John B. Palmer


John B. Palmer is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses on federal income tax matters, with special emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate taxation, partnerships and limited liability companies, and tax accounting issues. John also represents corporate and wealthy individual clients before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities and in federal and state administrative and judicial forums. His clients include investment management, venture capital, and private equity firms, health care providers, and closely held businesses, whom he advises on formation issues, the structuring of equity interests, restructurings and equity financings, and mergers and acquisitions.

John has extensive experience in the sports industry, providing tax advice with regard to major and minor league franchise acquisitions, as well as tax planning in order to deal with the tax implications raised by media and other deals including sponsorship agreements. John is former chair of the firm’s Tax Practice and a member of the Sports Industry Team.

Representative Experience

  • Advising the Ricketts family on tax issues involved in the leveraged partnership acquisition of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Club.
  • Advising the Chuck Greenberg/Nolan Ryan team in connection with the successful purchase of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball Club.
  • Advising Guggenheim Baseball Management in connection with its successful purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Awards and Recognition

  • Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2007 in the area of Tax Law*
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 for his work in domestic tax: central (2011, 2013 and 2014)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers® lists* (2006-2016)


  • IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, Masters of Tax Program, Adjunct Professor
  • Partnership Committee Member, the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.
07 February 2024 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents Baker Tilly in Connection With Its Strategic Investment Led by Hellman & Friedman

Foley & Lardner LLP represented Baker Tilly, a leading advisory CPA firm, in connection with its strategic investment from private equity firms Hellman & Friedman and Valeas Capital Partners.
10 January 2024 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents Alpha IRB in Sale to Sabai Group

Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to Alpha Independent Review Board, LLC in its sale to Sabai Group LLC.
15 November 2023 Deals and Wins

Foley Advises Novacap in Strategic Partnership with Lewis & Ellis

Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to Novacap, one of North America’s leading private equity firms, in its strategic partnership with Lewis & Ellis, a leading full-service actuarial consulting firm.
21 September 2023 Deals and Wins

Foley Advises Knowles Corporation in Acquisition of Cornell Dubilier

Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal adviser to Knowles Corporation, a leading global supplier of high performance components and solutions, including ceramic capacitors and radio frequency filters, advanced medtech microphones, balanced armature speakers, and audio solutions, in entering a definitive agreement to acquire Cornell Dubilier.
17 August 2023 Honors and Awards

Foley Attorneys Recognized in 2024 Best Lawyers in America

Foley & Lardner LLP proudly announced today that 236 of the firm’s attorneys across 20 U.S. offices have received recognition in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.
30 June 2023 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents Interstate Transport in Sale to Dupré Logistics

Foley & Lardner LLP represented Interstate Transport, a transportation arrangement provider, in its recent acquisition in a stock transaction by Dupré Logistics, a privately held provider of transportation and logistics services.