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Kathy Pakenham
Kathy Pakenham
Partner — Tax
Partner — Tax

Kathy Pakenham

Kathy Pakenham
New York

The Grace Building
1114 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, New York 10036

start quote symbolShe is very tactical and is always thinking big picture to come to a solution. (Chambers 2022, Tax: Controversy (Nationwide))end quote symbol
Kathy Pakenham

Experience Highlights

  • (IRS Audit) – Representing private equity portfolio company in audit of disguised sale issues arising from partnership acquisition

  • (IRS Audit) – Representing multinational conglomerate in examination of partnership basis items

  • (IRS Appeals) – Representing global distributor in transfer pricing dispute, resulting in more than 95% IRS concession

  • (U.S. Tax Ct.) – Lead trial counsel for supermajor oil and gas company in partnership tax issues arising from divestment of joint venture agreement

  • (N.D. Okla.); (10th Cir.) – Representing a global oil and gas company on issues relating to construction of a closing agreement

  • (E.D. La.) – Representing integrated energy company on statute of limitations and equitable recoupment issues

  • (D. Idaho) – Obtained rare quashing of IRS summons based on violations of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights

  • (S.D. Ohio) – Successful summary judgment motion for a major national insurance company related to tax reserve computations, reversing negative TAM

  • (U.S. Tax Ct.) – Representing a global mining company in dispute with IRS over foreign tax credits and termination payment of a forward contract; resolved with no change

  • (IRS Audit) – Representing a major natural resources company in complex transfer pricing dispute with IRS; resolved with no change

  • (IRS Appeals) — Representing pharmaceutical company in proposed disallowance of research and development credits, resulting in 100% IRS concession

  • (IRS Audit) — Representing a multinational media company on audit related to cross-border hybrid transaction and foreign currency exchange issues, resulting in a 100% concession by the IRS and avoiding designation for litigation

  • (IRS Appeals) – Representing a global mining company on transfer pricing, IRC § 195 startup costs, and subsidiary expense issues

  • (U.S. Tax Ct.); (8th Cir.) – Trial and appellate counsel in precedent setting case involving the interpretation of IRC § 274 and reversing adverse TAM for a national professional employer organization


  • New York University School of Law, LL.M. Taxation, 1998
  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1995
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., 1992
  • Judicial clerk to the Honorable Steven M. Gold, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1996–1997
  • Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, 1995–1996
  • Chambers USA, Tax: Controversy (Nationwide), 2012−2024
  • Legal 500 U.S., U.S. Taxes: Contentious, 2012 and 2013; 2016−2021, 2023 and 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America©(BL Rankings, LLC), (New York): Tax Law, 2016−2020 and 2024
  • International Tax Review: World Tax Review, Leading Lawyer list, 2024
  • Crain’s New York Business, 100 Leading Women Lawyers, 2017
  • Selected to the New York Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2006−2023
  • New York Law Journal, Distinguished Leader of the Year, 2019
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • “Ethical Issues Arising in The Care and Feeding of Expert Witnesses in Tax Cases,” ABA Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, December 2022 (panelist)
  • “Commencement of a Deficiency Proceeding and Pretrial Practice,” The Practical Tax Lawyer (co-author)
  • “What General Counsel Should Ask Tax Directors,” Today’s General Counsel, July 3, 2019 (author)
  • “How to Elevate Issues,” Tax Executives Institute Audits & Appeals Seminar, 2018 (panelist)
  • “Nuts and Bolts of Tax Penalties: A Primer on the Standards, Procedures and Defenses Relating to Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties,” Practising Law Institute, 2018 (panelist)
  • “Your Start-Up Received an Audit Notice – What’s Next?,” International Law Office, January 8, 2018 (author)
  • “Civil Enforcement Priorities,” ABA National Institute on Tax Controversy, December 2015 (moderator)
  • “Tax Whistleblowers: Handling the Administrative and Judicial Proceedings,” ABA National Institute on Tax Controversy, December 2013 (panelist)