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George Matthew Gerachis

George Matthew Gerachis Partner, Tax

George serves as the Head of the Tax and Executive Compensation and Benefits (ECB) department. He represents corporate and individual clients in a wide range of tax planning and tax controversy matters. Over his 32-year career with the firm, George has assisted numerous individuals, partnerships, and multinational corporations in structuring complex transactions, and in resolving disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. He also is a member of Vinson & Elkins' Management committee.

George takes an interdisciplinary approach to his clients’ matters. In his tax planning practice, he works closely with the client’s tax executives and in-house counsel, as well as financial and operating personnel, external auditors, and various consultants. He focuses on emerging issues at the intersection of tax law and other legal disciplines, such as intellectual property law. Drawing on his extensive experience resolving tax controversies, George brings a unique perspective to the structuring and documentation of transactions.

In his tax controversy practice, George seeks to find practical, cost-effective resolutions to his clients’ issues, keeping in mind the long-term implications of each dispute. While many matters can be resolved at the audit or IRS Appeals level, where such resolution is not possible, George is comfortable in the courtroom, having tried cases in the United States Tax Court and Federal District Courts, and handled numerous appeals.

Experience Highlights

  • U.S. and non-U.S. based multinational public companies with providing outside tax counsel on issues spanning the Internal Revenue Code; experienced in using wide array of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including mediation, arbitration, fast track settlement, Pre-Filing Agreements; and has handled summons enforcement matters
  • Disputes between formerly affiliated corporations in resolving disputes under tax sharing agreements 
  • Private equity and hedge funds and their investors in TEFRA and non-TEFRA partnership examinations involving a variety of partnership and international tax issues, including the sourcing of income, withholding tax, and existence of a U.S. trade or business
  • Global high-net-worth individuals and their closely held companies in IRS audit initiative
  • Corporate clients—both “inbound” and “outbound”—in establishing, documenting, and defending intercompany transfer pricing strategies and policies; extensive experience in disputes involving cost-sharing arrangements; has negotiated Advance Pricing Agreements

U.S. Tax Controversy & Litigation

  • The Williams Companies, Inc. v. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., __ A.3d. __ WL 1090912 (Del. 2017), affirming WL 3576682 (Del. Ch. June 24, 2016) (Member of trial team representing Energy Transfer Equity, LP in Delaware Chancery Court in litigation over termination of merger agreement with The Williams Companies based on failure of condition precedent relating to the provision of a tax opinion under Section 721 of the Internal Revenue Code; trial result for Energy Transfer affirmed by Delaware Supreme Court)
  • BMC Software Inc. v. Commissioner, No. 13-60684 (5th Cir., March 13, 2015) – Reversing Tax Court on IRC §965 dividends received deduction for repatriated cash
  • Trinity Industries, Inc. v. U.S., 757 F.3d 400 (2014) – Affirming in part and vacating and remanding in part, District Court on research and development tax credit “consistency rule"
  • Halliburton Co. v. Commissioner, 946 F.2d 395 (1991) – Affirming Tax Court and upholding bad debt and worthless stock deductions arising from 1979 Iranian expropriation

Transactional Tax

  • Corporate spin-offs and other divisive transactions 
  • Technology licenses and joint ventures 
  • Pass-through entities including REITs and publicly traded partnerships (MLPs) in a variety of transactional matters
  • Business clients in structuring complex financing arrangements, including the use of hybrid instruments and hybrid entities 

Contact Details

Houston

T +1.713.758.1056
F +1.713.615.5612
ggerachis@velaw.com
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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George's Practices

  • University of Virginia Law School, J.D., 1983
  • University of Virginia, B.A. with high distinction, 1979
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; U.S. Tax Court; U.S. District Courts (various), U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Other languages: German and Spanish
    • Chambers USA, Tax (Texas), 2005−2014, 2016; Tax Litigation (Texas), 2017 and 2018; Tax Controversy (nationwide), 2011, 2013−2014, 2016−2018
    • Legal 500 U.S., General Commercial Disputes, 2017; International Tax, 2012−2016; Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, 2011, 2015−2017; Tax U.S. Contentious, 2011−2017; Tax U.S. Non Contentious, 2011, 2013−2015 and 2017
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation and Controversy–Tax (Houston), 2017
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Tax Law, 2001−2017; Litigation and Controversy–Tax, 2011−2017
    • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2003−2017
    • Who's Who Legal (Law Business Research Ltd.); Corporate Tax, 2017
    • International Tax Review: World Tax Review, Leading Lawyer list, 2005−2008
    • Member: American Bar Association, Tax Section: Court Procedure Committee, U.S. Activities of Foreigners and Tax Treaties; Houston Bar Association; International Fiscal Association