Christopher S. Rizek is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office.

Mr. Rizek represents taxpayers in all types of federal civil and criminal tax controversy matters. He guides clients through IRS audits, prepares administrative claims and protests of IRS actions, and litigates tax and tax-related cases in U.S. district and appellate courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Tax Court. In recent years, he has represented numerous taxpayers, financial entities, and professional firms in connection with IRS examinations of tax shelters and related compliance and professional ethics issues.


Mr. Rizek has a unique history of government service before joining the firm. From 1984-1988, he was a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, and he received the Outstanding Attorney Award in 1986. From 1995-1998, Mr. Rizek was an Attorney-Advisor and Associate Tax Legislative Counsel with the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, with substantial responsibilities for legislation and regulatory actions involving taxpayer rights, tax practice and procedure, and tax compliance.

Mr. Rizek combination of practical and policy-level experience in government has given him special insight into the actual application of the tax laws and procedures to taxpayers. This experience has been of great value to many of the firm's clients who are faced with complex tax controversies and litigation.

Mr. Rizek also served as Caplin & Drysdale’s internal General Counsel for eleven years, with responsibilities including compliance, risk management, and professional ethics. His background and familiarity with such issues helps provide both theoretical and practical insights to other tax and professional firms.

Admissions & Education

Bar & Court Admissions
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 1997

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1982, Editor, Law & Policy in International Business

A.B., Dartmouth College, 1979

Recognitions & Noteworthy

Honors & Recognitions
  • The Legal 500, Recommended, 2011, 2014-2015, 2017-2019, 2021-Present; Leading Lawyer, 2013-2017
  • Chambers USA, 2012-Present
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2005-Present
  • Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C., 2008-Present
  • The Washingtonian, Lifetime Achievement Lawyer, 2022; Top Lawyers, 2015-Present
  • Who's Who Legal, Corporate Tax, Recommended, 2018-Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™

Government Service

Attorney, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1995-1998

Attorney, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1984-1988

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Professional Activities

Mr. Rizek is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and in the Spring of 2012 he taught the course Tax Practice & Procedure (Administrative) to IRS personnel. He has also been a guest lecturer at other law schools and universities, and is a frequent speaker at conferences on tax procedure and ethics issues. Mr. Rizek is also active in civic organizations in Anne Arundel County, Maryland where he resides, and formerly served as Chairman of the Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission.

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association, Sections of Taxation and Litigation

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel

Member, District of Columbia Bar, Taxation Section

Member, Federal Bar Association, Section of Taxation

Newsroom & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Rizek regularly speaks to tax, legal, and other professionals on a variety of tax issues. He has served in numerous capacities for various bar associations involved in taxation, including the ABA Section of Taxation, the DC Bar Tax Section, and the Section of Taxation of the Federal Bar Association.

Mr. Rizek's speaking engagements also include:

Publications & Alerts
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