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Think Tank - Bruce Zagaris - International Attorney

Bruce Zagaris

Vice Chair, Advisory Board

Bruce Zagaris is a renowned international lawyer. He is a partner at the law firm of Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, LLP and the founder and editor of the International Enforcement Law Reporter and author of International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials. Zagaris also serves as the Immigration and Human Rights Committee Chair of the International Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Specialization Areas: International Private and Public Law, International Arbitration, Social Responsibility, Developmental Work, International White Collar Criminal Defense, Money Movement, Corporate  International Tax, and International Enforcement.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: International Law Section: former chair, International Tax Committee;
  • Criminal Justice Section: chair, Committee on International Criminal Law, 1989-93 and Council, 2009-10;
  • Tax Section, chair, Subcommittee on International Tax Enforcement, Civil and Criminal Penalties Committee;
  • American Society of International Law, Executive Committee, 1990-92 and ILM board, 2008- ;
    Washington Foreign Law Society, President, 1990-91;
  • International Penal Law Association;
  • American Society of International Law, Co-Vice Chair of Cultural Heritage and the Arts Interest Group, 2010 present

 Zagaris has advised individuals and entities on the application of US tax laws to various investments in bank deposit and other instruments (e.g., money market funds, bonds, and insurance accounts). Additionally, he was a negotiator for the government of Barbados in its 1983 tax treaty with the United States, which provided for an exemption on excise tax for certain insurance transactions. This led to work for US companies wanting to establish captive companies in Barbados. Much of the Barbados work has included advising and negotiating on tax treaties and strategy and legislation related to the offshore sector.

Since 1981, Zagaris has regularly represented the government of Barbados; from 1985 through 1987, he represented the government of Belize; and he has served as a registered agent for both countries. For several developing governments, Zagaris has advised on obtaining tax administration assistance.

In 1991, he also organized and moderated a program on tax administration assistance sponsored by the International Law Institute in Washington, DC. Zagaris was co-chair of International Exchange of Tax Information Recent Developments (Practising Law Institute, 1985).

From 1979 through 1986, Zagaris served as US editor for Taxes International, a monthly publication. He helped found and has regularly spoken at programs of the Barbados branch of the International Fiscal Association.

From 1979 through the present Mr. Zagaris has a been a correspondent for Tax Notes International. International White Collar Crime (2015, 2d edit.) Assoc. of Certified Financial Crime Specialists, advisory board. Texas A&M LLM Program on Welath Management, adjunct professor.

In 1993, he consulted for and prepared a paper for the Caribbean Law Institute on tax treaty options for the Commonwealth Caribbean. Zagaris has also participated in programs on the international tax and business aspects of transnational philanthropy.


  • International Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (co-author with Jordan J. Paust et al). Carolina Academic Press, 4th Ed 2013.
  • Investment Treaties Important for International Tax and Business Planning, Tax Notes International, 1161 (March 25, 2013)
  • International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010.
  • International Enforcement Law Reporter ( and editor), monthly since 1985.

Speaking Engagements:

Since 1986 he has spoken at each of the International Tax Conferences of the Florida Bar and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a frequent speaker at programs of the Practicing Law Institute, American Law Institute-American Bar Association, World Trade Center, and showcase programs at the American Bar Association s annual conventions on international taxation.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • C20 Conference to Prepare Recommendations on Anti-Corruption and Transparency for G20 Summit, Melbourne, Australia, June 20, 2014
  • Corporate Monitors in U.S. Criminal Cases, Challenges in Economic and Financial Crime in Europe, Dec. 2, 2014, Luxembourg
  • Ethical Issues in Offshore Planning, ALI International Trust and Estate Planning, Oct. 19-20, 2014, San Francisco, CA.
  • FATCA: Investment Reporting and Implications for Caribbean Financial Institutions, Barbados International Business Association, October 26, 2012.

Earlier Speaking Engagements

He spoke at the first two Caribbean conferences of the International Tax Academy (in Aruba, 1993, and Cancun, 1994) and at the Caribbean Conference of the Offshore Investment Journal in San Juan. He has spoken on how to gather evidence under tax information exchange agreements in connection with transfer pricing programs.  These have included the Program on Section 6038A, held by the Institute for International Research on September 26-27, 1993; and Transfer Pricing programs held by the American Conference Institute (ACI) in New York City on November 8, 1993, and by the Canadian Institute in Toronto on February 21-22, 1994, and Chicago on March 3-4, 1994.

On November 15, 1994, he spoke on the US Model Income Tax Treaty at the ACI program on Income Tax Treaties in New York City.

On January 29, 1994, at the ABA Tax Section winter meeting in Houston, he organized and moderated a program on the long arm of the taxman and international tax enforcement issues.

Zagaris was an AMPART speaker for the US Information Agency during a visit to four cities in Mexico March 23-28, 1992, speaking in Spanish to business groups on the international tax aspects of free trade with the United States.


He received his B.A., J.D., and LL.M. (tax) from the National Law Center of the George Washington University, an LL.M. in comparative law from Stockholm University in Sweden, and a third LL.M. in international law from the Free University in Brussels.

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