J. Clancy Wilson


Clancy Wilson has more than 30 years of specialized income and estate tax experience in state and federal tax controversies.  He provides guidance to businesses, trusts and estates, and individual clients in tax planning transactions, state and federal audits, administrative tax appeals, and civil and criminal tax litigation.  He serves as a consultant and expert witness in tax-sensitive litigation.  Mr. Wilson assists accountants and tax preparers with their compliance with taxing authorities.  He frequently works to mitigate damages arising from claims made against tax professionals.  He has litigated tax cases at the trial and appellate court levels.

Mr. Wilson is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and an active member of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Tax Specialist, Taxation Law, with the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Wilson has been consistently recognized as a California “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers magazine.  He is named in Best Lawyers of America and as one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Magazine since 2001.  He has been a member of the San Diego County Bar, Tax Section, since 1982 and was a prior chairman.  Mr. Wilson has achieved the “AV Preeminent” rating – the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Wilson began his tax career in 1971, at the Houston office of Arthur Anderson & Co., specializing in oil and gas transactions and obtaining his certificate as a Certified Public Accountant. In 1973, he joined the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., as a tax litigator, trying cases in state and federal courtrooms throughout the country. During this time, he gained expertise in tax laws, pre-trial discovery, and extensive motion practice to advance cases to a successful conclusion and establish a foundation for possible appeals.  After four years, Mr. Wilson was asked to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles to litigate tax cases in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Including his government service, he is tax counsel of record in more than twenty-five reported Federal tax opinions.

In 1979, with the encouragement of the head of the Justice Department, Tax Division in Washington, D.C., M. Carr Ferguson, Mr. Wilson obtained his LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.  Prior to obtaining his LLM, Mr. Wilson had obtained his law degree from The University of Texas at Austin, J.D., 1971, and his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Notre Dame University in 1967.

After obtaining his LL.M., Mr. Wilson returned to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles where he continued litigating tax controversies until he began private practice in 1982 in San Diego.  During this time, Mr. Wilson also taught as an adjunct Professor of Law at Golden Gate University, Graduate Tax Program, and later, at the University of San Diego, Graduate Tax Program.

Mr. Wilson frequently speaks and writes on numerous subjects relating to taxation and estate and trust tax matters, including presentations to the American Bar Association, Tax Section subcommittees, the ABA Section of Taxation Newsletter, the California Society of CPAs, the San Diego County Bar Tax Section, the UCLA Tax Controversy Institute, the San Diego Tax and Accounting Institute, the UCSD Extension Program, the California Society of Enrolled Agents, the Inland Society of Tax Consultants and the former Grossmont Tax Institute.

In addition to his teaching, Mr. Wilson has served several community organizations including St. Vincent de Paul at Father Joe’s Villages, the Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout Review Board, and the Notre Dame Club of San Diego.  He has also had numerous youth soccer coaching positions.

Mr. Wilson’s training, experience, and professional contacts support a successful and personally satisfying practice on behalf of individuals and business entities. His background and relationships with federal and state tax practitioners in government and private practice give him valuable insights in providing practical and thoughtful advice in an efficient manner.

HCPT Congratulates Partner Clancy Wilson as the 2015 Recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association, Taxation Section Legacy Award, an award given out only every two years to a tax attorney with more than twenty years’ experience and a history of contribution to the legal community.  We are very proud of Clancy’s accomplishments.