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Chambers USA Recognizes K&F And Five Attorneys As Leaders In Tax Controversy And White-collar Defense

“One of the Top Tax Boutiques in the Country,”
“A Deep Bench and a Stellar Reputation”

NEW YORK, NY (May 5, 2020) – Kostelanetz & Fink LLP is pleased to share that Chambers and Partners has recognized the firm and five attorneys in its 2020 USA Guide in the areas of tax controversy, tax fraud, tax law, and white-collar defense and government investigations. Chambers USA ranks the top lawyers and law firms across all the United States of America through assessment of a firm’s work and opinions from external market sources, with an emphasis on client feedback.

Chambers recognized Kostelanetz & Fink this year as Nationwide: Band 2 for Tax Controversy, and noted the firm’s “reputation as an expert tax boutique with significant strength in criminal proceedings,” “its experience in civil fraud matters,” and its variety of clients including high net worth individuals and major corporations. In 2018, Chambers USA named Kostelanetz & Fink its Tax Team of the Year.

Interviewees told the rankings agency that Kostelanetz & Fink is “one of the top tax boutiques in the country,” and that “the quality of their work is extraordinary; they have a deep bench and a stellar reputation.” Other interviewees said, “There’s no better group of people to handle tax controversy matters – they’re very effective and personable,” and “They’re tax experts and they have a deep knowledge and thorough understanding of the tax code, but also how the IRS and DOJ are going to approach things.”

The five K&F attorneys who have been recognized in the Chambers USA 2020 Guide include partners Caroline D. Ciraolo,  Sharon L. McCarthyJay R. Nanavati, and Bryan C. Skarlatos, as well as firm co-founder Robert S. Fink.

Ms. Ciraolo, who formerly headed the Justice Department’s Tax Division, is ranked in both the Nationwide and Washington, D.C. regional categories for Tax: Fraud and Tax, respectively. Interviewees told Chambers“simply put, she is a superstar,” “an outstanding advocate at the forefront of the profession,” “a true star of the tax litigation Bar,” and “one of the most prominent tax fraud practitioners of her generation.” Chambers described Ms. Ciraolo as an “especially strong choice to handle criminal and civil tax controversies,” and recognized her impressive governmental experience” and “adept representation of clients in high-profile criminal tax cases.”

Ms. McCarthy, a former Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is recognized for her expertise in litigation in white-collar crime and government investigations in its New York regional category. Interviewees told Chambers that Ms. McCarthy is “someone who should be considered the top white- collar tax authority in NYC, she’s the best in New York. She’s a killer when she needs to be, and just really even and able to navigate very complex tax and other white- collar crime issues. She is very, very sophisticated.” Others noted that Ms. McCarthy is “an absolute superstar and a fantastic trial lawyer. She’s an incredibly zealous advocate for her clients,” and said, “She offers great credibility and a really detailed understanding of the system and how to navigate complex cases.” Chambers recognizes that Ms. McCarthy is widely acknowledged as a leading criminal tax lawyer, and regularly advises individuals and institutional clients on all manner of criminal proceedings.”

Mr. Nanavati has been recognized in the category of Nationwide Tax: Fraud, and Chambers notes that Mr. Nanavati has notable experience defending clients in all stages of criminal tax proceedings.” Interviewees commented, “Put Jay in the courtroom and his skillset is second to none,” and “For any criminal tax case, you can’t do better than Jay.” In its review of the firm, Chambers also noted Mr. Nanavati’s representation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on charges of tax fraud, bank fraud and lobbying without registering under FARA.

Mr. Skarlatos has been highly ranked by Chambers for more than a decade in the category of Nationwide Tax: Fraud. Chambers noted that Mr. Skarlatos “draws widespread acclaim for his work defending both companies and individuals facing a wide variety of complex criminal tax allegations.” Interviewees describe him as “at the very top of the profession,” “extraordinarily bright and diligent and comes up with innovative and thoughtful ways for clients to accomplish their goals,” and “a leader in the tax Bar in every sense. … He’s largely responsible for the important and cutting-edge educational programs where the government announces policy.”

Mr. Fink, who has been practicing law for more than 50 years and has been highly ranked by Chambers for more than 10 years, was described by interviewees as “one of the premier practitioners in this space” and a “brilliant, tenacious and creative trial lawyer. He literally wrote the book in this area.” Chambers notes, “He is frequently called upon to defend individuals facing major allegations of tax fraud.”

Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP has built a national reputation as the law firm of choice for clients facing high-stakes negotiations and controversies with government agencies. Because of our experience handling the most challenging, complex and sensitive cases, our attorneys are considered to be some of the country’s foremost experts on tax controversies, white collar defense and regulatory matters. An important part of the firm’s practice includes tax and estate planning and representation in government procurement and government contracting.