With more than 15 years of experience in public finance and tax matters, Ashley Wicks leverages her experience and knowledge as an attorney and CPA to bring creative solutions to a variety of public finance and tax matters, ultimately working to grow and improve the vibrant communities her clients serve. In her extensive practice, Ashley primarily focuses on new markets tax credits, governmental and 501(c)(3) bond financing transactions and state and local tax matters.
New Markets Tax Credits Ashley has closed over $600+ million federal new markets tax credit (NMTC) transactions for transformative mixed-use developments, manufacturing facilities, community facilities, educational facilities, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers, among others. She has represented a variety of entities in these transactions, including the investors, the community development entities (CDE), the leverage lenders, the sources lenders, the guarantors, the sponsors and the project entities, as well as representing the CDEs and the projects in the unwind of the NMTC transactions. Many of these transactions are of varying complexity and involve historic rehabilitation tax credits and renewable energy tax credits. In executing these transactions, Ashley brings her attention to detail and proficiency across tax disciplines.
Governmental and 501(c)(3) Bond Financing Ashley serves in a variety of roles for governmental and 501(c)(3) bond financing transactions, including bond counsel, company counsel, special tax counsel, underwriter counsel and disclosure counsel. She has experience representing new issuers and bond issuances involving newly authorized security. As bond counsel, Ashley has efficiently advised local housing authorities in connection with affordable housing transactions involving low-income housing tax credits and other issuers in the defeasance of bonds.
In addition, Ashley has acted as bond counsel to mass transit agencies across the country , including representing and advising the agencies in the exercise of early buy-out options and voluntary terminations of tax-advantaged leases, including payment undertaking. In a similar transaction, she also served as counsel to the payment undertaker in exercise of voluntary early terminations of a tax-advantaged lease.
State and Local Taxes Ashley has also represented and advised clients in planning, procuring and implementing state and local tax incentives. She has also worked alongside clients during audits before a host of state agencies, including the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s Board of Review, the Mississippi Board of Tax Appeals and in numerous tax litigation matters.
An award-winning attorney, Ashley has been consistently recognized for her superior work and service by her clients and peers, including being honored by Best Lawyers in America® since 2020 and Super Lawyers® since 2012. She has been voted Best Tax Attorney in the Jackson Free Press’s Best of Jackson since 2018. Ashley’s work and civic involvement has also been honored by the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Mississippi Business Journal and Visit Jackson, among others.
Ashley is a Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and American Bar Foundation, as well as a Scholar of the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is actively involved in a number of legal and civic organizations, including the American, National, Magnolia, and Capital Bar Associations, as well as the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Ashley is recognized as a thought leader in her practice and frequently speaks on tax and public finance topics at industry conferences and events across the country, including at annual Novogradac conferences.
EXPERIENCE Tax Credits
Counsel to Community Development Entity in connection with a New Markets Tax Credit financing of acquisition and maintenance of timberlands.
Counsel to Historically Black Colleges and Universities in connection with New Markets Tax Credit financings of mixed-use facilities.
Counsel to Developer/Owner Counsel in connection with a New Markets Tax Credit financing of a biomass research and development facility.
Counsel to Developer/Owner Counsel in connection with a New Markets Tax Credit financing of an aluminum processing facility.
Counsel to Developer in a New Markets Tax Credit transaction financing of an airbus facility.
Counsel to Lenders providing leverage debt and direct debt in connection with New Markets Tax Credit Transactions.
Counsel to State Funds, state investors and Developer/Owners in Mississippi Qualified Equity Tax Credit Transactions.
Counsel to Developer/Owner in the exit and refinancing of New Markets Tax Credit transactions.
Bond counsel to housing authorities in connection with tax exempt financing involving low-income housing tax credits.
Counsel to Developer/Owner Counsel in connection with a Rehabilitation Tax Credit financing of offices building.
State and Local Tax
Represented clients with respect to Mississippi tax incentives.
Represented clients before the Mississippi Board of Tax Appeal.
Represented clients in audit before state tax agencies.
Represented clients in tax litigation.
