Leah Robinson (formerly Leah Samit) leads Mayer Brown’s State & Local Tax group. A partner in the firm’s New York office, she advises public and private business entities on state and local tax planning, controversy and litigation.
In 2019, Leah was named to Law360's inaugural list of “Influential Women in Tax Law,” which spotlights attorneys who have provided outstanding service to their clients and the public, while changing the dynamics at their workplace. She is ranked by Chambers USA 2021 in Band 2 for New York State and Local Tax.
Leah provides national and state tax strategy and audit assistance for clients on a full range of tax matters, including nexus, combination and apportionment, and net operating loss issues. Leah has argued tax cases at the trial court, appellate court, and state supreme court levels, but is sensitive to most companies’ preference to resolve matters without litigation.
Leah regularly advises on the sales tax characterization of goods and services, with a particular focus on digital services and software as a service issues. Leah has drafted more than 15 articles on the taxation of online services and has presented on the topic at more than 30 conferences.
She is particularly well-known for her advocacy in New York City and New York State, as well as for advising on the impact of the massive New York tax reform undertaken in 2014 and 2015. She was appointed to the New York City Department of Finance Commissioner’s Advisory Board (2014–present) as well as to the city’s Pass-Through Taxation Working Group (2014–present), a think tank formed by the Department of Finance to assist with bringing reform to the city’s Unincorporated Business Tax. Leah has been a principal drafter of six reports issued by the New York State Bar Association Tax Section commenting on tax reform legislation and proposed draft regulations and one report issued by the New York City Bar Tax Section. She is the author of the “In a New York Minute” column published by State Tax Notes.
Leah is also well known for her advocacy in New Jersey tax disputes, covering income tax and sales tax matters. Leah was counsel or co-counsel in disputes related to invalidating New Jersey’s alternative minimum assessment (Stanislaus), addressing the now-defunct throwout rule (Pfizer), taxation of extraterritorial income (IBM), treatment of limited partners (Preserve II), taxation of partnerships (Pulte Homes), apportionment of income from securitized loan portfolios (Capital One), sales taxation of temporary help services (Labor Ready) and sales taxation of electricity distribution charges (Atlantic City Showboat). She has been appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Tax Court (2017 to current, co-chairing the Committee in the 2019-2020 term) and authors the State Tax Notes column, “The Jersey Short—Everything You Need to Know about New Jersey Tax.”
Previously, as a tax lawyer with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in New York City, she was part of the strategic trial team handling one of the largest section 482 transfer pricing controversies in history.
Areas of Focus
March 20 – 232022
“State Responses to Federal Tax Reform: Developing Audit Issues and Litigation“
TEI 72nd Midyear Conference
October 17 – 202021
COST 52nd Annual MeetingCouncil On State Taxation
IPT Sales Tax SymposiumInstitute for Professionals in Taxation Home
“Federal and State Excise Tax Controversy Issues," 2021 API Excise Tax Forum
2021 API Excise Tax Forum
New York University School of Law, LLM
Rutgers University School of Law, JD
Rutgers College, BA
- New Jersey
- New York
- US Supreme Court
- American Bar Association, Tax Section – member, State and Local Tax Committee – Executive Committee member (2010 – present), Practitioners’ Roundtable, chair (2015 – 2017), Income and Net Worth Taxes Subcommittee, co-chair (2013 – 2015)
- American Bar Association, Sales and Use Tax Desk Book, editorial board member (2014 – present)
- Bloomberg BNA, Corporate Income Tax Navigator (New Jersey), editor (2016 – present)
- Cornell State and Local Tax Group – member (2012 – present)
- Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT), Income Tax Section – member, Sales Tax Section – member, Standing Legal Committee – appointed member (2015)
- Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, editorial board member (2013 – present)
- Law360 Tax Advisory Board, member (2017 – present)
- Lexis Practice Advisor Magazine, advisory board member (2015 – present)
- New Jersey Bar Association, Tax Section – member, State and Local Tax Section Directors’ Liaison Subcommittee – member (2009 – present)
- New York State City Association, Tax section – voting member
- New York State Bar Association, Tax section – member
- New York State Tax Ladies Lunch Group, Founder, 2008-present
- New York University State Tax Study Group – member (2008 – present)
- Thomas Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst, E-Commerce platform, primary editor (2013 – present)
- Ranked in Band 2 by Chambers USA 2020 for New York: State and Local Tax. Chambers said "She is proactive and aware of the all the trends in a variety of state and local issues," and "She's collaborative and very creative."
- Named to Law360’s inaugural list of “Influential Women in Tax Law” in 2019.
- Listed as a Recognized Practitioner in New York Tax in Chambers USA.
- Named a New York Metro Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
- Recognized in The Legal 500 USA Guidebook (2011, 2015).
- Participant in the BNA State Tax Board Advisory Roundtable (July 2014). The annual roundtable is a discussion among five to eight hand-selected practitioners regarding the most relevant topics in state tax today.
- Awarded the Institute for Professionals in Taxation’s (IPT) 2011 Income Tax Article of the Year for co-authoring “The Shifting Landscape of the Work Product Doctrine,” Institute for Professionals In Taxation September 2010 Tax Report.