Gardere - Attorney Bio - James Howard,  Partner,  Houston Office,  

James Howard
Wells Fargo Plaza, Suite 3400
1000 Louisiana
Houston,  Texas  77002
Phone: 713.276.5391
Fax: 713.276.6391

Area(s) of Expertise

Practice Emphasis

James Howard is a member of Gardere's Tax Practice Group. He represents both domestic and international clients in areas of corporate tax, corporate finance and securities. He has extensive experience with issues related to the structure of and planning for international investments and financings. Mr. Howard has structured numerous partnerships and joint ventures, both in the United States and internationally.

Mr. Howard's experience also includes providing tax advice and counsel on numerous private equity investments and the structure of portfolios. He represents real estate owners and developers in corporate and tax-related planning. Mr. Howard has particular experience serving energy clients, including the exploration and production, oilfield services, and chemical sectors. Mr. Howard also advises tax-exempt entities, such as higher education institutions, charities and private clubs, in their operations.

Prior to joining Gardere, Mr. Howard was a partner at Locke Lord LLP focusing on international and corporate tax.

Clients and Matters

Mr. Howard serves a varied client base in a broad array of matters, such as:

U.S. Taxation of Domestic Operations and U.S. Persons

  • Represented foundation of a large, public university in Texas litigation matter involving contested will under which the foundation was beneficiary.
  • Advised foundation of a large, public university regarding the structuring of a planned giving by a Texas donor of a testamentary cash gift.
  • Represented foundation of a large, public university in the structuring of an in-kind testamentary bequest by foreign alumni where Mr. Howard had to coordinate both U.S. and European income and estate/inheritance tax considerations.
  • Restructured C corporation into multiple pass-through entities to minimize future U.S. taxes.
  • Advised company being acquired by publicly traded partnership on general acquisition and expense reimbursement matters.
  • Advised numerous publicly traded partnerships on separating qualifying and non-qualifying income and internal reorganizations and restructuring relating to same.
  • Provided tax advice to publicly traded partnership forming joint venture to acquire and extend existing gas line.
  • Provided general tax advice on proposed mergers and acquisitions to a number of publicly traded partnerships (i.e., MLPs).
  • Provided tax and partnership advice to joint venture company constructing one of the largest natural gas pipelines ever built in North America.
  • Advised commercial real estate manager in forming joint venture to redevelop existing shopping center in Central Texas.
  • Advised management forming partnership with equity fund sponsor on purchase Gulf of Mexico blocks from major global energy company and structure the company's incentive compensation plans.
  • Provided general tax advice to a number of private equity funds on structuring its portfolio investments.
  • Provided corporate and tax advice to a large, private oilfield services company in selling a portion of equity to a financial purchaser.
  • Provided tax advice on securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions for publicly traded integrated energy company.
  • Provided tax advice to a corporation in connection with numerous reorganization transactions to preserve net operating losses and certain related favorable tax attributes.
  • Provided general tax and business entity advice to numerous U.S. investment groups on real estate investments and developments.
  • Provided tax advice to financial institution serving as trustee of fund holding demutualization proceeds of employee benefit plan.
  • Advised management of private exploration and production company in selling equity to equity fund.
  • Advised numerous organizations of Texas companies to minimize state income taxes.
  • Advised high-net worth individuals on income and transfer (estate and gift) tax matters.
  • Structured corporate freeze to minimize taxes on future operations and potential sale of business.

U.S. Taxation of International Operation and Foreign Persons

  • Advised Singapore-based company acquiring an interest in U.S. company developing multi-story mixed-use building in Texas.
  • Advised U.S.-based technology company repatriating earnings from European subsidiaries.
  • Advised U.S. public retailer disposing of its Mexican operations.
  • Advised European bank loaning to U.S. persons.
  • Advised Mexican corporation forming a partnership to acquire and develop technology with U.S. owner of technology.
  • Advised U.S. partnership issuing partnership interests to investment fund from India.
  • Advised U.S. partnership complying with U.S. tax filing obligations relating to interests therein being owned by foreign persons.
  • Advised U.S. real estate company disposing of real estate in Belgium.
  • Advised telecommunications outsourcing companies based in Jamaica and in the Middle East.
  • Advised Cayman-based corporations owned by non-U.S. persons engaged in the U.S. oilfield services industry.
  • Advised Australian bank acquiring U.S. utilities.
  • Advised families owning interests around the world on U.S. tax consequences of operations and repatriation of income therefrom.
  • Assisted management on joint venture with publicly traded French corporation to provide logistics for oil exploration in African countries.
  • Provided tax advice to publicly traded U.S. company on "going private" transaction pursuant to purchase by European corporation.
  • Advised Mexican-based telecommunication company on investment in U.S. joint venture.
  • Advised publicly traded U.S. services company structuring debt of its Canadian subsidiaries.
  • Advised publicly traded U.S. chemical company proposing joint venture in China.
  • Oilfield services company acquired by Australian buyer.

General Corporate and Tax Advice

  • Testified as expert witness on federal tax law principles relevant to civil action involving negligence.
  • Structured intercompany transactions regarding tax considerations and create equity-based incentive compensation planes for privately held financial institution.
  • Provided general corporate and tax advice to a family-owned real estate company owning apartment properties in and around Houston.
  • Advised technology company implementing a reverse-split to reduce the number of the company's shareholders.
  • Provided tax, corporate and contract advice to OCTG distributors and other oilfield service companies.
  • Advised higher education institution on Texas state law matters and U.S. federal income and international tax matters.


  • J.D., South Texas College of Law (1994)
  • B.A., Oklahoma State University (1991)

Publications and Speeches


  • Author, 2014 Year in Review: Tax Law, Texas Lawyer, Dec. 15, 2014.


  • Speaker, Address for Bloomberg BNA U.S. Taxation of Mergers and Acquisitions Conference: Strategies for Making a Sec. 338 (h)(10) Election (Dec. 2, 2014)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
    • Corporate Counsel Section
    • Taxation Section
      • Former Member, Council
      • Former Chair, Partnership & Real Estate Tax Committee
      • Member, Corporate Tax Committee
      • Member, International Tax Committee
      • Former Member, Subcommittee on Corporate Tax Shelters
  • Member, Houston Bar Association
  • Director, Texas Institute for Federal Taxes
  • Member, Houston Tax Roundtable
  • Former Member, International Tax Forum of Houston

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2012-2015)
    • Tax Law

Community Involvement

  • Member, Oklahoma State University Foundation
  • Director, The Houston Club
    • Treasurer
  • Coach, Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Softball
  • Coach, Southwest Football League
  • Coach, 8U Houston Heat Softball All-Stars
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