Melissa Sampson McMorrow
Melissa Sampson McMorrow chairs Nutter's Tax Department, co-chairs the Nonprofit and Social Impact practice group, and serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. 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.
A sample of engagements includes:
- Overseeing the tax aspects of corporate reorganizations of several large area charities
- Regularly counseling local, regional, and national organizations regarding governance, best practices, and board operations
- Structuring and overseeing mergers and acquisitions of nonprofit organizations
- 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 continues her leadership outside of Nutter as well. She served as the inaugural co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Tax Exempt Organization Section. Currently, she serves as the co-chair of the Section's Chapter 180 Working Group, which is leading the effort to update the Commonwealth's nonprofit statute. Melissa has co-chaired both the MCLE Annual Nonprofit Seminar and the BBA’s Law Day Dinner. She has served on the strategic planning committee for the BBA and on the board of the Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts. Currently, she is a member of the Women’s Bar Foundation’s Emeritus Board.
A sought-after speaker, Melissa presents at local and national conferences on matters affecting nonprofit organizations, including the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), Boston Bar Association, MCLE, and most recently, the Opportunity Zone Expo in Las Vegas, the country’s leading conference mentoring industry leaders about beneficial tax incentives through the government’s new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
In recognition of Melissa’s outstanding expertise in this field, The National Law Journal selected her as a “Trusts and Estates Trailblazer” in 2016. She has been named to “The Best Lawyers of America” and “Super Lawyers” rankings for many years.
Active in the community, Melissa is a member of the Finance Committee in the Town of Carlisle. Previously, she was a member of the Carlisle School Committee, serving as chair for three years and as a member of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee for three years. She also was a board member of the Carlisle Education Foundation.
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.
- Brighton Marine
Nutter advised Brighton Marine on all aspects of the development of The Residences at Brighton Marine, a $46 million project that created 102 units of affordable housing in Boston with a preference for veterans. Nutter provided counsel on all aspects of the project, including the original strategic planning, the permitting, the formation of the joint venture with WinnCompanies, the ground lease to the joint venture, and the financing.
- MNB Bancorp
Nutter advised MNB Bancorp, the parent company of The Milford National Bank and Trust Company, a national bank, both of Milford, Massachusetts, in its acquisition by Independent Bank Corp. (NASDAQ Global Select Market: INDB). Independent is the parent company of Rockland Trust Company. The total value of the transaction was approximately $54 million.
- Top-rated health plan
Nutter represented a top-rated health plan in the acquisition of a Medicaid provider of health insurance in a transaction valued at $130 million and included earn-outs.
- Major nonprofit hospital system
Nutter acted as special counsel to the Board of Governors of a major nonprofit hospital system in connection with the sale of the system to a for-profit entity. We were independent counsel to the Board with respect to fiduciary duties and processes in evaluating and approving the proposed transaction. Nutter also provided advice with regard to officers and directors liability insurance.
- Nonprofit merger
Nutter represented a nonprofit 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, 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.
- Nonprofit restructuring
Nutter represented a nonprofit 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
- 08.15.2018 | Press Release
- 07.06.2018 | Press Release
- 05.30.2018 | Press Release
- Nutter Represents MNB Bancorp in Proposed Merger with Independent Bank Corp., Reports American Banker05.30.2018 | Press Release
- Nutter’s Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice Group Sets Its Sights on Achieving Maximum Social Change11.13.2017 | Press Release
- 08.15.2017 | Press Release
- Nutter Partners Julia Satti Cosentino, Melissa Sampson McMorrow Honored as ‘2016 Trusts & Estates Trailblazers’ by The National Law Journal03.31.2016
- Julia Satti Cosentino and Melissa Sampson McMorrow Named to NLJ’s Inaugural ‘Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazers’ List03.23.2016
- Forty-four Nutter Attorneys Recognized in 2015 Edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars10.30.2015
- The Boston Globe, 07.13.2010
- Melissa Sampson McMorrow quoted in “IRS Embrace of Tax-Exempt RHIO Model Provides Opportunities for Growth, Success”BNA’s Health Law Reporter, 11.05.2009
- Melissa Sampson McMorrow presents at the American Health Lawyers Association’s seminar “Tax Issues for Healthcare Organizations”10.12.2009
- Julia Satti Cosentino and Melissa Sampson McMorrow publish “Is Your Charity Ready for the New Form 990”In-House Counselor, February 2009
- Melissa Sampson McMorrow and Elizabeth Norman to Present at Wells Financial Partners' 2018 Tax Reform Seminar02.28.2018
- Melissa McMorrow Sampson Presents at The Capital Network’s ‘Choosing The Right Entity – How To Set Your Company On The Right Track’06.21.2016
- Melissa Sampson McMorrow and Paul Ayoub Present at MCLE’s ‘17th Annual Nonprofit Law Conference 2016’04.05.2016
- Nutter hosts Boston Philanthropic Advisors Roundtable (BPART) 6th Annual Luncheon “Passing the Torch: Next Generation Philanthropy”12.06.2013
- Nutter hosts Boston Philanthropic Advisors Roundtable (BPART) 5th Annual Luncheon “Beyond Grants: Using Program Related Investments (PRI) to Make an Impact”10.24.2012
- Michael Mooney and Melissa Sampson McMorrow present at State Street Global Advisors-Charitable Asset Management Gift Planning Conference04.23.2012
- 04.22.2019 | Legal Advisory
- 03.14.2019 | Insights
- 02.25.2019 | Article
- 07.18.2018 | Legal Advisory
- 07.09.2018 | Legal Advisory
- 03.27.2018 | Legal Advisory
- 12.21.2017 | Legal Advisory
- Nutter's Nonprofit and Social Impact Practice Group Sets Its Sights on Achieving Maximum Social Change11.13.2017 | Legal Update
- 12.18.2015 | Legal Advisory
- 12.23.2014 | Legal Advisory
- 07.10.2013 | Legal Advisory
- 03.30.2012 | Legal Advisory
- New Settlement Program for Worker Misclassification: Reducing Employment Audit Liability by Proactively Reclassifying Workers10.27.2011 | Legal Advisory
- 04.02.2010 | Legal Advisory
- The Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the Compensation and Fringe Benefits of Exempt OrganizationsExecutive Comp Exchange, 03.30.2018
- Generation to Generation, 10.16.2017
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2014-2018
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007-2011
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2019
- The National Law Journal, “2016 Trusts & Estates Trailblazer”
Education & Admissions
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
- U.S. Tax Court
Melissa served as 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 180 Working Group, which is leading the effort to update the Commonwealth's nonprofit statute.
Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2014-2018
Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2007-2011
The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2019
The National Law Journal, “2016 Trusts & Estates Trailblazer”