Areas of Practice
  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. in Taxation, 1987
  • New York Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1984
  • Baruch Graduate School of Business, 1983-84
  • State University of New York at Brockport, B.S., 1981
  • Center for Economic and Political Studies, London Semester, 1980
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • US Tax Court

Philip R. West

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6247
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

 Request High Resolution Photo


Phil West is the chairman of Steptoe and head of the firm’s Transactions and Tax Department.  He is one of the premier international tax lawyers in the country and is consistently ranked among the best tax practitioners in publications such as Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and the Legal 500.

Focused mainly on international tax issues for both domestic and foreign clients, Mr. West has extensive practical experience advising on international business operations and transactions.  He has deep substantive knowledge of income deferral, foreign tax credits, transfer pricing, tax treaties, tax withholding and reporting, including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the tax aspects of cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, investment funds, and financings.  He also devotes significant attention to helping clients favorably resolve controversies with, and obtain rulings from, the IRS, and he has been particularly active with competent authority matters and with attest auditors on financial statement issues.  Mr. West has extensive practical experience advocating his clients’ interests before the IRS, Treasury Department and Congress on both technical matters and on issues of broad policy significance.

Mr. West served for nearly four years as the Treasury Department’s International Tax Counsel, the senior international tax lawyer in the US government.  In that position, he played a central role in virtually every policy, legislative, and regulatory development in the international tax area and led tax treaty negotiations, discussions, and ratification efforts involving countries throughout the world.  Mr. West also played a major role in the US work at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and led official delegations there and on other missions.  He has practical experience with many foreign tax systems and good relationships with foreign tax officials and private practitioners around the world.  He is regularly called on to advise government officials with respect to sensitive and complex tax matters and has testified before Congress several times on international tax matters.

Earlier in his career, Mr. West litigated tax cases with the Justice Department, advised Judge Carolyn Miller Parr as a Tax Court clerk, counseled financial institutions and other clients with a Wall Street law firm, and practiced in the national office of an international accounting firm.

Mr. West is a frequent speaker and author on international and domestic tax subjects, addressing both professional and academic audiences.


  • Chambers Global, Band 1, Tax: International Tax (US), 2008-2016
  • Chambers USA, Tax (DC), 2000-2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, 2006-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America, Litigation & Controversy - Tax, 2014-2017
  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers, Tax, 2007-2017
  • Washingtonian Magazine's "Best Lawyers" in Tax, 2015
  • Legal 500 US, Tax: International, 2012-2016; Tax: Controversy, 2011-2015; Tax: Domestic Tax, 2008-2015
  • Who’s Who Legal, Corporate Tax, 2008-2014
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, Tax, 2011
  • Practical Law Company, Tax: DC, 2011
  • "One of the Top Tax Lawyers in the United States," Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisers, 2011
  • Euromoney's Expert Guide to the World's Best Tax Advisors, 2010
  • "Acknowledged as the Star of Steptoe & Johnson's Tax Practice," International Tax Review's "World Tax 2007"
  • Fellow, American College of Tax Counsel
  • US Treasury Department's Exceptional Service Award, 2000
  • Vice chair, ABA Tax Section Foreign Lawyers Forum, 2002-2010
  • Executive committee and chair of International Tax Committees of NYSBA, 1991-1996
  • Advisor at Congressional Working Group on Int’l Tax Reform, 2002
  • ABA Task Force on International Tax Reform, 2002-2006
  • International Fiscal Association Council, 2004-present
  • ABA Review Committee on Government Submissions, 2006-present
  • Board member, IRS/NYU Prof. Ed. Program, 2001-2004
  • IRS/GWU Institute on Int’l Taxation, Co-Chair 2011-2013; Board Member 2006-2010, 2014-2015
  • Adjunct professor, Georgetown University Law Center, 1997-1999
  • Guest lecturer at Harvard, New York, NYU, University of Michigan, and other law schools, 1993-1996, 2004-present

Select News & Events

Selected Publications

More Publications »