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Kevin M. Downing

Kevin Downing's practice focuses on advising international businesses, including international financial institutions, on high stakes matters in the areas of government criminal and civil enforcement. His practice concentrates on criminal and civil tax matters but also includes money laundering, white collar matters and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In addition, he represents business entities and individuals in investigations, prosecutions and civil trials.

Before joining Miller & Chevalier, Mr. Downing was a Senior Litigation Counsel at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Tax Division in Washington, D.C. He spearheaded the Justice Department's largest and most successful criminal tax investigations and prosecutions involving tax shelters and illegal crossborder banking. The cases that he investigated, prosecuted and supervised involved international banks and accounting firms. His matters involved tax fraud, Bank Secrecy Act violations, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, mortgage fraud, and securities fraud. In addition, Mr. Downing was involved in an array of civil tax litigation cases, including overseeing tax shelter litigation throughout the country, and devising litigation positions and trial strategies.

Mr. Downing had considerable dealings with high-level officials throughout the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and with officials of foreign governments, including their banking regulators, justice ministries, and tax authorities. He received the U.S. Department of Justice John Marshall Award, the highest award for a trial attorney at the DOJ, as well as the Internal Revenue Service's Commissioner's Award, and the Internal Revenue Service's Chief Counsel Award. More >

Representative Engagements|View All

Criminal 

  • Represented International Financial Institution in a criminal crossborder investigation involving multiple countries and related civil litigation. 
     
  • Representing International Financial Institution in the investigation of crossborder criminal tax allegations and related civil litigation. 
     
  • Representing International Financial Institution in criminal investigation of crossborder banking with United States customers.

Civil 

  • Starr Int’l Co. v. United States, No. 14-cv-1593 (D.D.C. filed Sept. 19, 2014). Represent an international financial services company in a case of first impression challenging the decision of the United States Competent Authority (Internal Revenue Service) to deny discretionary benefits under the tax treaty between the United States and Switzerland. 
     
  • Represent International Financial Institution in an Internal Revenue Service audit of the administration of pension plans; conducted related internal investigation. 
     
  • Represented U.S. Financial Institution in a million-dollar refund suit against the United States with respect to certain structured crossborder transactions. 
Government Experience
  • Senior Litigation Counsel, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 2003 - 2012
  • Trial Attorney, Western Criminal Enforcement Section, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1997 - 2003
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers USA: Tax Fraud (National), 2016 
  • Chambers USA: Tax Fraud (National), Recognized Practitioner, 2015 
  • International Tax Review: Tax Controversy Leaders (U.S.), 2015 
  • Legal 500: Litigation: White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2013 
  • Legal 500: Tax: Tax Controversy, 2013 
  • Partnership for Public Service, Service to America Medal for Justice and Law Enforcement, 2010 
  • John Marshall Award, U.S. Department of Justice, 2009 
  • IRS Commissioner's Award, 2010 
  • IRS Chief Counsel's Award, 2009 
  • U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Special Commendation Award for the KPMG matter, 2009 
  • U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award, 2003, 2005 and 2007
Professional and Community Involvement
Bar Admissions
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
Clerkships
Foreign Languages
Education
  • LL.M. (Taxation), New York University, 1996
  • J.D., St. John's University, cum laude, 1994
  • B.S. (Accounting), St. Joseph's University, 1988