Represented client with respect to tax exemption applications.
Represented clients before the Internal Revenue Service.
Represented clients in connection with applications for tax exemptions.
Public Finance / Public Finance Tax
Assisted clients with the formation of qualified opportunity funds.
Counsel to mass transit agency in tax exempt bond financings.
Bond Counsel to municipalities in general obligation bond transactions.
Counsel to mass transit agencies in exercise of early buy-out options or voluntary early terminations of tax-advantaged leases.
Counsel to payment undertaker in exercise of voluntary early terminations of a tax-advantaged lease.
Counsel to hospital for a tax-exempt bond financing.
Represented mass transit agencies in the exercise of early buy-out option and voluntary termination of tax-advantaged leases.
Represented the payment undertaker in the voluntary termination of tax-advantaged lease.
Certified Public Accountant, 2007
Best Lawyers in America®
Tax Law, 2020-2023
Mid-South Rising Star, Tax: Business Issues, 2012-2019
Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellow, 2018
Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants Scholar
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Mississippi Business Journal, Top 50 Under 40, 2016 (top ten finalist)
Jackson Free Press, Best Tax Attorney, 2018-2021
National Bar Association, President Award, 2018
National Bar Association, 2018 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40
Mississippi Business Journal, Top 50 Leading Business Women, 2018
Visit Jackson, Hometown Hero, 2020
Lawyers of Color, First Annual Hot List, 2013
Leadership Mississippi Class, 2017-2018
Leadership Jackson, Class of 2011-2012
PORTICO 10, one of the top 10 "Up-and-Coming" Lawyers, January 2011
Jackson Young Lawyers, Pro Bono Service Award, 2010
American Bar Association, Business Law Fellow, 2008-2010
Magnolia Bar Association, Al Rhodes Service Award, 2008
District of Columbia, 2018
U.S. District Courts
Mississippi: Northern, Southern
University of Alabama, LL.M., Taxation, 2010
Tulane University, J.D., 2005
Tulane Law Scholarship
Nelson Mandela Scholarship
Jackson State University, M.P.A., 2002
Jackson State University, B.A., Business Administration, summa cum laude, 2001
American Bar Association
Business Law Section
Committee on LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Entities
Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law
Young Lawyers Division, 2005-2016
Committee on Taxation
Business Law Committee
Program Development Committee, Vice Chair
National Association of Bond Lawyers
Tax Law Committee
General Law and Practice Committee
National Bar Association
Vice Chair, 2021-Present
Young Lawyers Division
Seminar Committee, 2008-2010
Magnolia Bar Association
Immediate Past President, 2014-2015
President Elect, 2012-2013
Young Lawyers Committee
Mississippi Bar Association
Board of Bar Commissioners, 2014-2017
Young Lawyers Division
Texas Bar Association
Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants
Capital Area Bar Association
Diversity Through Building Better, Stronger & Lifetime Relationships CLE
Jackson Young Lawyers
PAPERS, PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS
Speaker, “NMTC 101: The Basics,” Novogradac 2022 Spring New Markets Tax Credit Conference,” June 8, 2022.
Speaker, "The Basics of New Markets Tax Credits," Novogradac 2022 New Markets Tax Credit Conference, January 19, 2022.
Speaker, "The Basics of New Markets Tax Credits," Novogradac 2021 Fall New Markets Tax Credit Conference, October 27, 2021.
Moderator, "Black Voters Matter: Why We Must Protect the Vote," National Bar Association, Wiley A. Branton Symposium, October 15, 2021.
Presenter, “Financing Projects with New Markets Tax Credits – Manufacturing Projects,” Butler Snow Spring Webinar Series, April 21, 2021.
Presenter, "NMTC Basics Online Workshop," Novogradac 2021 New Market Tax Credits Virtual Conference, January 19, 2021.
Speaker, “Current Issues for QALICBs,” Novogradac 2020 New Markets Tax Credit Virtual Conference, July 23, 2020.
Panelist, “Tax Provisions of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP),” National Bar Association, May 15, 2020.
