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  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1980, Managing Editor, Yale Law Journal, moot court Prize Trial

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Tax Court

Government Experience

Deputy International Tax Counsel, U.S. Treasury, Office of International Tax Counsel (Treasury service: 1986-1991)

Law Clerk to Honorable Gerhard A. Gesell, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1980-1981)

Peter A. Barnes

Of Counsel, Washington, D.C.
(202) 862-5027 | v-card | PDF
After more than 22 years as Senior International Tax Counsel for General Electric Co. (GE), Peter Barnes joins Caplin & Drysdale as Of Counsel to the firm's International Tax Group.   He brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm and its clients, with over 30 years of experience in the international tax arena.

Mr. Barnes' practice will focus on assisting multinational corporations in their global tax planning programs, including matters related to transfer pricing, trademark licensing, and dispute resolution.  His tenure at GE, combined with his government experience, will enable Mr. Barnes to offer corporate clients a global strategic approach to their most complex issues.

Mr. Barnes will also serve as a Senior Fellow at the Duke Center for International Development (DCID) at Duke University.  He will be teaching in Duke's International Tax Program, which is jointly directed by DCID and Duke Law School.


At GE, Mr. Barnes played a key role in supporting the company's international tax operations, with a particular emphasis on Asia.   From 1994 to 1997, he was based in Hong Kong.  Mr. Barnes helped build and lead GE's tax team across Asia, including extensive work in India, China, Japan, and Korea.  He led and assisted global programs for GE, including the company's trademark licensing and transfer pricing work.

Prior to joining GE, Mr. Barnes served as U.S. Deputy International Tax Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy, where he represented the U.S. government in treaty negotiations and as a delegate to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  During his career at the U.S. Treasury, Mr. Barnes helped implement guidance arising from the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Barnes was an Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law Graduate Tax Program teaching a course on "Asia-Pacific Tax Systems."

Professional Activities

  • Senior Fellow, Duke Center for International Development (DCID) at Duke University
  • Member, University of Chicago Tax Conference Planning Committee
  • Member, IRS-GWU International Tax Conference Planning Committee
  • Panelist, OECD 50th Anniversary of Model Tax Convention (2008)
  • Member, USA Chapter, International Fiscal Association
  • Selector, Luce Scholars Program, Henry Luce Foundation

Awards & Rankings

Recommended in the 2014 edition of The Legal 500

Recent Publications

  • Author, "In Praise of the OECD Model Tax Treaty," Tax Notes International (2008)
  • Author, "A Model to Celebrate," OECD Observer (2008)
Recent Presentations

An avid lecturer, Mr. Barnes has conducted over 200 presentations, individually and as part of a panel, for tax conferences and internal GE training programs.  Below are recent presentations:
  • Lecturer, Harvard Law School and International Tax Program, multiple presentations (1992-present)
  • Presenter, Tax Executives Institute, Asia training programs, multiple presentations
  • Presenter, IRS-GWU International Tax Conference (almost annually, since 1988)