Neil Barr
  1. Partner

Mr. Barr is the Managing Partner of Davis Polk.

Previously, Mr. Barr led the firm’s Tax Department. His practice focuses on advising companies and their boards on complex transactions with emphasis on federal income tax matters, including domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, spinoffs and splitoffs, and group structuring.

Work Highlights

  • GE in connection with numerous matters, including as special tax counsel in the strategic realignment of GE Capital, the combination of its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes and its pending Reverse Morris Trust transaction with Wabtec
  • Comcast in connection with numerous matters, including its proposal to acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, its possible cash offer to acquire Sky plc, its acquisition of Dreamworks Animation, its proposed tax-free spinoff of cable subscribers to Charter, its acquisition of NBCUniversal, the WiMAX joint venture involving Clearwire and Sprint and the acquisition of cable properties from Adelphia, Time Warner Cable and Insight
  • Lockheed Martin as special tax counsel in its Reverse Morris Trust combination of its IS&GS business with Leidos
  • NBCUniversal in connection with its sale of its interest in A&E Networks
  • AstraZeneca in connection with numerous matters, including its strategic oncology collaboration with Merck, the unsolicited bid by Pfizer, its acquisition of MedImmune, the acquisition of Omthera Pharmaceuticals, the expansion of its diabetes collaboration with Bristol-Meyers Squibb through the acquisition of Amylin Pharmaceuticals and the subsequent acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb's interest in that collaboration 
  • Citigroup in connection with numerous matters, including its $306 billion loss protection agreement with the U.S. government in 2008, its joint venture of the Smith Barney business with Morgan Stanley in 2009, its 2009 $52.5 billion capital realignment and $20.5 billion capital raise, the 2009 termination of the loss protection agreement with the U.S. government and the sale of One Main Financial
  • McKesson Corporation in its information and technology services joint venture with Change Healthcare, the divestiture of its Enterprise Information Solution business and the acquisition of RxCrossroads from CVS Health
  • VF Corporation in its pending tax-free spin-off of its Jeans and Outlets businesses
  • ConAgra in its tax-free spinoff of its commercial foods business, its acquisition of Ralcorp and the sale of its private brands business
  • Tyson Foods in its acquisition of Hillshire Brands and AdvancePierre
  • Masco in its spinoff of its installation services business and its acquisition of Kichler Lighting
  • Glenn Dubin in the acquisition of Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy (now known as Castleton Commodities International)
  • Solvay in connection with its acquisition of Cytec, its acquisition of The Chemlogics Group, divestiture of its Eco Services business and the formation of its torrefied biomass joint venture
  • PartnerRe in the acquisition of Paris Re and its sale to EXOR
  • Old Lane in its acquisition by Citigroup
  • JPMorgan Chase in connection with the bankruptcy of the Tribune Company
  • The Senior Lenders in connection with Sbarro's Restructuring and Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization
  • Morgan Stanley in connection with the Anthracite Capital bankruptcy

Mr. Barr also regularly advises multinational corporations and asset managers in connection with internal planning matters.


  • Law360 – “Tax MVP of the Year,” 2016, 2018

Mr. Barr is recognized as a leading tax lawyer in:

  • Chambers Global 
  • Chambers USA
  • Legal 500 U.S.
  • Who's Who Legal: Corporate Tax (Advisory)
  • Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Corporate Tax (Advisory)

Of Note

  • Speaker, topics relating to corporate, partnership and international taxation
  • Member, Section of Taxation; Officer, Corporate Tax Committee, American Bar Association (Chair - 2016; Vice Chair - 2015, 2014)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Taxation Section, New York State Bar Association

Professional History

  • Managing Partner, 2019-present
  • Head of Tax Department, 2014-2019
  • Partner, 2008-present
  • Associate, 2000-2008

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York


  • B.S., Finance, University of Virginia, 1997
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2000
    • Order of the Coif
    • magna cum laude
    • Member, The Tax Lawyer