Sullivan's Richard Jones Named Law360 2021 Tax MVP

Press Release
September 10, 2021

Boston, MA - Congratulations to Sullivan partner Richard Jones, leader of the firm's Tax Practice, for being named to Law360’s 2021 Tax MVP list. The elite slate of attorneys chosen as Law360's 2021 MVPs have distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals. Rich is one of just five attorneys industrywide recognized for outstanding achievements and contributions to tax over the last year. Rich was profiled in this Law360 article about his recent accomplishments, his biggest challenge and what motivates him.

"We’re thrilled that Rich’s amazing work in tax has been recognized with this MVP honor," said Joel Carpenter, managing partner of Sullivan & Worcester. "His ability to forecast what’s next, to problem solve and to help clients reach their goals is indicative of what his work and this firm are all about."

Over the past decade, Rich has been at the forefront of cases that have changed or shaped tax law.

In a precedent-setting case, Rich argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Oracle v. Commissioner of Revenue. At issue was whether a taxpayer may apportion tax on sales of software purchased for use in multiple states. On May 21, 2021, the Court announced its decision in favor of Oracle. In a strongly worded opinion, the Court found that the Commissioner has no authority to make fundamental tax policy decisions and rejected his attempt to attach conditions for apportionment. The win caught the attention of the state tax world, and is expected to have tax policy impact in states across the country.

A different win at the intersection of technology and tax proved to be Rich's proudest moment over the past year, he said. That case in front of the state Appellate Tax Board involved Akamai Technologies Inc., a content delivery network services provider, and its eligibility for status as a manufacturer in the state, which Rich said has significant implications for tax liability in Massachusetts. The tribunal ended up siding with Akamai in a $7.5 million win for the company. During trial, Rich and his team had to explain the fundamentals of the internet and CDNs and prove that Akamai was providing a software and not a service as the state had contended.

Rich’s focus on multistate tax involves picking through the technical and often convoluted tax issues and procedural avenues and hazards in order to advocate most effectively for his clients. State tax is full of unsettled law and gray areas, thus amenable to controversy and litigation. Rich believes that the best results in state tax controversies are achieved through excellence in both technical tax and advocacy/litigation skills.

To learn more about Rich, including his biggest challenge and what motivates him, view his Law360 Profile article.

About Sullivan
Sullivan & Worcester (Sullivan) is a leading AmLaw 200 law firm. With over 200 attorneys in Boston, London, New York, Tel Aviv and Washington, DC, they guide organizations that are rewriting the rules. Sullivan’s clients, including Fortune 500 companies and emerging businesses, rely on Sullivan’s strategic vision, comfort with complexity and intense focus on results. As a global law firm, Sullivan’s reach extends beyond the United States. Sullivan has represented clients around the world and has a deep bench for working on a variety of matters and issues affecting clients globally.

Related People

Jump to Page