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Exempt Organizations

As a distinct group within a large law firm, Simpson Thacher’s Exempt Organizations Practice is unique. We offer our clients—tax-exempt organizations (private foundations, public charities, social welfare organizations), as well as the governing boards of, and donors to, these organizations—advice from a dedicated team that also successfully collaborates with lawyers in other practice areas at the Firm. In that way, we can best counsel these clients using our specific tax, governance and corporate expertise—and at the same time advise on issues involving compensation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions, trusts and estates and litigation.
Tier 1
Tier 1 Ranking in Not-for-Profit by The Legal 500 United States 2012–2023

Our endowment advisory practice is an important part of our Exempt Organizations Practice. We advise clients with respect to their complex alternative investments, as well as their “program-related” and “mission-related” investments. Our team regularly advises clients with respect to not-for-profit/for-profit joint ventures and similar relationships.

We also regularly work on international philanthropic matters involving U.S. organizations operating abroad, the U.S. operations of foreign charities, and “American Friends of” organizations making grants outside the United States. In addition, businesses turn to our Exempt Organizations group for assistance with structuring and implementing corporate philanthropy programs.

Our Exempt Organizations clients include:

  • American Friends of the Louvre
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Doctors Without Borders USA
  • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • The Ford Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase Foundation
  • The New York Public Library
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Open Society Institute
  • The Pfizer Foundation, Inc.
  • Princeton University
  • Robin Hood Foundation

Related Links

New York State recently adopted the Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013. Refer to our December 2013 memorandum for a summary of key amendments in the law.

For an examination of core legal issues intrinsic to the operation of a corporate philanthropy program, refer to “A Legal Guide to Corporate Philanthropy” in The Exempt Organization Tax Review by Partner David Shevlin.


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