William D. Fournier
Caplin & Drysdale
William D. Fournier Associate

P: (202) 862-5079

F: (202) 429-3301

Washington, D.C. Office


Mr. Fournier works on a broad range of tax issues for tax-exempt organizations and assists high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families in achieving their philanthropic objectives.

Mr. Fournier provides a diverse set of tax-exempt organizations with comprehensive legal advice.  He offers guidance to private foundations, public charities, educational institutions, religious organizations, social welfare organizations, and other tax-exempt entities on a variety of legal matters, including:

  • assisting with IRS compliance and reporting;
  • guiding clients in matters involving corporate governance and general operations;
  • advising on international grantmaking and cross-border operations, including associated withholding and reporting requirements;
  • counseling on the creation of joint ventures and the operation of subsidiaries and affiliated nonprofits;
  • minimizing unrelated business income tax; and
  • helping clients establish or re-establish exempt status following automatic revocation.

In addition, Mr. Fournier assists HNWIs and their families in designing and implementing strategies to achieve philanthropic goals. Examples of Mr. Fournier's legal services include:

  • advising on the operation and governance of family foundations;
  • devising philanthropic plans that utilize direct charitable giving, donor advised funds, charitable remainder trusts, and family foundations; and
  • assisting domestic and international clients with developing sophisticated estate plans, including planning for lifetime gifts, charitable giving, and dynastic transfers.


Prior to attending law school, Mr. Fournier served as a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Practice Areas

Recent News

Click here for a full list of media coverage.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Nonprofit Organizations Network Call, Association of Corporate Counsel, September 11, 2018
  • Speaker, Employee Sharing: The Lay of the Land, and Where You Can Go Wrong, TEGE Exempt Organizations Council Program: TEGE Exempt Organizations Update, June 15, 2018
  • Speaker, Recent Developments in Federal Estate and Gift Tax, The Maryland Association of CPAs, November 15, 2016
  • Speaker, Chan-Zuckerberg & Friends: Using Philanthrocapitalism to Accomplish Charitable Goals: Will Foundations Become an Endangered Species?, ABA Business Law Section, September 9, 2016
  • Speaker, Form 990 and Other IRS Reporting Issues for Related Organizations, Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA), Nonprofits and Associations Forum: Wearing Multiple Hats - Common Challenges for GCs Advising Related Organizations, October 1, 2014
  • Panelist, Auto-Revocation Reinstatement Procedures, D.C. Bar Tax Section, Exempt Organizations Committee, May 21, 2014

Click here for a full list of speaking engagements.

Recent Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.


  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 2013, with distinction
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2011, cum laude; Final Editor, The Tax Lawyer
  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003

Bar and Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
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