Bennett Thrasher Adds New Tax Controversy Service Line

James Pickett

James Pickett

Bennett Thrasher (FY17 net revenue of $47.3 million) of Atlanta welcomed James Pickett, a 29-year veteran of the IRS, as director of its new tax controversy practice. The hire marks the addition of the firm’s third new service line in the past nine months.

Pickett spent his final six years at the IRS as team manager of the large business and international (LBI) division. In this role, he supervised a team of revenue agents throughout several states conducting large corporate audits.

“As someone who was on the front lines leading audits of some of the largest corporations in the southeast, James will be an enormous asset to our clients,” says Jeff Eischeid, MP. “As a firm, we want to offer the most sophisticated expertise and as extensive a range of services as we can. We see adding a tax controversy practice group led by someone with James’s background as essential in the current marketplace.”

The tax controversy practice will seek to help clients resolve matters prior to the litigation stage. Pickett will be responsible for helping clients manage tax disputes involving both field and correspondence audits, post-audit issue resolution, including representation in IRS appeals, penalty and collection notices, claims and other tax compliance-related matters. Pickett will also work in conjunction with Bennett Thrasher partner Tim Kelly, who provides litigation and forensic support for certain civil and other sensitive tax matters.

“I am grateful to Bennett Thrasher for this opportunity and am excited to reenter the private sector and apply my experience in a new manner,” says Pickett. “I understand the mentality of how the IRS approaches companies that it is targeting for noncompliance and that will aid me in assisting the firm’s clients who need these specialty services.”