Meet International Tax Law Expert Marc Levey '72
When 1972 UC Law graduate Marc Levey isn’t litigating a complex international tax issue, you can find him on the ski slopes with his wife and five children near their vacation home in Vermont. As a partner at Baker & McKenzie in New York, Levey specializes in transfer pricing, tax controversy and litigation, supply chain tax planning, tax advice for mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructuring, and general tax planning. His fluency in both English and French allow him to interact with clients on an international level.
Pilot Meets His Match
Although he was initially interested in becoming a pilot, Levey was influenced by his mentor Eugene Roth, who he met in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to become a lawyer. “My father’s brothers were all pilots and when my uncle was killed when I was 14, I decided against it,” Levey explained. “Eugene was a lawyer who recruited me to play basketball in a holiday tournament for the local Jewish Community Center that was a pretty big deal around my hometown. He became one of my greatest friends and eventually mentored and sponsored me to college and law school.”
Making the choice to attend UC was an easy one for Levey. “I figured out what schools were within an eight hour drive from home and UC was one of them,” he said. “I also worked as a waiter with some UC med students one summer and went to Cincinnati to visit for a weekend with them. I met then Associate Dean James Kennedy and he showed me around the law school and introduced me to professors. It was an easy choice!” Levey enjoyed the close knit friendships he cultivated at school and the collegiality among students. “I played basketball every day and, sometimes, didn’t take law school as seriously as I should have. But UC gave me a great legal education and a solid background for success,” he said. “When the time came that I finally grew up, I was able to fall back on the teachings and principles of law that I had learned at UC.”
Expertise Calls Upon 30 Years of Experience
With over 30 years of experience, Levey is an expert in the field of international taxation and has been named by his peers as one of the “World’s Leading Tax Advisors” and as one of the “Best of the Best” global tax experts by Euromoney, a magazine for financial institutions, professional investors and their advisors. Following graduation from UC Law in 1972 and a year pursuing an LLM in Taxation, Levey began work as a tax attorney with the International Tax Ruling Group of the national office of the IRS where he spent two years. He later became senior trial attorney with the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice from 1977 until 1981.
In 1982, Levey became the special attorney to the Attorney General of the USDOJ. He then spent several years working at large firms in San Francisco and New York before he was asked to assist in rebuilding Baker & McKenzie’s New York tax practice. He has been with Baker & McKenzie for the past 15 years and is the current Chair of the Global Transfer Pricing practice group. An avid speaker and writer on the international circuit, Levey has been a featured lecturer at international tax seminars worldwide and has authored over 120 publications and seven tax treatises.
As busy as work can get, Levey enjoys spending his free time with his family. He met his wife in temple on Rosh Hashanah where the pair found that the only two seats available were in the back next to each other. Each had two boys from a previous marriage and the pair eventually celebrated the birth of their son, who completed the family. Now, one son is a UC graduate and another is thinking about it. Although vacation to the mountains is a regular trip for the group, each child has his own interest. “Three of the kids are (ski) racers, one is a snowboarder, and the other hates the cold,” he laughed.
Levey enjoys the fast paced lifestyle of New York and appreciates the tranquility of his home in Connecticut. He travels an hour to and from work in the city each day and is able to do work on the train. “New York is an exciting place to work,” he explained. “You get the best of the best here. Cutting edge issues are always arising and you get to see everything before anyone else gets to see it,” he continued.
Story by Amanda Shoemaker '09