Huff Wilkes LLP is a boutique law firm that limits its practice to property tax litigation (certiorari) and advisory services throughout New York State. Our firm philosophy is straightforward: provide our people and the people we serve with a better experience than they will find anywhere else. We undertake every assignment as if it were our only concern, regardless of the size of the case or the client. Our clients tend to stick with us because we respect them and value their work, and that has made us a success.
Our practice is limited to a narrow field of the law, but this allows us to see the subtle nuances in each matter that are often missed by generalists. We eschew cookie cutter approaches or conventional wisdom that may overlook the unique winning move. We listen to our clients: they know their facts and their properties better than we do, but we usually know the right questions to ask.
A Trusted Leader
Our attorneys and support staff work as a team. We draw from each other’s knowledge, relationships, experience, and creativity. Surprisingly for a law firm, we have a lot of fun doing what we do. Our focus is on achieving a fair and equitable tax burden for each property entrusted to us, but to do that we must understand not only the relevant law and procedure, but we also the real estate market and our clients’ business objectives as owners and managers. Our clients welcome this knowledge base and our big-picture, solution-oriented approach, and frequently seek our counseling and timely advice in ways that extend beyond the handling of a single case or issue.
In fact, high-ranking judges, municipal officials, and even some legal adversaries regularly seek our insights and views as well. Our firm is a recognized leader among major global corporations, municipalities, and the courts. In fact, we have provided property tax legal education programs to the justices of the New York Appellate Division for every one of its judicial departments.
The complexity and incomprehensibility of legal fees have come under fire in recent years. We provide fee arrangements that are easily understood by our clients, meet their corporate policies for attorney engagement, and provide a fair compensation for the nature of our work and the risks we undertake. In our view, fee arrangements should never dominate the attorney-client conversation.
When representing a property owner seeking a tax reduction, we generally charge on a contingent fee basis plus actual costs incurred for items like court fees, expert witness services, and unusual or extraordinary expenditures that facilitate our representation.
The contingent fee arrangement means that no matter how many hours we may need to invest in your matter, our interests are aligned with yours in pursuing the maximum tax savings, and we bear all of the risk. It will also be clear to you, as our client, how and why the fee was calculated because it is based on the results we obtain, not the tasks we perform.
A Broad Reach
There is no property or set of facts that are too complex. From billion-dollar power generation facilities to celebrity-member golf and country clubs to REIT-owned portfolios to global-brand hotels to super retail malls, we have provided high-level representation for virtually every property type and legal issue in our field.
While we practice law in New York State alone, our reach extends far beyond that. We are co-leaders of the National Property Tax Attorneys’ Association (NAPTA), a premier national organization of attorneys dedicated to property tax representation. We are the only New York State member of NAPTA, selected for our reputation and experience. Many of our portfolio-owning clients have benefited from our network of relationships among the field’s best practitioners. Our attorneys have also been called upon to lend their expertise to foreign governments in developing nations, and to provide consulting services for major corporate clients with properties located overseas. We serve our clients’ tax needs in ways that allow them to achieve their business goals, wherever that may be.
We Meet Your Needs
Some clients, however, prefer an hourly arrangement or even a hybrid fee structure that provides for time and expense compensation plus an incentive for results that exceed expectations. In all such cases, our clients receive regular, detailed reports showing the services rendered and by whom along with the unit fees and any costs that were incurred.
We are committed to the use of advanced technology, telecommunications, and state-of-the-art research systems that provide cost efficiencies to our clients without sacrificing quality and timeliness. When we must engage a third party for services, we strive to work with vendors that provide the highest quality at the lowest cost, and we will often negotiate their fees on our clients’ behalf.
Beyond the Firm
Our lawyers are deeply involved in the legal and real estate communities as well as important civic and community associations. We get involved in places where we can make a difference and effect positive change.
We are a co-leader of the National Association of Property Tax Attorneys. We are deeply involved in the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), for which two of our attorneys play a lead role in producing the Association’s flagship publication, the Journal, which has a monthly readership of some 74,000 lawyers and judges.
Our attorneys have served as Chair of the Property Tax Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA), and the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA). One of our attorneys served as Chairman of the Board of The Appraisal Foundation, which is appointed by the U.S. Congress to set the valuation standards used by appraisers across America. We are members of the International Property Tax Institute (IPTI), where we play a lead role in sponsoring and creating tax educational programs around the world. In addition, our attorneys serve in various advisory capacities on industry and bar association counsels as well as business organizations throughout the State.
Our litigation attorneys are admitted to practice before all State and Federal Courts of the State of New York, as well as the United State Supreme Court.