(February 17, 2016, LOS ANGELES) – Prominent California tax litigator Marty Dakessian has launched his own firm. In forming Dakessian Law—which will focus exclusively on representing taxpayers in California tax disputes—the 19-year tax law veteran leaves his position as equity partner at Global 20 law firm Reed Smith, where he has been for the past six years. Dakessian will be joined by two other lawyers—LaShelle Wilson, who brings more than two decades of state and local tax experience, and fourth-year attorney Ruben Sislyan.
While maintaining a full and active caseload, Dakessian won several high-profile court cases, obtained refunds for clients in excess of $100 million and forced the state to pay his clients nearly three million in attorneys’ fees. Dakessian’s track record led to numerous honors such as being named Tax MVP by Law 360 in successive years, which lauded him as “a top-flight litigator.” He has also been recognized by Superlawyers and Pasadena Magazine as one of the top attorneys in California taxation. Marty's efforts have even attracted the attention of the California Legislature, with legislative staff referring to him as a “noted tax attorney.”
Wilson whom Dakessian says is “one of the smartest and most experienced tax lawyers in the country,” was most recently at ADP Tax Services, where she advised clients on California tax controversies. Sislyan joins Dakessian from Deloitte Tax, where he began his career. Dakessian called Sislyan a “very sharp and experienced lawyer” who “perfectly fits” the firm’s California tax controversy focus. Dakessian said the three-lawyer team has a “deep reservoir of knowledge of California tax disputes that few firms can match.”
“Reed Smith is one of the world’s top law firms and I’m grateful to my colleagues for the opportunities and support they’ve provided for me. I look forward to maintaining my strong relationships at the firm,” said Dakessian. “But I’m ready for a new challenge and am excited about the possibilities presented by a boutique practice in this highly specialized area.”
Dakessian added, “Entrepreneur Gary Keller says that to be truly successful, you must focus on your ‘one thing’ and ours is California tax controversy. I am excited to channel this passion into building the premier law firm dedicated to handling high-stakes California tax disputes for businesses and high net worth individuals. We will also continue to enforce taxpayer rights, as appropriate, so we can provide a voice for taxpayers who can’t speak for themselves. In short, our sole focus will be on this important area of the law.”
Dakessian started his career working for two different members of the State Board of Equalization—California’s administrative tax court—as a graduate research assistant for Dean Andal and as legal counsel to Claude Parrish, the current Orange County tax assessor. Observing the inner workings of California’s tax agencies combined with years of experience representing taxpayers has made Marty particularly adept at navigating California’s complex and unique tax system. Law 360 agrees, stating that Marty’s experiences have given him “an easy familiarity with the public and private spheres of state tax practice and have been a boon to clients searching for the best ways to fight state assessments.” Although these qualities distinguish him from others in the field, so does his passion for representing taxpayers. As Law 360 observed, “his victories are strongly linked to the love he has for his work.”
The firm will be headquartered in downtown Los Angeles at 445 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 2210, with a satellite office in Sacramento, the state capital.
Read a Related article on Law360 called "5 Signs It's Time to Leave BigLaw"
About Dakessian Law, Ltd.
Dakessian Law is focused on handling high-stakes California tax disputes for businesses and high net worth individuals. These include franchise and income tax disputes with the California Franchise Tax Board, sales and business tax disputes with the State Board of Equalization, property tax disputes, local tax and fee disputes with cities and counties and payroll tax disputes with the Employment Development Department. More information about our firm can be found at http://www.dakessianlaw.com/