For more than half a century, Caplin & Drysdale has been a leading provider of a full range of tax, tax disputes, and related legal services to companies, organizations, and individuals throughout the United States and around the world. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., the firm also offers counseling on matters relating to bankruptcy, business, investment & transactional tax, complex litigation, corporate law, employee benefits, exempt organizations, international tax, political law, private client, tax litigation, and criminal tax cases & white collar defense. Our ranks include former senior staff from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Election Commission, and the Justice Department. Their substantial technical skill and considerable knowledge on how laws are made and administered illustrate our commitment to serving clients in a holistic and solution-oriented manner.
The Caplin Model
For over half a century, Caplin & Drysdale has been synonymous with responsive, creative, and sophisticated legal services. Our clients view us not only as successful advocates and excellent legal technicians, but also as professionals who give straight answers, and anticipate problems before they become costly. Our goal is to produce a quality work product to help meet the client's strategic objectives.
In an era of mega-firms, we remain small and nimble. Our staffing is lean, and our clients have immediate and direct access to the right attorney who possesses the experience and background needed to work on the specific problem at hand. We are proud to offer the know-how and experience to rival the largest firms combined with the efficiency that characterizes a legal boutique.
Mortimer M. Caplin – former Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service during the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson – and Douglas D. Drysdale, then a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, founded Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered in Washington, D.C. in 1964 with a team of just four other attorneys. Over the years to best meet the needs of our clients, the firm has evolved from a small tax boutique into a trusted institution with experienced practitioners handling complicated tax, litigation, political, and other legal issues on an international scale.
As the firm has grown, we are proud to have maintained the legacy of excellence instilled by our founding members along with our core principles of community, diversity, collegiality, and exceptional client service.
Mortimer M. Caplin (1916 - 2019) and Douglas D. Drysdale (1924 - 2018)
- The firm provides legal services in 11 practice areas: Bankruptcy; Business, Investment & Transactional Tax; Complex Litigation; Corporate Law; Employee Benefits; Exempt Organizations; International Tax; Political Law; Private Client; Tax Disputes & Tax Litigation; and Criminal Tax Cases & White Collar Defense. Our style of practice is aimed at addressing client concerns through our high standards, strong ethics, and attentive client service. See more here.
- Caplin & Drysdale has a long history of women in leadership positions. Our first female president, Patricia Lewis, served from 1996 to 1998; Beth Kaufman served as the second female president from 2015 to 2018; and Ann McMillan is currently serving as the President of the Firm.
- The firm values education. 31% of the firm’s Members are have been or currently are law school professors. Professorships are reserved for the best and the brightest in their field. Law schools where Caplin & Drysdale attorneys teach, include the University of Virginia School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Duke University School of Law, University of Miami School of Law, and New York University School of Law.
- 55% of our attorneys have either served as judicial clerks or have a background in government service, with several serving in senior roles at the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission.
- The leading ranking publications have named 80% of Caplin & Drysdale Members – from a cross-section of the firm’s practice areas – as leaders in their field. See more here.
- Our attorneys draw on their combined experience in private practice and the government – as well as their academic experience – to better serve our clients’ needs. Several C&D attorneys have held previous roles as in-house counsel at corporations and organizations such as General Electric, the American Cancer Society, and Deutsche Bank.
- In Caplin & Drysdale v. United States – a U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the forfeiture of attorney fees and the right to counsel – the firm argued that unless assets used to pay an attorney in a criminal case were exempt from a statutory forfeiture action, the statute was an unconstitutional violation of the 6th Amendment. In an oft-cited 5-4 decision now taught to most law students, an opinion by Justice Byron White affirmed the Fourth Circuit’s reversal of an Alexandria, Virginia federal judge, who had sided with the firm.
Reaching out to the community is essential to Caplin & Drysdale's core values of excellence, scholarship, community, and family. Therefore, to honor the communities in which Caplin & Drysdale maintains its offices – Washington, D.C., and New York City – the firm launched "Caplin Cares for a Cause," a charitable concern that donates funds and volunteer time to charities and entities that serve these communities.
Law firms and their clients are focused on increasing the presence and prominence of diverse individuals in the legal industry. Caplin and Drysdale was built on the principles of service — both to our clients and the government — and inclusion.