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Robert L. Wollfarth

Shareholder

Robert "Rob" Wollfarth, shareholder in the Firm's New Orleans office, represents large and small clients across the country with a wide variety of business matters.

Featured Videos

State Tax Law Changes Coming in Louisiana's 2017 Fiscal Legislative Session March 30, 2017
You Are About to Be Liquid: Now What? August 25, 2016
Negotiation of Representations and Warranties in the Purchase and Sale Agreement July 28, 2016

Featured Experience

Successfully argued for the Louisiana Department of Revenue's application of ten years of a Georgia company's payroll tax payments to a tax rather than penalties and interest accumulated over that period.

Restructured a large gaming company to avoid millions of dollars of Louisiana franchise tax.

Advised numerous clients in connection with earning and obtaining the benefit of Federal and Louisiana tax and economic incentives including, but not limited to, Research and Development Tax Credits and Digital Interactive Media and Software Tax Credits.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Wollfarth has experience handling matters that include, but are not limited to, start-up, mergers and acquisitions, federal, state and local tax planning and controversy, obtaining tax and economic incentives, business combinations, sales, contractual relationships, financing projects and operations, restructuring, buy-outs and dissolution.

Mr. Wollfarth prides himself on providing his business clients with creative solutions rather than just answers to their legal questions. His focus remains on helping clients attain their goals, rather than merely a legal result, and doing so in a cost-effective manner. 

He currently serves as the SALT practice area coordinator for the Tax Group, in addition to serving on the executive committee for the Firm's Manufacturing Initiative.

Representative Matters
  • State and Local Tax Issues

  • Successfully argued for the Louisiana Department of Revenue's application of ten years of a Georgia company's payroll tax payments to a tax rather than penalties and interest accumulated over that period.
  • Restructured a large gaming company to avoid millions of dollars of Louisiana franchise tax.

  • Convinced local tax authorities to assess dirt company's customers for underpayment of sales tax, saving dirt company several hundred thousand dollars of sales tax liability.
  • Assisted a national insurance company in a Louisiana income tax audit.
  • Defended a large aircraft repair business in connection with Louisiana sales and use tax audit.
  • Structured a pharmacy's drug sales to minimize Louisiana sales and use taxes.
  • Advised a barge leasing company on procedures for acquiring and leasing barges to minimize Louisiana lease taxes.
  • Advised a large national software technology development company about developing and licensing software to avoid Louisiana sales and use taxes.
  • Assisted a large oil and gas pipeline company with settlement of Louisiana ad valorem tax litigation.
  • Prepared the necessary documentation to allow a national charitable organization to make grants to other charitable organizations and individuals.
  • Business Formations

  • Successfully structured and implemented the tax-free conversion from S corporation tax status to partnership tax status of six affiliated limited liability companies engaged in a home health business worth over $100 million.
  • Minimized a foreign corporation's tax and other liabilities by structuring its U.S. ownership of $1.5 billion in oil and gas assets. 
  • Successfully negotiated an llc operating agreement between a privately-held Louisiana company and a non-Louisiana publically-traded partnership in connection with their formation of a marine towing business consisting of $70 million of assets.
  • Represented non-Louisiana oil and gas drilling company, guiding it through a maze of Louisiana licensing and tax filing requirements to qualify the company to conduct business in Louisiana.
  • Assisted numerous tax exempt organizations, including one of the first charter school associations formed in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, with forming legal entity to engage in tax exempt activities and preparing and filing federal tax exemption applications.
  • Acquisitions and Sales

  • Represented a ship building company in the acquisition of millions of dollars of ship building assets from a seller involved in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Negotiated and closed the sale of a privately-held offshore diving company for over $50 million.
  • Negotiated and closed a client's acquisition of a multimillion dollar landfill business.
  • Contractual Relationships

