Effective May 1, 2016, NAFUSA member Eileen O’Connor moved her practice from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, to her own office, Law Office of Eileen J. O’Connor, PLLC. Solely, or in collaboration or consultation with other attorneys, O’Connor advises on, and represents clients in connection with, civil and criminal federal tax disputes, from administrative investigations through trial and appellate proceedings. She formulates and advises on regulatory and legislative solutions to disputes with government agencies. In addition to designing winning trial strategies and appellate arguments, she has presented oral arguments in the United States Supreme Court and in United States Courts of Appeals, and has testified at numerous committee hearings in United States Senate and House of Representatives on issues relating to tax administration and enforcement.
In addition to her recent move, with co-counsel, she filed amicus briefs supporting challenges to HHS’s imposition of its contraceptive mandate on religious employers. Those briefs include an amicus brief in support of the petition, and then on the merits, in the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and in support of a petition for rehearing en banc in the 11th Circuit in the case of EWTN v. Burwell. In his response to a question during rebuttal at oral argument in the Little Sisters case, Paul Clement cited her brief.
After serving for six years as the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice, O’Connor joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, DC, in July 2007, and became head of its federal tax controversy and tax policy practice. During her time with the law firm, she, among other things, represented individual, corporate, and non-profit clients in IRS audits, appeals, and criminal investigations, in offshore voluntary disclosures, and, in the case of Swiss banks, in connection with the DOJ Tax Division’s program to obtain non-prosecution agreements.
As Assistant Attorney General for DOJ’s Tax Division, Ms. O’Connor headed a division of more than 600 people, supervising the litigation in federal courts, civil and criminal, trial and appellate, of its 350 attorneys. Significant cases during her tenure involved corporate and individual abusive tax shelters and offshore tax evasion. She created and implemented continuing programs to coordinate parallel civil and criminal investigations and judicial proceedings with the Internal Revenue Service and United States Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country, and was a member of the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the Justice Department’s mission, Ms. O’Connor received the Edmund J. Randolph Award for Outstanding Service. For her contributions to federal tax administration and enforcement, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and the IRS Chief Counsel awarded her their highest honors.
Early in her career, Ms. O’Connor was a Corporate Tax Law Specialist in the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service. She is also a CPA and for more than 20 years was a national tax consultant with top national accounting firms. Ms. O’Connor has taught in the graduate tax law program of Georgetown University School of Law, and was Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Tax Policy at the George Mason University School of Law, and has long been a frequent speaker at bar conferences and business seminars.