David S. Davenport

Senior Counsel


David S. Davenport is Senior Counsel with the firm and maintains offices at the Firm’s Boston and Concord, New Hampshire locations. Dave provides advice on state, federal, and international tax matters, and also assists clients with respect to business acquisitions, reorganizations, and other transactions. Dave is admitted to practice in the State of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Dave served as Deputy Commissioner, Senior Policy Counsel of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, after previously being engaged in private practice as a tax partner in several major Boston law firms and teaching tax and corporate law at two Boston-area law schools.

In his position as Deputy Commissioner at DOR, Dave advised the Commissioner of Revenue, the Administration, and members of the Legislature with respect to tax policy and technical issues, and he provided policy and technical review and oversight for the Department’s litigation and regulatory functions. In those capacities, Dave also provided advice with respect to the many areas in which state tax laws intersect with federal and international tax laws. Following a Commissioner-led reorganization of the Department in 2015, Dave also served as Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Legislative/External Affairs & Policy Division (LEAP) during 2015-2016, and in that capacity, he provided management oversight for DOR’s Office of Tax Policy Analysis, Rulings & Regulations Bureau, Office of Legislative Affairs, and Communications group.

Prior to his state government service, Dave’s practice in tax law spanned federal, state, and international tax law, with concentrations in mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, software and intellectual property, state and federal tax planning, and controversy matters. He was a tax partner in the Boston-based law firms of Ropes & Gray, Choate, Hall & Stewart, and Tessa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, and in the international law firm of McDermott, Will &Emery, where he headed the Boston tax practice.

Dave has taught federal, state, and international tax law at Boston College Law School and in the LL.M. (Master of Laws in Taxation) graduate program at Boston University School of Law. He has also guest lectured at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written and presented on a wide variety of tax topics.

Dave is the current co-chair of the Boston Bar Association (BBA) State & Local Tax Committee. He is a former of the BBA’s full Tax Section and also of its State Tax and International Tax committees, and of the American Bar Association Tax Section’s Committee on Affiliated and RelatedCorporations, which focuses on inter-company transactions and relationships. He is an elected fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, has served as a Trustee of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and is a member of the Boston Tax Forum.

Dave is a graduate of Amherst College and of the Harvard Law School, where he served as Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review.

David S. Davenport

Senior Counsel

Education and Bar Admissions


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Amherst College, A.B., magna cum laude

Bar Admissions:

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court (Massachusetts)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

Representative Matters

Community Involvement


Writings and Presentations—Published Books and Articles

  • Co-author, Massachusetts Taxation and DOR Practice, MCLE (2004, 1996, 1992, & 1988 editions) (chapter comparing Massachusetts and federal systems)
  • Co-author, “Use of Madrid Protocol Has Been Modest So Far,” National Law Journal (April 26, 2004) (relating to international trademark protection practices, including tax consequences)
  • Co-author, “Cost Recovery Rules for Software: Enterprise Resource Planning Software and Evolving Business Models,” 22 ABA Tax Section News Quarterly No. 4 (Summer 2003)
  • “Struggling with Deficits, States Increasingly Weigh Taxes on Online Sales,” Mass High Tech (May 12, 2003)
  • “Characterization of Software Transactions for Tax Purposes: Toward Order Out of Chaos,” Venture Capital Review (Fall 1999)
  • Co-author, “Licensing Images: Some Copyright and Tax Basics”, Art Expressions (Winter-Spring 1999)
  • Miscellaneous and periodic short articles on legal policy developments in Massachusetts taxation in State Tax Notes and Tax Notes International (as Massachusetts correspondent, 1993-2004)
  • “Education and Human Capital: Pursuing an Ideal Income Tax and Sensible Tax Policy,”42 Case Western Reserve Law Review 793 (1992)
  • “Depreciation Methods and the Importance of Expectations: Implications for Human Capital,”54 Tax Notes 1399 (March 16, 1992)
  • “The ‘Proper’ Taxation of Human Capital,” 52 Tax Notes 1401 (September 16, 1991)
  • Co-Author, “Introduction: Tax Reform—A Special Issue,” Boston Bar Journal (May/June 1985)
  • “Taxable and Tax-Free Acquisitions and Dispositions of Stock or Assets,” in Tax Skills, MCLE (1982 and 1983 editions)
  • “Toward a New General Theory of Section 334(b)(2) Basis Adjustments,” article published in Proceedings of the NYU Federal Tax Institute (1979)
  • “The Confrontation Clause and the Co-Conspirator Exception in Criminal Prosecutions: A Functional Analysis,” 85 Harvard Law Review 1378 (1972)
  • Cited and quoted in text by U.S. Supreme Court in Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980), and in a number of subsequent U.S. Supreme Court and lower court decisions
  • Published writings as student for Harvard Law Review, vols. 83 and 84 (1969-1971)
  • Note on First Amendment and broadcasting, (ii) U.S. Supreme Court Case Note on criminal and Constitutional law, (iii) Case Note on corporate law (all three unsigned, per HLR practice)
  • “Collusive Competition in Major League Baseball: It’s Theory and Institutional Development,” The American Economist, No. 2, p. 6 (1969)


Presentations–Seminars, Institutes, Conferences, etc.

