John Lillis

Partner Of Counsel, New York



John Lillis helps clients to maximize tax efficiencies in the formation and operation of investment funds and joint ventures.

Drawing on over 30 years' practice experience in this area, he brings knowledge and insight to the complex tax issues involved in the structuring of cross-border investment funds and joint ventures, to achieve tax efficiencies from both a US and non-US tax perspective.

He has developed a significant track record, working with both domestic and international sponsors to establish equity and other investment funds. In these transactions, John is often responsible for examining and coordinating advice on domestic US and non-US tax issues, and developing the most advantageous fund structures to minimize the tax burdens on investors.

John offers shrewd advice advising non-US banks, non-US pension plans, non-US endowments, as well as private equity, real estate and other investment funds on compliance and transactional issues, in particular those related to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

John regularly represents sovereign and sovereign-related entities in investments in private equity, real estate and other alternative investment entities, totaling over US$5 billion a year. These clients include sovereign wealth funds in Asia and the Middle East, Asian and Middle Eastern central banks, European foundations and endowments, and trusts affiliated with wholly owned entities of non-US sovereigns.

Bars and Courts
New York State Bar
Tax Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
Boston College Law School
New York University School of Law
Le Moyne College




Tax advice to financial institutions and government entities, 2014
John provided advice to financial institutions, government entities, private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds with respect to the application of FATCA, and various IGAs entered into in connection with FATCA. He also advised a non-US sovereign with respect to the negotiation of terms of IGA.

Tax advice to US$20 billion chemicals complex, 2013
John advised on the joint venture between Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and The Dow Chemical Company. The entity, Sadara Chemical Company, is to build and operate a US$20 billion global integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. John provides continuing advice on all of the tax/corporate/M&A aspects of the project development and project financing. Specifically, his tax representation focused on ensuring that the activities of the members of the joint venture would not result in Saudi Aramco being treated as if it were engaged in the conduct of a US trade or business. He focused on the negotiation of terms of the subsidiary joint ventures, to ensure a proper allocation of tax liabilities resulting from the operations of the subsidiary joint venture. Additionally, he negotiated the tax aspects of the several financing arrangements.

JVs, M&A and investment fund structuring for private investment firm, 2013
John represented Qatar Holding LLC (QH), the direct and strategic investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, in the acquisition of a significant minority equity stake in media and entertainment company The Chernin Group (TCG), led by Peter Chernin. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. QH's investment was made alongside Providence Equity Partners. TCG and its investors will work together to invest in, acquire, build and operate media assets around the world, with a particular focus on the United States, and emerging markets such as Asia, particularly in India, Indonesia, and China.

Awards and Recognition

The Legal 500 USA 2013
US Tax: International

The Legal 500 USA 2013
US Tax: East Coast

Tax Directors Handbook 2013
US Tax: International

Tax Directors Handbook 2013
US Tax: East Coast