McDermott Will & Emery has hired two senior tax attorneys from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, the firm announced last week.

Partner Stephen Kranz and counsel Diann Smith joined McDermott’s state and local tax practice group in Washington. Kranz’s practice focuses on state tax controversy and tax policy matters, including representing companies in tax audits and litigation. He previously served as general counsel to the Council on State Taxation, a trade association that represents the nation’s largest taxpayers on state and local taxation, and chief counsel for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue where he represented the city in tax policy matters. Smith, who was previously a partner at McDermott from 1995 to 1998, advises clients on tax controversy, planning, legislation and compliance.

New year, new partners

Several large law firms began announcing new partners and of counsels last week, including many promotions in their D.C. offices. At most firms, “of counsels” are senior-level attorneys who don’t have equity stakes in the firm, but are better paid than associates.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld named four new partners in Washington: Stacey R. Eisenstein, Bernd G. Janzen, Amanda R. Johnson and Raphael A. Prober.

Wiley Reinelected five new partners and two new of counsels. The partners are Jon W. Burd, Robert E. DeFrancesco III, Claire J. Evans, Brian H. Pandya and Christopher B. Weld; the of counsels are Jeremy J. Schofer and Andrew G. Woodson.

Arent Fox named new D.C. partners Aziz Burgy, Kevin R. Pinkney and Amy E.L. Schoenhard, and promoted Kinley Bray to of counsel.

Steptoe & Johnson elected one new partner in Washington, Ruth Kochenderfer, and four of counsels: Erica Gerson, Hunter Hodges, Rachel Hofstatter and Ying Huang.