Summary

Sonya has experience in all aspects of tax and succession planning work, including entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships, restructurings, executive compensation and employee benefits, nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and foundations, charitable gaming, estate planning, business succession planning, and asset protection planning. She also represents clients in tax controversy matters and criminal tax investigations, including government examinations of complex tax shelters and other tax-advantaged strategies. Sonya has significant trial experience and has represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service's civil and criminal divisions, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and the United States Tax Court.

Sonya serves as co-chair of Taft’s Gender Advancement Committee, which works to develop, promote and advance women attorneys within Taft, the legal profession and the community.

Representative Experience

Tax, Business Succession and Estate Planning

  • Advises clients on tax and non-tax business structuring issues in connection with transactions, including partnership, corporate, real estate, international and business succession transactions.
  • Advises on wealth transfer planning for individuals and families, including implementation of sophisticated wealth transfer techniques, such as transferring of interests in family owned entities.
  • Advises family owned businesses in succession planning and related estate planning issues.
  • Advises clients on structuring equity and incentive plans and award agreements.
  • Advises clients on structuring transactions to utilize various tax incentives including new market tax credits and historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Tax Controversy and Criminal Tax Investigations

  • Represented a senior level partner at a major accounting firm indicted for violations of federal tax law. Following a five-week jury trial in January 2013 the partner was acquitted of all charges. 
  • Represented individuals with undisclosed foreign financial accounts and handle IRS voluntary disclosures, civil audits and criminal investigations with respect to such offshore matters. 

Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations  

  • Represents nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and foundations in all aspects of their organization and operation including formation, governance, mergers and restructurings, unrelated business income tax matters, intermediate sanctions, joint ventures, endowment funds, fundraising, charitable giving and planned giving programs, and compliance with state law charity registration requirements. 
  • Advises tax-exempt organizations regarding the limitations on lobbying and political campaign activities.
  • Represents nonprofit organizations in connection with obtaining bingo and gaming licenses.  

Awards

  • Honoree, Tax - Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2014-2017)

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Criminal Defense (2014)

  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Cincinnati’s Finest Young Professional Award (2010)

  • Vanderbilt University Law School Chancellor’s Law Scholar

  • Vanderbilt Scholastic Excellence Award in International Business Transactions

  • Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society Public Interest Service Award

  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society

  • Financial Executives International Outstanding Finance Student Award

All Service Areas

Education

  • Vanderbilt University Law School (2007)
  • Northwestern University School of Law (2007)
  • Xavier University (2003)

Admissions

  • Federal - U.S. Tax Court
  • Federal - Southern District of Ohio
  • State - Ohio

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Member, Taxation Section)
  • Cincinnati Bar Association (Officer of Nonprofit Law Committee )
  • National Trial Lawyers (Member)

Community Involvement

  • American Cancer Society (Member, Board of Directors and Member, 2015 Discovery Ball Board of Ambassadors)
  • Boy Scouts of America (Professional Leadership Network, Former Executive Board Member)
  • Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (Member, Board of Directors)
  • Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber C-Change Leadership Development Program (Member, Class 7)
  • Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati Volunteer Lawyers Project (Volunteer)
  • Nashville Pro Bono Program (Volunteer)
  • The Ndukwe Foundation (Former Board Member)
  • Women Writing for (a) Change (Former Advisory Council Member)