Tax-Exempt Organizations TRANSACTIONAL

Shepherding nonprofits and their affiliates through complex financial, governance and labor-related matters essential to delivering their mission.

Our highly regarded tax-exempt organizations practice advises organizations that are fundamental to the civic, business and intellectual life of cities and local communities. We assist US and foreign universities, museums, private foundations, and research and charitable organizations in a wide range of operational matters, including establishing nonprofit and for-profit affiliated entities and addressing all aspects of governance, benefits and compensation, and taxation. We also consult on establishing and monitoring grant-making programs, negotiating gift agreements, establishing joint ventures, negotiating investment agreements, and an array of other issues crucial to the success of charitable endeavors. To advise on critical intellectual property measures, we collaborate with WilmerHale's stellar IP and IP Litigation Practices.

Burke, Robert D.

Robert D. Burke


+1 617 526 6470 (t)

Kilgore, R. Scott

R. Scott Kilgore


+1 202 663 6116 (t)

Null, Amy A.

Amy A. Null


+1 617 526 6541 (t)

Schnall, Matt

Matthew Schnall


+1 617 526 6892 (t)

Wethly, Kimberly B.

Kimberly B. Wethly


+1 617 526 6481 (t)

Ritt, Roger M.

Roger M. Ritt

Senior Counsel

+1 617 526 6475 (t)

Kirschten, Barbara

Barbara L. Kirschten

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6290 (t)


In recent projects, we have:

  • advised universities, trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations on exemption, unrelated business income tax, and domestic and international fundraising issues;
  • formed and obtained exemption determination for major new organizations in the fields of medical research, housing, education, and government defense research;
  • advised on issuance and compliance with respect to tax-exempt bond financings;
  • counseled tax-exempt organizations regarding the formation or acquisition of for-profit activities, subsidiaries and joint ventures;
  • advised boards of public and private educational institutions on presidential and other senior executive compensation and in the negotiation of employment agreements and deferred compensation benefits;
  • advised on correction of significant compliance issues for qualified benefit plans due to operational oversights;
  • defended tax-exempt organizations in IRS and state audits on matters that included efforts to revoke their tax-exempt status or impose unrelated business income tax, tax-exempt bond qualification, employee classification, tax withholding and reporting compliance for employees and foreign payments;
  • advised private foundations on excise tax issues;
  • provided legal advice to university investment offices concerning their investments in various vehicles;
  • provided guidance to clients on the use of federal grant, cooperative agreement or contract funds; and
  • advised on the formation and structuring of a public-private consortium in which a trust, leading global pharmaceutical and IT companies, and several major research universities in the United States and Britain collaborated to develop a publicly released map of the human genome based on the discovery and classification of single-nucleotide polymorphisms.

Publications & News


June 7, 2012

Chambers USA 2012 Final Results Announced

September 15, 2010

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers Release Inaugural Best Law Firms Rankings

WilmerHale earns first-tier rankings for a dozen national practices.

August 12, 2010

90 WilmerHale Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2011

Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of lawyers in their practice areas.

August 11, 2010

Massachusetts Tax Reforms Under the Economic Development Act

June 11, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Reveals Final Results Ranking 101 WilmerHale Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

One-hundred and one WilmerHale lawyers are recognized in the eighth edition of the guide and the firm is listed as among the best in dozens of practice areas throughout its six US locations.

March 18, 2010

Chambers USA 2010 Honors WilmerHale, Ranking Over 100 Lawyers and Dozens of Practices

One-hundred and two WilmerHale lawyers will be recognized in the eighth edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

December 7, 2009

WilmerHale is Among Crain’s “New York City’s Best Places to Work”

The firm, referred to as “progressive and prestigious,” came in at #19 on the list of the 40 companies featured by Crain's in its second annual ranking of the city's top employers.

August 20, 2009

IRS Postpones Deadline for Certain Filers of FBARs until June 30, 2010

October 3, 2008

WilmerHale Holds Webinar Responding to the Market Crisis Covering Enforcement Activity, Implementing the TARP Legislation, and the Litigation and Regulatory Environment

May 21, 2008

Concluding its United Church of Christ Inquiry, IRS Offers Complete Vindication