  • Helped municipality stimulate economic growth by preparing and successfully negotiating on its behalf an agreement with foreign airline providing for the only direct flight between municipality and foreign business destination.
  • Assisted numerous clients with preparing and negotiating employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, settlement agreements, indemnity agreements, confidentiality agreements, brokering agreements, option agreements and other kinds of agreements.
  • Tax and Economic Incentives

  • Represented a Fortune 100 film and television production company in connection with earning and selling tens of millions of dollars of Louisiana Motion Picture Investor Tax Credits.
  • Represented clients in connection with development of multi-million dollar real estate projects utilizing Federal and Louisiana New Markets Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits and other incentives.
  • Advised numerous clients in connection with earning and obtaining the benefit of Federal and Louisiana tax and economic incentives including, but not limited to, Research and Development Tax Credits and Digital Interactive Media and Software Tax Credits.
  • Financing Transactions

  • Acted as bank counsel in connection with large lending transactions.
  • Represented film studio clients in connection with film finance transactions.
  • Assisted clients with obtaining equity financing through private placement transactions.
Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV®Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed as a Louisiana Rising Star by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2012)
  • Recognized as a 2017 "Top Lawyer" in Commercial Transactions/LLS Law by New Orleans Magazine
  • Recognized as a 2015 "Top Lawyer" in Tax Law by New Orleans Magazine
  • Member – Leadership Jefferson Class of 2011
  • Member – Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Tax Committee
  • Member – Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association
  • Board Member – New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Member – Creative Digital Media Subcommittee, New Orleans Business Alliance
  • Member – Baker Donelson Emerging Company Institute
  • Member – Baker Donelson Legal Opinion Committee
  • Member – Baker Donelson Economic Development Team
  • Fête Louisiane 2013 Event Committee Member – Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation
  • Advisory Board – New Orleans Film Society
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • Co-presenter – "Interplay of Property Values and Characterizations between Income, Sales and Property Taxes," COST 48th Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida (October 2017)
  • Program Chair and Presenter – "Making the Right Choice of Entity for your Business," Tax and Estate Planning for Businesses Seminar, Louisiana Bar Association, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2017)
  • Moderator – "Taking Advantage of Louisiana Economic Development Incentives," 2017 Louisiana Life Sciences and Technology Symposium, New Orleans, Louisiana (September 2017)
  • "The Gross Receipts Tax and Its Impact on Business," 2017 SEATA Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (July 2017)
  • "The Basics of 1031 Exchanges," Louisiana REALTORS® Continuing Education Seminar, Baton Rouge (September 2017), Lafayette, Louisiana (September 2017), Lake Charles, Louisiana (June 2017); Metairie, Louisiana (April 2017); Shreveport, Louisiana (April 2017)
  • "Making the Right Choice of Entity for your Business," Construction Financial Management Association, Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans Chapter (April 2017)
  • Co-presenter – "The Distinction between Movable and Immovable Property for Louisiana State and Local Tax Purposes within the Oil and Gas Industry," 2017 Louisiana Multi-Parish Tax Committee (LMTC) Annual Conference (February 2017)
  • "The Basics of 1031 Exchanges," Louisiana REALTORS® 2016 Fall Convention, Bossier City, Louisiana (September 2016)
  • "Common Sales Tax Pitfalls for Contractors," CFMA Louisiana Joint Regional Conference (August 2016)
  • "Negotiation of Representations and Warranties in the Purchase and Sale Agreement" (July 2016)
  • "Valuation and Investment Banking Focus Before a Sale" (June 2016)
  • "Recent and Upcoming Changes to State Tax Law," Construction Financial Management Association, Southeast Louisiana, Baton Rouge Chapter (May 2016)
  • "Sales and Use Taxation of Construction Projects," Arkel Constructors, Inc. (May 2016)
  • "General Insights into Handling a State Tax Audit and Specific Guidance on Florida's Transactional Taxes," Council On State Taxation, Southeast Regional State Tax Seminar (March 2016)
