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Kathleen L. Ferrell

Ms. Ferrell is a partner in Davis Polk’s Tax Department. She frequently advises corporate and private equity fund clients on federal income tax matters, including mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs and other major U.S. domestic and cross-border corporate transactions. She also advises domestic and international clients on capital markets transactions, joint ventures, bankruptcy and workouts, and tax legislative and administrative matters. 

She served in the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy from 1987 to 1990, as an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Tax Legislative Counsel and as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy.


Ms. Ferrell is recognized as a leading tax lawyer in various industry publications:

  • Chambers USA
  • PLC Cross-border Tax on Corporate Transactions Handbook
  • Who’s Who Legal – International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal – International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers
  • Corporate Counsel: Best Lawyers Annual Guide to Tax Law
  • Tax Directors Handbook

She is recognized as a leader in the legal industry:

  • International Tax Review – "Women in Tax Leaders": United States
  • Elected as a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel

Of Note

  • Editor of Tax Reform and Transition, a Davis Polk blog covering the latest developments in tax reform
  • Frequent speaker on M&A tax topics
Current Membership
  • Member, Executive Committee, Taxation Section, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, International Fiscal Association USA Branch

Professional History

  • Partner, 1997-present
  • Associate, Davis Polk, 1990-1997
  • Attorney-Adviser, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel; Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Tax Policy, Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy, 1987-1990
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Andrew A. Caffrey, U.S. District Court, Massachusetts, 1981-1982


  • 450 Lexington Avenue
    New York, NY
    P: +1 212 450 4009
    F: +1 212 701 5009

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • B.A., University of South Carolina, 1978
  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1981
    • Co-Founder, Virginia Tax Review