Richard F. Riley Jr



Richard F. Riley, Jr. is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Riley’s practice focuses on tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations; taxation of insurance companies; taxation of railroad companies; employment and withholding taxes; and tax litigation at the administrative, trial, and appellate level. He is a member of the firm’s Taxation Practice.

Representative Experience

  • Ongoing representation of one of the nation’s largest tax-exempt social welfare organizations on tax and tax exemption issues
  • Representing a major nationwide tax-exempt industry before the Internal Revenue Service and in successful federal tax refund actions, in connection with unrelated business income tax liability
  • Representing property & casualty insurers in litigation to defend their loss reserve deductions against IRS challenge, and addressing other complex P&C insurance company tax issues
  • Lead attorney in a successful $30 million refund suit involving the railroad retirement tax liability of a Class I railroad’s intermodal subsidiary; plus continuing litigation and counseling on railroad retirement tax matters for railroad companies and public transit agencies
  • Continuing work for a wide variety of educational organizations, religious organizations, private foundations, social welfare organizations, trade associations, and other tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations in all facets of their operations


Mr. Riley has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system.

Affiliations and Professional Memberships

He is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Taxation, Federal Bar Association Tax Section, and the District of Columbia Bar Tax Section. Mr. Riley is active in the Exempt Organizations Committee of the ABA Section of Taxation and serves as a subcommittee co-chair. He was a founding member of the J. Edgar Murdock American Inn of Court at the United States Tax Court. He also serves on the board of directors of The Riley Foundation, a grant-making charitable foundation in Mississippi.


Mr. Riley received his undergraduate degree at Yale University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1980) and is an honors law graduate of Duke University School of Law (J.D. 1983).

Representative Matters

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Served as lead trial counsel in two federal tax “test cases” for the credit union industry, challenging recent IRS determinations that the sale of debt protection and financial service products by credit unions are subject to unrelated business income tax (UBIT). In Community First Credit Union v. United States (E.D. Wis.), after a four-day, 15-witness trial, a unanimous federal court jury in Green Bay, Wisconsin returned a special verdict on May 14, 2009, ruling in favor of Community First on all claims and rejecting the government’s UBIT position. In the second tax refund suit, Bellco Credit Union v. United States, pending in U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, the district court on November 12, 2009 granted partial summary judgment that revenues received by Bellco from the sale of financial services and investment products to its members are also not subject to UBIT. Following a bench trial, the district court ruled on April 2, 2010 that Bellco’s revenues from the sale on credit insurance on both direct and indirect lending were not subject to UBIT and that revenues received from a direct mail offering of accidental death and dismemberment insurance by a third party were royalties also exempt from UBIT. The government has appealed.