Caplin & Drysdale International Tax Controversy Team Receives ABA Pro Bono Award

Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered

Caplin Team Mentors Croatian Ministry of Finance Officials to Address Tax Enforcement Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 2, 2018 – Increasing complexities and growing transparency considerations in the international business community create tax enforcement challenges for government agencies around the world. For decades, tax attorneys from Caplin & Drysdale have traveled the world to offer expertise to tax authorities in other countries, particularly nations in central and eastern Europe working to develop and improve their tax administration. In 2017, firm members Scott Michel, Cono Namorato, and Mark Matthews worked with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI) International Justice Education and Training (IJET) Program to assist officials from the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Finance to strengthen the country’s tax enforcement structure and to provide guidance to the country’s first ever anti-fraud unit -- the Croatian Independent Anti-Fraud Unit (the Unit). In recognition of their work, Caplin & Drysdale will receive the “2018 ABA ROLI International Pro Bono Award,” which will be presented during the ABA Annual Meeting on August 6, 2018 in Chicago. Officials from the Republic of Croatia Ministry of Finance Tina Plazibat (Head of Service) and Paulino Lonza (Head of Independent Tax Anti-Fraud Unit), who nominated Caplin & Drysdale for the award, jointly remarked, “The guidance we received from Scott, Mark, and Cono was invaluable and went a long way to ensuring we instituted appropriate protocols that positioned the Unit for future success.”

Drawing on their combined corporate, government, and legal experience in the international tax fraud arena, the Caplin team worked closely with Ms. Plazibat and Mr. Lonza to develop policies and procedures in order to enhance the functioning of the Croatian Independent Anti-Fraud Unit. “Our attorneys have assisted other countries in the development of their tax enforcement systems over the past thirty years, and we were delighted to volunteer our time and experience to work with Tina and Paulino,” said Mr. Michel. Caplin assisted the Unit in achieving two goals:

1. Enabling the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia to have faster access to processed and analyzed information on the perpetrators of offenses related to economic, financial, and tax crimes.

2. Creating efficient, analytical support to the Tax Administration, Customs Authority, and law enforcement bodies in order to detect high-risk taxpayers at the national level.

IJET Program Director, Jessie Tannenbaum, said “The success of this particular initiative hinged heavily on the Caplin team’s substantial commitment of time, effort, and experience.” Over the span of 12 months, the Caplin team mentored Croatian officials on the organization and implementation of various tax enforcement initiatives in Croatia. Part of their IJET mentorship included the Croatian officials visiting the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice, as well as spending time with Caplin attorneys in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Additionally, Caplin’s team visited Zagreb, Croatia to meet with Croatia’s Tax Administration Service and International Cooperation Service on information exchange issues; Tax Administration Managers to discuss the country’s unit investigating complicated international transactions; officials in the Ministry of Finance unit who combat irregularities and fraud; lawyers in the Croatian State Attorney’s Office who fight tax fraud and other financial fraud; Croatian customs officials and investigators from a special Interior Ministry unit fighting corruption; and members of the Croatian Bar Association to address cooperation with the private bar.

For more information on the IJET Program, please visit the ABA’s website.

For more information on Caplin & Drysdale, please contact Marketing at or visit our website at . The links below offer additional coverage.


About the ABA ROLI IJET Program
The ABA ROLI’s IJET Program empowers judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and other justice sector professionals selected as IJET Fellows to effect sustainable, long-term change within their institutions and their home country’s justice systems. The IJET Program is supported by a grant from the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership (INL/CAP). For more information, please visit the ABA’s website.

About Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
Celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2014, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of tax, tax controversy, and litigation 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. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills¾combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment¾make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms. Please visit us at for more information.

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