FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Robert H. Wellen

Robert H. Wellen

Ivins, Phillips & Barker

Washington, DC, USA


Bob Wellen, a partner of the firm, has practiced tax law for nearly 35 years. His practice involves planning, structuring and negotiating business transact ions and representing taxpayers seeking private letter rulings from IRS and tax policy determinations from IRS and the Treasury Department and in controversies with IRS. He also serves as an arbitrator and as an expert witness in commercial disputes involving tax issues.

Bob grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey. He graduated from Yale College in 1968 and Yale Law School in 1971. As a law student, he assisted Professor Boris I. Bittker in editing a new edition of Federal Income Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders.

Bob served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. His work included representing Naval personnel at courts martial and administrative hearings, general legal assistance to Naval personnel and drafting legal opinions for the Judge Advocate General. As a highlight, he had the opportunity to work on briefing and arguing a case in the U.S. Supreme Court involving the Constitutional right to counsel in courts martial. While on active duty, he obtained an LL.M. (Taxation) from Georgetown University Law Center.

When he completed his active duty in the Navy, Bob join ed the Washington office of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, where he began his tax law career. He later became a partner of that firm. While at Fulbright & Jaworski, he worked principally on corporate transactions, including the spin-off by The Coastal Corporation (later acquired by El Paso Corporation) of Valero Corporation, currently the largest oil refiner in the U.S., and the work-out of the Great Plains Coal Gasification project.

Bob joined Ivins, Phillips & Barker as a partner in 1993. Since joining the firm, he has continued his corporate tax work. He has worked with clients such as H.J. Heinz, Northrop Grumman, VISA International, Union Pacific, Dominion Resources, General Electric, Fidelity Investments and S.C. Johnson . His work has included a wide variety of business transactions such as formations of new business corporations and joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings
of business organizations {domestic and foreign), bankruptcies and workouts, spin-offs, stock repurchases and liquidations. He has also represented clients in tax controversies with I.R.S. in audit, appeals and litigation. These controversies have involved complex corporate and consolidated return issues, including issues relating to stock redemptions, debt workouts and joint ventures.

Due to his national reputation, Bob has been tapped as an expert witness on corporate tax in cases in litigation in state and Federal courts and in arbitration. He has also served as arbitrator in a number of disputes involving tax sharing agreements between parties to acquisitions and spin-offs.

Bob's articles on corporate tax subjects have been published in the Practising Law Institute volumes on corporate transactions, Tax Notes, Journal of Taxation, Taxes and other publications. He has also lectured at numerous institutes conducted by organizations such as the Tax Executives Institute, the American Bar Association Tax Section, the Federal Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, New York University, Penn State/Dickinson College of Law, American Law Institute/American Bar Association and the Practising Law Institute, among others.

Bob is active in the American Bar Association Tax Section. As a member of the Section's Government Submissions Committee, he reviews comments on proposed legislation, proposed regulations and rulings. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and a member of the District of Columbia Bar Taxation Section and the Federal Bar Association Tax Committee .

Bob has been recognized in numerous publications and surveys as one of the leading corporate tax lawyers in the U.S. As examples, he has been named by Legal Times as one of the 10 "Leading Lawyers" in Washington, D.C., tax practice, by Washington Post Magazine on its Best Lawyers List for Washington,
D.C. and by Washingtonian Magazine in its Top Lawyers list. He is also rated in both Chambers USA and Chambers Global. He is also consulted on corporate tax subjects by the press, including Bloomberg's, Dow Jones, Elsevier Business Intelligence, Tax Notes and BNA.

