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Shawna R. Tunnell

Washington, D.C.

Shawna R. Tunnell

Shawna Tunnell helps clients from many industries handle their toughest tax challenges, with an emphasis on joint ventures, private investment funds (representing both sponsors and investors), and real estate investment trusts (REITs). Her clients span the real estate, media and entertainment, technology and telecom, and energy sectors.

Shawna aims to achieve — incisively and efficiently — the best result for her clients when advising on tax matters. She helps clients in forming, operating, and investing in joint ventures, partnerships, and limited liability companies (including private equity and real estate investment funds). She also assists with REITs (both privately owned and publicly traded), taxable and nontaxable acquisitions and dispositions, public offerings of equity and debt securities, private financing arrangements, and income tax credits (including the historic rehabilitation tax credit). Shawna also negotiates with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain private letter rulings and other guidance to ensure federal tax compliance for her clients. She also enjoys helping nonprofits with exemption, reporting, and investment matters.

Representative experience

Represented 21st Century Fox in expansion of media partnership with National Geographic Society.

Represented 21st Century Fox in Hulu online media partnership with ABC/Disney and NBCUniversal.

Represented top-20 largest private equity real estate firm in forming several US$500m investment funds.

Representing two of the world's largest publicly traded lodging REITs.

Representing numerous institutional investors with respect to private investment fund investments.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., New York University School of Law
  • LL.M. Taxation, New York University School of Law
  • B.A., University of Kansas


  • Member, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • Member, Tax Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Tax Section, New York State Bar Association

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Connecticut

Latest thinking and events

Published Works

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst
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