Panelist, “Qualified Opportunity Zones,” 2019 LBA Bank Counsel Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 13, 2019.
Presenter, “What’s All The Buzz About Opportunity Zones?,” Central Chapter of Mississippi Society of CPAs, September 20, 2018.
Presenter, “Getting Your QALICB to Closing,” Novogradac NMTC Conference, Washington, D.C., June 7, 2018.
Co-Author, "LAW ELEVATED — Recent tax changes to encourage development & new investment," Mississippi Business Journal, September 7, 2018.
Presenter, "Meet the Prime Contractors – Winning Teams, Winning Strategies, Winning Contract, Drafting the Right Player: Joint Ventures," August 16, 2017.
Panelist, "Effective Budgeting at State and Municipal Levels: Municipal Bonds," Mississippi Black Leadership Conferences, October 2, 2015.
Presenter, “Emerging Thinkers on Community Development,” Town Hall Meeting, Mississippi Black Leadership Summit, October, 30, 2014.
Presenter, “After the Bond Closing: Keeping the SEC and IRS Away,” Mississippi Municipal League, June, 24, 2014.
Presenter, "Dissolution of an LLC – Now it is Over", American Bar Association webinar, March 5, 2013.
Panelist, 'Taking Charge: Pathways to Success for Young Lawyers," American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, August 2012.
Speaker, Magnolia Bar Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting and Convention, President’s Luncheon, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, May 2012.
Panelist, “So It’s Over? What to Do to Dissolve Your LLC,” American Bar Association’s Institute for the Young Business Lawyer, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2012.
Presenter, “What It Really Means to Own a Business?” Mississippi Gulf Coast/Delta Alliance for Economic Inclusion, May 2012.
Moderator and Program Material Coordinator, “The 2012 Annual Review of LLC Case Law and Recent Developments,” American Bar Association, March 2012.
Moderator, “Where Do I Go From Here? Professional Development Strategies for Young Lawyers Trying to Get to the Next Level of Their Careers,” Young Lawyer Institute, March 2012.
Speaker, “So It’s Over? What to Do Dissolve Your LLC,” Young Lawyers Institute, American Bar Association, March 2012.
Presenter, “Tax Incentives/Professional Services For Small Businesses,” Mississippi Gulf Coast/Delta Alliance for Economic Inclusion, June 2011.
Presenter, “Minding Your Own Business,” BusinessPlus Program.
Moderator and Program Material Coordinator, “2011 LLC Case Law Update,” American Bar Association, April 2011.
Presenter, “Minding Your Own Business: Choices of Entity,” Jackson Business Accelerator Collaboration, August 2010.
Presenter, “Bridge the Gap: A Course in Practical Legal Skills - Choice of Entity,” Mississippi Bar Young Lawyers Division, July 2010.
Presenter, “What to Do When the IRS Shows Up,” Magnolia Bar Association, April 2010.
Moderator and Program Material Coordinator, “2010 LLC Case Law Update,” Business Law Section Spring Meeting American Bar Association, April 2010.
Moderator, “Anatomy of Business Law: Non-Profit Organizations,” Teleconference and Live Audio Webcast American Bar Association, March 2010.
Moderator and Program Material Coordinator, “2009 LLC Case Law Update,” Annual Convention American Bar Association, July 2009.
Presenter, “Stimulating Your Practice: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” Magnolia Bar Association, May 2009.
Community Foundation of Greater Jackson
Board of Directors, 2016-2021
Junior League of Jackson, 2012-Present
Sustaining Advisor, Board of Directors, 2021-2022
Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, 2019-2020
Chair, Connecting Communities, 2018-2018
Jumble Steering Committee, Finance Chair, 2016-2017
Internal Control, Chair, 2015-2016
Make a Wish Foundation of Mississippi
Board of Directors, 2012-2015
Community Advisory Board for Jackson Heart Study - Kids Study, 2012-2013
Jackson State University National Alumni Association, 2011-Present
Beta Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Mental Health of America of Central Mississippi
Board of Directors, 2009-2013
Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project
Advisory Board, 2010-2011
Coleman Alexander Prosser Foundation, Inc.