Steptoe Adds Treasury’s Ruth Madrigal to Tax-Exempt Organizations Practice

(January 10, 2017, Washington, DC) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce the arrival of Ruth Madrigal as a partner in the Tax Group.  Ms. Madrigal, who will reside in the firm’s Washington office, will build upon the firm’s tax-exempt organizations practice led by Suzanne McDowell and Catherine Wilkinson.

Ms. Madrigal spent the past six years at the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy, where she served as the exempt organizations (EO) attorney and policy advisor.  While at Treasury, Ms. Madrigal drafted regulations and other administrative guidance relating to the tax-exempt sector, including Treasury guidance on program-related investments and other types of mission-related investments, updated rules facilitating foreign grantmaking, and new regulations detailing requirements for tax-exempt hospitals.  She also contributed to legislative proposals relating to charitable organizations and charitable giving, and represented the department in public hearings and in meetings with other federal agencies, foreign governments, Congress, and state regulators.

Previously, in private practice, Ms. Madrigal advised EOs on a broad range of issues, including entity choice, private foundation rules, intermediate sanctions, unrelated business activities, and reporting and governance issues.  She also advocated on behalf of clients before the IRS, Treasury, and Congress.

In welcoming Ms. Madrigal to Steptoe, firm Chair Phil West commented:  “Ruth is one of the country’s most widely respected exempt organizations lawyers.  She developed a stellar reputation during her six years as Treasury’s EO tax expert, and during four of those years worked closely with Lisa Zarlenga – co-chair of our Tax Group and former tax legislative counsel at Treasury.  We are proud to re-create this team here at Steptoe, and I expect that her experience will be of great benefit to our EO clients as they seek advice on many topics, including when and how to make impact investments.”

“Steptoe’s Tax Group and its EO practice are among the best in the country,” Ms. Madrigal said.  “I’m excited by this opportunity to expand the EO practice that Suzanne and Catherine have built in a full-service law firm that can meet all of its EO clients’ legal needs.  In addition, I look forward to working with Steptoe’s highly regarded, bi-partisan Government Affairs and Public Policy Group to help educate policy makers about the activities and needs of exempt organizations and the populations they serve.”

Steptoe’s Tax Group brings clients decades of consulting, transactional, and advocacy experience in all substantive areas of federal and state taxation.  The team includes former senior government officials from congressional offices, the IRS, Treasury, and the Justice Department, who have vast experience in sophisticated tax planning, audit, and controversy work.  The group has earned rankings and recommendations from the prestigious legal directories Chambers USA, Chambers Global, and The Legal 500, among other publications.

Steptoe’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Group brings decades of experience working in and with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, and understands how public policy decisions are made.  The team includes former congressmen, the governor of Puerto Rico, general counsel of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, chiefs of staff in both the House and Senate, and senior staff and legislative positions.

Ms. Madrigal received her B.S. from California Polytechnic State University, summa cum laude, and earned her J.D. from Harvard, cum laude.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, successful representation of clients before governmental agencies, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions.  The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix and Washington.  For more information, visit