James W. Forsyth



(412) 620-6529

(412) 275-2390

Jim primarily works with business and corporate tax matters and the taxation of pass-through entities. He represents publicly and privately held enterprises in analyzing the federal, state, and local income tax consequences of corporate transactions, including corporate reorganizations, divisions, debt restructurings, joint ventures, and other business transactions.

Jim devotes a significant amount of his practice to resolving taxpayer disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. He particularly enjoys working with business clients to develop the practical solutions that will help them achieve their financial and operational goals.

Jim has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. He has been recognized in Pittsburgh's Top Rated Lawyers (2012-2019 editions) for Business, Corporate, and Taxation law by The Legal Intelligencer. Jim has also been included in The Best Lawyers in America® list each year since 2017. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” in 2020 by The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law in Pittsburgh. Only one lawyer in each practice and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on voting conducted by The Best Lawyers in America®.

Jim is the author of BNA Tax Management Portfolio 765-4th "Stock Rights and Stock Dividends - Sections 305 and 306." BNA Tax Management Portfolios are often cited in federal tax cases as containing the most persuasive thinking on cutting-edge topics. This portfolio analyzes potential tax problems that could arise in connection with dividend distributions of common or preferred stock and stock rights. It provides a framework for analysis of the tax treatment of such distributions by analyzing the issues regarding when a distribution will be taxable; what factors must be considered in determining whether stock is common or preferred stock; when a distribution of preferred stock will be subject to taint under § 306; and the basis and holding period issues surrounding stock distributions. Jim is also co-author of the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 Guidebook to Pennsylvania Taxes published by CCH. 

Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from West Liberty State College. Jim earned his law degree from West Virginia University and was Order of the Coif. Jim went on to earn his LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.



More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Cozen O’Connor Advises United Hydrogen Group, Inc. in Sale to Plug Power, Inc.

June 24, 2020

United Hydrogen is one of the largest privately held merchant hydrogen producers in North America. The company operates a manufacturing plant in southeast Tennessee with a capacity to produce 6.4 tons of liquid hydrogen daily, with plans to expand to 10 tons per day.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Six Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2020 “Lawyers of the Year” By Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that six of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America.

Opportunity Knocks, but Why Hasn't Pittsburgh Answered the Door?

February 14, 2019

Jim Forsyth is quoted in the Pittsburgh Business Times on why Pittsburgh may be slower to capitalize on opportunity zones than other regions.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Cozen O’Connor Guides Eurofins Scientific in $670 Million Acquisition of Covance Food Solutions

May 04, 2018

The Corporate and International practices at Cozen O’Connor represented Eurofins Scientific SE in the acquisition of Covance Food Solutions from Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp).

Corporate Tax Attorney Joins Pittsburgh Office

February 05, 2018

Forsyth is the 30th Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC Attorney to Join the Firm in the Past Year and 20th Attorney to Join the Pittsburgh Office


Summary and Analysis of Key Provisions of the CARES Act

March 28, 2020

Members of Cozen O'Connor's Coronavirus Task Force provide analysis of the CARES Act and how it will impact small businesses, distressed industries, employers and employees, taxes, and the health care, real estates, and energy industries.


  • West Virginia University, J.D., 1986
  • University of Florida, LL.M., 1989
  • West Liberty State College, B.S., 1983

Awards & Honors

The Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2022

2020 Tax Lawyer of the Year in Pittsburgh by The Best Lawyers in America 

AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell

Pittsburgh's Top Rated Lawyers for Business

The Legal Intelligencer, Corporate and Taxation Law

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court

Bloomberg BNA Corporate Taxation Advisory Board, Member

Bloomberg BNA Real Estate Advisory Board, Member

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member

American Bar Association Section of International Law, Tax Section

West Virginia Society for Certified Public Accountants, Member

West Virginia University College of Law, Past Adjunct Professor 

West Virginia University Foundation Planned Giving Advisory Committee, Pittsburgh