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Scott M. Stewart

Scott M. Stewart

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Tax Controversy Team of the Year 2015

The Legal 500 US Awards for 2015 recognized Mayer Brown as Team of the Year for Tax Controversy for the second consecutive year. The award honors the best private practice teams over the past 12 months.

Since joining Mayer Brown in 1989, Scott Stewart’s practice has focused exclusively on tax disputes, including transfer pricing issues arising under I.R.C. §482 and intercompany debt matters arising under I.R.C. §385. He represents taxpayers at all levels of federal tax controversy, including audits, administrative appeals before the Internal Revenue Service, mediation involving the Appeals division of the IRS, and litigation before the United States Tax Court. Recognized by Chambers USA each year from 2006 through 2016, Scott is described as "a talented litigator and corporate advisor" who wins the confidence of clients with his "extraordinary communication skills" and "broad and deep experience." He is "recommended for his spot-on judgment and analysis," "his responsiveness and strategic thinking" and his "ability to anticipate issues before they arise." Chambers USA 2016 describes him as "very knowledgeable on the subject matter, attentive to client needs and quick to learn the client's issues and business." Chambers notes that he is "particularly adept at handling transfer pricing cases at all levels." Similarly, Euromoney recognizes Scott in its "Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisers" and Legal 500 recognizes his "wide range" of experience and cites his "very strong reputation" in tax controversy.

Scott has extensive experience with deductibility of interest expense in related-party transactions, including debt-versus-equity characterization and "sham transaction" and "economic substance" issues, dating back to his involvement in the landmark Nestlé Holdings case during the 1990s. Recently, Scott led the Mayer Brown team that filed 15 Tax Court petitions concerning debt-equity issues on behalf of Tyco International and related companies. The cases, which involved $3 billion in interest expense incurred from 1998 through 2000 and implicated an additional $6.5 billion in interest expense incurred from 2001 through 2007, were settled for 5% of the amount in dispute.

Scott is also experienced in all aspects of international transfer pricing, including cross-border movements of tangible and intangible property, advance pricing agreements, cost sharing arrangements, Section 6662 documentation, Section 936 Puerto Rico possessions corporations and issues related to the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative. His transfer pricing litigation experience includes a number of major cases of the last two decades, such as National Semiconductor, Seagate Technology, Nestlé Holdings and United Parcel Service.

Scott's experience also includes acquisition-related issues, such as valuation of tangible and intangible assets. He advises clients on tax treaty matters, competent authority issues, attorney-client and related privilege issues, civil and criminal tax penalties, and accounting for tax matters under FIN 48 of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. His industry experience includes manufacturing, pharmaceutical, medical device and food processing companies. Scott holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Mayer Brown was recently named Tax Controversy Team of the Year for the second consecutive year in the Legal 500 United States Awards. "Mayer Brown is 'among the best' and fields a large team…dedicated exclusively to tax controversy and transfer pricing," said Legal 500 and its sources in the US edition. The firm is “regularly seen in the most high-profile controversy cases before the US Tax Court” and produced “yet another impressive run of work” in 2014.

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