SACRAMENTO—Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that Eric J. Coffill has joined the firm’s 37-attorney State and Local Tax (SALT) practice. Prior to joining Sutherland’s Sacramento office, Mr. Coffill was the managing partner of Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Sacramento office.
Widely respected nationwide for his state tax counsel, Mr. Coffill has more than 30 years of experience advising clients on multistate tax controversy and litigation matters at the administrative, trial and appellate levels. Mr. Coffill has particularly significant experience representing clients before the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the State Board of Equalization (SBE).
“Expanding our California practice has been critical to the unprecedented growth of our nationally recognized SALT practice,” said Sutherland Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “We are excited to have a leader in California state taxation join our firm, and we are excited about our prospects for continued growth.”
A former staff counsel to the FTB and a public defender for the Office of the California State Public Defender, Mr. Coffill has extensive litigation experience, particularly with regard to California tax matters. He is rejoining Sutherland Partner Carley A. Roberts, leader of the firm’s Sacramento office. The pair litigated the landmark case defining corporate business income. [Hoechst Celanese Corporation v. Franchise Tax Board (2001) 25 Cal.4th 508]
“Eric is widely regarded as a thought leader in state taxation,” said Ms. Roberts. “I am thrilled to be working with him again. Eric is an outstanding lawyer and his three decades of experience in state taxation makes him a tremendous resource for our clients and practice.”
Since opening the Sacramento office in February 2012, the Sacramento team has doubled in size and has represented numerous clients in California tax cases that have established precedents and provided guidance for the evolution of tax law in other states. Sutherland’s groundbreaking wins in California tax litigations include Comcon Production Services v. Franchise Tax Board, which challenged the application of California’s unitary tax law; Microsoft v. Franchise Tax Board, where Sutherland won an appellate decision establishing that the right to copy software is intangible property for sales factor apportionment purposes; and Verizon California Inc. v. Board of Equalization, which eliminated the procedural hurdles for challenging statewide property tax assessments.
Sutherland’s SALT practice has seen significant growth during the past year. The practice welcomed nine new associates since February: Hanish S. Patel in Atlanta; Charles C. Capouet, Elizabeth S. Cha, Chris M. Mehrmann and Samantha K. Trencs in Washington DC; Michael J. Kerman and Michael P. Penza in New York; Nicholas J. Kump in Sacramento; and Olga Jane Goldberg in Houston.
Sutherland has been a leading adviser on state and local tax issues for more than 60 years and maintains one of the largest SALT practices in the country. Sutherland SALT serves as national state tax counsel to some of the world’s largest companies, including nearly 30 of the Fortune 100 and numerous other industry-leading businesses, advising clients on state and local tax consulting, planning, compliance, litigation and policy matters. The team works with clients on the full spectrum of issues and tax types, including income, property, sales and use, and telecommunications taxes.