Richard Husseini is the firmwide Chair of the Tax Department at Baker Botts and serves on the firm's Executive Committee. For twenty-five years, he has maintained an active federal tax planning and controversy practice. Chambers describes him as someone who “bridges planning and controversy” and who “provides clear direction, focuses on the key issues and is able to describe very complicated transactions in a simple way.” (Chambers USA 2018). His clients also note that “he is exceedingly intelligent, strategic, creative, responsive and humble” (Chambers USA 2017).
His tax controversy practice has focused primarily on advocating on behalf of large companies and high net worth individuals nationwide in IRS administrative, arbitration and federal court proceedings. Chambers USA 2018 describes him as a “very, very good litigator.” Richard is widely recognized for his experience in resolving (often amicably) complex and strategic tax disputes and for his active federal transactional tax practice.
In his controversy practice, he has specific experience in representing taxpayers in IRS examinations, IRS Appeals, RAP, IRS fast track mediations and post-Appeals mediations, Tax Court and federal court refund actions, and before the Texas Public Utility Commission. He also counsels clients on likely controversy issues flowing from the 2017 tax reform legislation.
His controversy experience extends to all areas of federal income taxation, with an emphasis in international tax; transfer pricing; competent authorities and MAP negotiations; foreign tax credit and treaty issues; research and development credits; section 199 issues; oil and gas tax issues; technology/IP tax issues; banking tax issues; partnership tax issues; MLP tax issues; tax sharing agreements; subchapter C; financial products; tax shelter defense; accounting methods; non-profit issues; renewable energy; section 1033 issues; casualty loss issues; normalization issues; receivership tax issues and federal constitutional challenges to state tax statutes.
Mr. Husseini is recognized by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 U.S. and Best Lawyers in America (Woodward White, Inc.). Chambers USA 2019 applauds him for his "ability to enter into dialogue with tax auditors and assist in reaching acceptable settlements for complex issues.” Chambers USA 2012 quoted his clients as saying that “he is non-confrontational but very strong, so fights a good fight without being rude or inconsiderate." Clients also noted that he has the "best memory of anyone I've ever met," and that he is "good at dissecting complex facts into simple one-line explanations" Chambers USA 2015. The Legal 500 U.S. 2015 notes that "he has strong technical and procedural skills and is also a strong communicator and collaborator" and The Legal 500 U.S. 2012 notes his clients assess him as "extremely smart" and "very personable" with the "intuitive skills that are rare in this type of attorney." Best Lawyers in America (Woodward White, Inc.), 2012 indicates clients as stating, "Richard Husseini is one of the best in the business. He is cordial, responsive, knowledgeable and has a sharp instinct when getting to the bottom of an issue.”
Mr. Husseini has extensive knowledge of privilege and ethical issues affecting tax practice. He has extensive experience in advising clients on FIN 48 and Schedule UTP. He regularly counsels clients on their interactions with outside auditors, tax issues affecting financial disclosure issues, and tax investigations.
Mr. Husseini also has an active federal transactional tax practice. He is a member of the Baker Botts Oil and Gas Mergers and Acquisitions Team. He has specific experience in corporate tax issues affecting the energy, oil and gas and gas and electric utility industries (including tax normalization issues). He is also experienced in tax issues affecting alternative and renewable energy projects, including production tax credits, investment tax credits and governmental grants. Chambers USA 2018 quoted one of his clients as saying "he is an outstanding corporate tax lawyer - one of the best in the business."
