Philip Olsen focuses his practice on state and local tax consulting and litigation. Philip has more than 25 years of experience litigating or resolving major tax controversies before administrative boards, superior courts, bankruptcy court, state appeals courts, and state supreme courts. Philip has represented municipalities and property owners in property tax appeals, and also has experience in unclaimed property consulting and audit defense.

Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Philip was a partner at Burns & Levinson LLP, and before that, a partner with McCarter English. He started his career as a senior trial attorney and litigation supervisor for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.  Included among the hundreds of appeals he has handled are landmark state tax cases on related party transactions (Syms Corp. v. Commissioner of Revenue), corporate nexus (Kennametal, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue), sales tax exemptions (IBM v. Commissioner of Revenue) and manufacturing (The First Years, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue).

A frequent public speaker on state and local tax and litigation issues, Philip has addressed organizations such as the  Council on State Taxation, Tax Executives Institute, Institute for Professionals in Taxation, Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law (2017) 
  • "Recognized Practitioner" in Tax Law in Chambers USA (2017)
  • Recognized as a "Leader in their Field" in Chambers USA (2010)
  • Named a "Massachusetts Super Lawyer" for Tax Law (2004)

Professional Activities

  • Boston Bar Association State and Local Tax Committee, past Co-chair
  • Boston Bar Association Tax Controversies Committee, past Co-chair
  • Massachusetts Bar Association State and Local Tax Committee, past Chair


  • American Bar Association Sales and Use Tax Deskbook – Massachusetts chapter author
  • Bloomberg BNA Massachusetts Corporate Income Tax Navigator – Portfolio Reviewer
  • Massachusetts Taxation and DOR Practice:  Appellate Tax Board Litigation - author
  • "The Continuing Question of Domicile," Boston Business Journal, June 28, 2013