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Melissa McMorrow, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Melissa Sampson McMorrow

Chair, Tax Department / Boston

Overview

Melissa Sampson McMorrow is the chair of Nutter's Tax Department and co-chair of the Nonprofit and Social Impact practice group. She advises businesses, tax-exempt entities and individuals on federal, state and international matters.

Melissa specializes in advising charitable, other nonprofit organizations, and their affiliates on a wide range of issues related to tax exemption and nonprofit status. She frequently represents these entities, and other taxpayers, before the Internal Revenue Service, state revenue authorities, state charity officials, and other state and local authorities. Melissa also regularly advises donors in developing and optimizing their charitable giving goals.

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A sample of engagements includes:

  • Overseeing the tax aspects of corporate reorganizations of several large area charities
  • Representing charitable organizations in the receipt of complex gifts of all sizes
  • Advising charities on the application for and appeal of denials of charitable property tax exemptions
  • Representing charitable clients before the MA Attorney General's Nonprofit Organizations/Public Charities Division
  • Structuring joint ventures between nonprofit and for profit organizations
  • Providing creative solutions with respect to managing restrictions on compensation, lobbying and unrelated business activities
  • Developing scholarship and disaster relief programs for independent and company-sponsored foundations
  • Devising operating procedures for the foreign grantmaking activities of private foundations and public charities
  • Obtaining private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Representing private foundations before the Internal Revenue Service, including to obtain abatement of penalty excise taxes
  • Counseling individual donors regarding the pros and cons of private foundations, supporting organizations, donor-advised funds and other charitable giving vehicles
  • Representing social welfare organizations, trade associations and social clubs with respect to operational matters and the creation of subsidiaries and affiliates

Melissa was the inaugural co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Tax Exempt Organization Section. Currently, she serves as the co-chair of the section's policy committee, and is leading the effort to update the Commonwealth's nonprofit statute. She also is the co-chair of the MCLE Annual Nonprofit Seminar. Melissa is a member of the American Healthcare Lawyers Association. She often presents at local and national conferences regarding matters affecting nonprofit organizations.

Melissa is the Chair of the School Committee in the town where she resides. She has been a board member of the Carlisle Education Foundation and the Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts. Prior to entering law school, Melissa was an analyst in the Tax Analysis Division of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office and at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee.

Experience

Experience

  • Top-rated health plan

    Acquisition of Medicaid provider of health insurance
    $130 million and earn-outs

  • Major not-for-profit hospital system

    Special Counsel to the Board of Governors in connection with sale of the system to for-profit entity. Independent counsel to the Board with respect to fiduciary duties and processes in evaluating and approving the proposed transaction. (Firm also provided advice with regard to officers and directors liability insurance.)

  • Not-for-profit merger

    Nutter represented a not-for-profit corporation in its consolidation with another not-for-profit corporation in a similar but complementary line of business. We provided advice on the structure of the transaction, both from the tax exempt, regulatory and corporate perspectives. We documented and negotiated the transaction, and provided advice to the Board of Directors on governance considerations.

  • Not-for-profit restructuring

    Nutter represented a not-for-profit corporation in a restructuring of its unusual and complicated corporate structure involving not-for-profit and for-profit corporations. We provided tax, corporate, regulatory and governance advice to our client to enable it successfully to complete the restructuring.

News & Insights

News

Honors

Honors

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2014-2016
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007-2011
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2017
  • The National Law Journal, “2016 Trusts & Estates Trailblazer”

Education & Admissions

Education

University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif, Thurston Society

Miami University, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Tax Court

Industries

Industry Expertise

Melissa was the inaugural co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Tax Exempt Organization Section. Currently, she serves as the co-chair of the section's policy committee and is leading the effort to update the Commonwealth's nonprofit statute. 

Noteworthy

Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2014-2016

Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007-2011

The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2017

The National Law Journal, “2016 Trusts & Estates Trailblazer”