Christopher J. Swift

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7461
F +1.216.696.0740

"[Chris is a] quality individual who is smart, very pragmatic, very calming to work with and very levelheaded."

— Chambers USA 2014

Overview

Chris Swift has more than 30 years' experience as a healthcare and tax lawyer who counsels the healthcare industry and other businesses by guiding them through governmental, tax and regulatory issues. He keeps nonprofit organizations tax-exempt, assists all taxpayers in reducing state and local taxes, and finds tax and regulatory incentives to grow companies. Chris has substantial experience in both the financial situations facing clients and the particular concerns faced by clients in the healthcare industry. He finds practical solutions to problems and tax-saving opportunities for his clients.

Chris is the former national co-leader of the firm's Healthcare Industry team and the former coordinator of the Cleveland office's Tax, Personal Planning and Employee Benefits group. He served as a member of the firm's Policy Committee from 2004 through 2009. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 1997 and was named the 2010 Cleveland "Tax Lawyer of the Year" and the 2011 Cleveland "Healthcare Lawyer of the Year."

Select Experience

Hospitals
  • Has represented tax-exempt hospitals in transactions and worked with the financial team to find practical solutions to problems and tax-saving opportunities. Has represented multiple healthcare systems in many types of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and membership substitutions between tax-exempt organizations; sales of assets to investor-owned corporations; and joint ventures with both taxable and tax-exempt organizations.
For-Profit Healthcare
  • Has advised for-profit healthcare clients, including several large faculty practice plans and professional corporations.
Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Has handled IRS exemption applications for hospitals and hospital subsidiaries, and has represented several large hospital systems during IRS audits.
State and Local Tax Issues
  • Has assisted large companies with multistate operations in structuring corporate organizations to minimize state and local taxes.
Real Property Tax Abatement Issues
  • Has obtained tax abatements from property taxes or tax increment financing for significant Ohio construction projects.
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Experience

Hospitals
  • Has represented tax-exempt hospitals in transactions and worked with the financial team to find practical solutions to problems and tax-saving opportunities. Has represented multiple healthcare systems in many types of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions and membership substitutions between tax-exempt organizations; sales of assets to investor-owned corporations; and joint ventures with both taxable and tax-exempt organizations.
  • Has represented "conversion" foundations that have resulted from the sales of tax-exempt hospitals.
  • Represented a hospital system in real estate tax exemptions for hospitals and medical office buildings, involving complicated settlements.
For-Profit Healthcare
  • Has advised for-profit healthcare clients, including several large faculty practice plans and professional corporations.
  • Has assisted in the planning and formation stages of joint ventures in the healthcare area, ranging from medical office buildings to ambulatory surgery centers.
  • Has assisted in the refinancing of tax-exempt and taxable debt.
Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Has handled IRS exemption applications for hospitals and hospital subsidiaries, and has represented several large hospital systems during IRS audits.
State and Local Tax Issues
  • Has assisted large companies with multistate operations in structuring corporate organizations to minimize state and local taxes.
Real Property Tax Abatement Issues
  • Has obtained tax abatements from property taxes or tax increment financing for significant Ohio construction projects.
  • Handles real property tax exemptions for charitable organizations.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Healthcare in Ohio (2014 to 2017)
  • Acritas Star (2016)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (1997 to 2018)
    • Cleveland: Health Care Law
    • Cleveland: Tax Law
      • Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year" (2010, 2018)
  • Cleveland Healthcare "Lawyer of the Year" (2011)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Ohio "Super Lawyer" (2004 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Health Law Institute: Chair (1998)
    • General Tax Committee: Chair (1990 to 1991)
    • State and Local Tax Institute: Chair (1988)
  • Cleveland Tax Institute: Chair (2008)
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association

Publications

Alerts

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1983
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1980
  • Ohio, 1980

Education

  • J.D., The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, 1980, summa cum laude
  • B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University, 1977,  summa cum laude