Zal Kumar is a partner in Mayer Brown's New York office and a member of the State & Local Tax (SALT) practice. He provides both transactional tax planning advice and tax controversy assistance. He concentrates on matters involving asset managers, commercial and investment banks, financial services providers, technology companies, utilities and high net worth individuals. In this capacity, Zal regularly advises on issues involving nexus, income classification, allocation and apportionment, net operating losses, combined reporting, sales and use tax, real property transfer tax, withholding and residency, on a nationwide basis.  

Zal specializes in assisting the nation’s largest banks and asset managers with New York State and City tax matters. He is particularly adept at navigating the various, overlapping tax types that apply to their operations as well as dealing with the agencies that handle tax audits and investigations. This capability is the result of experience inside and outside government. In government, as the director of business tax services for the New York City Department of Finance (DOF), he was the principal drafter of New York City’s Business Corporation Tax, spearheaded a range of New York City audit policies, developed legal guidance for business taxes, handled DOF’s engagement in claims brought under the New York State False Claims Act, and worked with New York State on the development of its Franchise Tax regulations. Since then, he has helped banks and asset managers plan transactions and reorganizations, resolve significant audits, and appeal tax assessments. He has also assisted their executives and investment professionals with their own tax planning considerations, including residency changes. These clients accordingly look for his advice before undertaking significant new transactions, or when being contacted by tax departments.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, and working in government, Zal specialized in federal, state and local tax planning for asset managers. He has built on that foundation to develop his current practice. That practice now includes advising on complex tax disputes, public and private corporate transactions, investment fund formation and operation, state tax planning strategies, leasing and lending transactions, the tax consequences of entering or expanding in US markets, real estate investments, and personal tax planning. 

He is co-chair of the Local Tax Subcommittee of the American Bar Association Tax Section.


Vanderbilt University, BA, cum laude
Dean's List

George Washington University Law School, JD

New York University School of Law , LLM


  • New York
  • California