I recently ran into someone I worked with years ago, and he recalled a client meeting where I consistently used the word “we” to talk about the client’s matter. He told me it had made a big impression on him because I’d demonstrated that the client’s issue is the firm’s issue as well and reassured the client that we would resolve it together as a team. Clients know I’m absolutely committed to their cause. At the same time I’m always very direct and up front, and I don’t hesitate to advise clients against their preferred strategy if I think it ultimately won’t serve their best interests.
A prominent and nationally known corporate and tax attorney, Douglas Charnas counsels clients on such transactional and corporate issues as taxation, formation and operations, service and lease agreements, international and domestic operations, and succession planning. Doug brings to his practice more than three decades of experience advising clients on individual, corporate, and partnership matters that include corporate structure, formation, governance, and reorganization issues. He represents non-profit organizations and companies in a range of industries, including health care, telecommunications, professional services, pharmaceutical, restaurant, and retail. He also handles controversies that arise in state and federal investigations.
Doug draws on his previous work at the Internal Revenue Service, where he served as acting assistant to the Chief Counsel, senior attorney advising the Legislation and Regulation Division, and lead IRS lawyer for the Windfall Profit Tax. In his current practice, he often requests private letter rulings before the IRS when clients need to determine the tax consequences of planned transactions.
Doug’s familiarity with IRS personnel, the process, and the issues allows him to present cogent arguments and quickly procure answers for his clients. This agency acumen also benefits clients who are going through IRS examinations. In representing taxpayers in these matters, he recognizes the importance of calmly leading clients through an often stressful ordeal. Both his status as a former IRS lawyer and his network of professional relationships tend to elicit respect from agents and defuses the sometimes contentious interactions that can develop between examiners and taxpayers.
With his extensive experience and depth of knowledge, Doug is ideally positioned to advise clients in the crucial, complex, and ever-evolving area of taxation in a way that better allows them to attain their business goals. His legal skills serve him well in analyzing risk and minimizing uncertainty so clients can avoid pitfalls and take advantage of tax code benefits.
Doug also shares his professional insight by teaching at Georgetown Law School, running the J. Edgar Murdoch Inn of Court as the long-term secretary/treasurer, and authoring guides and handbooks for businesses and tax-exempt organizations.