University of Texas at Austin School of Law, J.D.
  • cum laude
Williams College, B.A.
  • Political Economy
Georgetown University


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James Combs concentrates his practice on corporate taxation, mergers and acquisitions, tax credit projects, and financial products taxation. James also represents clients in connection with tax legislation matters, including drafting legislation and lobbying activities. In addition, he has extensive experience obtaining private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service and representing taxpayers in federal income tax audits.


Representative Matters

  • Provides tax advice to borrowers and lenders with respect to financing transactions
  • Represents Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C., in connection with tax legislative and regulatory matters
  • Assisted drafting legislation for federal income tax credit for energy projects
  • Represented Compuware Corporation in connection with its spin-off of its publicly traded subsidiary, Covisint Corporation


  • Conversational French



  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2022
    • Recognized in practice area of Tax Law
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2018

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Tax Section
      • Committee on Financial Transactions
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Tax Section
      • Council Member
        • 2015 Annual Tax Conference, Chair
      • Business Entities Committee, former Chair
  • Children's Hospital of Michigan
    • Board of Directors, 2015-present
  • Grosse Pointe Yacht Club
    • Junior Sailing Program, Co-chair, 2013-2015

Academic Appointments

  • Walsh College, Instructor, provided course instruction on bankruptcy and insolvency tax topics
  • University of Michigan Law School, Guest Lecturer on certain tax aspects of joint ventures
  • Wayne State University Law School, Guest Lecturer on taxation of business entities and joint ventures
  • Cooley Law School, Guest Lecturer on corporate income tax issues

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