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James Phillips

James N. Phillips

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James Phillips

Jim Phillips is a shareholder in the Tax and International Law Practice Groups in the Milwaukee office. His practice is concentrated in the areas of domestic and international tax structuring, planning and controversy matters, corporate and business law, acquisitions and venture capital. He provides counsel to corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and individuals.

Jim has been involved in a variety of tax and business transactions over the years. Representative examples include restructuring private companies to take them public, restructuring pass-through entities such as S corporations to accommodate ineligible equity owners, structuring and advising venture capital funds regarding their formation, operation and investments, representing purchasers and sellers in merger and acquisition transactions, advising companies, investors and management regarding the allocation provisions for partnerships and limited liability companies upon the entry and departure of partners and the contribution and distribution of appreciated and depreciated assets, tax planning for troubled and insolvent companies, advising companies on the structuring of their operations abroad such as China and Europe, negotiating and structuring joint venture arrangements, advising the acquiror in the largest S corporation ESOP transaction of its kind in the state, forming and advising non-profit and tax-exempt entities, and representing parties in tax disputes at the federal and state level.

The Tax Planning Group works as a team to stay up to date on federal and state tax developments, and has the resources to advise clients on a variety of taxes in addition to income and franchise taxes, such as sales/use, employment and excise taxes. Jim, like many other members of the group, has working knowledge of many of the taxes, with the resources within the Group to assist clients when needed.

Jim has spoken on a variety of topics. He has taught courses at the University of Wisconsin Law School on corporate acquisitions and restructurings, covering both the corporate and tax aspects of recapitalizations, stock acquisitions, asset acquisitions and mergers. Jim is a member of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Iowa Bar Associations.

Jim received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Iowa Law School in 1976 and 1979, respectively. He served as an editor for The Journal of Corporation Law.

Admitted To Practice


Wisconsin - 1980

Professional Associations

Iowa State Bar Association
Milwaukee Bar Association
State Bar of Wisconsin


Experimental Aircraft Association – Director, Audit Committee Chair

Life Navigators – Board of Directors

Milwaukee Rep – Board of Trustees, Treasurer

Whitefish Bay Public Education Foundation – Board of Directors



Named a 2016 Leader in the Law by the Wisconsin Law Journal

Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2005 - present)

Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Tax Law, 1995 - present)

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®


Juris Doctor, University of Iowa College of Law, 1979

Bachelor of Arts, University of Iowa, 1976

833 East Michigan Street
Suite 1800
Milwaukee, WI
Julie Owens

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