  • “Responding to Federal Tax Reform: Options for Massachusetts”, John F. Kennedy School of government (Rappaport Institute), Harvard University, Boston, MA (May 2018)
  • “Examining the ‘Fair Share Amendment’ (the Proposed Surtax on Incomes Above $1 million)”, Boston Bar Association, Boston, MA (April 2018)
  • “State Impacts of Federal Tax Reform”, Federal Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (March 2018)
  • “Combined Reporting & Market-Based Sourcing–Conquering New England and Beyond”, Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (October 2017)
  • “Market-Based Sourcing”, 2017 NESTOA Annual Meeting, Stowe, VT (September 2017)
  • “Comparing the Combined Reporting Rules in New England–Key Features”, 2017 COST North Atlantic Regional State Tax Seminar, Waltham, MA (June 2017)
  • Periodic written and oral presentations on state taxation as government official (2004-2017)
  • American Bar Association Tax Section (meetings in Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA)
  • John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (presentations to foreign country tax administrators in Comparative Tax Policy and Administration program)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (multiple presentations)
  • Boston Bar Association (multiple presentations–annual State & Local Tax Forum; and periodic meetings of state and federal tax committees)
  • North Eastern States Tax Officials Association (“NESTOA”) (meetings in New York City, Newport, RI, and Boston, MA)
  • Multi-state Tax Commission (Nashville, TN)
  • Visiting delegations of tax officials from various foreign countries (multiple presentations to visiting officials, including delegations from China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, & Georgia)
  • Suffolk University (State Tax Conference on Combined Reporting) (Boston, MA)
  • Tax Executives Institute (annual meeting with State Tax Administrators in New York City)
  • Committee on State Taxation (COST), North Atlantic Regional State Tax Seminars (multiple presentations)
  • Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (multiple presentations)
  • New England Regional State & Local Tax Forum (meetings in Manchester, NH, Needham, MA, and Newton, MA)
  • Boston Tax Forum (multiple presentations)
  • Cornell State & Local Tax Group (New York City)
  • Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (multiple presentations)
  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts (multiple presentations)
  • Boston Chamber of Commerce (multiple presentations)
  • Massachusetts Bankers Association
  • MetroWest Life Sciences Industry Forum (Framingham, MA)
  • S. Law Firm Group (Boston meeting)
  • Massachusetts Tax Practitioners forum
  • Periodic guest lectures in International Tax at MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA, as part of courses in business law and international business (1999-2003)
  • “Formulary Apportionment and the Sourcing of Revenue”, Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (May 2014)
  • “Carving up the Multi jurisdictional Income Pie–Where Are the States Headed with Formulary Apportionment”, Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (December 2010)
  • “Developments in Software Taxation (and Sourcing of Income from Intangibles),” Taxation of Intellectual Property, ATLAS, Boston, MA (April 2004)
  • “Developments in Software Taxation (and Federal/State Sourcing of Income from intangibles),” Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (April 2004)
  • “International Taxation: European Union’s VAT and E-Commerce Directive; the ‘Permanent Establishment’ Requirement–Evolving Issues; and Characterization Issues in E-Commerce,” National Association of State Bar Tax Sections, 24th annual conference, Washington, D.C. (October 2003)
  • Moderator, Annual Massachusetts Tax Conference, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Newton, MA (July 2003)
  • “Recent Developments in the Taxation of Intangibles,” Taxation of Intellectual Property Institute, ATLAS Information (USA), New York City (June 2003)
  • “Taxation of Intellectual Property,” MCLE, Boston, MA (June 2003)
  • “Recent Developments in Software Taxation,” Conference on Taxation of Intellectual Property, ATLAS Information (USA), Boston, MA (November 2002)
  • “The Streamlined Sales Tax Project Comes to Massachusetts? (or Is It Vice Versa?)—an introduction,” Annual Massachusetts Tax Conference, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Newton, MA (July 2002)
  • “High Steppin’ in Reorgville: Revenue Rulings 2001-26 and 2001-46,” Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (November 2001)
  • “State Taxation of Internet and E-Commerce Transactions,” Annual Massachusetts Tax Conference, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Newton, MA (July 2001)
  • “Electronic Commerce–Overview of State Tax Issues; Massachusetts Developments,” Annual Massachusetts Tax Forum, Boston Bar Association, Boston, MA (May 2001)
  • “Guidelines for Characterizing Software and E-Commerce Transactions,” High-Tech/New Media Industry Update, CITE, Boston, MA (August 2000)
  • Co-Moderator, “Tolling the Superhighway: Debating the Prospects of E-Commerce Taxation,” Harvard Law School Symposium, Cambridge, MA (April 2000)
  • “Developments in E-Commerce Taxation–Progress or Paralysis,” Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (April 2000)
  • “Taxation of Software Transactions & Electronic Commerce,” High-Tech Industry Tax Conference, Boston, MA (August 1999)
  • “Taxation of Software Transactions & Electronic Commerce,” Forum on Legal Developments in IT & Web Contracts, Washington, D.C. (February 1999)
  • “The ‘Final’ Software Regulations: Characterizing Transactions in Technology-Based Property,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 47-70, Boston, MA (December 1998)
  • “Amortization of Software and Intangibles; Expensing of Software Development Costs; and treatment of Y2K Costs under Existing Software Rules,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 71-80, Boston, MA (December 1998)
  • “Who Has the Goodwill and Other Intangibles–Martin Ice Cream Scoops Away Double Corporate Tax Base,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 81-92, Boston, MA (December 1998)
  • “Tax Considerations in Acquisitions, Restructuring’s, and Joint Ventures,” The Practice Management Companies Profitability Forum, Washington, D.C. (June 1998)
  • “Internet and Electronic Commerce, Telecommunications, & Utility Deregulation,” Annual Massachusetts Tax Forum, Boston Bar Association, Boston, MA (May 1998) (in addition, served as chair of full program)
  • Moderated and led a discussion of state tax developments in New England states, Georgetown University Annual State and Local Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. (May 1998)
  • “General Tax Considerations in Mergers & Acquisitions,” The Optical Industry Mergers & Acquisitions Forum, New York City (February 1998)
  • “The Software Regulations: Characterizing Transactions in Technology-Based Property,” Boston Tax Forum, Boston, MA (January 1998)
  • “Selected Corporate and Partnership Tax Provisions,” Boston Bar Association Program on Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Boston, MA (1997)
  • “Cross-Border Transfers of Software and Technology,” Massachusetts Bar Association Program on tax issues for U.S. Exporters, Boston, MA (1995)
  • “Cross-Border Transfers of Software and Technology,” International Business Center of New England annual international tax forum, Boston, MA (1995)
  •  Bentley College Annual Tax Program, Waltham, MA, (1995) “How to Deal with the New Massachusetts Sales Tax on Legal Services”, Boston Bar Association CLE Program, Boston, MA (1990)
  • “Business Expenses for Meals and Entertainment” and “Depreciation of Real and Personal Property: Repeal of Special Amortization of Certain Trademark and Trade Name Expenditures,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 17-23 and 25-38, Boston, MA (1986)
  • “Development, Acquisition, and Disposition of Technology and Intellectual Property,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 91-159, Boston, MA (1984)
  • “High Technology Investments,” Southern Federal Tax Institute, pp. E-3–E-45, Atlanta, GA (1983)
  • “S Corporations: Legislative Changes and Increased Utility; Eligibility,” Federal Tax Institute of New England, pp. 1-26, (1983) (in addition, served as chair of Institute’s entire program)
  • “Tax Consequences of the Requirements for Various Taxable and Tax-Free Acquisitions of stock or Assets,” in Tax Skills, MCLE, Boston, MA (1982 and 1983 annual programs)
  • “Toward a New General Theory of Section 334(b)(2) Basis Adjustments,” NYU Federal Tax Institute, New York City and Phoenix, AZ programs (1979)


