Robert Rizzi joins Steptoe from O’Melveny & Myers

 In O'Melveny & Myers, steptoe johnson

Steptoe & Johnson has announced that Robert “Bob” Rizzi has joined the firm’s Tax Group as a partner.  He will be based in Steptoe’s Washington office, and will also work in the firm’s office in New York. He joins from O’Melveny & Myers where he had been Head of Tax.

Mr. Rizzi focuses his practice on the federal and state income tax aspects of corporate and partnership business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, joint ventures, and workouts, as well as tax advice on executive compensation plans and equity participation arrangements.  He has provided tax planning for major transactions, principally in international markets, in a variety of industries, including telecom, financial services, real estate and hospitality, and technology, and has provided tax advice and structuring for mid-market and private equity transactions in the United States and abroad.  In addition, Mr. Rizzi devotes a portion of his practice to providing tax advice to high net worth individuals and their families.

Over the past decade, Mr. Rizzi has also concentrated a significant amount of time to guiding prospective political appointees through the vetting process.  He has advised them on the initial executive branch vetting process, Senate confirmation, and post-confirmation ethics, compliance, and tax advice.  His clients have included cabinet and subcabinet members, administrators and commissioners at various agencies, and numerous ambassadorial appointees in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

In welcoming Mr. Rizzi to the firm, Steptoe Chair Roger Warin said: “Bob brings a wealth of experience advising on complex domestic and international tax issues.  In addition, he has deep expertise managing corporate restructuring, fund formation and investment, and private equity matters.  His experience will greatly enhance our well-established tax practice.”

Steptoe’s Tax Group brings clients decades of consulting, transactional, and advocacy experience in all substantive areas of federal and state taxation.  The team includes former senior government officials from congressional offices, the IRS, Treasury, and Justice Department, who have vast experience in sophisticated tax planning, audit, and controversy work.  The highly regarded group has earned rankings and recommendations from the prestigious legal directories Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and The Legal 500, among other publications.

“Steptoe’s tax lawyers are among the best in the country,” said Mr. Rizzi.  “Their advocacy on behalf of their clients has long earned the respect of the IRS, Treasury, the courts, and foreign tax officials.  Their experience in tax advice and M&A deals is a great fit with the work that I am currently doing, and will provide an excellent platform to expand my services to clients.”

Mr. Rizzi has extensive experience speaking and teaching on tax matters.  He served for a number of years as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, and has taught corporate taxation at Catholic University Law School and several graduate-level tax courses in real estate taxation and bankruptcy taxation in California, and now teaches a course in government ethics at Harvard Law School.  He has spoken on corporate tax topics at a number of tax programs, including the University of Southern California Tax Institute, the UCLA Tax Institute, the Texas State Bar Tax Conference, the American Bar Association Annual Tax Meeting, and the New York PLI corporate tax program.  Since 1986, he has written a bi-monthly column, “Corporate Organizations and Reorganizations,” for the Journal of Corporate Taxationand is a founding editor of Mergers and Acquisitions, The Monthly Tax Journal.

Mr. Rizzi received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson School Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and also received a master’s from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar.  He earned a JD cum laude from Harvard.  From 1981 to 1982, he served in the Office of the General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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