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Sutherland Expands Tax Practice, Adds Lateral Group

October 12, 2004

WASHINGTON (October 12, 2004) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced today that it has expanded its premier tax practice with the addition of four lawyers who focus on state and local tax issues. Kendall L. Houghton and Jeffrey A. Friedman have joined the firm as partners.  Walter Hellerstein has joined as of counsel and Marc A. Simonetti as an associate.

The new lateral group will concentrate on state and local tax planning and controversy, as well as multistate unclaimed property law matters. 

"Our new group of lawyers is nationally recognized in the state and local tax area," said Jerome B. Libin, head of Sutherland's tax practice.  "They will add a new dimension to our strength in tax and provide tremendous benefit to our clients across the country."

Kendall Houghton joins the firm from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where, as special consultant, she advised the State Tax Knowledge Management office.  From 1993 to 1998, she served as general counsel to the Committee on State Taxation (now Council on State Taxation, or COST).  Following her service at COST, Ms. Houghton was a partner at Alston & Bird LLP, where she served as co-chair of the National Tax Association's Electronic Commerce and Telecommunications Tax Project.  She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, LL.M. in taxation from Emory University School of Law, and A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

Jeffrey Friedman was a partner in KPMG's Washington National Tax Practice, where he served as reviewing partner on state income tax planning and controversy matters and was national partner-in-charge of KPMG's Sales and Transactions Tax Practice.  Prior to joining KPMG, he served as an attorney-advisor in the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Tax Policy, where he worked on domestic and international electronic commerce tax issues.  From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Friedman served as vice president-counsel at the Committee On State Taxation (now Council On State Taxation, or COST).  Mr. Friedman received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law, LL.M., with distinction, from the Georgetown University Law Center, and B.S. from the University of Maryland. 

Walter Hellerstein is the Francis Shackelford Professor of Taxation at the University of Georgia Law School and was a partner at Sutherland from 1996 to 1998.  Mr. Hellerstein has written and practiced extensively in the state tax field, and has been involved in numerous state tax cases before the United States Supreme Court.  Mr. Hellerstein is co-author with the late Jerome R. Hellerstein of State Taxation, vols. I & II (Warren Gorham Lamont 3rd ed. 1998) (updated semi-annually), State and Local Taxation (West Publishing Co., 7th ed. 2001), and numerous law review articles on state taxation.  Prior to joining the Georgia faculty, Mr. Hellerstein clerked for the Honorable Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, practiced law with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and taught at the University of Chicago Law School.  Mr. Hellerstein received his J.D., cum laude and Order of the Coif, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of the University of Chicago Law Review, and his A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College.

Marc Simonetti was most recently a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, practicing with the State and Local Tax services group for four years.  Mr. Simonetti received his J.D. from St. John's University School of Law, where he was a staff member of the American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review, and his B.A. from Ithaca College.

Sutherland's tax practice, one of the largest and most highly regarded in the country, has produced two former Commissioners of Internal Revenue and a former Chief Counsel of the IRS.  Many partners and associates have held positions in the IRS, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department and the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress.  Five partners have served as Chair of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association.  Another partner currently serves as President of the International Fiscal Association.

Sutherland is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 400 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Washington, New York, Austin, Houston and Tallahassee.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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