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Leonard L. Silverstein, renowned tax attorney, philanthropist, and creator of the Tax Management Portfolio Series, passed away February 14. He was 96.
Mr. Silverstein had a long and distinguished career as a tax attorney. In the early part of his career, he served as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service and on the legal advisory staff of the Treasury Department during the legislative development of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. In 1960, he founded his own firm, Silverstein and Mullens, with Richard A. Mullens. The firm later became part of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.
Mr. Silverstein concentrated his practice in estate planning, nonprofit organizations, charitable contributions and representation before the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department. His long history of professional and community service includes roles on the Advisory Group of the House Ways and Means Committee in the late 1950s, as executive director of the “Filer” Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, a member of President Reagan’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and of President-elect Nixon’s Task Force on Taxes.
After working on the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Mr. Silverstein recognized a need among tax professionals of all levels for in-depth, comprehensive, topical analysis of tax law that was practical, unbiased and reliable. The key, he said, would be to have the analysis written by the country’s leading tax experts, many of whom he knew well. The result was the launch of the BNA (now Bloomberg Tax) Tax Management Portfolio Series in 1959. He remained active in developing and enhancing the Portfolio series for decades, expanding its scope to include international tax law and in-country tax experts. He relentlessly attributed much of the success of the Portfolios to the many authors who contributed their time and expertise over the years.
“Leonard recruited the brightest minds to create a landmark service that has been informing tax professionals for well over half a century,” said Darren McKewen, President of Bloomberg Tax. “He lives on through that service and the ongoing benefits it brings to tax professionals and their clients”
As the founder of the Tax Management Portfolios, “Leonard was a true inspiration and guiding light for the standards of excellence that we, at Bloomberg Tax, have upheld since 1959,” said Lisa Fitzpatrick, Vice President and General Manager of Bloomberg Tax. “On top of being incredibly accomplished in his work and generous in his contributions to philanthropic causes, Leonard was truly one of the most caring and thoughtful persons many of us have ever known. We will miss him and honor his legacy through the acclaimed Tax Management Portfolios he created and loved.”
“Leonard invented the concept of ‘practical law’ with the creation of the innovative tax Portfolios,” said Greg McCaffery, CEO of Bloomberg Law. “His business instincts were every bit as sharp as his legal knowledge, and he will be deeply missed.”
“Although Leonard will most certainly be remembered as an influential and gifted tax lawyer and generous philanthropist, what I believe we will miss most at Buchanan Ingersoll are the many deep, meaningful relationships he fostered with his colleagues,” said Lisa Starczewski, a shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. “He was incredibly generous with his time, knowledge and resources. He was a mentor and friend to so many of us and had a profound effect on our careers and our lives. He was loved and he will be missed.”
Mr. Silverstein’s special standing in the tax profession is also reflected in the Leonard L. Silverstein Award for Distinguished Service in Tax, which is presented annually by Bloomberg Tax to the practitioner who best exemplifies the values of our field, in both U.S. and international tax.
“I was honored to be able to work with Leonard on the Tax Management Portfolios,” said George Farrah, Editorial Director for Bloomberg Tax. “He cared deeply about the tax profession and especially about the individuals who contributed to the profession and shared their knowledge with others. The Silverstein Award will now take on new meaning and help us preserve his legacy.”
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