REPRESENTATIVE  MATTERS

  • With Josh Brady, obtained the first private ruling on rescission of a corporate merger. PLR 200911004 (March 13, 2009) .
  • Obtained a private ruling on the spin-off of Star-Kist by H.J. Heinz. The transaction involved numerous issues, including an "active trade or business" in a partnership that distributed assets to be included In the spin off, the use of "securities" as a financing mechanism and a post-spin-off tax-free acquisition of the spun-off corporation.
  • Represent Husqvarna AB in ongoing tax sharing negotiations with its former parent, Electrolux AB and restructuring Husqvarna's operations after spin-off.
  • With Clif Cates and David Sherwood, represent Chesapeake Corporation in a pending case of first impression on a leveraged partnership acquisition.
  • With Pat Smith and David Sherwood, negotiated tax aspects of the joint venture between Northrop Grumman and AREVA relating to manufacture of nuclear reactor components
  • With David Sherwood, advised on ordinary deduction for worthless stock of subsidiary with complex ownership and basis history
  • In collaboration with another firm, obtained a private ruling for VISA International on spin-off of its European operations
  • Served as expert witness in cases involving a variety of issues, including deconsolidation of a consolidated return subsidiary, application of I.R.C. section 305 to a tender offer by a corporation for its own stock, triggering excess loss accounts in a spin-off, tax cost of disposition of a closely-held business, application of the substance-over-form doctrine, tax shelter advice and various tax sharing agreement issues.
  • Served as arbitrator  In cases involving spin-off tax sharing agreements  (e.g., DuPont-Conoco, Sara Lee-Coach, AT&T-NCR).

GOVERNMENT  SERVICE


Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve, active duty  1971-1975


HONORS / AWARDS


Chambers USA

Chambers Global, The World's Leading Lawyers For Business

Euromoney Legal Media Group - Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisers - International Tax Review

Legal Times Leading Lawyer in Tax, Washington, DC

The Best Lawyers in America, specialty of Tax Law

The International Who's Who of Corporate Taxation Lawyers

The Washington Post Magazine, Best Lawyers List , Washington, DC

Washington, DC Super Lawyers

Who's Who Legal, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Law Business Research Ltd

Washingtonian Magazine 2009 Top Lawyers Martindale-Hubbell 5 AV rating


ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, 1979 and 1983-1985


PRACTICE AREAS


Business Tax
Corporate Tax
International Tax
Partnership Tax
General Tax
Tax Controversies


EDUCATION


LL.M. in Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center 1975
J.D. Yale Law School 1971
B.A. Yale College 1968 (Phi Beta Kapa ; Magna Cum Laude; High Honors in English)


OTHER RELATED EXPERIENCE

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Washington, D.C.
Associate 1975-1976

Participating Associate 1976-1979

Partner 1979-1993 Holme Roberts & Owen, Denver, Colorado

Consulting Attorney 1981-1982


BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS

Colorado, Connecticut,  District of Columbia, Various Federal courts

Robert H. Wellen is associated with the following items:
Treatise Chapters  Treatise Chapters Section 355: Divisive Strategies Discussion Problems (PowerPoint Slides) - The Corporate Tax Practice Series , Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Contingent Consideration and Contingent Liabilities in Acquisitions - The Corporate Tax Practice Series , Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Web Segment  Web Segment Current Issues in Divisive Strategies - Spin-Offs and Synthetic Spin-Offs - Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 2013 , Monday, October 21, 2013
Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation - Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014 , Wednesday, February 26, 2014
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 2013: Current Issues in Divisive Strategies - Spin-Offs and Synthetic Spin-Offs - Current Issues in Divisive Strategies - Spin-Offs and Synthetic Spin-Offs , Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014: Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation - Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation , Wednesday, February 26, 2014
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 2013: Current Issues in Divisive Strategies - Spin-Offs and Synthetic Spin-Offs - Current Issues in Divisive Strategies - Spin-Offs and Synthetic Spin-Offs , Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014: Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation - Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation , Wednesday, February 26, 2014
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 2013 , Friday, November 01, 2013 , New York, NY
Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014 , Monday, March 10, 2014 , New York, NY
CHB Chapters  CHB Chapters Acquisition and Separation Issues in Consolidation (PowerPoint Slides) - Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014 , Monday, February 24, 2014
LiveSeminar  Live Seminar Tax Strategies for Corporate Acquisitions, Dispositions, Spin-Offs, Joint Ventures, Financings, Reorganizations & Restructurings 2013 , Wednesday, October 16, 2013 , New York, NY
Consolidated Tax Return Regulations 2014 , Monday, February 24, 2014 , New York, NY
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