Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered
Bob Wellen, a partner of the firm, has practiced tax law for nearly 35 years. His practice involves planning, structuring and negotiating business transactions and representing taxpayers seeking private letter rulings from IRS and tax policy determinations from IRS and the Treasury Department and in controversies with IRS. He also serves as an arbitrator and as an expert witness in commercial disputes involving tax issues.
Bob grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. He graduated from Yale College in 1968 and Yale Law School in 1971. As a law student, he assisted Professor Boris I. Bittker in editing a new edition of Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders.
Bob served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His work included representing Naval personnel at courts martial and administrative hearings, general legal assistance to Naval personnel and drafting legal opinions for the Judge Advocate General. As a highlight, he had the opportunity to work on briefing and arguing a case in the U.S. Supreme Court involving the Constitutional right to counsel in courts martial. While on active duty, he obtained an LL.M. (Taxation) from Georgetown University Law Center.
When he completed his active duty in the Navy, Bob joined the Washington office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, where he began his tax law career. He later became a partner of that firm. While at Fulbright & Jaworski, he worked principally on corporate transactions, including the spin-off by The Coastal Corporation (later acquired by El Paso Corporation) of Valero Corporation, currently the largest oil refiner in the U.S., and the work-out of the Great Plains Coal Gasification project.
Bob joined Ivins, Phillips & Barker as a partner in 1993. Since joining the firm, he has continued his corporate tax work. He has worked with clients such as H.J. Heinz, Northrop Grumman, VISA International, Union Pacific, Dominion Resources, General Electric, Fidelity Investments and S.C. Johnson. His work has included a wide variety of business transactions such as formations of new business corporations and joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings of business organizations (domestic and foreign), bankruptcies and workouts, spin-offs, stock repurchases and liquidations. He has also represented clients in tax controversies with I.R.S. in audit, appeals and litigation. These controversies have involved complex corporate and consolidated return issues, including issues relating to stock redemptions, debt workouts and joint ventures.
Due to his national reputation, Bob has been tapped as an expert witness on corporate tax in cases in litigation in state and Federal courts and in arbitration. He has also served as arbitrator in a number of disputes involving tax sharing agreements between parties to acquisitions and spin-offs.
Bob’s articles on corporate tax subjects have been published in the Practising Law Institute volumes on corporate transactions, Tax Notes, Journal of Taxation, Taxes and other publications. He has also lectured at numerous institutes conducted by organizations such as the Tax Executives Institute, the American Bar Association Tax Section, the Federal Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, New York University, Penn State/Dickinson College of Law, American Law Institute/American Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute, among others.
Bob is active in the American Bar Association Tax Section. As a member of the Section’s Government Submissions Committee, he reviews comments on proposed legislation, proposed regulations and rulings. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a member of the District of Columbia Bar Taxation Section and the Federal Bar Association Tax Committee.
Bob has been recognized in numerous publications and surveys as one of the leading corporate tax lawyers in the U.S. As examples, he has been named by Legal Times as one of the 10 “Leading Lawyers” in Washington, D.C., tax practice, by Washington Post Magazine on its Best Lawyers List for Washington, D.C. and by Washingtonian Magazine in its Top Lawyers list. He is also rated in both Chambers USA and Chambers Global. He is also consulted on corporate tax subjects by the press, including Bloomberg’s, Dow Jones, Elsevier Business Intelligence, Tax Notes and BNA.