George Washington University Law School
LL.M., Taxation, with highest honors, 1983
Brigham Young University,
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Brigham Young University
B.S., Accounting, magna cum laude, 1978
B.A., English, summa cum laude, 1977
District of Columbia
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
Kap 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.
Kap was named Grand Rapids “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) in the 2021 Best Lawyers® guide.
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.
Represented a leading carbon steel service center in its sale to a private equity fund. Negotiated the purchase agreement and provided counsel regarding the transaction structure, employee benefits, tax matters and antitrust filings under the Hart Scott Rodino Act.
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, 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.
Honors and Recognitions
Best Lawyers in America®, since 2013
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) – Grand Rapids, 2018, 2021, 2024
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Tax Law – Grand Rapids, 2015
Dave & Carol Van Andel Leadership Award, 2021
Grand Rapids Magazine’s Top Lawyers, Tax Law, 2019 – 2021
Leading Lawyers: Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Tax Law – Business
Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
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
Grand Rapids Public Museum Friends Foundation, counsel
President Ford Field Service Council, Executive Board