Barry E. Fink
Barry Fink serves as head of the Firm's Taxation and International Business Transactions Practice, and is active in mergers and acquisitions, transactional law and international law on a global scale. Mr. Fink manages an exceptionally active and dynamic practice with a significant emphasis in negotiating and structuring international business transactions, particularly those involving multinational corporations. His clients have included a large alcohol beverage corporation in Poland that was acquired by an international, French-based company. He also represented a United States-based client in the purchase of a meat-packing facility from a Japanese cartel and the formation and operation of resort and gaming properties in the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China by international consortiums of Asian and U.S. owners.
In any given year, Mr. Fink typically litigates cases in the United States Tax Court, as well as the courts (including various administrative courts) of California. Among Mr. Fink's other accomplishments is his role as lead counsel in the purchase and/or sale of more than 30 hotels and casinos located in the U.S. and in several foreign countries. Mr. Fink is also acknowledged as an expert in corporate/fiduciary law litigation and trust administration. The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has awarded Mr. Fink an “AV Preeminent” rating in taxation, the directory’s highest accolade. Mr. Fink is also an elected member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
Some of Mr. Fink's practice specialties are as follows:
Mr. Fink counsels clients in connection to audit controversies and in the prosecution and/or defense of income tax litigation in the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Claims Court and the U.S. District Courts. Mr. Fink litigates California Franchise Tax and property tax controversies, including administrative appeals and representations. Mr. Fink litigated the application of the California premium tax to self-insured utility companies, as well as highly successful property tax appeals of assessments against sanitary landfills, golf courses, hotels, office buildings, oil refineries and other special-use properties.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Mr. Fink regularly represents corporations (and/or shareholders) in both acquisitions and sales of major business interests and strategic alliances.
Hotels and Casinos:
Mr. Fink has represented owners and operators of hotels and casinos in the acquisition, licensing, construction, operation, purchase and sale of properties in California, Nevada and foreign venues such as Australia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
Automotive Importers and Distributors:
Mr. Fink has represented importers and retail distributors of automotive products in California and throughout the United States in connection to regulatory issues and dispute resolution between dealers and suppliers.
Foreign and International Business Transactions:
Mr. Fink represents U.S. companies and interests doing business in foreign countries, as well as foreign business interests and companies desiring to do business in the United States. In this regard, Mr. Fink's practice includes not only hiring and supervising local counsel as appropriate, but developing an understanding of the laws of foreign jurisdictions, understanding and adapting to foreign business practices and cultural requirements and effectuating complex transactions between multinational parties under difficult and challenging circumstances.
Mr. Fink specializes in counseling corporate fiduciaries on trust administration and dispute resolution in matters involving co-trustees and beneficiaries. His clients include major national and international trust companies, as well as three of America's largest national banks. Mr. Fink is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), an international organization of trust and estate professionals.
Background, Professional Qualifications:
Mr. Fink has served as a tax advisor to, and member of, Pres. Jimmy Carter's Tax Advisory Committee; as legal advisor to the Los Angeles County Sheriff and as a lecturer for California Continuing Legal Education, the American Bar Association, the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Automotive CPAs.
Mr. Fink is a life member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California State Bar, the Illinois State Bar, the Federal District Bar, as well as the bars of the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Courts of California and Illinois. Mr. Fink is also a member of the bars of the United States Tax Court, the United States Claims Court and various courts of appeal.
Mr. Fink has received a variety of honors, including membership in the National Registry of Who's Who, and has been named one of Los Angeles’ 100 Most Influential Attorneys by Los Angeles Magazine. Mr. Fink's other community service activities include past service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California March of Dimes, and has worked as an active supporter of City of Hope. Mr. Fink is currently a member of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors and as a member of the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School. He has also served for the past five years as a member of the Board of Directors of MERITAS Law Firms Worldwide. His exceptional service, leadership and dedication to this organization earned him The Grahovac Award in 2017.
For many years, Mr. Fink has been recognized on the Southern California Super Lawyers list.