Awards and Recognitions


American College of Tax Counsel (elected as Fellow)

American Bar Foundation (elected as Fellow)

American Bar Association, Tax Section

  • Prior Chair of Committee on Affiliated & Related Corporations
  • Prior Chair of Subcommittee on Intercompany Allocations
  • Prior member of Editorial Board, ABA Tax Section NewsQuarterly
  • Member, committees on state & local tax, corporate tax, international tax, tax policy, teaching taxation, and government submissions; task force on electronic commerce


Boston Bar Association

  • Co-Chair, State & Local Tax Committee
  • Prior elected member of Council
  • Prior Chair, Tax Section
  • Prior Co-Chair, International Tax Committee
  • Prior Chair, State Tax Committee Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (independent fiscal and economic policy organization)
  • Prior member of Board of Trustees
  • Prior member of Program Committee


Boston Tax Forum (elected group of Massachusetts tax professionals and academics)Associated Industries of Massachusetts (prior member of Tax Committee)


Recognized in:

  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers USA–America’s Leading Business Lawyers
  • Euromoney Guide to Leading U.S. Tax Lawyers
  • The International Who’s Who in Corporate Tax
  • New England Super Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers


At Harvard Law School: Note Editor, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 84, 1970-71; Board of Editors, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 83, 1969-70

At Amherst College: Phi Beta Kappa; Bond 15 (top 15 in class); National Honors Society in Economics (Omicron Delta Epsilon); National Taussig Award for undergraduate economics thesis (“Collusive Competition in Major League Baseball”), published in The American Economist