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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 2013
  • District of Columbia, 2010
  • New York, 2009


  • French
  • German

David A. Lawson

David advises nonprofit and for-profit clients on tax exemption and charitable initiatives. His practice encompasses tax advice for exempt organizations, corporate governance, state charitable trust and solicitation compliance, corporate transactions involving nonprofits, and health care, with a special focus on emerging issues at the intersection of nonprofits and technology. David’s clients include hospitals and health care organizations, universities and colleges, publicly traded companies engaged in philanthropy and cause marketing, community and private foundations, charitable trusts, major public charities, and trade associations.

Representative Experience

Assist publicly traded companies with federal and 50-state compliance for online charitable sales promotions

Provides advice to publicly traded companies to ensure that major, long-term nationwide online charitable sales promotions are structured and operated such that they satisfy federal tax laws as well as all state laws governing such promotions, while minimizing overhead expense. (Ongoing)

Procedures for rebuttable presumption of reasonableness for tax exempt organizations

Assists boards of tax-exempt organizations, their compensation committees, and human resources departments with designing and implementing procedures for approving executive compensation to create a “rebuttable presumption” of reasonableness under the federal tax law “excess benefit” rules in order to protect the organization, its executives, and board members. (Ongoing)

Solve longstanding tax exemption issue for organization

Assisted tax-exempt organization in successfully navigating unusual IRS and state-law processes to achieve permanent resolution of a unique, decades-old structural issue that jeopardized the organization’s tax-exempt status.

Tax advice with respect to major transactions involving tax-exempt organizations

Provides advice to executives and corporate counsel of major tax-exempt organizations on tax-exemption, federal tax, and state corporate law implications of restructuring transactions, mergers, asset sales, and spinoffs. (Ongoing)

Additional Qualifications

  • Associate, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, Washington, D.C., 2010-2012
  • Associate, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Washington, D.C., 2008-2010

Professional & Community Activities

  • Tax Section, American Bar Association
  • Nonprofit Corporations Subcommittee, Business Law Section, Washington State Bar Association
  • Tax Section, Washington State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • Tax Section, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Wayfind