  • Panelist – "Q&A Ask the Experts Panel," Council On State Taxation, Southeast Regional State Tax Seminar (March 2016)
  • Panelist – "Economic Development Roundtable with International Press," Greater New Orleans, Inc. (December 2015)
  • "Tax Credits and Economic Development in Louisiana" (May 2015)
  • Presenter/Chair – "Business on the Bayou: Tax Incentives and Economic Development in Louisiana," Louisiana State Bar Association (May 2015)
  • "Tax Incentives for Emerging Companies," Northwestern State University School of Business Spring CLE (April 2015)
  • "Using Representations and Warranties in Mergers and Acquisitions," Professional Education Broadcast Network (April 2015)
  • "Discussion of State Tax Appeals Procedures," Council On State Taxation, Southeast Regional Meeting (March 2015)
  • "Delaware South? What You Need to Know About the New Louisiana Business Corporation Act (New Orleans)" (February 2015)
  • "Business and Transactional Issues in Connection with Sales/Exchanges of Partnership/LLC Interests," Professional Education Broadcast Network (February 2015)
  • "Delaware South? What You Need to Know About the New Louisiana Business Corporation Act (Baton Rouge)" (February 2015)
  • "Earnouts in Business and Real Estate Transactions," Professional Education Broadcast Network (December 2014)
  • Lecturer – "Hiring a Lawyer in Connection with your Film Production," University of New Orleans Entertainment Law Class (2011-2014)
  • Co-presenter – "Limitations on Closely Held Company Owners - Business Opportunities and Non-Competes," Professional Education Broadcast Network (May 2014)
  • "Selling Privately-Held Companies," Baker Donelson Special Event, Houston, Texas (April 2014)
  • "Tax Incentives for Start-Ups," Southeastern Emerging Companies Boot Camp Series, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (March 2014)
  • Co-presenter – "Planning to Avoid, Rather than to Pay, Louisiana Sales and Use Taxes," Construction Financial Management Association, Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans Chapter (March 2014)
  • Co-presenter – "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation," Tax Executives Institute, Inc., New Orleans Chapter (February 2014)
  • Co-presenter – "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation," Construction Financial Management Association, Southcentral Louisiana, Baton Rouge Chapter (January 2014)
  • Co-presenter – "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation," Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLP (December 2013)
  • Panelist – "Building on the Foundation: A New Orleans Tech Future That Will Drive the Economy," New Orleans Tech Week, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2013)
  • Panelist – "Film Finance Forum," The Expo: Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (September 2013)
  • Co-presenter – "Indie Film Making and the Law," Sidewalk Film Festival (August 2013)
  • "Key Legal Issues Relating to Developing, Producing and Distributing a Motion Picture," part of University of New Orleans Film Festival 2013 (May 2013)
  • "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation Laws Applicable to Software Businesses," Louisiana Technology Park Lunch and Learn (February 2013)
  • Panelist – "Film Finance Forum," The Expo: Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (September 2012)
  • Co-presenter – "What to Do When the Majors Don't Come Knocking," Fourth Annual IP and Entertainment Law Sidewalk CLE (August 2012)
  • "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation," Construction Financial Management Association, Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans Chapter (June 2012)
  • "Key Legal Issues Relating to Developing, Producing and Distributing a Motion Picture," part of one-day seminar offered by New Orleans Video Access Center and Loyola University College of Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society (April 2012)
  • "Business Succession Planning," Construction Financial Management Association, Southeast Louisiana chapter (March 2012)
  • "Tax Incentives for Emerging Companies in Louisiana," Idea Village Boot Camp (March 2012)
  • "Navigating Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation," NACM-Louisiana Inc. Education (November 2011)
  • "Tax Incentives for Emerging Companies," Baker Donelson Emerging Company Boot Camp at Louisiana Technology Park (November 2011)
  • "Company Formation and Taxation," Baker Donelson Emerging Company Boot Camp at Idea Village (March 2011)

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