W. Mark Scott, former head of the Internal Revenue Service's tax-exempt bond office, has left Vinson & Elkins LLP to join forces with Orlando-based Digital Assurance Certification LLC to promote a bond-related product and start his own law practice.
"I really enjoyed practicing at Vinson & Elkins. It's a great place and it has great lawyers," Scott said in a brief interview yesterday. "But I had this opportunity with DAC and decided to go in that direction. But I will be keeping open a small legal practice."
Several Vinson & Elkins lawyers said that the firm is sorry to lose Scott, but hopes to continuing working with him on some cases.
DAC provides disclosure and other services to municipal issuers.
Scott is providing technical services to DAC with regard to its private-business use monitoring system.
Under the tax law, private-activity bonds are taxable if more than 10% of the proceeds are used directly or indirectly by private parties and more than 10% of the debt service is derived from, or secured by, payments from private parties.
The IRS recently revised its Form 990 for nonprofit charitable organizations, adding a Schedule K to it that asks for information about the private use of bond-financed projects.
"DAC was able to offer Mark a broader platform to deploy his talents than a law firm may offer; we are very pleased to have him join us," DAC chief executive officer Paula Stuart said yesterday.
Scott says that he is still representing a few clients that he had at Vinson & Elkins and that he is also doing some work with the law firm on tax controversy issues, some of which are non-muni related.
"I was a tax controversy guy," he said. "Now I'm moving into tax compliance.
Scott joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner in November 2005 after leaving the IRS. He had been director of the IRS' tax-exempt bond office for more than five years as part of an 18-year career with the agency.
Scott said that he is currently working out of his home, but expects to be traveling to DAC's office in Orlando, and may need to find larger office space in the future.