Elizabeth Julia Smith


  • JD, Yale Law School, 2009; Senior Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review
  • BA, summa cum laude, Bates College, 2003; Phi Beta Kappa


  • Massachusetts, 2009
  • New York, 2020

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2019
  • U.S. Tax Court, 2019
  • International Fiscal Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Elizabeth Julia Smith


Elizabeth Julia Smith is counsel in the tax controversy group. Elizabeth has a range of experience in tax controversies, complex financial and commercial litigation, and class action defenses. She has represented clients in disputes with the IRS, as well as state and local taxing authorities. 

Since joining Ropes & Gray, Elizabeth has managed all phases of both tax and general commercial litigation matters, including case strategy, fact and expert discovery, trials, settlement, and appeals. Elizabeth has experience in several industries including energy, telecommunications, private investments, health care, transportation, and technology.


  • Successfully represented multinational energy company before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, resulting in a unanimous decision in client’s favor upholding a multimillion dollar property tax exemption. 
  • Achieved a complete victory in two multi-million dollar disputes over local taxes for a multinational energy company in two separate bench trials before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a technology company in connection with an appeal of an IRS audit regarding the deductibility of management fees paid to private equity sponsors.
  • Represented individuals in dispute with Massachusetts Department of Revenue regarding responsible person liability.
  • Counseled an individual in connection with state court indemnification dispute arising out of a potential tax liability.
  • Advised a client in connection with a tax proceeding brought by a foreign government.
  • Counseled multiple clients in connection with federal and state tax audits and administrative appeals disputing audit results.
  • Analyzed transportation company’s litigation position in connection with provision of tax opinion.
  • Analyzed a technology client’s litigation risks in connection with provision of tax opinion regarding foreign source income.
  • Represented foreign insurers, a Fortune 500 transportation company, and a leading cable company in multi-million dollar class action disputes in federal court.
  • Negotiated class action settlements on behalf of multiple clients.
  • Advised several health care and pharmaceutical clients in multiple matters, including disputes with local taxing authorities, subpoena responses, and analyses of regulatory implications of contemplated and existing contracts.
  • Performed litigation risk assessments and litigation due diligence for private investment, technology, and information management clients. 
  • Counseled a hedge fund in connection with bankruptcy litigation involving significant expedited discovery.



  • Moderator, “Use of Dispute Resolution to Resolve Large, Complicated Corporate Tax Disputes,” Leading Women in Tax Forum (March 3, 2020)
  • Moderator, “Administrative Practice Committee Important Developments,” 2019 ABA May Tax Meeting (May 2019)
  • JD, Yale Law School, 2009; Senior Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review
  • BA, summa cum laude, Bates College, 2003; Phi Beta Kappa
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