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Overview

Corporate Attorney

Kaplin leads the Corporate Practice Team and advises clients regarding business formation and transactions, including choice of entity, joint ventures and LLCs, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, shareholder and partner disputes, and tax planning. He structures tax-free reorganizations and like-kind property exchanges, phantom stock and deferred compensation plans for executives, and advises tax-exempt and nonprofit corporations.

In 2014, Kaplin led clients to two significant wins in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals: one holding that a client could deduct a large lease termination expense when it bought the property it leased; and the other holding that an LLC did not need to pay a withdrawing member.

Experience

Experience

Advises clients regarding choice of entity and transactional tax planning; structures tax-free reorganizations and like-kind property exchanges; sets up and advises tax-exempt and nonprofit corporations; handles audits and appeals hearings; commences and settles tax litigation; formulates and drafts tax opinions; prepares IRS ruling requests; develops and consults re tax legislation.

Formed over 200 limited liability companies, partnerships, and joint ventures; structured mergers and conversions regarding same; advised regarding tax planning and buyout provisions.

Advises and prepares documents for formation of corporations (profit and nonprofit) and partnerships (general and limited); structures joint venture and option arrangements; consults regarding shareholder agreements, and management and split-up issues; assists in financing projects.

Consults regarding nonqualified compensation planning; drafts nonqualified and incentive stock options; develops and drafts plans involving stock appreciation rights, phantom stock, and unrestricted stock; analyzes "golden parachute" problems; prepares employment agreements and bonus formulas; consults regarding rabbi trusts, key man insurance and other nonqualified benefits.

Leadership

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America® since 2013

Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) - Grand Rapids, 2018

Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Tax Law - Grand Rapids, 2015

Leading Lawyers: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Tax Law - Business

Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Grand Rapids Bar Association

Grand Valley State University: Master of Science in Taxation Program, Advisory Board, past member

State Bar of Michigan: Taxation; Tax Council, 1998 - 2000

Utah State Bar Association

Community Involvement

Grand Rapids Public Museum Friends Foundation, counsel

President Ford Field Service Council, Executive Board

News & Publications

Publications

Education

George Washington University,
The National Law Center
Washington, DC
LL.M., Taxation, with highest honors, 1983

Brigham Young University,
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Provo, Utah
J.D., 1981

Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah
B.S., Accounting, magna cum laude, 1978
B.A., English, summa cum laude, 1977

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
  • Utah

Court Admissions

  • All Michigan state courts
    All Utah state courts
    All District of Columbia courts
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States Tax Court
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