Robert Pluth Jr. is the Leader of Schiff Hardin’s Tax Practice. Bob represents taxpayers, personal and corporate, in connection with various federal and state income tax controversies, including complex tax accounting matters, tax shelters and transactional disputes.

Bob also implements customized tax, succession and estate planning strategies to enable business owners and other wealthy individuals to better achieve their long-term goals.  

Bob thrives on the challenge of making complex tax laws understandable for those planning complicated, tax-sensitive business transactions or having to defend tax positions already taken. He is able to blend big picture strategic thinking without sacrificing the attention to detail critical to achieve results. Both skills are critical to effective tax planning and tax mitigation.

More than three decades of experience enables Bob to provide a diverse group of clients with definitive, seasoned judgment.

In addition to being a tax attorney, Bob is a Certified Public Accountant, giving him additional insights that have proved invaluable to his clients over the years. As a formerly practicing CPA, he bridges the gap that often exists between the legal and accounting worlds and values the opportunity to team up with his client’s accounting professionals— and also with local counsel who may not have in-house tax capabilities.

He has successfully resolved scores of federal and state tax controversies. Most often, he has done so while avoiding the cost and delay of protracted litigation. A seasoned negotiator, Bob commands respect of opposing transactional counsel as well as government counsel and representatives of the IRS and other taxing authorities. Whether advising Fortune 100 companies, families or individual entrepreneurs and their businesses, Bob prides himself on the timely delivery of tax counsel.

  • Experience

    • Helped a large multinational foreign corporation save millions of dollars in franchise taxes that a state taxing authority sought to impose using push down accounting following an acquisition of a new U.S. subsidiary engaged in the extraction of minerals.
    • Successfully represented several founders in connection with the "once in a lifetime" sale of their businesses.
    • Was among the first attorneys in the U.S. to use limited liability companies and has lectured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad in topics relating to their use.
    • Has taught and lectured on tax and tax law for Northwestern University School of Law, the Chicago-Kent College of Law Graduate Tax Program, Lewis University and the American Banker’s Association National Trust School.
    • In conjunction with partners in the firm's White Collar Crime and Corporate Compliance Group, represents taxpayers under criminal investigation regarding tax-sensitive activities.
    • More than 30 years of business, tax and tax law experience with a special practice emphasis on business and tax planning for:
      • Businesses organized as limited liability companies (LLCs)
      • Joint ventures
      • Partnerships
      • S corporations
      • Other privately held business and investment entities
  • Credentials


    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1980, cum laude
    • Lewis University, B.A., Accountancy, 1976, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
        • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
        • U.S. Tax Court

          Professional Memberships

          • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation

          Professional Certifications

          • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

          Teaching Appointments

          • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law Entrepreneurship Clinic
          • Adjunct Professor, Lewis University, Business law
          • Faculty, American Banker’s Association National Trust School and National Graduate Trust School
          • Adjunct Professor, Chicago-Kent College of Law Graduate Tax Program
          • Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Law, Income tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions
        • Insights

          News Release

          2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

          Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

          News Release

          Super Lawyers Names 39 Schiff Attorneys to 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

          Two partners were recognized among “best of the best” on 2019 Illinois Top Lists

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Advises Wintrust on Three Year-End Acquisitions

          Schiff Hardin LLP advised Wintrust Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: WTFC) on the recent completion of three bank and financial institution acquisitions.


          Qualified Opportunity Zones: An Introduction to New Opportunities under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

          The IRS and Treasury Department issued proposed regulations that explain how investors can take advantage of the statute’s unique opportunity for deferral and exclusion of capital gains taxes by investing in designated distressed communities or QOZs.

          News Release

          61 Schiff Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America List and Six Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year”

          Schiff Hardin is pleased to announce that 61 attorneys have been included in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as six who were named a “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective areas of practice.

          News Release

          Schiff Advised Altaris on $1.1 Billion Take-Private Acquisition of Analogic

          Schiff Hardin LLP served as legal counsel to Altaris Capital Partners in connection with an Altaris affiliate’s acquisition of Analogic Corporation for approximately $1.1 billion.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Represents Central Steel in Acquisition by Ryerson

          Schiff is representing Central Steel & Wire Company, a leading metal service center with a strong reputation as a valued supply chain partner.

          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Represents First Mid-Illinois Bancshares in Its Pending Acquisition of SCB Bancorp, Inc.

          Schiff Hardin is representing First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. in the pending acquisition of all of the outstanding stock of SCB Bancorp, Inc.

          News Release

          95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

          Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

          News Release

          40 Attorneys Named to 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, and Top Women Lists

          Forty Schiff Hardin attorneys have been recognized on the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

          Other Publications

          • Federal Taxation of Business Enterprises, three-volume tax treatise, Callaghan & Company (1989)

          Speeches & Presentations

          • “Family LPs and LLCs: The Unwind,” Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning: Closing-Held Business Planning, Coral Gables, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2018)
          • “Medical Cannabis in Illinois,” Medical Cannabis Law Seminar, Chicago, IL (Apr. 25, 2016)
          • “What Every Wealth Transfer Adviser Needs to Know about S Corporations,” (co-presenter) 50th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii (Oct. 31, 2013)
          • “Fee-Based Financial Planning & EBPS Meeting,” (co-presenter) Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Conference (Oct. 9, 2013)
          • “Year-End Tax Planning – 2012,” Lewis University Estate and Tax Planning Advisory Council, Romeoville, Ill. (Oct. 9, 2012)
          • “Family Limited Partnerships and Family Limited Liability Companies: The Unwind,” AICPA: Advanced Estate Planning Conference (Jul. 18-20, 2011)
          • “Planning Opportunities Using LLCs,” 2010 CLE/SPE Seminar Sponsored by First Midwest Bank (Nov. 9-10, 2010)
          • “Powerful Planning Opportunities Using LLCs For Your Client’s Business and Real Estate Activities,“ 47th  Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Nov. 1-4, 2010)
          • “Evidentiary Privileges and impact on Tax Controversies,” 46th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 19-22, 2009)
          • “Increased Use of Federal Common Laws Doctrines by State Taxing Authorities,” Illinois CPA Society Corporate Tax Conference (2009)
          • “Family Limited Partnerships and Family Limited Liability Companies: The Unwind,” First Midwest Bank (2008)
          • “Family Limited Partnerships and Family Limited Liability Companies: The Unwind,” 45th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 20-23, 2008)
          • “Planning for the Death or Retirement of a Partner,” 28th Annual American Institute on Federal Taxation, University of Alabama (2004)
          • “Partnership Contributions and Distributions: General Rules and Select Pitfalls,” 26th Annual American Institute on Federal Taxation (Jun. 2002)
          • “Family Limited Partnerships and LLCs,” Estate Planning Council of Will County (Apr. 2001)
          • “Choice of Business Entity,” University of Alabama 54th Annual Federal Tax Clinic (2000)
          • “Partnerships and LLCs, Updates, Opportunities and Pitfalls,” Ohio CPA Society (Oct. 1999)
          • “The Limited Liability Company: A New Alternative,” Chicago Estate Planning Council (Apr. 1997)
          • “Limited Liability Companies: Selected Tax Issues,” Illinois CPA Society Auditing and Accounting Conference