Christopher Alan Cunningham
Partner
214-506-1123
469-333-3810
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VCard

Professional Background

Mr. Cunningham handles a wide array of tax issues for a broad spectrum of clients, from highly sophisticated international investment funds to family-owned businesses, to local schools and religious organizations.  He has practiced in all areas of business tax law, from C-corporations to partnership taxation, from public and private M&A transactions, from tax exempt entities to multi-state tax planning.  He has particular experience and expertise in like-kind exchanges and taxation of real estate investments.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Cunningham was educated as a computer scientist and worked for a number of years as an engineer in telecommunications security. He continues to apply the same engineering based practical and results-oriented approach to client problems, for which he has received specific praise from clients.

Honors, Awards, and Distinctions:

• Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2016, 2017)
• D Magazine Best Lawyers in Dallas, Tax: General (2015)
• Member, The College of the State Bar of Texas (2014-present)
• Co-Chair, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Finance Committee (2014-present)
• Sustaining Life Fellow, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation (2013-present)
• Member, inaugural class of the State Bar of Texas Tax Section Leadership Academy (2012)
• Co-Chair, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Solo and Small Firm Committee (2012 and 2013)

Education:

• LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, May 2007
• J.D. with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law, May 2006
• B.S. cum laude in Computer Science and Math from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, May 2000

Admissions

• Texas, November 2006
• United States Tax Court, February 2013

Representative Transactions

Executed numerous transactions involving changes in the ownership or division of an exchanging entity during the like kind exchange process, including “PIN,” “drop-and-swap,” “synthetic drop-and-swap,” and “TIC” transactions. 

Managed multiple like-kind exchanges for each of 15 members of an extended family group, all starting with the sale to a single buyer of family-owned assets held by the family through a variety of structures including a Delaware statutory trust (“DST”) formed for the purpose.

Structured a series of interrelated like kind exchanges in which the sponsor of a real estate development project used the proceeds of the sale of segments of the project to specialized developers to fund the further development of the long-duration leasing parts of the project.

Structured and formed multiple private equity and real estate investment fund vehicles with a variety of investor types with differing tax needs.

Structured and assisted in the execution of multiple private equity acquisitions in the oilfield services space and subsequently assisted in additional capital raises and ultimately the restructuring of those companies following the downturn in that industry.

Advised multiple start-up businesses with respect to the structuring and formation of nontraditional technology startups including “VC” preferred structures as well as nontraditional approaches.

Advised and executed the restructuring of a multi-location medical practice to provide for a succession plan including adding new doctors to the practice while providing equity interests and roles for the founder’s decedents, both with and without licenses to practice medicine.

Advised client on the dismantling of a tax shelter abandoned by its creator after the structure in question was discovered to be a “listed transaction” and the counsel that designed it was unwilling to issue an opinion of counsel protecting the client from potential tax penalties.

Participated in pretrial mediation and structured settlement of business dispute to provide for the division of the business between its two feuding co-founders with a minimum of resulting tax costs to maximize after-tax assets available to be divided.

Presentations and Publications:

Tax Deferred Like-Kind Exchanges: More on the Menu than Just Swapping Deeds, Dallas Bar Association Real Property Law Section, May 9, 2016

Legal Technology on the Cheap Cost Effective, DAYL Solo and Small Firm Summit, April 9, 2016

Tax Considerations 101: The Theory and Art of Transactional Tax Planning, 7th Annual Essentials of Business Law (TexasBarCLE) March 3, 2016

Taxation of Partnerships, S Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies, Small Business Tax Update (Foxmoor Continuing Education) December 12, 2014

Drafting of Cash Distribution and Tax Allocation Provisions, LLCs, LPs and Partnerships (UT Law CLE), July 11, 2013

Tax Structuring for Small Firms, Dallas Bar Association Solo & Small Firm Section, July 10, 2013

Moderator, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Solo and Small Firm Committee Start-Your-Own-Law-Firm series, June 20, 2012

Panelist, Office Infrastructure, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Solo and Small Firm Committee Start-Your-Own-Law-Firm series, April 10, 2012

The 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative, April 13, 2011

Year-End Tax Planning-There is Still Time to Get What You Want, December 10, 2010