Louis Barr

Louis Barnett Barr Partner

Louis Barr

Louis is the head of the Tax practice at SWA, with a strong focus on executive compensation and business formation and structuring as well as comprehensive experience in advising on mergers and acquisitions, especially involving start-ups.

Louis has over 25 years of experience in advising public, private and tax-exempt entities in relation to the complete range of issues in setting up and operating employee benefit programs. These programs include equity compensation incentive plans, qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation plans, welfare benefit arrangements and severance agreements. Widely considered an expert in global compensation plans, Louis is frequently contacted by Israeli companies setting up operations in the U.S. on all matters relating to recruitment and compensation plans.

Tax-exempt organizations, such as charities, foundations, educational and health organizations as well as trade associations, regularly tap into his depth of experience relating to tax-exempt status, private foundation rules, intermediate sanctions and unrelated business income tax.

Louis’s work advising on cross-border M&A transactions is highlighted in the firm’s ranking in Corporate and M&A by IFLR1000.

Prior to joining SWA, Louis was a partner at Venable LLP in Baltimore.


  • University of Baltimore, Graduate Tax Program (LL.M., Taxation) 1996
  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., with honors) 1990
  • Toras Moshe Institute (Talmudic Law and Hebrew Letters, magna cum laude) 1986


  • Partner, Venable, Baltimore

Bar Admission

  • Maryland
  • Israel

Representative Matters

  • Advising Panoramic Power, a device developer for energy management solutions, on the corporate, tax and employee benefits aspects of its $60 million sale to Centrica plc.
  • Acting for Intellinx, a fraud detection and prevention company, on its $67 million to U.S. company Bottomline Technologies Inc.
  • Conducting a compliance review of a publicly traded company’s existing equity compensation program and working with the client on necessary adjustments.
  • Providing tax and ERISA consulting services to a Fortune 100 insurance and financial services company.
  • Drafting and negotiating employee benefits and ERISA provisions in connection with the spin-off of and sale of a business line of a publicly-traded company.
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