In a move that further strengthens one of the premier State & Local Tax (SALT) practices in the United States, a team led by two of the country’s leading SALT practitioners—Carley Roberts and Marc Simonetti—have joined Pillsbury. The 13-lawyer group comes to the firm from Eversheds Sutherland to focus on tax litigation, consulting, planning and policy. Roberts will reside in the firm’s Sacramento office, while Simonetti will be based in New York.

“Having known Carley and Marc for many years, I speak from first-hand experience when I say their reputations for being among the smartest, most insightful state and local tax lawyers around are well-deserved,” said Pillsbury SALT team leader Jeff Vesely. “Not only do they enhance our SALT practice nationally, but they also do so in two of the most important jurisdictions. We are absolutely thrilled to add such an impressive team.”

Roberts advises Fortune 100 and industry-leading companies in the energy, technology, telecommunications, media, retail and manufacturing sectors on all aspects of state and local tax matters. She has litigated precedent-setting cases before administrative bodies and trial and appellate courts in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. and has particularly extensive experience in California. Roberts has been ranked as a leading California SALT practitioner by Chambers USA for almost a decade, and has been named one of Tax Analyst’s Top 10 Women in Tax and a Law360 Tax MVP.

Simonetti has a similarly impressive practice, representing major companies across all industries in state and local tax matters, including income, franchise, excise, sales and use taxes. He has successfully litigated significant SALT cases, both administratively and in courts throughout the U.S., with particular emphasis on New York and New Jersey. He has been recognized in the Chambers USA guide, appearing in the New York State & Local Tax category each of the past five years.

Together, Roberts and Simonetti have litigated on behalf of clients in more than 25 U.S. jurisdictions.

“We are delighted to welcome Carley and Marc and their talented team of lawyers,” said Firm Chair David Dekker. “Pillsbury has long been a market leader in providing clients with tax counsel at the state and local level, but with Carley and Marc here, the group is poised to reach new heights. Their arrival adds significant depth to our SALT team and furthers our strategy of nationwide expansion for the group.”

“Marc and I have long been familiar with Pillsbury’s reputation as one of the top SALT firms in the U.S., and we’re excited to join such a talented and collaborative group,” Roberts added. “The firm’s deep bench of lawyers and its focus on strategically expanding the SALT group make it an excellent fit for our practice.” 

The two partners will be joined by a full team of counsel and associates in Sacramento and New York, underscoring just how significant a development their arrival is for Pillsbury’s already highly sought-after nationwide SALT practice. The other new team members include:               

  • Andrew Appleby, Special Counsel – New York
  • Eric Coffill, Senior Counsel – Sacramento
  • Timothy Gustafson, Counsel – Sacramento
  • Nicole Boutros, Sr. Associate – New York
  • Robert Merten, III, Sr. Associate – Sacramento
  • Jessica Allen, Associate – Sacramento
  • Aruna Chittiappa, Associate – New York
  • Dmitrii Gabrielov, Associate – New York
  • Evan Hamme, Associate – New York
  • Huy (“Mike”) Le, Associate – Sacramento
  • Debra Vance, Associate – New York


Added Simonetti: “Over the years, Carley and I have been able to put together a really strong team of lawyers to support our clients. That wasn’t something we were anxious to give up. To be able to keep this whole talented group intact, at a firm that already has an outstanding reputation in our practice area—I can’t imagine a better outcome.”

Regarded as among the “smartest state and local tax teams” in the U.S., Pillsbury’s SALT practice has an unparalleled reputation for handling the most complex state and local tax matters. Providing exceptional tax knowledge, litigation skills and geographic reach, Pillsbury’s SALT lawyers represent businesses and individuals in audits and in administrative and judicial litigation in all 50 states and provide advice in connection with state and local tax issues arising in transactions.