Robert Shaw focuses his practice on commercial litigation and state and local taxation. Mr. Shaw has represented clients in a broad range of tax litigation matters, including corporate income tax disputes, sales and use tax, property tax, tax planning, tax exemptions, tax incentives, and constitutional challenges to tax assessments.

Robert Shaw focuses his practice on commercial litigation and state and local taxation. Mr. Shaw has represented clients in a broad range of tax litigation matters, including corporate income tax disputes, sales and use tax, property tax, tax planning, tax exemptions, tax incentives, and constitutional challenges to tax assessments.

He has also represented clients in employee benefits disputes ranging from benefits plan design to disputes over employee benefits under ERISA, as well as commercial cases. Mr. Shaw’s employee benefits experience includes successful litigation of an ERISA dispute before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Mr. Shaw's litigation and tax controversy experience has included cases before the North Carolina Business Court, U.S. District Court, North Carolina Superior Court, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has lectured and written articles on business law, state and local tax, employee benefits, and antitrust. Before joining Williams Mullen, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Malcolm J. Howard, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Mr. Shaw is a member of the Section of Taxation for the American Bar Association, including the State and Local Tax Subcommittee.  He is a founding member of the Raleigh-Durham chapter of the Institute for Professional in Taxation. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in North Carolina, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Mr. Shaw is an Eagle Scout. He is also a member of the Young Professionals Network of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Symphony's Players Society. He is active in Legal Aid of North Carolina's Project Together, and also serves as director of young adults at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

A graduate of Wake Forest University, Mr. Shaw earned his B.S., magna cum laude, as a Presidential and Carswell Scholar. He holds an M.A. degree from Duke University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Mr. Shaw was a Chancellor’s Scholar and graduated with honors. Mr. Shaw is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society. In 2004, he was named the University of North Carolina School of Law Pro Bono Law Student of the Year.

  • Represented individual involved in a wrongful termination of employee benefits under ERISA case in federal court. Case was later appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Litigated several corporate income tax cases before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  • Defended online travel companies in a case a class action case filed on behalf of all North Carolina jurisdictions levying occupancy taxes.  At issue was whether or not fees for online travel bookings were subject to occupancy taxes.  Williams Mullen worked as North Carolina counsel with national lead counsel and four other law firms to defend the case.    Williams Mullen litigated the case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and later handled the appeal to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Defended university against FERPA claim brought by the parent of a student arising from the student's performance at the university.
  • Defended insurance company in employee benefits dispute over coverage for a governmental employee benefits plan.  Case settled.