Following graduation from law school, Mr. Husseini served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- Major energy company on competent authority and MAP negotiations
- Major energy company on transfer pricing audit relating to intellectual property
- Major telecommunications company on competent authority and MAP negotiations
- Major E&P company-case before IRS Appeals on application of straddle and interest capitalization rules
- Major oil field services company in tax sharing agreement arbitration dispute with former subsidiary before arbitration panel
- Major energy company before IRS Appeals on cash and carry partnerships, scope of disguised sale exceptions and AMT issues
- Independent energy company before IRS Appeals on scope of section 199
- Major energy company before IRS Appeals on accounting method issues
- Major energy company credit before IRS Appeals on research and development credits
- Major national company before IRS Appeals on application of sections 331/332 and doctrines of economic substance and step transaction
- Major E&P company-resolution of interest allocation issue for foreign tax credit purposes
- Major company in post-Appeals mediation on scope of section 172(f)
- Major utility-case before IRS Appeals on financial products issues under the straddle and interest capitalization rules
- Major energy company-case before IRS Appeals on application of international financing and treaty rules
- Major energy company-resolution of foreign tax creditability issue
- Oil and gas investors-case before IRS Appeals on investments in leveraged drilling partnerships
- Major telecommunications company-fast track mediation proceeding on financial products issues
- Major receivership-handled federal tax issues related to receivership proceeding
- Major international services company-handled grantor trust issues
- Major educational company-refund lawsuit involving application of Section 1033
- CenterPoint Energy-rate case proceeding before the Texas PUC; handled issues related to FIN 48, Medicare Part D and consolidated tax savings issues
- CenterPoint Energy-true-up proceeding before the Texas PUC to determine the amount of stranded costs, and whether accumulated deferred income taxes, accumulated investment tax credits and excess deferred income taxes should reduce stranded cost recovery
- D.D.I.-case before the North Dakota Supreme Court in which the court was persuaded to declare the state’s dividend received deduction provision unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause (D.D.I. v. State, 657 N.W.2d 228 (2003))
- Major oil and gas company-representation before state court on constitutional challenge to state tax
- Houston Industries-Courts ruled that fuel cost over recoveries did not constitute income (Houston Industries, Inc. v. United States, 125 F.3d 1442 (Fed. Cir. 1997), aff’g, 32 Fed. Cl. 202 (1994))
- Pennzoil Company-settlement of Pennzoil’s tax liability before the IRS related to the status under Section 1033 of the settlement proceeds from the Pennzoil/Texaco litigation
- The Winn-Dixie family-first case that recognized the “unrealized capital gains discount” when valuing stock in a C corporation (Estate of Davis v. Commissioner, 110 T.C. 530 (1998))
- Major industrial company-action before the U.S. Tax Court relating to LIFO inventory issues
- IRS Post-Appeals Mediation-settlement for a large corporate conglomerate involving application of Section 1033
- Federal/state tax arbitration-victory for a for-profit corporate taxpayer in a dispute with a nonprofit entity before a three-judge arbitration panel
- Halliburton Company-$35 billion acquisition of Baker Hughes Incorporated (terminated)
- Chesapeake Energy Corporation-Spin-off of Seventy Seven Energy, Inc
- Mariner Energy, Inc.-merger with Apache Corporation; reverse Morris trust spin/merge transaction with Forest Oil Corporation’s Gulf of Mexico operations
- CenterPoint Energy/Reliant Energy-representation of CenterPoint/Reliant Energy in its NorAm acquisition and initial public offering and spin-off of Reliant Resources
- Major solar developer on implementation of residential lease facility
- Biodiesel project-tax counsel to biodiesel venturer
- Renewable energy project-assisted in procurement of clean energy renewable bonds
- Major independent power producer-negotiation of power purchase agreement
- Structuring projects for non-profits involving various types of section 501(c) organizations along with for-profit subsidiaries
Awards & Community
Law Clerk to Honorable Richard A. Posner, United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1991-92 term
Listed in Chambers USA, 2008-2020
Listed in The Legal 500 U.S., 2012-2018
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward White, Inc.), 2005-2019
Selected to the Law360 Tax Editorial Advisory Board, 2014-2019
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters), 2003-2019
Named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” lawyers in Texas by Texas Lawyer, 2001
Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, 1998 & 2009
Tax-White Collar Update