T. J. Sullivan

tj.sullivan dbr.com
Phone: (202) 230-5157 (202) 230-5157
Fax: (202) 230-5357


T. J. Sullivan advises tax-exempt organizations on complex regulatory and business issues. He is widely acclaimed by peers as outstanding in matters related to tax-exempt entities including hospitals, HMOs, and clinics. T.J.’s practice encompasses complex transactions including corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, and acquisitions, and he brings significant regulatory experience to his work.

In addition, T.J. regularly assists health systems and trade associations in mergers, acquisitions, and sale transactions, as well as counseling them in connection with tax compliance and executive compensation and benefits matters. When necessary, he represents exempt organizations in the U.S. Tax Court.

Until 1996, T.J. was special assistant (health care) to the Internal Revenue Service assistant commissioner (employee plans and exempt organizations). At the IRS, he focused on matters involving the tax treatment of hospitals, HMOs, clinics, and other tax-exempt organizations.


  • Obtained a declaratory judgment in the U.S. Tax Court for the John Gabriel Ryan Association, a health system subsidiary that operated several joint ventures.
  • Defended IRS examinations involving executive compensation and benefits and other potential excess benefit transactions issues in several regions
  • Obtained a Declaratory Judgement in U.S. Tax Court for the Marshfield Clinic Health System, Inc., the parent of an integrated health care delivery system


Chambers USA, Nationwide, Senior Statesman, Healthcare: Transactional (2017-2019)
Chambers USA,
District of Columbia, Senior Statesman, Healthcare (2017-2019)
Chambers USA
, Nationwide, Healthcare: Transactional (2012–2016)
Chambers USA, District of Columbia, Healthcare (2005, 2008–2009, 2012–2016)
Best Lawyers®, Health Care Law (2020)
White House Task Force on Health Reform (1993)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

T.J. Sullivan is highly regarded for his work in the tax-exempt space, which draws on longstanding regulatory capabilities. He continues to act for clients such as trade associations and hospitals.


T.J. Sullivan is held in high regard for his long-standing transactional practice, which sees him advise on high-value joint ventures and acquisitions for a range of providers. He is particularly recognized for his expertise as ‘the guru of tax-exempt organizations.’

Chambers USA (2019)

T.J. Sullivan offers 'insight that I wouldn't get with anyone else,' says one pleased client. Sources say he is a 'great tax exemption guy.'


T.J. Sullivan is ‘just a master of his universe’ in the tax-exempt market, according to commentators, who add that ‘he's truly a national thought leader and a go-to lawyer in that space.'


Sources say he is 'a leader in the tax exemption field and there is nobody better that you can go to.'



Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Minnesota


  • Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M., 1991, with distinction
  • George Washington University, J.D., 1985, with honors
  • West Virginia University, M.P.A., 1979
  • Salem College, B.A., 1977


  • American Health Lawyers Association, Tax Issues Program Committee, Chair (2000–2006)
  • American Health Lawyers Association, Board of Directors (1995–2001)
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section, Health Care Subcommittee of the Committee on Exempt Organizations, Co-chair
  • BNA’s Health Law Reporter, Editorial Advisory Board
  • The Exempt Organization Tax Review, Editorial Advisory Board