Mr. Fink was born in 1938 in Bay City, Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree in commerce from DePaul University in Chicago and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. A college debater and law school moot court champion, Mr. Fink earned his license as a certified public accountant in 1962 and his law degree in 1963. After law school, Mr. Fink served as law clerk to the Honorable Richard B. Austin, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, while attending post graduate courses and serving as a member of the faculty of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
In 1964, Mr. Fink entered the private practice of law with Bell, Boyd, Lloyd, Haddad and Burns in Chicago. He subsequently served as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. (1967 -1969). During his tenure with the Department of Justice, Mr. Fink worked under the direction of the assistant for Civil Trials and served as lead litigation counsel in major tax refund cases filed in the Unites States District Courts throughout the Unites States. In 1969, Mr. Fink joined the law firm of Wyman, Bautzer, Finnel, Rothman and Kuchel in Beverly Hills as a tax and tax litigation attorney, and subsequently became a partner and head of the Tax Department, before joining with several fellow partners to found his current Firm.
Obtained favorable tax rulings from IRS, pertaining to numerous mergers, business combinations and divisive reorganizations.
Successfully litigated landmark California case holding California tax on insurance premiums not applicable to self insurance reserves of major employers.
Negotiated and effectuated merger and business combination of various Italian, French, Swiss, German, Japanese, Hong Kong and Caribbean Companies.
Represented grocery, retailers and print advertisers in escheatment litigation in California.
Successfully defended a major U.S. insurance company against assessment of California Premium Tax.
Successfully defended the largest U.S. gold coin (monetized bullion) company from assessment of California Sales/Use Tax.
Represented a Nevada landowner in a gold and mining lease exploration and extraction lease worth more than $25 million.
Negotiated a multi-million dollar contract for a News Corp. senior executive.
Represents a large number of new car dealerships in acquisitions and sales, negotiations with manufacturers and state regulatory issues.
Represented major distributors of wines and spirits in California, Illinois and Georgia.
Represented a manufacturer of tequila in Mexico and rum manufactured in the Eastern Caribbean, whiskey manufactured in Canada and vodka manufactured in Poland.
Represented two large regional CPA firms in merger/acquisition by public companies.
Represented major outdoor advertising companies in numerous mergers, acquisitions, exchanges and regulatory matters, regulation and use of mall advertising, airport and train terminal advertising and electronic and digital outdoor display advertising.
Represented major home video company in major spin-off.
Merged U.K. subsidiary of major U.S. motion picture producer into Swiss company in tax advantaged transaction.
Represented Canadian manufacturer of lottery equipment in sale and import and sanctions with Mexican lottery company.
Negotiated, documented and successfully closed purchase and sale of approximately 35 hotel/casino/resort properties in Nevada, Mississippi, the Philippines, the People’s Republic of China and Australia.
Represented major U.S. hotel chain in construction, flagging and operation of hotels in California.
Sold historical landmark/hotel/resort property in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Advised internet fantasy football website operator based in Canada as to U.S. law/compliance.
Represented developer of California golf course properties in income tax and property tax controversies.
Purchased beef slaughter house facility in Washington and negotiated water rights agreements with native American tribal land-owners.
Represented two regional oil companies in oil and gas operations in California.
Represented clients operating natural gas transmission lines in Southern California.
Represented manufacturer of solar energy panels and equipment.
Represented manufacturer and operator of large commercial wind farms in California.
Litigation of Professional Liability Matters
Successfully defended two of largest U.S. CPA firms in malpractice cases involving tax compliance services.
Successfully defended several major U.S. CPA firms in FASB/accounting standards malpractice cases.
Negotiated agreement to explore for and mine gold in the U.S. with major mineral mining company.
Successfully defended corporate trustees, including major financial institutions, in disputes with beneficiaries.
Successfully defended major corporate trustee in suit by beneficiaries seeking $100 million in surcharge damages and other relief.
Regularly conduct educational programs for trust officers and trust departments designed to protect institutional trustees from controversies and beneficiary litigation.
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), elected member
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, legal advisor
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors
MERITAS Law Firms Worldwide, member of Board of Directors
Honors & Awards
“New IRS Partnership Audit Rules Coming Into Effect,” November 28, 2017
"The Impact of President Trump's Proposed Tax Reforms on Your Bottom Line," January 20, 2017
"The Benefits of California Benefit Corporations," October 25, 2013
"UPDATED: 2012 Estate Planning Opportunities – Will They Disappear in 2013?" November 29. 2012