Recent News

Sorensen & Edwards, PS. Is pleased to announce that Michael R. Sorensen and Bruce N. Edwards have both been selected once again as "Washington Super Lawyers" by Washington Law and Politics magazine.  They have been accorded this honor since the year 2003.  Mike is listed under the category of "General Business", while Bruce is listed under the category of "Taxation".

We are deeply appreciative of this honor, which reflects our continuing commitment to the highest professional standards coupled with aggressive advocacy for our clients.

More information is available at

Sorensen & Edwards has been practicing tax, real estate, creditor and Indian law since the 1970's. We consult throughout the United States, and we have extensive experience in a wide range of business transactions. We also represent several of the corporations organized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and their affiliated entities on a regular basis. Our representation of our ANCSA clients is primarily a general corporate representation with emphasis on the specific and unique issues and opportunities that face Alaska Native corporations (commonly known as "ANCs").

ANCs enjoy very special preferences in federal contracting that enable them to team with larger corporations to the mutual advantage of each. These special preferences stem from section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, as amended by ANCSA, and allow ANCs to receive unlimited "sole source" procurements, meaning the procurement is not subject to the normal competitive process. These sole source bid awards are generally not protestable. Our clients have received substantial federal contracting awards as a result of these special rules, and the profits from these contracts have allowed our Native clients to provide increased benefits to their shareholders, both in the form of direct dividends and over the long term, through "settlement trusts".

ANCs also enjoy special tax rules. Congress passed special legislation in the mid-1980's which enabled Alaska Native Corporations to "sell" their net operating losses (NOLs) to profitable corporations.  We were heavily involved in the resulting NOL sales by our clients. Sorensen & Edwards was lead seller's counsel in almost a quarter of a billion dollars worth of NOL transactions, and also was specially retained in the audit defense of an additional $300 million in NOL transactions. All of our transactions ultimately survived IRS audit with only a minimum of audit adjustments. We have significant experience in the various alternative dispute resolutions mechanisms available to resolve IRS audits, such as mediation and arbitration.

Chief among the strategies for long term preservation of the profits from 8(a) activities, the NOL proceeds and other large cash payments, such as sales to the Exxon Valdez Trustees, is the use of ANCSA settlement trusts to hold and invest long term investment funds. Sorensen & Edwards has been lead legal counsel regarding the establishment of settlement trusts for numerous ANCs throughout the state of Alaska. Most of these trusts are now operational, and contain well over $100 million in assets. Of the 25 private letter rulings obtained from IRS National Office as to ANCSA settlement trusts, Sorensen and Edwards was lead counsel on 13. The rulings we have obtained for our clients include the first two rulings as to any taxpayer anywhere in the U.S. on applicability of the Hope Educational Credit and Life Time Learning Credit. Settlement trusts enjoy a unique elective form of taxation embodied in section 646 of the Tax Code, a provision that our law firm helped obtain through our lobbying efforts.

If you have need of legal assistance in any of the above areas, we would like the chance to talk with you.


These documents have been prepared by Sorensen & Edwards, P.S. for informational purposes only and are not legal opinions, do not provide legal advice for any purpose, and neither create nor constitute evidence of an attorney-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without first seeking independent professional counsel.

Our attorneys are licensed only in the states of Washington and Alaska.

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Last modified on 08/08/2017