LaVerne Woods J.D.

Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

LaVerne Woods chairs the firm's Tax-Exempt Organizations (TEO) group. She has over 20 years of experience in working with the nonprofit sector and is a frequent writer and speaker in the area both nationally and regionally. Her practice spans a broad range of issues affecting charities, including federal tax exemption, governance, endowment management, mergers and joint ventures. She has a special interest in healthcare,social entrepreneurism and international philanthropy. LaVerne represents organizations across the nonprofit spectrum, including: family and corporate foundations, community foundations, supporting organizations, global health and relief organizations, hospitals, health plans, colleges and universities, research institutes, charitable trusts, social service and arts organizations, trade associations and government agencies.

Practice Highlights

  • Grant-making Compliance - Designs and implements grant-making compliance programs for private foundations, community foundations, supporting organizations and donor-advised funds
  • Family Philanthropy - Represents family foundations of all sizes in federal tax planning and compliance
  • Corporate Philanthropy - Advises corporations on giving initiatives through company foundations and
    corporate philanthropy
  • Unrelated Business Income - Provides planning advice and opinion letters regarding unrelated trade or
    business activities
  • Governance - Provides comprehensive review of governing documents and policies and advises on
    restructuring options
  • Controversies - Represents tax-exempt organizations in IRS examinations and challenges to tax-exempt
    status and state Attorney General investigations
  • International Philanthropy - Establishes "friends of" organizations to support foreign charities and designs options to facilitate cross-border grant-making and giving
  • Executive Compensation - Designs compensation packages and approval procedures in satisfaction of IRS
    and state law reasonableness standards
  • Major Gifts - Works with charities and donors to structure major endowment and operational gifts
  • Endowment Management – Advises charitable institutions on spending and investment compliance with
    state endowment laws

Professional & Community Activities

  • Past Chair, Exempt Organizations Committee, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association
  • Co-chair, Private Foundations Subcommittee, Exempt Organizations Committee, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association
  • Past Chair, Board of Advisors, National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University Law
  • Committee on Government Submissions, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association
  • Co-convener, Legal Work Group advising the Independent Sector’s Panel on the Nonprofit Sector
  • American Law Institute
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Past Chair, Nonprofit Corporations Committee, Business Section, Washington State Bar Association