Miriam L. Fisher

  • Partner
  • Emiriam.fisher@lw.com
  • 555 Eleventh Street, NW
  • Suite 1000
  • Washington, D.C. 20004-1304
  • USA
  • T +1.202.637.2178
  •  
 

Profile

Miriam Fisher is Global Chair of the Tax Controversy Practice of Latham & Watkins, and her practice focuses on federal and state tax controversy and litigation.

Ms. Fisher has an active tax litigation practice in federal and state trial and appellate courts, where she successfully represents domestic and multi-national businesses, non-profits, and high global wealth individuals in disputes involving a wide variety of sophisticated tax matters.

At the examination and appeals stages of tax controversies, Ms. Fisher achieves client goals through good communication, strong substantive and procedural knowledge, innovative, resolution-oriented strategies, and litigation-preparedness. She is highly regarded by clients and peers for her ability to lead trial teams in complex tax litigation and to navigate negotiation and resolution of sensitive, high-stakes disputes.

Ms. Fisher also handles sensitive tax matters involving allegations of fraud and helps clients avoid severe penalties and potential criminal charges. She often leads clients through voluntary disclosure and correction of compliance errors.

Ms. Fisher frequently speaks and writes on issues involving tax procedure, policy, and ethics. She is admitted to practice before the US Tax Court, various US District Courts, US Court of Federal Claims, and the US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, and Federal Circuits.

Ms. Fisher is consistently ranked as a leading tax lawyer by Chambers USA. Sources describe her as “professional, responsive, practical, articulate, confident, and mindful of budgets” with “world class” tax controversy and litigation experience (Chambers USA 2017), also noting, “she’s 100% the kind of attorney that both sides want." (Chambers USA 2018). In 2018, The American Bar Association Tax Section Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee honored Ms. Fisher with the Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award. She is also recognized as one of the elite leading lawyers inducted to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame, which includes fewer than 500 partners across the US “who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence,” in 2018. She has been recognized as a Tax Controversy Leader by the International Tax Review’s Tax Controversy Leaders 2017 guide, an annual guide that identifies leading tax lawyers and advisers. The selection is based on nominations from hundreds of global tax directors and CFOs.

Professional Experience
  • American College of Tax Counsel
    • Regent and Fellow
  • ABA Section of Taxation
    • Council Director 2009 - 2012
    • Civil & Criminal Tax Penalties Comm.
      • Chair 2005 - 2007
      • Vice Chair 2003 - 2005
    • Appointments to the Tax Court Comm. 2011 - 2016
  • DC Bar Taxation Section
    • Chair 2001 - 2004
    • Tax Audits & Litigation Comm. Chair 1997 - 1999
  • University of Maryland School of Law
    • Board of Visitors 2001 - 2007
  • Georgetown University Law Center
    • Adjunct Professor 2002 - 2003
  • US Department of Justice Tax Division
    • Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General 1989 - 1991

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Experience

Ms. Fisher's representative experience includes:

  • 2012 US Tax Court victory in NA General Partnership v. Comm’r (“ScottishPower”) sustaining interest deductions arising from ~US$5 billion in cross-border intercompany debt
  • Successful 2018 refund litigation appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for Dreamworks Animation SKG involving the scope of the extraterritorial income exclusion
  • Taxpayer-favorable 2018 decision following trial in New York State court concerning allegations of fraud and lack of economic substance surrounding hundreds of millions of dollars invested in oil and gas exploration
  • Ongoing representation pre-litigation in a major transfer pricing dispute; current representations in examinations of inversion transactions
  • Currently leading litigation in the US Tax Court for Weyerhaeuser Corp. concerning an alleged “disguised sale” of timberlands
  • A full IRS concession obtained in 2017 on audit of a multi-billion dollar repatriation issue for a large multi-national media company
  • A full IRS concession obtained in 2016 at IRS Appeals of the proposed retroactive revocation of the tax-exempt status of a large non-profit
  • A rare taxpayer victory against the US Department of Justice in a promoter injunction proceeding, resulting in the return of US$500 million that had been seized, dismissal of the injunction, and award of costs, in US v. L. Donald Guess, et al. (S.D. CA 2005)*

*Matter completed prior to joining Latham

Thought Leadership

  • Cross-Border Financing: Taxpayer Wins on Characterization of Intercompany Debt Transaction -  14 August 2018
  • Unclear Which Way Wind Blows After Reversal of Alta Wind -  August 14, 2018
  • IRS Launches New Compliance Campaigns on Repatriation of Foreign Earnings and Virtual Currency -  12 July 2018
  • Tax Act Changes Deductibility of False Claims Act Payments -  22 January 2018
  • Alta Wind Wins Cash Grant Dispute in Court of Federal Claims – Awarded US$206 Million -  03 November 2016
  • Top 10 Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) Mistakes (And How to Fix Them) -  02 June 2015
  • Foreign Banks and Bankers Face New Risks From Swiss Bank Amnesty -  15 April 2015
  • What Every Contractor Should Know About the Tax Implications of Settling a False Claims Act Case -  01 December 2014
  • First Circuit Liberalizes Tax Deductibility Standard of False Claims Act Settlements  -  01 October 2014
  • Bandfield Confirms Aggressive FATCA Enforcement Tactics -  16 September 2014
  • FATCA Violation Underlies Latest US Tax and Securities Fraud Charges -  15 September 2014
  • Beyond Switzerland: Preparing for the Fallout from FATCA and Other Global Transparency Initiatives -  11 August 2014
  • IRS Eases Access to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs -  June 24, 2014
  • Swiss Banks Seek Fresh Start with US Disclosure Programme  -  01 March 2014
  • 6 Reasons US Taxpayers Should Report Assets Held in Swiss Banks Soon -  03 February 2014
  • 9 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Worker Classification Disputes -  22 January 2014
  • Crackdown on US Tax Evaders With Secret Offshore Accounts Leads to International Banking Reforms -  11 December 2013
  • 10 Facts About the Affordable Care Act and Worker Classification -  18 November 2013
  • US Allows Swiss Banks With Undisclosed Accounts To Wipe the Slate Clean -  08 November 2013
  • Video: Miriam Fisher Discusses Trends in Criminal Tax Enforcement -  19 March 2013
  • IRS Guidance on Ongoing Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program -  19 July 2012

Sources describe Ms. Fisher as “professional, responsive, practical, articulate, confident, and mindful of budgets” with “world class” tax controversy and litigation experience. She is considered “the grande dame of tax controversy whose ability to politely and professionally scare the IRS is second to none.” – Chambers USA 2015 – 2018

Ms. Fisher was honored by The American Bar Association Tax Section Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee with the Jules Ritholz Memorial Merit Award, 2018

Bar Qualification
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Education
  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law, 1985
    With Honors
  • BA, Loyola College, 1982
    summa cum laude
Industries
  • Communications
  • Oil & Gas
Practices
  • Tax Controversy
  • Oil & Gas – Environmental
  • Tax
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations