About

Jenny Louise Johnson Ware handles complex tax disputes of significant value for clients ranging from individuals to multinational corporations. She represents taxpayers in all stages of criminal and civil tax proceedings, including sensitive audits and examinations, IRS appeals, summons enforcement, search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, negotiated resolutions with the IRS and the Department of Justice, trials in federal district court and the U.S. Tax Court, sentencings and appellate litigation.  She has successfully resolved disputes involving income taxes, estate and gift taxes, excise taxes, federal and state tax credits, employment taxes, and employee plan matters.

As a skilled trial lawyer with a sophisticated understanding of tax issues and extensive experience in each of the many forums where tax disputes get resolved, Ms. Johnson Ware offers her clients creative and practical solutions that are customized to achieve the goals that are most important to each client.  By bringing the perspective of a trial lawyer to the development of a case from the very beginning, she is often able to avoid the expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation and achieve a favorable settlement.  When that is not possible, she is a powerful and seasoned advocate in the courtroom.

Ms. Johnson Ware also routinely provides behind-the-scenes strategic counseling to clients and their other advisors on potential or existing tax-related disputes. For example, Ms. Johnson Ware frequently works with high net worth individuals, families and their other advisors to identify potential audit risks and navigate examinations pursued by the IRS Global High Wealth Industry Group. 

Ms. Johnson Ware is an adjunct professor on the tax faculty at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, currently teaching Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of Tax Crimes.  She is also a frequent speaker and faculty member at both national and international professional conferences, and is in the upper echelon of nationally recognized tax litigators. 

Ms. Johnson Ware lives with her husband and three children in Western Springs, Illinois, where she is actively involved in her community.

Experience

Ms. Johnson Ware's recent experience includes:

  • drafting a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the American College of Tax Counsel as amicus curiae in Marinello v. United States
  • serving as lead tax litigation counsel for a $3 billion estate with respect to an alleged $150 million estate and gift tax deficiency involving transfer of interests in a professional sports team
  • obtaining summary judgment for the taxpayer, defeating the government’s attempt to recover what it claimed was an erroneous tax refund, with the U.S. District Court repeatedly citing her arguments on complex aspects of the TEFRA regulations
  • trying three cases in the United States Tax Court involving alleged transferee liability in “Midco” intermediary tax shelter cases
  • successfully resolving a Global High Wealth Industry Group audit involving tax treatment of millions of dollars of state low income housing tax credits and various other complex issues at the individual and entity levels
  • winning a $5 million U.S. Tax Court trial by proving that the taxpayer materially participated in a business through activities that included entertaining potential investors
  • defending multiple clients in the bar and restaurant sector in criminal tax investigations and prosecutions, as well as the civil aftermath
  • negotiating a favorable resolution of an IRS audit involving executive compensation
  • representing multiple taxpayers in various claims for refund from IRS, including claims for penalty abatement and refunds relating to gifts and inheritances
  • supervising a team representing hundreds of taxpayers who are voluntarily disclosing to the IRS funds held in offshore bank accounts and related income tax liabilities
  • representing multiple plan sponsors who faced an IRS threat of disqualification of their qualified plans
  • convincing the IRS to abate over $1 million in penalties and interest resulting from misapplication of seized funds

 

Honors & Awards

  • Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers 2018, Crain's
  • Super Lawyer, Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2016-2018
  • Women of Influence Award Winner, Chicago Business Journal, 2014
  • Rising Star, Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2013-2014
  • Chicago’s Rising Stars: 40 Under 40, The National Law Journal, 2013

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Income and Transfer Tax Planning Group, Tax Litigation and Controversy Committee, Former Chair
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee
  • Harvard Law Society of Illinois, Board of Directors
  • Chicago Inn of Court
  • American College of Tax Counsel, Fellow

