According to sources, "He is a fantastic lawyer; he has a real depth of knowledge, clients love him and he gets tremendous results."

Chambers USA 2021

Brian C. McManus

Boston | Washington, D.C.
  • 200 Clarendon Street
  • Boston, MA 02116
  • USA

Brian McManus, Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Boston Tax Department, advises companies and high net-worth individuals in all phases of civil and criminal tax disputes.

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading tax litigators, Mr. McManus helps clients confidentially resolve a range of controversies — from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits and appeals to litigation before federal and state courts throughout the United States. He delivers clear and technically astute counsel to a diverse mix of American and international clients, including multinational and Fortune 500 corporations from diverse industries (such as technology, banking, insurance, energy, pharmaceuticals, airlines, entertainment, and retail), global professional services firms, international charitable organizations, trust companies, and offshore corporate providers.

Drawing on nearly two decades of “inside the Beltway” experience, Mr. McManus regularly handles controversy matters with broader tax policy implications. His Washington ties include serving as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center where he currently teaches IRS Practice and Procedure in the graduate tax (LLM) program.

Mr. McManus brings a winning track record in court handling some of the nation’s largest tax disputes. His work encompasses all areas of federal and state taxation, with an emphasis on disputes involving cross-border and international tax matters, sophisticated corporate transactions, enterprise and asset valuations, transfer pricing, partnerships, tax-exempt organizations, oil and gas taxation, tax shelters, promoter penalty defense, and cryptocurrency. He also frequently handles sensitive tax matters involving allegations of fraud and potential criminal tax charges, as well as voluntary disclosures of domestic and offshore filing errors. Mr. McManus is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, the US Tax Court, the US Court of Federal Claims, and the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Mr. McManus, who serves as a Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tax Section's Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, regularly speaks at national tax conferences and on podcasts. He is also the author of numerous tax controversy-focused articles.

Mr. McManus’ experience includes:

  • Ongoing representation pre-litigation in the single largest dollar transfer pricing tax dispute in history with many tens of billions of dollars at stake
  • Ongoing litigation in the US Tax Court involving the deductibility of a multi-billion dollar settlement payment
  • Citigroup, Inc. v. United States (US Court of Federal Claims, pending): Tax refund action seeking more than US$400 million in federal income tax in a case involving worthlessness of a supervisory goodwill asset
  • Weyerhaeuser v. Commissioner (US Tax Court, settled 2019): Taxpayer favorable settlement pre-discovery in a case involving a US$700 million purported disguised sale; desired tax deferral obtained with pennies on the dollar resolution
  • NAGP (ScottishPower) v. Commissioner (US Tax Court, 2012): Taxpayer victory after trial sustaining interest deductions on US$4.9 billion in intercompany debt*
  • A taxpayer-favorable 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

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

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