April 07, 2003

Samuel Olchyk, Tax Legislation Counsel to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, Joins Venable’s Washington Office

4 min

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7, 2003) – Venable LLP has bolstered an already strong national tax practice with the addition of Samuel Olchyk as a partner in its Washington office. Mr. Olchyk, 43, has broad experience in tax law and policy, including initiatives and legislation affecting domestic business activity, corporate and pass-through entities, financial products, tax shelters, real estate and small business tax issues.

For the past eight years, Mr. Olchyk has provided counsel to the U.S. Congress, first as a Tax Counsel with the Senate Finance Committee, and most recently as a Legislation Counsel with the Joint Committee on Taxation. Previously, he was a tax attorney with the Washington, DC office of Steptoe & Johnson.

"We are thrilled to bring aboard Sam Olchyk, who combines in-depth legislative background with extraordinary technical knowledge in the increasingly complex field of federal taxation," said Stefan Tucker, who chairs Venable’s national tax practice, and formerly was chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation. "Sam strengthens our ability to advise regional, national and international companies in their domestic and global tax planning, as well as in their dealings with the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service."

Venable’s nationally regarded tax group handles a complete range of issues from general corporate advisory work such as acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures, to tax controversy work. The group regularly engages in contested proceedings before the IRS, the U.S. District Courts, the Tax Court, the Claims Court, and many state tax agencies.

At the Joint Committee on Taxation, Mr. Olchyk’s main responsibility was to assist in the development of tax legislation affecting domestic business activity, a job description which put him in the role of not just an advisor, but also an investigator of legislative agendas. He coordinated the Committee’s business team in its year-long investigation of Enron, which resulted in a 2,700 page report detailing the company’s complicated tax shelter strategies. During Mr. Olchyk’s tenure, the Committee also completed a study aimed at simplifying the Federal tax laws, and issued an investigative report on allegations regarding the IRS handling of tax-exempt organization matters. Mr. Olchyk also co-authored the Joint Committee staff’s recommendations regarding corporate tax shelters.

"In the current business environment, a client’s complex tax issues will of course need sophisticated tax advice from attorneys who know the laws and regulations," said Mr. Olchyk. "But a law firm that also understands the underlying public policy is in a position to provide deeper insight, and in some cases may even be an agent for legislative solutions to otherwise intractable problems. Venable has a nationally recognized tax practice and a growing and respected legislative practice. My background as a transactional tax lawyer, plus my experience in the legislative tax process made Venable a natural choice for me."

"So many businesses are looking for alternative tax strategies because of a crackdown on shelters," said Paul Kaplun, the Vice-Chair of Venable’s Business Division. "The situation has left businesses confused about what is legal and appropriate, and what crosses the line. Venable has the capability to do analyses and risk assessments for these businesses, and Sam Olchyk’s background in Congress is a tremendous value-add for clients who are struggling to understand what is expected of them as they pursue their necessary tax planning."

A prolific writer, Mr. Olchyk has authored or co-authored a number of articles on Federal tax issues for various publications, including a chapter on taxation that is being translated into Spanish for publication as part of a multi-volume treatise entitledThe United States Law of Trade and Investment (El Derecho de Estados Unidos en Torno al Comercio y la Inversiõn). He has been a frequent speaker at several tax programs, including events sponsored by the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the D.C. Bar Tax Section, the Southern Methodist University Law Review Association Corporate Counsel Symposium, and other organizations and association.

Mr. Olchyk received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1987, and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985. He received his B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Texas in 1982, and also holds a C.P.A. license from Texas.

Originally from Havana, Cuba, Mr. Olchyk is fluent in Spanish. He lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife Debbie, and the couple’s two sons ages 12 and 10.

One of the American Lawyer’s top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.