Ashley focuses her practice on Public Finance, State and Local Taxation, Tax Credits and Tax. She is frequently a speaker for various legal conferences, seminars and CLEs on those topics.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

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.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 2005
  • Texas, 2006
  • District of Columbia, 2018
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern

Civic Involvement

  • Community Foundation of Greater Jackson
    • Treasurer, 2017-2021
    • 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.
    • Parliamentarian, 2009-2010
    • Treasurer, 2007-2008
  • 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.
    • Member-At-Large, 2009-2010
    • Treasurer, 2007-2008

Distinctions

  • Certified Public Accountant, 2007
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Tax Law, 2020-2022
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Rising Star, Tax: Business Issues, 2012-2019
  • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2018
  • Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants Scholar
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • 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
  • More...

Education & Honors

  • 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

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.
  • More...

In the News

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • 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.
  • More...