Sidley Austin fires tax shelter chief

Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has fired the controversial head of its tax shelter practice for breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of the firm’s partnership agreement, the New York Law Journal reports today (Wednesday 29 October).

The dismissed partner, R.J. Ruble, who worked in the New York office of the Chicago-based firm, was among the nation’s leading providers of opinion letters blessing tax shelters for corporations and wealthy individuals, some of whom have since sued the firm.

The Internal Revenue Service sued Sidley Austin on 14 October seeking information on the firm’s clients who have participated in tax shelters.

In a brief statement issued on Monday, the firm said it was firing Ruble, 58, for misconduct unrelated “to the substance of opinions at issue in current litigation or to any ongoing tax work for existing clients.” The firm said its actions were based on activities by Ruble that the firm became aware of only last Thursday.

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