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Cynthia M. Ohlenforst

Fax +1.214.939.5849

Ms. Ohlenforst has a broad tax practice, and extensive experience in state and federal tax planning and controversy matters (including litigation) and in legislative work. Her dispute resolution practice includes multistate litigation and administrative proceedings, and her transactional practice includes contract negotiation, e-commerce, internet, and technology transactions. Ms. Ohlenforst frequently works with the energy, technology, broadcasting, transportation, and airline industries, and has worked with legislators on drafting multiple provisions of the Texas Tax Code, including for several of these industry members. Ms. Ohlenforst serves on the K&L Gates firmwide Diversity Committee and is the Chair of the firm's Women in the Profession Committee.

Ms. Ohlenforst’s practice focuses on the following areas:

  • Multistate and federal tax issues, including income tax, sales tax, franchise tax, property tax, hotel tax, and other taxes
  • Controversy and litigation, including work defending against putative class actions by taxing jurisdictions
  • Tax-related legislative and administrative projects, including working on draft legislation and testifying before legislative committees
  • Transactions, including contract negotiations, financings and reorganizations


  • Best Lawyers Women in the Law, 2016
  • Chambers USA, Texas: Tax, Litigation, 2013 - 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, 2004 - 2017
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Tax Lawyer of the Year Award, 2017
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Law & Politics Magazine and Texas Monthly, 2003 - 2016
  • Best Women Lawyers in Dallas, Tax, D Magazine, 2010
  • Best Lawyers in Dallas, D Magazine, 2011
  • Top 50 Women Texas, Super Lawyers, 2009
  • Dallas 500 (Top 500 Business Leaders, D Magazine’s Inaugural List (2015))
  • Outstanding Graduate, University of Dallas

Professional/Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Tax Section and State Tax Committee
    • Past Chair, Tax Section
    • Past Chair, State Tax Committee
    • Past Chair, Committee on Women in the Profession
  • Dallas Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Tax Section
  • Texas Bar Foundation
  • Participation on advisory committees for multiple Texas Comptrollers of Public Accounts
  • Executive Women's Roundtable Member
  • Board of Trustees of Ursuline Academy of Dallas and work with multiple other nonprofit boards (including past board positions with The Housing Crisis Center, The Family Place, and Attitudes & Attire).
  • Leadership Texas Association Alumnae

Speaking Engagements

  • A frequent speaker, Ms. Ohlenforst has spoken at the annual meeting for COST (Council on State Taxation), at ABA meetings, at State Bar Advanced Tax programs, at Texas Society of CPAs meetings, and at other CLE and industry meetings.
  • Successful prosecution of contested cases and audits, including multiple multi-million dollar cases involving taxable services, franchise taxes, and other taxes (including representation of travel technology company in multiple ongoing sales and hotel tax disputes in the United States)
  • Lead tax counsel in multiple Texas courts for pending property tax litigation regarding power generation assets
  • Representation in legislative and regulatory matters, including for several Fortune 100 companies, in connection with working to draft statutory and regulatory provisions impacting multiple industries, and including sales tax, franchise tax, and property tax legislation (including testifying in favor of new provisions of Texas Tax Code regarding certain aircraft transactions (Chapter 163, Sales and Use Taxation of Aircraft, enacted in 2015).
  • Planning to restructure businesses to minimize state tax liability
  • Planning for clients involving acquisitions, sales and reorganizations, including of multimillion dollar transactions