partnerships. He has also served as adjunct professor at Fontbonne University where he taught Advanced Corporate Tax—Consolidated Tax Returns. He frequently writes and speaks for Practicing Law Institute on tax issues involved in merger and acquisition transactions. His prior professional experience includes practice as a certified public accountant with a Big Four accounting firm. He is a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers.

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