William G. Cavanagh

Co-head of Tax, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

New York
United States
T:+1 212 408 5388
New York
United States
T:+1 212 408 5388
William G. Cavanagh

William G. Cavanagh



Bill Cavanagh is the co-head of the Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP tax practice and specializes in corporate, partnership, private equity and international tax matters. He advises a broad array of US and multinational clients on a wide variety of US and cross-border tax issues. In recent years, he has worked extensively with clients in structuring, negotiating and implementing significant domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, project finance transactions, securities offerings, private equity deals, financings and securitized loan transactions. He has also represented clients in numerous tax controversy disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and with various state and local tax authorities.  Bill has written extensively on tax issues and is a frequent speaker on a broad array of tax topics.

Professional experience

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LL.M, New York University School of Law
JD, George Washington University Law School
BA, Syracuse University

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • World Tax Guide, New York: Leading Advisor, International Tax Review, 2023
  • Chambers USA, Tax, domestic and international, Chambers and Partners, 2015
  • Chambers USA, New York: Tax, Chambers and Partners, 2017 – 2023
  • The Legal 500 US, Tax – International tax, The Legal 500, 2018 – 2020
  • The Legal 500 US, Tax – US Taxes: non-contentious, The Legal 500, 2019 – 2022-2023
  • The Legal 500 US, Tax – US Taxes: contentious, The Legal 500, 2020 – 2021
  • The Legal 500 US, Tax, domestic and international, The Legal 500, 2015
  • Tax Leader, New York, International Tax Review, Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, 2020
  • Who’s Who Legal – The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Leading corporate tax lawyer, Law Business Research Limited, 2002 - 2015, 2017 – 2018
  • Best Lawyers - Tax Law, Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2024
  • Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers, 1999 – 2021
  • New York Metro Super Lawyer, Tax, Thomson Reuters, 2006 – 2020
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Tax Advisers, Euromoney
  • "Negotiating and Drafting Tax and Tax-Related Provisions in Acquisition Agreements" Practicing Law Institute, October 26, 2022
  • "Negotiating and Drafting Tax and Tax-Related Provisions in Acquisition Agreements" Practicing Law Institute, October 20, 2021
  • "Negotiating Taxable Acquisition Agreements:  Tax Traps for the Unwary (And The Wary Too!)," Practicing Law Institute, October 16, 2020
  • "U.S. Tax Reform In-bound and Out-bound Investments - Who Comes Out on Top," International Fiscal Association, May 15, 2019
  • "Hot Tax Topics for 2019 Closely-Held Businesses -Tax Traps and Opportunities," USC Gould School of Law 2019 Tax Institute, January 28, 2019
  • "Hot Tax Topics:  Selected Current Federal and State Tax Planning and Tax Litigation Issues," 76th Annual NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, October 2017
  • "Hot Tax Topics in Small Bites For the Closely-Held Business," CBIZ & MHM Conference, July 2017
  • "Tax Planning with BEPS:  How Many People does it Take to Earn Profits Offshore and Other BEPS Quandaries – An Interim Report, Plain English Version," Tax Forum, May 2, 2016
  • "Tax Planning for Global Supply Chain Management Structures – OECD BEPS and Beyond – Transactional Analysis" NYSBA Tax Section Annual Meeting, January 27, 2016
  •  "'World is Flat' Offshore Tax Strategies – Supply Chain Lessons from Apple, Caterpillar, Camp Proposal and Beyond," Tax Executives Institute, Inc. Westchester-Fairfield Chapter, May 14, 2014
  • "Partnership Tax Allocations – Theory and Practice" or "Why I don't liquidate in accordance with capital accounts anymore (no matter what the learned commentators say)," University of Virginia Tax Law Conference, April 11, 2014
  • "Outbound Reorganizations and Profit Repatriation: Where's the Beef -- A Transactional Analysis," Tax Forum, May 2013
  • "Intangibles and Transfer Pricing — Where the Action Is," Tax Executives Institute, Inc., April, 2011
  • "Targeted Allocations Hit the Spot," Tax Notes, p. 89, October 4, 2010
  • "'World is Flat' Supply Chain Management: U.S. Tax Opportunities and Pitfalls in Earning (Shifting?) Taxable Profits Offshore: Selected Issues," Practicing Law Institute, October 2010
  • "How Much U.S. Presence is too Much for Foreign Corporations — U.S. Tax Traps for the Unwary," Tax Executives Institute, Inc., December 2009
  • "What Happens When Tax Mistakes are Made: Equity in the Tax Law," 65th Annual New York University Institute on Federal Taxation, October 2007
  • "Substance, Form and Subchapter C:  A Modest (Simplification) Proposal," Tax Forum, February 2006
  • "Tax Issues for Troubled Corporations," New York University Graduate Tax Workshop, February 2005
  • "There's Gold in Them Thar' Hills (And Some Fool's Gold Too) - State Tax Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls," Tax Review, October 2001
  • Clerk to Judge Arthur L. Nims, III, of the U.S. Tax Court 
  • Board of Advisors, New York University Institute on Federal Taxation 
  • Chair: 
    • 72nd Annual New York Institute on Federal Taxation, 2013 
    • 65th Annual New York University Institute on Federal Taxation, 2006 
    • International Bar Association program on “Spin-offs and Split-ups” (Barcelona, Spain), 1999 
    • 57th Annual New York University Institute on Federal Taxation, 1998 
    • International Bar Association program on “Negotiating Stock Purchase Agreements” (Paris, France), 1995 
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, New York State Bar Association