Skip to Main Content

Law360 Quotes James Salles: Tax Bill's Legal Fee Provision May Burden Attorneys

November 16, 2017, Law360

Some attorneys are reeling from a provision inserted in the House and Senate’s tax plans that would effectively erase a Ninth Circuit decision allowing attorneys to deduct expenses advanced to clients in contingent-fee cases, potentially placing a burden on practitioners and affecting the availability of legal services.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the change in the tax treatment of legal fees would raise some $500 million in revenue over 10 years. That may account for why the provision is included in the legislation, according to James E. Salles, a [M]ember of Caplin & Drysdale, Chtd.

“The bottom line is that I suspect Congress is just looking for a short-term revenue raiser," Salles said. “Someone just thought that they’d raise a little revenue and create a uniform national rule and short-circuit gritty factual issues.”

Salles said the impact of the timing issue was likely to be relatively limited, but if he were a plaintiffs lawyer in California, he would not want that portion of the bill to pass.

For the full article, please visit Law360’s website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article “Tax Bill’s Legal Fee Provision May Burden Attorneys” by Amy Lee Rosen for Law360.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2021 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.