Prominent Tax Attorney Robert Russell Joins Kostelanetz & Fink as Counsel in D.C. Office

NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON (July 29, 2019) – Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP is pleased to announce that it is expanding its Washington, D.C. office by bringing on Robert Russell, a prominent domestic and international tax planning and controversy attorney with broad experience in government enforcement and tax policy developed during his tenures with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Tax Policy, and Joint Committee on Taxation.  Mr. Russell’s arrival, the latest in a handful of recent additions to the D.C. office, enhances Kostelanetz & Fink’s already impressive tax controversy and tax planning practice.  

Mr. Russell practice areas include tax controversies, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, international financing transactions, IRS whistleblower claims and foreign tax credit and transfer pricing resolutions. Mr. Russell also advises clients on the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including the effect of implementing regulations and administrative guidance. He has assisted clients in navigating the new international tax provisions of Global Intangible Low-Taxed income (GILTI), Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) and Foreign-Derived Intangible Income (FDII), as well as corporate conversions and the IRC 199A pass-through provisions.

“We are excited to welcome Robert and his very substantial expertise in international tax planning, tax controversies and tax policy to Kostelanetz & Fink’s Washington, D.C., office,” said Kostelanetz & Fink Managing Partner Bryan Skarlatos. “With this stellar addition, our D.C. office has grown significantly in capacity and capabilities and we hope to continue that growth into the future.”

Before joining Kostelanetz & Fink, Mr. Russell served as Director of International Tax Controversy and Planning with Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, PC in Washington, D.C., providing counsel on international tax matters for corporations and foreign individuals. 

Mr. Russell also served as visiting counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation, where he advised staff on potential tax legislation and congressional hearings related to taxation.  In April 2016, he testified before the House of Representatives’ Small Business Committee on the international aspects of tax simplification and reform.  

From 2014 – 2015, Mr. Russell served with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy in the Office of the International Tax Council as a legal fellow, where he worked on joint tax treaty negotiations including the drafting of technical explanations.   He also assisted in the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).  

Mr. Russell worked as a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service from 2007 to 2012 where he audited a wide range of domestic and international tax issues.  In this role, he assisted the Department of Justice Tax Division in criminal proceedings with respect to the sale of foreign corporations.

Mr. Russell teaches as an Adjunct Professor of Law in International Tax Controversies at Georgetown University Law Center and sits on the International Tax Technical Resource Panel for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

“I have long admired Kostelanetz & Fink for its sterling reputation and for setting the ethical and quality standard for client representation in tax controversy,” said Mr. Russell. “I am honored to join the impressive roster of attorneys at the firm and I look forward to bringing my government and private practice experience in service to our clients.”

Mr. Russell holds a Master of Law in Taxation (LL.M.) with a Certificate in International Taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  He also has a Certificate in Comparative Tax Administration & Tax Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

About Kostelanetz & Fink

Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP has built a national reputation as the law firm of choice for clients facing high-stakes negotiations and controversies with government agencies. Because of our extensive experience handling the most challenging, complex and sensitive cases, our attorneys are considered to be some of the country’s foremost experts on tax controversies, white collar defense and regulatory matters. An important part of the firm’s practice includes tax and estate planning and representation in government procurement and government contracting.