Sidley Austin’s partner, Scott Pollock, admits he’s gotten a little into the realm of tax law.
As a sophomore at George Washington University Law School, he took a federal income tax bracket just because he felt he should. It turned out to be significant: the professor, a former lawyer, piqued his interest in the field.
“She was able to trace much of her teaching back to work she did as an associate at a large law firm, and it opened my eyes to the practice,” said Pollock.
Pollock joined Sidley as a summer partner in 2009. Now, based in Chicago, he is representing Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on a $ 1 billion deal with VillageMD to open full-service medical practices in Walgreens branches across the country.
“It’s always fun to work on something that you can read about in the paper the next day,” said Pollock.
One of the tax aspects that Pollock likes best is affordable housing and historic rehabilitation deals. The transactions are fun and meaningful, said Pollock.
“You get the feeling that you are part of the overall mission, which is to provide affordable housing across the country,” said Pollock. “It really gives you a feeling of satisfaction that you are not only working on a successful real estate transaction but also contributing to a worthy goal.”
Last year, he was part of a Sidley team representing Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs when they invested in a mixed-use development in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. The space will serve as the new headquarters of the National Urban League, offering affordable housing, retail and offices.
Pollock’s analytical skills and diligent work ethic made him an investment business attorney, said Laura Barzilai, global director of Sidley’s tax, employee benefits and executive compensation practice, who has worked with Pollock on M&A matters, among others Has.
“Scott has a strong ability to adapt his knowledge to different areas, which is invaluable in tax practice as the rules change frequently and the way we work with the business climate changes,” said Barzilai.
For attorneys in training, Pollock recommends considering tax law – it’s highly technical and specialized, but it offers great opportunities. Tax attorneys work on a range of topics and meet attorneys in other areas of their firm.
“I think people are surprised to learn what tax lawyers do in a good way,” said Pollock.