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Press Release

Blank Rome Adds Leading State and Local Tax Team in New York

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to welcome Craig B. Fields, Holly L. Hyans, Nicole L. Johnson, and Mitchell A. Newmark to the Firm’s New York office as Partners in the Tax, Benefits, and Private Client group. Craig, Nicole, and Mitchell joined on February 15 and Holly will join in early March. The Firm expects to continue expanding the team over the coming weeks. At Blank Rome, Craig serves as Co-Chair of the Tax, Benefits, and Private Client group and leads the national State and Local Tax practice. The prominent group regularly litigates state and local tax matters and counsels clients on state and local tax planning throughout the country. They join from Morrison & Foerster LLP where Craig served as co-chair of the tax department and chair of the firm’s state and local tax group, and Holly was a founding member of the group. 

“We are very excited to welcome Craig, Holly, Nicole, and Mitchell to the Firm,” said Grant S. Palmer, Blank Rome’s Managing Partner and CEO. “Blank Rome’s New York office continues to grow with key lateral hires, including Stacy H. Louizos, who recently joined as co-chair of our Investment Management group. We are thrilled to keep the momentum going with the addition of this top-talent team, which will further bolster our national Tax group and expand upon our existing capabilities for serving our clients in this space.”

“Blank Rome’s national platform is vast, and we look forward to tapping into the Firm’s deep bench of experienced attorneys to counsel clients through the complexity of state and local tax issues and proactively manage and control their tax concerns,” added Craig. “In addition to guiding our clients through their tax controversy matters, we are strategically focused on expanding upon our current services and offerings across industries and collaborating with the Firm’s highly ranked Tax group.”

Collectively, the group has decades of experience representing clients in state and local tax controversies before administrative tribunals and judicial courts in jurisdictions throughout the United States and has resolved hundreds of cases throughout the country. They have secured successful outcomes for clients in state general jurisdiction courts and tax courts as well as appellate courts for a multitude of clients spanning a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, and financial services, among others. They also have significant experience advising clients on all state and local income, gross receipts, franchise, sales & use, excise, and miscellaneous taxes and fees and state unclaimed property obligations. Additionally, the group counsels clients on state and local aspects of sophisticated planning and transactional matters, such as acquisitions, dispositions, restructurings, and asset-based financing transactions. They also successfully counsel individuals and estates regarding residency, domicile, and multistate taxability in audits and appeals. The group frequently writes about and speaks on state and local tax issues with leading media outlets and organizations. 

“Clients turn to Craig, Holly, Nicole, and Mitchell for their unmatched experience and deep technical and procedural knowledge,” said Cory G. Jacobs, Partner and Co-Chair of the Tax, Benefits, and Private Client group. “Whether representing corporations or high-net-worth individuals, the team is adept at successfully and efficiently counseling clients in any state or locality with any tax issue at any time. We are thrilled to have them join our team and look forward to continuing to expand the group to meet the needs of our clients.”

Craig was selected as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2019, and serves as an advisory board member for various professional organizations, publications, and centers, including the Georgetown Law Center, the National Multistate Tax Symposium, the Journal of State Taxation, Bloomberg BNA State Tax, and State Tax Notes. He received the NYU School of Professional Studies Paul H. Frankel Award for Outstanding Achievement in State and Local Taxation in 2017. Craig earned his LL.M. from New York University School of Law, his J.D. from Duke University School of Law, and his B.A. from Queens College.

Holly serves on the advisory boards of the Hartman State and Local Tax Forum at Vanderbilt University Law School, the NYU Institute on State and Local Tax, and Bloomberg BNA State Tax. She earned her J.D., Order of the Coif, from New York University School of Law where she served as a staff member of the New York University Law Review, and her B.A. from Brooklyn College of the City of New York. She previously clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Nicole was appointed to the New York Tax Appeals Tribunal Advisory Panel in 2018 and serves as a member of the Law360 Tax Authority State & Local Editorial Advisory Board. She was named a Rising Star in Tax by Law360 in 2019. Nicole earned her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, and her B.S.B. from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In 2006, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael B. Thornton, U.S. Tax Court.

Mitchell was named a Law360 Tax MVP in 2019. He serves as co-chair of the State Practice, Procedure, and Liaison Committee of the Tax Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, and is a member of the Tax Section of the New Jersey Bar Association Executive Committee and Executive Council, which he previously chaired. He was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Tax Court for 11 years until he termed out in 2018. Earlier in his career, Mitchell spent six years as a deputy attorney general at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. From 1996 to 1997, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Irwin I. Kimmelman, New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. Mitchell earned his LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, his J.D. from Widener University School of Law, and his M.B.A. and B.A. from Rutgers University.

Since January 1, Blank Rome has welcomed several lateral partners across its U.S. offices, enhancing the Firm’s services and capabilities throughout its various practices.