Philip R. West, Steptoe’s chair, is a trusted adviser to major multinationals and high-net-worth individuals on international tax issues, and is widely regarded as one of the premier international tax lawyers in the United States. He often achieves exceptional results for clients in complex and high-profile tax controversies; legislative, regulatory, ruling, and competent authority proceedings; and other matters.
He advises clients on both technical questions and issues of broad policy significance, including those relating to tax planning, tax treaties, foreign tax credits, transfer pricing, territoriality, BEAT, GILTI, FDII, tax withholding and reporting (including FATCA), and the tax aspects of cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, investment funds, and financings. He also has served as an expert witness in major tax controversies involving taxpayers around the world.
Drawing on three decades of private sector and public service experience, including as the Treasury Department’s International Tax Counsel, the senior international tax law and policy official in the US government during those years, Phil often assumes responsibility for relationships with taxing authorities that have become needlessly adversarial and achieves unusually favorable outcomes.
He also has extensive advocacy experience on issues before Congress, the Treasury Department, and international organizations. In his capacity as a Treasury Department official, Phil played a central role in virtually every policy, legislative, and regulatory development in the international tax area. He led tax treaty negotiations, discussions, and ratification efforts involving countries throughout the world, and played a major role in the US work at the OECD.
He has practical experience with many foreign tax systems and good relationships with tax officials and private practitioners around the world. He is regularly called on to advise clients and government officials alike with respect to sensitive and complex tax matters, and has testified before Congress several times on international tax matters. Chambers, The Legal 500, and other rankings consistently place him in the top tier of international tax practitioners.
- LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 1987, Taxation
- J.D., New York Law School, 1984, cum laude
- City University of New York, Baruch Graduate School of Business, 1983-84
- B.S., State University of New York, Brockport, 1981
- Center for Economic and Political Studies, 1980, London Semester
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