Richard Burness Joins Brownstein’s Washington, D.C., Office
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Richard Burness Joins Brownstein’s Washington, D.C., Office

May 13, 2020

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck adds breadth to its tax expertise with the addition of Richard J. Burness as a strategic consulting advisor in its Washington, D.C., office. Burness will focus on bolstering the firm’s insurance industry practice, building out a world-class service that represents companies on insurance taxation.

“We’ve known Rich for a long time and his many decades at the helm of industry-leading tax groups will complement our nationally recognized tax team here in Washington,” said Marc Lampkin, Brownstein’s Government Relations Department chair. “With his assistance, we plan to build out a practice more focused on the unique tax issues insurers face with Congress.” 

Burness draws on over 40 years of experience navigating U.S. and global taxation of insurance companies to advise clients on their corporate tax strategies. His skills and understanding of the insurance space result from business acumen honed over decades of immersion in trans- and multinational deal making. In addition to managing the tax portfolios of multiple companies over his career, Burness participated firsthand in many of the nation’s largest insurance acquisitions. He leverages his in-house experience to guide clients through complex mergers, acquisitions and rehabilitation transactions.

Before joining Brownstein as an advisor, Burness served as senior vice president and global head of tax at Athene Holding, a leading retirement services company. Prior, he spent nearly two decades at Deloitte, serving nearly all the firm’s major domestic and global insurance clients and leading the Insurance Tax Practice for 10 years. Before joining Deloitte, Burness held senior tax positions at Aetna (formerly Aetna Life & Casualty) and The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company. He spent the first decade of his career at a Big Six accounting firm. 

“I’m pleased to be joining a firm doing some of the best tax work in Washington,” said Burness. “I’m looking forward to working with Russ Sullivan and lending my expertise to his team, working on behalf of an industry that has a real opportunity to redefine its message and position with policymakers.”

Burness is a certified public accountant (CPA), licensed in Connecticut, and a frequent speaker at the Insurance Tax Conference and Federal Bar Association’s Insurance Tax Seminar. He earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College. 

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