David Forst focuses on international corporate taxation. David is included in Euromoney’s Expert Guides: Tax Advisers (ranked as one the world’s leading tax advisers, one of the world’s transfer pricing advisers and one of the top 30 US tax advisers). He is also in The Legal 500’s Hall of Fame and, for the past seven years, has been recommended by WWL: Corporate Tax. David is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in tax by San Francisco Magazine.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO SPECIALISE IN CORPORATE TAX?
I enjoy deciphering complex rules and understanding how they operate. Tax law is like a giant puzzle, and the better you can fit the pieces together, the better advice you can give to clients.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN TAX-RELATED MATTERS?
I enjoy the people and solving problems. Many times people come to me with problems that they think have no solution, but with a little creative thinking it’s amazing what you can do.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE FOR A SUCCESSFUL CORPORATE TAX LAWYER?
An ability to work with complex rules; creativity; and problem-solving focus.
THE OECD RECENTLY HIGHLIGHTED A GLOBAL TREND TOWARDS LOWER INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE TAX RATES. WHAT EFFECT DO YOU THINK THIS TREND WILL HAVE ON THE MARKET IN THE MEDIUM TERM?
Taxpayers are always re-examining and re-evaluating their tax structuring. Businesses change and the law changes; the combination of those two constants typically make for activity in the market. I haven’t seen any difference due to lower corporate tax rates.
HOW DOES FENWICK & WEST DISTINGUISH ITSELF FROM THE COMPETITION?
Each partner has a unique breadth and depth of knowledge that enables Fenwick to provide tremendous value. We can accomplish a lot for a client with the time of just one or two partners.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PRACTICE DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
More of the same.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
Helping to solve problems that were initially thought to be too difficult to solve.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNGER PRACTITIONER HOPING TO ONE DAY BE IN YOUR POSITION?
The learning curve is steep, so keep at it because you will get better and better over time. Also, it’s important to be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and concisely. Even if you are speaking to other tax professionals, the rules are often so complicated that jargon just won’t accomplish the task.
David Forst specialises in international corporate tax and is renowned for his skill in handling M&A and joint venture-related issues.
David L Forst is included in Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Tax Advisers, Law Business Research’s Who's Who Legal: Corporate Tax for the past nine years, and was named one of the top tax advisers in the western US by the International Tax Review. He is listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2011–2018), and has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer in Tax by San Francisco Magazine.
David's practice focuses on international corporate and partnership taxation. He is a lecturer at Stanford Law School and at UC Berkeley Law School on international taxation. He is an editor of, and regular contributor to, the Journal of Taxation, where his publications have included articles on international joint ventures, international tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, the dual consolidated loss regulations, and foreign currency issues. He is a regular contributor to the Journal of Passthrough Entities, where he writes a column on international issues. David is a frequent chair and speaker at tax conferences, including the NYU Tax Institute, the Tax Executives Institute, and the International Fiscal Association.
David graduated with an AB, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and received his JD, with distinction, from Stanford Law School.