“Ivins, Phillips & Barker is one of the last pristine tax boutiques still standing in the country, and it fully intends to be standing a generation from now.”

- The Legal Times

Our History

The success of Ivins, Phillips & Barker is built on our exclusive, decades-long focus on tax and employee benefits law. Unlike general practice firms that continually shift their strategic priorities based on trends in the legal marketplace, our firm has remained steadfastly committed to maintaining the nation’s premier tax practice – a commitment that has kept us at the forefront of key developments in the tax law and earned us the trust of leading companies and high net worth individuals.

  • 1924 – President Coolidge appointed Judge James S.Y. Ivins and Judge Percy W. Phillips as two of the original members of the United States Board of Tax Appeals (now the United States Tax Court).  The first reported decision of the court, Appeal of John H. Parrott, 1 B.T.A. 1 (1924) was rendered by Judge Ivins.
  • 1935 – Ivins, Phillips & Barker was founded as the successor firm to the firms of Holmes, Brewster & Ivins and Brewster, Ivins & Phillips. Since its inception, the firm has practiced exclusively in the areas of tax, employee benefits, and estate planning.
  • 1930s and 1940s – The firm established its reputation as the leading tax specialty law firm in the country, forming relationships with major corporations and prominent families that remain clients of the firm today – including H. J. Heinz, Dominion Resources, Milliken, and several key members of the du Pont Family.
  • 1969 – Ivins successfully lobbied Congress on behalf of its charitable foundation clients to enact certain key provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, the law that established much of the regulatory framework governing tax-exempt organizations today.
  • 1978 – Ivins employee benefits attorneys played a central role in the enactment of the 401(k) and cafeteria plan provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • 1980s – The firm litigated landmark cases involving the foreign tax credit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and treaties and the subpart F rules applicable to foreign joint ventures on behalf of clients such as Xerox and Eastman Kodak.
  • 2001 – In an 8-1 decision, Ivins won a seminal Supreme Court case involving consolidated corporate tax returns in United Dominion Industries v. United States. This was the latest of four tax cases that Ivins, Phillips & Barker has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court throughout the firm’s history.
  • 2007 – On behalf of Delphi Corporation, the firm secured the largest pension funding waivers ever granted by the IRS and PBGC.