Reed Smith hires 4 Tax Controversy Partners from Dechert

 In Dechert, Reed Smith, Tax Controversy, Tax Partner Moves

Reed Smith LLP, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, today announced the addition of four partners who handle high stakes state tax controversies for Fortune 500 companies and others across the U.S. Lee Zoeller, Kyle Sollie, David Kraus and Frank Gallo will join the firm’s Philadelphia office, effective today.

“The momentum we have recently achieved in our nationwide tax controversy practice with an outstanding group of attorneys in California gets another giant boost with the addition of this high-powered team on the East Coast,” said Gregory B. Jordan, firmwide Managing Partner of Reed Smith. “Landing Lee and his team in Philadelphia reflects our continued interest in strategically growing in our major markets.”

The group has worked together for many years and built a substantial practice representing a diverse group of large companies in state tax controversy matters with a particular focus on the East coast.

Mr. Zoeller joined Dechert in 1989. He was formerly chair of that firm’s state tax practice group. His practice is devoted to the litigation of state tax controversies before administrative appeals boards, tax tribunals, and state courts throughout the country. He is a 1989 graduate of The Dickinson School of Law and earned a B.A. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1986.

Mr. Sollie joined Dechert in 1996. His practice is devoted entirely to state tax litigation and appeals throughout the US, with a particular emphasis on the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Mr. Sollie is a 1996 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and earned a B.A. from Temple University in 1993.

Mr. Kraus joined Dechert in 1987. His practice is devoted to tax planning and compliance, as well as state tax appeals and litigation. Mr. Kraus is a 1985 graduate of Boston University School of Law and earned a B.A. from Dickinson College in 1982.

Mr. Gallo joined Dechert in 1997. He focuses his practice on state tax planning and controversy matters, specializing in income/franchise and sales and use taxes. Mr. Gallo is a 1996 graduate of Villanova University School of Law and earned a B.S.A. from Villanova University in 1993.

“Dechert is an outstanding firm and it has been a privilege to practice law with so many terrific people for 17 years, but in order to more effectively serve the state tax needs of our clients across the country, the case for moving to Reed Smith was compelling,” said Mr. Zoeller. “Joining forces with Reed Smith’s state tax lawyers in California who share a common focus on client relationships and service will create one of the premier state tax practices in the country.”

Reed Smith launched its Tax Controversy Group with Jim Kleier, Brian Toman and John Messenger who joined from the San Francisco office of Preston Gates & Ellis in May 2005. The Group added its first Philadelphia-based member — Phillip A. Pillar, former Mid-Atlantic Director of the Tax Controversy and Risk Management Services practice at Ernst & Young LLP — in June 2005.

The Tax Controversy Group has counseled and litigated on behalf of businesses, individuals, and governments with respect to franchise, income, sales, use, property, business and occupation, and other excise taxes. Reed Smith’s tax controversy practice has a broad range of capabilities focused on state tax issues associated with e commerce, telecommunications and other high technology issues, as well as regularly advising clients on strategies to minimize the impact of diverse and complex state taxes on business transactions in various industries.

“Adding this group in Philadelphia gives Reed Smith critical mass on the East Coast in an important and growing practice area for the firm,” said Claudia Springer, managing partner of Reed Smith’s Philadelphia office. “We are simply thrilled to have Lee and his team joining us.”

About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, with more than 1,500 lawyers in 21 offices throughout the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. Its attorneys provide litigation services in multi-jurisdictional matters and other high stake disputes, deliver regulatory counsel, and execute the full range of strategic domestic and cross-border transactions. Reed Smith is a preeminent advisor to industries including financial services, life sciences, health care, advertising and media, shipping, international trade and commodities, real estate, and education. For more information, visit

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