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Practice Areas



George Washington University Law School
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



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

Corporate Attorney

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

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

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