Sanford W. Stark is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and co-chair of the firm’s Global Tax Controversy and Litigation Practice Group.
Sanford counsels on a wide range of complex domestic and international tax issues, including a significant emphasis on cross-border transfer pricing. He has served as counsel in a number of the largest tax controversy and litigation matters in recent years. He advises clients in various industries and on all aspects of the tax controversy process, including pre-audit, audit, administrative appeals, Advance Pricing Agreements, and Competent Authority proceedings. Sanford litigates tax disputes in federal trial and appellate courts, and his transfer pricing experience includes planning and internal restructurings in addition to controversy and litigation.
Sanford is consistently named one of the nation’s leading Tax Controversy lawyers as recognized in Chambers USA (both Nationwide Tax Controversy and District of Columbia Tax), The Best Lawyers in America, the World Tax Experts Guide, the Tax Controversy Leaders Guide, Who’s Who Legal (including recognition in the Who’s Who Legal inaugural edition of Thought Leaders: USA 2023), the Guide to World’s Leading Transfer Pricing Advisers, and Washingtonian, among other publications. Clients describe him as “a brilliant tax attorney,” “exceptionally skilled,” “amazing to work with,” “extremely knowledgeable, responsive and engaging,” and a “great practitioner whom peers and clients all trust and respect.” He “receives resounding acclaim for his work on large tax controversy matters,” is a “great team leader with a great courtroom presence,” and clients find that he possesses “strong business and legal insights,” and “takes the time to understand us and you really feel he is part of your team. He always does what is right for the client.”
Representative matters include:*
*Includes matters handled prior to joining Gibson Dunn
Sanford previously served as a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where he received the Tax Division’s Outstanding Attorney Award.
Sanford is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Tax Program of Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches “Survey of Transfer Pricing.” He is a co-author of “Transfer Pricing: Litigation Strategy and Tactics,” Bloomberg Tax, Transfer Pricing Portfolio 6932.
Sanford received his law degree in 1991 with high honors from Duke University Law School, where he was a member of the Alaska Law Review. He served as a law clerk for Judge Peter Hill Beer of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Yale University.
Sanford is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Tax Court.
Duke University - 1991 Juris Doctor
Yale University - 1988 Bachelor of Arts
District of Columbia Bar