Michael A. Clark

Clark, Michael A.


Chicago +1 312 853 2173

One South Dearborn
Chicago, Illinois 60603
+1 312 853 2173

mclark@sidley.com mclark@sidley.com

Admissions & Certifications

Michael A. Clark


MICHAEL A. CLARK is a partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin LLP and a co-leader of the Non-Profit Institutions practice area team. Mr. Clark has experience in representing clients with respect to federal income tax controversies in litigation and in negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service. He also has extensive experience as tax counsel for tax-exempt organizations, including trade and professional associations.

Mr. Clark’s litigation and tax controversy experience includes the following:

  • Representing taxpayers and amici in a number of litigated cases concerning the taxation of financial products, including Cather v. United States, Ct. Fed. Claims No. 92-593T (agricultural hedging); Federal National Mortgage Association v. Commissioner, 100 T.C. 541 (1993) (financial product hedging); King v. Commissioner, 87 T.C. 1213 (1986), 89 T.C. 445 (1987) (cash and carry straddle; interest deductibility); and Perlin v. Commissioner, 86 T.C. 388 (1986) (futures straddle). 
  • Handling significant corporate income, excise, and employment tax issues in litigation and/or settled cases, including PDV America, Inc. and Subsidiaries, et al., T.C. Memo 2004-118 (2004) (class life issue); A.T.S.F. Ry. Co. v. United States, 61 Fed. Cl. 84 (2004) and 61 Fed. Cl. 501 (2004) (railroad retirement tax issues); Best Life Assurance Co. of California v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2000-134, aff’d, 281 F.3d 828 (9th Cir. 2002), and Central Reserve Life Corp. v. Commissioner, 113 T.C. 231 (1999) (life insurance company qualification); Sprint Corporation v. Commissioner, 108 T.C. 384 (1997) (ITC/depreciation issues); Safety-Kleen Oil Recovery Co. v. United States (Ct. Fed. Cl. No. 96-398T) (fuel excise tax); Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Commissioner, 96 T.C. 671 (1991) (insurance issues); Marcor, Inc. v. Commissioner, 89 T.C. 181 (1987) (installment sale issues); and Mobil Corp. and Affiliated Companies v. Commissioner (Tax Ct. Docket Nos. 7346-92 and 8108-93) (various income tax issues over multiple years). 
  • Representing tax-exempt organizations, including a number of insurance guaranty associations, in controversies with the IRS.

Mr. Clark is an Adjunct Professor at both DePaul University College of Law and IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has authored a number of articles and has lectured at numerous seminars, including the American Academy of Hospital Attorneys/DePaul College of Law Tax Institute, the Chicago-Kent Federal Tax Institute, the Chicago-Kent Conference on Not-For-Profit Organizations, the AICPA-University of Illinois National Tax Education Program, the Illinois CPA Society Foundation Annual Tax Conference, the ASAE Chicago Legal Symposium, the Federal Bar Association Insurance Tax Seminar, the NAII Federal Tax Planning Seminar, and the University of Chicago Annual Federal Tax Conference. He also has been a frequent speaker at programs conducted by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Exempt Organizations Committee, the Chicago Bar Association Federal Tax Committee, and various trade and professional groups.

Mr. Clark was selected by Best Lawyers as Chicago Non-Profit / Charities Law “Lawyer of the Year” for 2014, and has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007 for Non-Profit / Charities Law - Churches, Education, Health Care, Private Foundations, Tax-Exempt Organizations. Best Lawyers designates “Lawyers of the Year” in high-profile legal practice areas in large legal communities. Only a single lawyer in each practice area community is honored. He is also recommended in The Legal 500 US 2014–2016 in Not-for-Profit.

Mr. Clark has been a registered, certified public accountant in Illinois since 1976.

Memberships & Activities
  • Past Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation Exempt Organizations Committee, Co-Chair of the Audits and Appeals Subcommittee, Former Chair, Intermediate Sanctions Subcommittee
  • Chicago Bar Association, Federal Tax Committee, Past Chair of Division H, Exempt Organizations Subcommittee
  • American Health Lawyers Association, Past Chair, AAHA Tax and Finance Committee and former member of the planning committee for the Annual AAHA Healthcare Tax Law Institute
  • American Bar Association Health Law Section, Member, Health Lawyer editorial board (2001-2013) and Past Vice Chair, Tax and Finance Interest Group
  • Great Lakes TE/GE Council, Former EO Coordinator 
  • Council member for the American Bar Association Section of Taxation (2010-13)
News & Achievements