Walter B. Slocombe is a Senior Counsel in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Slocombe first joined the firm as an Associate in 1971 and became a Member in 1974.


Mr. Slocombe focuses his practice primarily on complex litigation, defense trade, and exempt organizations. In his litigation practice, he has handled a variety of cases at both the trial and appellate levels. The cases have involved both tax and general law issues, including successfully arguing in the U.S. Supreme Court a case in which he had participated in all prior stages, including IRS appeal, Tax Court trial, and Fourth Circuit review.


Mr. Slocombe has served in the United States Department of Defense as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 1994 to 2001 and in 2003, as Senior Advisor for National Defense in the Coalition Provisional Authority for Iraq. In 2004, President Bush appointed him to the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

In addition, Mr. Slocombe has been named an Honorary Submariner by the Fleet Submarine Force and recognized for his international service by the Polish, German, and Korean governments.

Admissions & Education

Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Armed Forces
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1968, summa cum laude, Note Editor of the Law Review

Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford, 1965

A.B., Princeton University, 1963, summa cum laude

Government Service

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense, 1994-2001

Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Defense, 1993-1994

Director, U.S. Department of Defense Task Force on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), 1977-1981

Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Planning, U.S. Department of Defense, 1979-1981

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, 1977-1979

National Security Council Staff, 1969-1970

Law Clerk, Honorable Abe Fortas, U.S. Supreme Court, O.T. 1968

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Professional Activities

Mr. Slocombe was chairman of the subcommittees of the ABA Tax Section's Exempt Organization Committee that dealt with private foundations and the unrelated business income tax. He served as the Committee's representative to the Section's task force on integration of the corporate and individual income taxes. He has also been a member of various advisory or governing boards of several academic and defense analysis institutions.

Newsroom & Publications

Speaking Engagements
  • Walter Slocombe to Speak on the ISAB Report on U.S.-Russia Relations
Publications & Alerts
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