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Law360 Speaks to Elizabeth Stevens About Retiring Tax Court Judge Robert Wherry

January 5, 2018, Law360

Senior Judge Robert A. Wherry Jr. of the U.S. Tax Court retired Jan. 1 after serving nearly 15 years on the court, during which he authored major rulings touching on judicial deference to the IRS and abusive tax shelters.

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Judge Wherry penned multiple important rulings in the tax shelter area. For example, a series of related cases involved an alleged tax shelter scheme devised by former Seyfarth Shaw LLP partner John E. Rogers and promoted through a company called Sugarloaf Fund LLC. Judge Wherry found that the complex web of trusts and companies at issue was a sham arranged to illegally lower customers’ taxable income using distressed Brazilian debt.

“Sugarloaf and its progeny involve iterations of a tax shelter that has since been shut down,” said Elizabeth J. Stevens, an associate at Caplin & Drysdale who also served as a law clerk to Judge Wherry. “They are illustrative of Judge Wherry’s judicial career, in that he has tried and issued T.C. opinions in a fair number of cases involving partnership tax shelters to which the economic substance and/or step transaction doctrines were applied.”

For the full article, please visit Law360’s website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article “Retired Tax Court Judge Leaves Legacy On Deference, Shams” by Amy Lee Rosen for Law360.

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