Donald Rocen: Poacher turns Gamekeeper

 In IRS, Miller Chevalier

Miller & Chevalier Chartered today announced that Donald T. Rocen has joined the firm’s Tax Department as a Member. Rocen recently served as Deputy Chief Counsel for Operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Chief Counsel’s Office.

“Don’s arrival at Miller & Chevalier is very significant and an important step in our continuing strategy to expand and enhance at a very high level our national and international tax practices,” said Lawrence B. Gibbs, former IRS Commissioner and Member of Miller & Chevalier’s Tax Department. “He brings a unique understanding of the operations of and many of the technical tax issues considered by the IRS National and Field Offices, and this insight will be of tremendous benefit to our clients.”

“The IRS has become very organized in the way in which the agency approaches controversy activity, and Don is ‘plugged in’ to the processes, policies and the implementation of new procedures at both the National and Field Office levels,” added Gibbs. “Given the remarkable amount of change in the Chief Counsel’s office during his tenure — change and restructuring that he played a key role in developing and implementing — Don will be in an excellent position to advise clients as they navigate compliance and tax controversy matters in this new corporate regulatory environment.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Don to the firm,” said Kevin Kenworthy, Chair of Miller & Chevalier’s Tax Department. “His impressive background and credentials are illustrative of our focus on expanding our Tax Department with leading practitioners in areas critical to our clients’ business needs, including high-stakes tax controversies.”

As Deputy Chief Counsel for Operations of the Chief Counsel’s Office, Rocen directed approximately 1,000 attorneys who provided legal services to the IRS operating divisions and other specialized areas while overseeing the Office of Chief Counsel’s nationwide tax litigation, tax and non-tax legal services, and managerial support programs.

About Donald Rocen

As Deputy Chief Counsel for Operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Rocen was responsible for Chief Counsel’s policies and procedures relating to pre-filing considerations (e.g., disclosure, penalties, pre-filing agreements and private letter rulings); document production (e.g., tax accrual work papers, FIN 48, privilege and summons use and enforcement); settlement initiatives; Chief Counsel case-specific guidance (including oversight of the TAM process); and designated case procedures.

Rocen also shared oversight responsibility for the IRS annual guidance plan with other senior IRS and Treasury officials, where he had specific subject matter jurisdiction for procedure and administration, employee benefits, exempt organizations, employment tax, and general legal services, including whistleblower reform. He also participated on the IRS International Planning and Operations Council and served as a liaison to the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.

Prior to joining the Office of Chief Counsel, Rocen served in the National Tax Office of Coopers & Lybrand (C&L) until 1998 when C&L and Price Waterhouse merged to become PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Rocen served in the National Office of PwC after the merger and served as Co-Leader of PwC’s IRS Service Team, where his consulting engagements involved clients in the energy, utility, entertainment, media, manufacturing, financial services and technology industries.

Prior to his work for C&L and PwC, Don served from 1986 to 1989 as Assistant to the Commissioner during Larry Gibbs’ tenure as Commissioner, focusing on technical guidance in such areas as income tax accounting, pension and exempt organizations, tax exempt bonds, excise taxes and compliance procedures. From 1971 to 1986, he served in a number of Office of Chief Counsel positions, including docket attorney in the General Litigation Division, branch chief and assistant director in the Disclosure Litigation Division, trial attorney in the Denver District Counsel Office and, finally, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, Litigation.

Rocen holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center; a J.D. from Northwestern University; and a B.B.A. from John Carroll University.

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