Bruce Ely frequently advises multistate energy and pipeline companies on various state and local tax matters, including nexus, apportionment, special industry rules, and controversies with state taxing authorities, as well as choosing the proper legal entity through which to do business in the southeastern states. He is the co-author of two treatises on the latter subject, and has published articles in numerous publications in both multistate and business law venues over the past 35years.

Early in his practice Bruce developed a specialty advising both exploration companies and landowners on the tax and non-tax issues surrounding the development of coalbed methane deposits and surface coal mining.

His more than 30 years of experience have allowed him to handle projects as diverse as serving on the recruiting teams that successfully induced both Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai to locate their first U.S. manufacturing plants in Alabama, while representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, the Alabama Department of Revenue and local taxing authorities. His practice focuses on three concentric areas: representing taxpayers before federal, state and local administrative and judicial forums; advising companies on choosing the proper form of entity through which to conduct business in the southeast and potential tax incentives; and advising companies and various trade and professional organizations regarding state and local tax legislative matters. He also devotes a substantial amount of time to teaching and writing on SALT-related topics.

Bruce continues to work in the industrial recruiting/tax incentives arena, but more frequently his practice focuses on representing business taxpayers before federal, state and local government agencies and in Alabama courts. He was founding chair of the firm’s State and Local Tax (SALT) Practice team, which represents taxpayers before the Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi Departments of Revenue, as well as local government taxing authorities and the state and federal courts. He has served as counsel to multistate taxpayers in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, but more often before the Alabama appellate courts, circuit courts, and the Alabama DOR’s Administrative Law Division.

As part of his governmental affairs practice, Bruce has co-authored a number of landmark pieces of tax legislation in Alabama, including the Corporate Income Tax Reform Act of 1985, the Alabama Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights/Uniform Revenue Procedures Act of 1992, the Local Tax Simplification and Local Tax Conformity Acts of 1998, the Municipal Business License Reform Act of 2006, the Alabama Taxpayer Fairness Act of 2014, and numerous, more statute-specific tax bills. He was privileged to serve as counsel to several state tax reform, economic development and constitutional reform commissions over the years, and has written extensively on those topics as well as on other multistate tax issues and incentives matters.

Early in his career Bruce began to focus on the taxation of pass-through entities and has chaired or co-chaired several American Bar Association and Alabama State Bar committees and task forces on the subject, as well as having written numerous articles in tax or business law journals and treatises such as “Keatinge & Conaway on Choice of Business Entity” and Professor Richard Pomp's “State & Local Taxation.” He speaks regularly on these topics at the national and state level, and co-authors a series of charts on the state taxation of LLCs and LLPs that have appeared in numerous tax and business entity journals and treatises since 1993.

Bruce is a longstanding Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel and is included in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Tax Lawyers as its only Alabama member. He is co-chair of the Advisory Board for the New York University Institute on State and Local Taxation, a member of the editorial advisory boards for the Bloomberg BNA/Tax Management Multistate Tax Report, and the Journal of Business Entities (Thomson-Reuters/RIA). He is also a member of the Alabama Law Institute and is vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama.

Bruce has served for many years as state tax adviser to several business and professional trade associations, is a former chair of the Alabama State Bar Tax Section, and currently chairs its Legislative Review Committee. In December 2013, Bruce was honored with the inaugural NYU/Paul H. Frankel Award for Outstanding Achievement in State and Local Taxation, and he was named one of the “Top 10 Tax Lawyers in the United States” in 2012 by State Tax Notes.