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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 enforcement and compliance. His experience includes criminal and civil tax matters, including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA); corporate tax investigations; white collar criminal matters, including internal investigations; government regulatory enforcement; and compliance program assessment and development. In addition, he represents business entities and individuals in prosecutions and trials.

Before joining Miller & Chevalier, Mr. Downing was a Senior Litigation Counsel at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Tax Division in Washington, D.C. for 15 years. He spearheaded the Justice Department’s most successful criminal tax investigations and prosecutions, including the KPMG tax shelter and UBS offshore banking cases. The cases that he investigated, prosecuted and supervised involved some of the largest international banks and accounting firms and dealt with criminal tax, Bank Secrecy Act violations, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In addition, Mr. Downing was involved with a diverse array of civil tax litigation cases, including overseeing civil tax shelter litigation throughout the country, which involved 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 John Marshall Award, the highest and most coveted award for a trial attorney at the DOJ.

Government Enforcement: The cases that Mr. Downing supervised and prosecuted while in government required a comprehensive understanding of tax law and criminal law and procedure. As the implementation of FATCA proceeds, he is uniquely positioned to advise international financial institutions on the various regulatory, civil, and criminal tax issues and to provide valuable guidance to corporate executives and Board Members.

Risk Assessment/Internal Controls: An important component of the complex tax cases that Mr. Downing handled involved the review of corporate internal controls and compliance systems and the assessment of the causes of failures and breakdowns that resulted in criminal liability. Mr. Downing also developed best practice governance and compliance systems for international businesses.

Mr. Downing has made presentations to banking associations, chambers of commerce, and anti-money laundering associations in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. In addition, he has been a featured speaker regarding criminal tax, cross-border banking and compliance with FATCA at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association; the American Banker Association; the International Bar Association; the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists; the Securities Industry and Markets Association, the Money Laundering Association; the Anti-Money Laundering, Audit, Compliance and Fraud Forum; and a consortium of Wall Street investment banks.

Mr. Downing is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

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
  • 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 Outstanding Attorney Award, 2003, 2005 and 2007  
  • U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Special Commendation Award for the KPMG matter, 2009  
  • Partnership for Public Service, Service to America Medal for Justice and Law Enforcement, 2010 
  • 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: Tax: Contentious, 2013, 2016 
  • Legal 500: Dispute Resolution: White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2013
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