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John B. Magee


As of November 24, 2014 practicing with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

John Magee is a partner in Bingham’s Tax Group. He focuses on tax controversy, with a general emphasis on complex domestic and international issues and a particular emphasis on transfer pricing issues. His practice transfer pricing experience includes extensive identification, valuation and movement of intangible properties in a wide range of industries. John has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of income tax planning, Internal Revenue Service administrative proceedings and tax litigation. He has tried cases in the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. District Courts, and has also argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

John recently taught “Introduction to Transfer Pricing” as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Tax Program of Georgetown University Law Center for a number of years and speaks extensively in a variety of tax forums. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American College of Tax Counsel.

Recognized by Chambers USA as “world-class tax litigator,” he is also described as a “superb trial lawyer who knows how to talk to courts and fight the government” and “a veteran with superb insight.” John has been named a leading tax lawyer by various publications for more than a decade and is celebrated by peers for bringing “a very high-quality manner of presentation” to his work. Most notably, he has been ranked in Band 1 for National Tax Controversy by Chambers USA each year since the category was established.

A graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, he served on the Law Review and received the Order of the Coif distinction.


Representative cases in which John was either lead counsel or a principal participant include the following:

  • Amazon v. Commissioner, Tax Court Docket 31197-12; Transfer pricing: valuation of Cost Share Buy-in and related CSA issues; Answer filed March 2013
  • B.F. Goodrich Co. v. United States, Docket No. 5:98CV846 (N.D. Ohio) — Economic substance for Corporate Owned Life Insurance (“COLI”), settled
  • Boeing Co. v. United States, 98-2 USTC ¶50,722 (W.D. Wash. 1998), rev’d, 123 S. Ct. 1099 (2003), aff'g 258 F.3d 958 (9th Cir. 2001) — DISC/R&D, expense allocation
  • Exxon Corp. v. Commissioner, 66 T.C.M. (CCH) 1707 (1993), aff’d, 98 F.3d 825 (5th Cir.1996) — §482, Aramco Oil transfer pricing
  • Exxon Corp. v. United States, 931 F.2d 874 (Fed. Cir. 1991) — Bad debts/expropriation loss
  • United States v. G-1 Holdings Inc. 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115850 (D. N.J. 2009) — TEFRA, partnership economic substance
  • General Electric Co. v. Commissioner, Tax Ct. No. 14715-92 — R&D credit, settled
  • GlaxoSmithKline Holdings (Americas) Inc. v. Commissioner, 117 T.C. 1 (2001) — §482 preservation of testimony
  • GlaxoSmithKline Holdings (Americas) Inc. v. Commissioner, U.S. Tax Court Docket Nos. 005750-04 and 6959-05 — §482 U.S. drug sales; largest tax case in U.S. history; settled
  • Host Marriott Corp. v. United States, 267 F.3d 363 (4th Cir. 2001) — §172(f)
  • The Dow Chemical Company v. United States, 250 F. Supp. 2d 748, modified by 278 F. Supp. 2d 844 (E.D. Mich 2003), rev’d, 435 F.3d 594 (6th Cir. 2006) — Economic substance of corporate-owned life insurance
  • The Dow Chemical Company v. United States, Docket 05-944-C-M3 (M.D. La. 2005) — TEFRA, partnership economic substance, trial evidence closed June 2011
  • Weyerhaeuser Co. v. United States, 92 F.3d 1148 (Fed. Cir. 1996) — §165 - Mt. St. Helens volcano timber loss


  • Speaker, Intangible Property Controversy Trends, 2nd Annual Transfer Pricing Symposium 2014, University of San Diego Law School, San Diego, Calif. (March 27, 2014)
  • Moderator, New Cases, Examination & Appeals Trends, IFA USA Branch Annual Conference, San Francisco (Feb. 27, 2014)
  • Panelist, BEPS, OECD, G20 and U.S. Tax Reform and Industry Response, University of Washington School of Law and Tax Executives Institute’s Annual Tax Forum, Seattle (Feb. 21, 2014)
  • Moderator, 3M Case and Blocked Income, ABA Section of Taxation and Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Trust & Estate Division 2013, San Francisco (Sept. 20, 2013)
  • Speaker, New Directions in Transfer Pricing Oversight, Tax Executives Institute San Francisco Chapter, San Francisco (April 24, 2013)
  • An Update on Transfer Pricing — The Number One Tax Enforcement,2013 Tax Executives Institute/University of Washington Tax Forum, Seattle, Wash. (Feb. 22, 2013)
  • Speaker, Transfer Pricing, Washington, GWU/IRS Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation, Washington, D.C. (Dec. 6, 2012)
  • Speaker, Tax Enforcement Worldwide, American Bar Association's International Tax Enforcement Conference, New York (Nov. 8, 2012)
  • Intercompany Debt or Equity?, 2012 NABE Transfer Pricing Symposium, Arlington, Va. (Aug. 1, 2012)
  • Speaker, Updated on 367(d) and Non-Cost Sharing Intangible Property Transfers, Bloomberg BNA/Baker & McKenzie Second Annual Transfer Pricing Conference, Washington, D.C. (June 7, 2012)
  • Speaker, Discovery, Professional Responsibility, ABA Section of Taxation 2012,  Washington, D.C. (May 11-12, 2012)
  • Speaker, Managing Transfer Pricing Controversy, 2012 Annual Ernst & Young Transfer Pricing Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2012)

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers, Litigation & Controversy: Tax (2012–2015)
  • Best Lawyers, Tax Law (2010–2011, 2013–2015)
  • International Tax Review’s World Tax (2005–2014)
  • Chambers USA, Tax (2002–2014)
  • Chambers USA, Tax Controversy (2006–2014)
  • Legal 500, Tax (2013–2014)
  • Legal 500, Tax Controversy (2011–2014)
  • Legal 500, International Tax (2011, 2014)
  • International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers (2013)
  • Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C. (2007–2014)
  • Euromoney’s Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, The Best of the Best (2011)
  • Chambers Global, Tax (2001–2006)
  • Euromoney’s Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, Tax Advisers
  • Euromoney’s Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, Transfer Pricing Advisers
  • Practical Law Company’s Cross-Border Tax on Transactions Handbook

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