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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

  • The Legal 500, Recommended, 2014

Recent News

Click here for a full list of media coverage.

Recent Speaking Engagements

An avid lecturer, Mr. Barnes has conducted over 200 presentations, individually and as part of a panel, for tax conferences and internal General Electric training programs.  Recurring presentations include Harvard Law School and International Tax Program, multiple presentations (1992-present), Tax Executives Institute (Asia training programs), and IRS-GWU International Tax Conference (almost annually, since 1988).  Below are recent presentations:
  • Chair, BEPS: The Impact Right Now for Companies' Tax Planning and Countries' Tax Administration, George Washington University Law School and the Internal Revenue Service, 27th Annual Institute on Current Issues in International Taxation, December 11, 2014
  • Panelist, Transfer Pricing and the Implications of Business Changes for Multinationals, American Bar Association, Webinar, November 13, 2014
  • Chair, Seminar I: Taxation and Non-Tax Treaties, International Fiscal Association, Indian Branch, 68th Congress, October 14, 2014
  • Speaker, U.S. State Tax Considerations for International Tax Reform, Tax Analysts, June 18, 2014
  • Speaker, The Future of Transfer Pricing Documentation, North American Transfer Pricing Conference, June 5, 2014
  • Panelist, The OECD Discussion Draft and the Future of Transfer Pricing Documentation, American Bar Association, 2014 May Meeting, May 9, 2014
  • Speaker, OECD BEPS Update, 80th Annual API Federal Tax Forum, April 28, 2014
  • Speaker, Should Corporations Pay Tax? Should Corporate Tax Returns Be Public?, New York University School of Law, March 25, 2014
  • Speaker, Managing and Resolving Bilateral Tax Disputes, American Bar Association, March 18, 2014
  • Speaker, Teaching Ethics - Just Whose Responsibility Is It?, American Bar Association, January 24, 2014
  • Chair, Sneak Peek: Hot Issues at the 2013 IRS-GWU Conference, IRS-GWU International Tax Conference, December 12, 2013
  • Speaker, Interaction of Transfer Pricing and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, 19th Annual International Tax Conference/Foundation for International Taxation, December 7, 2013
  • Speaker, Future Business Models for Managing Global Companies, 19th Annual International Tax Conference/Foundation for International Taxation, December 7, 2013
  • Speaker, Emerging Tax Controversies for Multinationals in India, 19th Annual International Tax Conference/Foundation for International Taxation, December 6, 2013
  • Lecturer, Module: Tax Systems of Selected Economies, Tax Academy of Singapore/Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, November 18, 2013
  • Speaker, International Fiscal Association USA Triangle Luncheon Seminar, International Fiscal Association, November 12, 2013
  • Speaker, A Break in the Clouds: A Proposed Framework for Analyzing Cloud Computing Transactions, 66th Annual Federal Tax Conference/The University of Chicago Law School, November 8, 2013
  • Panelist, Tax Treaties and the MAP Process - Problem Areas, National Foreign Trade Council, October 30, 2013

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.