SAN FRANCISCO (February 27, 2017) – Global law firm Reed Smith LLP today announced the addition of a five-member state tax team from Morrison Foerster, headed by partner Andres Vallejo. In addition to Vallejo, the team includes counsel Peter Kanter, counsel James Kratochvill, and associates Priscilla Parrett and Matt Rilla. The addition of this group follows closely on that of former Morrison Foerster tax partner Gregg Roberts who joined the firm’s New York office earlier this year. The San Francisco office also recently announced that Gap Inc.’s former associate general counsel, Paul Mohun, had joined the firm.
“Andres and his team are an ideal complement to our national state tax team,” said Lee Zoeller, leader of Reed Smith’s State Tax Group. “Andres has handled state tax controversy matters for some of the most well-known companies in the country, including Netflix and Safeway, and for numerous high profile, high net worth individuals. He is a very impressive, experienced tax controversy lawyer who will help us maintain and grow the state tax practice nationally, and in California in particular. We’re also thrilled to have Peter, James, Priscilla and Matt join us. They are a phenomenal team and will hit the ground running here at Reed Smith.”
Commenting on the group’s arrival, David Thompson, head of Reed Smith’s San Francisco office, said, “The State Tax team has one of the fastest-growing practices at the firm and the demand for its services continues, as virtually every client in the firm is faced with complex tax matters and controversies at some point in its business trajectory. Andres, Peter, James and their team are well-known to our State Tax Practice, and their stellar reputations have preceded them. We are delighted this team is now part of Reed Smith in San Francisco, and most importantly, that they will be on our clients’ side of the table in future state tax controversies in California and nationwide.”
About Andres Vallejo
Vallejo focuses his practice primarily on the resolution of state and local tax controversies through negotiation and litigation at all levels of administrative and judicial review nationwide. He has extensive trial and appellate experience and has represented many corporate taxpayers in significant litigation in California and across the country. Vallejo routinely litigates tax-related constitutional issues such as discrimination against interstate commerce, apportionment, nexus, remedies for unconstitutional taxes and unitary combination. He also handles state residency cases for high net worth individuals and advises clients regarding the state and local tax consequences of business transactions.
“Reed Smith is an outstanding platform for our group,” said Vallejo. “The State Tax Group is has an incredible reputation and we are thrilled to be joining such an experienced and respected practice. There are also great synergies with some of our existing clients as well. We’re very excited to be at Reed Smith and are looking forward to working again with our former colleague Gregg Roberts who joined Reed Smith in January in New York.”
Vallejo received his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where he was an associate editor of the California Law Review, and his B.S., summa cum laude, from University of California, Riverside. Vallejo joined Morrison Foerster immediately following his graduation from law school and was promoted to partner in 2008. A thought leader in the tax arena, he frequently presents on state and local tax issues and has authored numerous articles in such publications as State Tax Notes and the Tax Management Multistate Tax Report.
About Peter B. Kanter
Kanter focuses his practice on the resolution of property tax and real estate transfer tax controversies. He has a well-established reputation for handling many high-profile, contentious property tax and/or real estate tax matters involving properties in the state, including the Transamerica Pyramid, Pier 39, the Ferry Building, One Market Street Towers, Candlestick Park, Watson Cogeneration Power Plant, the San Ysidro Ranch, Sandpiper Golf Course and many others. Kanter has also represented clients in several states on state income tax, sales, and use tax, and telecommunications tax matters involving voluntary disclosure agreements (VDAs), settlement negotiations, and litigation. Kanter received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He was formerly a partner at Morrison Foerster and became Of Counsel there in 2008.
About James P. Kratochvill
Kratochvill brings significant experience to addressing the complex state and local tax issues faced by companies engaged in communications and electronic commerce. As the former Chief Counsel for state & local taxes at AT&T, Kratochvill has more than 33 years of state and local tax expertise in this area. He is recognized as a leading practitioner in the information and technology arena, including electronic commerce. In addition to authoring the BNA Multi-state Tax Portfolio Sales and Use Taxes: Communications Services and Electronic Commerce (1997, 2009) and co-editing Telecommunications: Taxation of Services, Property and Taxation, he served for over 18 years on the Board of Directors for the Council on State Taxation (COST). He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve School of Law.
About Priscilla Ayn Parrett
Parrett is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Before entering private practice, Parrett worked as a senior attorney for the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel in Los Angeles, where she litigated more than 18 cases before the United States Tax Court, advised revenue agents on matters that included civil fraud and international individual compliance, and taught classes, including Basic Trial Advocacy.
About Matt Rilla
Rilla is a 2015 graduate of University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, and focuses his practice on state and local tax controversy, as well as transactional matters.
About Reed Smith State Tax Team
Reed Smith’s State Tax team advises clients on all domestic state and local taxes at all stages of the tax lifecycle, not only providing the highest-quality defense in litigation and appeal matters, but also proactively guiding clients to optimize their tax positions. Located across seven domestic offices, we have the largest number of dedicated state tax lawyers in any law firm in the United States. Our team has the ability to serve clients across all taxes and all taxing jurisdictions. Our lawyers’ varied backgrounds generate diverse perspectives that allow them to understand more about our clients and their needs, and not solely the laws that impact them. These backgrounds include key roles and positions in state departments of revenue, Big 4 accounting firms, in-house, private practice, and taxpayer advocacy groups.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,700 lawyers in 26 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its lawyers provide litigation and other dispute-resolution services in multi-jurisdictional and other high-stakes matters; deliver regulatory counsel; and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising, entertainment and media, shipping and transport, energy and natural resources, real estate, manufacturing, technology, and education. For more information, visit reedsmith.com.
U.S.: Century City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Richmond, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Tysons, Washington, D.C., Wilmington
Europe: Athens, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris
Middle East: Abu Dhabi, Dubai
Asia: Beijing, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Shanghai, Singapore