Recently elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Keri Brown serves as a trusted advisor to some of the nation's most prominent individuals on complex federal estate, gift and income tax litigation and controversy matters, including disputes and litigation with the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service. She counsels high net worth individuals and families in a variety of courts, including in the United States Tax Court, United States District Courts and United States Courts of Appeals. She represents taxpayers in federal tax audits and administrative appeals, and represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates in state courts with respect to administration and fiduciary duty issues. She also assists businesses and individuals in preparing for and navigating the litigation process in tax matters.
In 2018, Keri was recognized as one of Houston's "40 Under 40" by the Houston Business Journal for her significant business accomplishments, as well as her commitment to community service.
As chair of the Houston office's pro bono committee, Keri coordinates and helps manage the office's pro bono matters, working closely with the firm's pro bono referral organizations to ensure access to justice for underserved populations in the United States. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Keri's pro bono efforts were featured in the Wall Street Journal, ABA Journal, Texas Bar Journal, Texas Lawyer, Houston Business Journal, and The Houston Lawyer. The State Bar of Texas honored Keri with its 2018 Pro Bono Coordinator Award.
- Estate of Anne Y. Petter – successful defense of taxpayer in case of first impression involving gift/sale of LLC units to family and charity using a dollar value formula based on values as “finally determined for federal gift tax purposes.” (Petter v. Comm’r, 98 T.C.M. (CCH) 534 (2009)), aff’d, 653 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2011))
- Hendrix – successful defense of taxpayer in case regarding the tax effect of a gift of corporate stock made by way of a dollar-based defined value formula (Hendrix v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo 2011-133 (June 15, 2011))
- Estate of Helen Christiansen – successful Eighth Circuit affirmance of Tax Court decision in case of first impression regarding tax effect of partial disclaimer of limited partnership interest to charity made by way of formula based on values “as finally determined for estate tax purposes.” (Estate of Christiansen v. Comm’r, 586 F.3d 1061 (8th Cir. 2009))
- Estate of Charles H. Murphy, Jr. – successful $42 million estate tax refund suit involving numerous valuation issues and IRS attempt to ignore limited partnership under I.R.C. § 2036. (Estate of Murphy v. United States, No. 07-CV-1013, 2009 WL 3366099 (W.D. Ark. Oct. 2, 2009))
Awards & Community
2019 Pro Bono Leadership Award, Texas Appleseed
Top 50 Women Lawyers, National Diversity Council, 2019
State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Coordinator Award, 2018
Houston Business Journal's "40 Under 40" Class of 2018
Houston Bar Foundation's Award Recipient for "Outstanding Contribution by an Individual" to the Houston Volunteer Lawyers, 2017
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star, (Thomson Reuters), 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
Houston Bar Association President's Award, 2010, 2013
Noted in The Legal 500 U.S., 2019, 2009-2012, for tax controversy work
American Bankers Association
ABA 2019 RPTE National CLE Conference
HBA Probate, Trusts & Estates Section Meeting
ABA Section of Real Property Trust and Estate Law