NEW YORK (January 10, 2023) — Kostelanetz LLP is thrilled to announce that we have promoted three of our attorneys — Nicholas S. Bahnsen, Stephen Josey, and Wilda Lin — to Counsel. The promotions became effective on January 1.
“Nick, Stephen, and Wilda have provided outstanding counsel to our clients through brilliant advice and tireless efforts,” said Kostelanetz partner Bryan Skarlatos. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to elevate these rising stars who have impressed us so much with their client service and their contributions to the collegial culture that we’ve built here at Kostelanetz.”
Nick is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on complex commercial disputes involving international tax and securities fraud matters, federal tax controversies, and white-collar criminal defense.
He has significant experience coordinating all phases of civil litigation, including particular experience with federal multidistrict litigation, international discovery requests under the Hague Convention, and evidence of foreign law under Rule 44.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. His practice routinely involves close collaboration with outside domestic and international law firms and accounting firms pursuant to common interest and joint defense agreements.
Before joining Kostelanetz LLP, Nick spent nearly four years as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, where he successfully tried jury and non-jury cases and managed a full docket of civil matters. He received the DOJ Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award in 2017. Nick also worked as an aide to former U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (N.J. – 7th District).
Nick received his B.A. summa cum laude from the College of William and Mary in 2008 and his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School in 2012, where he served as the Executive Authorities Editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.
Stephen is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on tax controversies, white-collar criminal defense, and commercial disputes. He has particular experience litigating tax controversies in federal district court, where he has defended several clients in actions brought by the U.S. Justice Department’s Tax Division. Stephen also routinely advises clients on voluntary disclosures, tax compliance issues, and tax refund procedure.
In his white-collar criminal defense practice, he has represented clients facing investigation or prosecution for federal tax, antitrust, and customs violations. And he also represents clients engaged in commercial disputes. Prior to joining Kostelanetz LLP, Stephen served for nearly five years as a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice.
Best Lawyers has named Stephen “One to Watch” for Commercial Litigation as well as Litigation and Controversy – Tax in New York, and Super Lawyers has dubbed him a “Rising Star” in Tax in New York.
Stephen is a member of the Tax Working Group of the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance. Last year, in connection with that role, he participated in an American Bar Association panel entitled “Tax System Working Group Discussion Series: Diversity in the Tax Bar.”
He received his B.A. with High Distinction from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School, where he served as managing editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology. Following law school, Stephen served as a law clerk to the Hon. J. Daniel Breen of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.
Wilda’s practice focuses on U.S. income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. She engages in transactional tax planning and estate planning for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, as well as expatriation matters for U.S. citizens and residents. Wilda guides clients through the intricacies of trust and estate administration, including probate petitions and other matters before the Surrogate’s Court. At Kostelanetz LLP, she has helped individuals of many nationalities declare unreported income and foreign bank accounts and counseled taxpayers undergoing civil and criminal tax investigations.
Wilda has a broad international tax background that includes handling private equity and hedge funds, debt and equity offerings, credit facilities and other banking transactions, aircraft leases and sales, mergers and acquisitions, and transactional issues relating to nonprofit organizations and their tax-exempt status.
Her pro bono practice includes obtaining tax-exempt status for nonprofit organizations, providing operations support and advice to nonprofit organizations, and filing petitions under the Violence Against Women Act for immigrant victims of domestic violence.
Wilda received her B.A., cum laude, from Columbia University in 1999, her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2003, and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University in 2008.