Speaking Engagements

  • Musings on Marinello, 2018 ABA Section of Taxation May Meeting, May 10-11, 2018
  • Ethics Issues in Criminal Representations, 2018 ABA Section of Taxation May Meeting, May 10-11, 2018
  • Tax Planning for Domestic & Foreign Partnerships, LLCs, Joint Ventures and Other Strategic Alliances 2018 - PLI seminar held at Skadden, Arps, et al., May 3, 2018
  • Discovery and Stipulations Process, 2018 Tax Court Judicial Conference, March 27, 2018
  • Hot Topics in Domestic Criminal Tax Enforcement, Federal Bar Association 42nd Annual Tax Law Conference, March 9, 2018
  • Ethics Privileges and Conflicts: The Importance of Issue Management in the Administrative and Judicial Process, Federal Bar Association 42nd Annual Tax Law Conference, March 9, 2018
  • Estate and Gift Tax Audits: Practice Tips From a Trial Lawyer's Perspective, Rocky Mountain Estate Planning Counsel, November 8, 2017
  • Criminalization of International Tax Planning, 2017 ABA Fifth Annual International Tax Enforcement & Controversy, October 27, 2017
  • State Prosecution of Tax Crimes, 2017 ABA Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 14-16, 2017
  • The Expanding Scope of §7212: When Does Frustrating the IRS Become Criminal?, 2017 NYU 9th Annual Tax Controversy Forum, June 15-16, 2017
  • Economic Substance, Judicial Doctrines and Ethics, 2017 PLI Meeting, May 18, 2017
  • Best Practices in Appeal; Above the 20, 2017 ABA Tax Section Annual Meeting, May 11-13, 2017
  • Preparing Witnesses to Testify, 2016 ABA 33rd Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, December 8, 2016
  • Individual Responsibility for Corporate Wrongdoing: A Case Study of United States v. Caputo, The 34th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, September 6, 2016
  • Estate and Gift Tax Audits: Practice Tips from a Trial Lawyer's Perspective, ABA Spring Symposia, May 13, 2016
  • Endless War: The Status of the IRS/DOJ Campaign Against Foreign Assets and Accounts, 2016 May Meeting, May 5-7, 2016
  • Decision Documents and Their Aftermath, ABA 2016 Mid-Year Meeting, January 29, 2016
  • What’s New at Exam and Appeals, ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Controversy, December 10, 2015
  • How to Get the Truth from Expert Testimony, ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Tax Controversy, December 10, 2015
  • Aggressive IRS Audit Techniques – Tales from the Trenches, ABA 2015 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 19, 2015
  • Tax Litigation Developments from the Transfer Pricing Front, ABA 2015 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, September 18, 2015
  • The Limits of the Law: The Role of Compliance in the 21st Century, University of Cambridge Thirty-Third International Symposium on Economic Crime, September 8, 2015
  • Voluntary Disclosure and Swiss Secrets – Getting the Chocolate Out of the Wrapper, Chicago Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Meeting, March 16, 2015
  • What’s a Young Tax Attorney to Do When...?, ABA Section of Taxation 2015 Midyear Meeting, January 29-31, 2015
  • Trial Strategies: Valuations, ABA National Institute on Tax Controversy, December 11, 2014
  • Global High Wealth Audits - A Game-Changing Strategy for the IRS, American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPA) Fall Meeting and Education Conference, November 5-8, 2014
  • The Trial Countdown, ABA Section of Taxation 2014 May Meeting, May 9, 2014
  • Ethical Issues Arising from Conflicts of Interest in Litigation, ABA Section of Taxation Meeting, Phoenix, Ariz., January 24, 2014
  • Ask the Experts: Top Civil Tax Practice Tips and Representation Strategies, ABA National Institute on Tax Controversy, Las Vegas, Nev., December 12, 2013
  • IRS Global High Wealth Industry and IRS Representation Tips, Chicago Bar Association, December 9, 2013
  • Information Gathering: IDRs, Summons, and Third Party Information and Tax Court Procedures: Pretrial Practices, ALI Handling a Tax Controversy: Audits, Appeals, Litigation and Collections, October 17-18, 2013
  • Effective Use of Demonstrative Exhibits and Summary Exhibits in Tax Cases, ABA Section of Taxation 2013 Fall Meeting, September 20, 2013
  • Ethical Issues Arising from Conflicts of Interest, Especially When Criminal Tax Charges are on the Horizon, ABA Section of Taxation 2013 Fall Meeting,September 20, 2013
  • Third Party Records and the Fifth Amendment: What Happened?, ABA webinar,August 20, 2013
  • The Handling and Mishandling of IRS Witnesses, ABA Section of Taxation 2013 May Meeting, May 11, 2013
  • Effective Use of Depositions at Trial, ABA Section of Taxation 2013 May Meeting,May 10, 2013
  • Our Clients in the Spotlight: The New IRS High Wealth Industry Group;, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Spring CLE Symposia, , May 2-3, 2013
  • An Ethics Challenge: Identifying and Addressing Conflicts of Interest in Tax Controversies, ABA Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting, January 24, 2013
  • Update on Global High Wealth Industry Group Examinations, ABA Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting, January 24, 2013
  • Third Party Records and the Fifth Amendment: What Happened?, ABA Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, December 6, 2012
  • The Global High Wealth Industry Group: A “Game-Changing” Move for the IRS and Practitioners, New York Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, September 12, 2012
  • Don’t Blow It: Steps You Can Take to Bring Potential Whistleblowers to You Instead of to Court, Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago Chapter, June 28, 2012
  • Representing Clients in Federal & State Criminal Tax Investigations: Defense Strategies & Prosecution Initiatives Every Attorney Needs to Know, New York City Bar, May 9, 2012
  • Resolving Disputes with the IRS: Techniques for Achieving a Favorable Post-Exam Settlement, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Annual Spring Symposia, May 3, 2012
  • Wage and Hour Compliance: Tailoring Your Program to Wage and Hour Risk in a New Era of Enforcement, Association of Corporate Counsel Compliance Committee Presentation, February 21, 2012
  • Tax Litigation: the Practitioner’s View, ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, December 1-2, 2011
  • Where Do We Go From Here: A Comparison of Alternatives When You and the IRS Agree to Disagree, ABA Section of Taxation and Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, Trust & Estate Division 2011 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, October 20-22, 2011
  • IRS Global High Wealth Industry Group: Compliance for High Wealth Individuals and Their Related Entities, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Los Angeles, CA, October 4, 2011

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Sewanee The University of the South, B.A., summa cum laude

Court Admissions

  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit