Press Release October 21, 2021

Kendall Houghton Honored with 2020 “Paul H. Frankel Excellence in State Taxation Award”

Alston & Bird partner Kendall Houghton and leader of the firm’s global Tax practice has been honored with the prestigious “Paul H. Frankel Excellence in State Taxation Award” by the Council On State Taxation (COST). Presentation of the award, which is for 2020, was delayed due to pandemic disruptions.

Named after noted tax attorney, Paul H. Frankel, considered by many in the industry to be the “godfather” of SALT, the award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding and continuing contributions to the SALT profession.  

The immediate past chair of Alston & Bird’s Partners Committee and former head of the firm’s State & Local Tax and Unclaimed Property groups, Houghton has been at the forefront of both the SALT and unclaimed property fields in a career that has spanned more than 30 years. Advising both large and mid-sized public and privately held companies, she assists clients in crafting strategies to deal with state income and sales tax, as well as unclaimed property law challenges. Her experience includes representing clients in multijurisdictional tax and unclaimed property disputes, negotiating favorable settlements with state and local jurisdictions, and developing and advocating state tax policy and legislative positions benefitting client interests. 

Early in her career, Houghton was general counsel at COST. In that role, she filed briefs in more than a dozen U.S. Supreme Court cases impacting state taxation of multistate commerce and testified before Congress on the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which was signed into law in 1998.

A guest lecturer on state tax and unclaimed property at Georgetown University, Houghton is a prolific writer and speaker. She has authored dozens of articles in Bloomberg, CFO Magazine, Risk Management Magazine, Tax Analysts, and other leading business and industry publications and is a featured speaker at national state tax conferences and universities. 

Created in 2009, the Paul H. Frankel Excellence in State Taxation Award is determined by the COST board of directors based on adherence to the principles and values espoused by Frankel, the award’s inaugural recipient.  
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