Wealth Management: Nationwide
THE FIRM McDermott is widely considered one of the finest private client practices in the USA, with a tremendous bench of lawyers spanning New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. The recent addition of Weil Gotshal's private client team has undoubtedly strengthened its offering in New York and its market share nationwide. The team represents a large number of family and closely held businesses, but has also recently been busy representing private trust companies and handling complex trust and family disputes. In an increasingly global market, it is also particularly adept at handling international matters for both US and foreign nationals. Notable work includes the creation and implementation of tax-efficient plans for clients with assets in the USA and internationally, the representation of a Fortune 500 company's founders, and the formation of various foreign trusts.
Commercial Awareness "They are exceptional, always on top of things, come up with new and innovative ideas, and also very proactive - never had a case where we had to chase them up."
Client Service "We really appreciate the personal touch, in addition to being confident with the work they do; excellent advice and guidance."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Top of the top and preeminent practitioner" Carlyn McCaffrey retains her reputation as the undisputed leader in the trust and estates field nationwide. She recently joined McDermott from Weil Gotshal and co-heads the private client practice from the New York office. Clients say: "When things are complex, that's her forte, and she is very good at handling large and particularly thorny issues."
Henry Christensen is one of the most well-recognized tax and estate planning practitioners in the international field, representing some of the most prominent families across the world. He also has an active cross-border trust litigation practice and heads the New York and international private client practices.
"Extremely talented lawyer" Carol Harrington is particularly sought after for her expertise in generation-skipping tax, but also regularly advises clients on a wide variety of matters including succession planning, family office issues, private foundations and contested trust and tax. She co-heads the firm's practice from the Chicago office.
Judith McCue is a fellow industry leader who is particularly appreciated by clients for her "excellent client communication skills and understanding of the sensitivities around estate planning issues."
Richard Lang is very well recognized in the market for working with major entrepreneurs, venture capital clients and family offices on wealth transfer and income tax planning matters. He recently successfully decanted two old trusts with assets worth $1 billion into two new trusts to fulfill the original intent of the trusts.
Jonathan Lurie leads the practice in Los Angeles and specializes in estate planning and post-death administration. He also brings experience working with international families and currently represents siblings who inherited a substantial estate in various ownership and operating agreements.
Clients appreciate that Chicago-based David Herpe "knows all the ways to accomplish a goal and works with us to customize things to suit our family's desires."
Read Moore joins the rankings this year after tremendous recognition of his work in the international realm. He works closely with US citizens based abroad and foreign nationals in the USA on foreign trusts and international planning. Sources say he is "very professional, personable and proactive - always thinking ahead of what we need to be doing."
"Rising star" Amy Erenrich Heller is another significant addition to the New York team from Weil Gotshal, impressing clients and peers with her creativity and responsiveness. She has both a domestic and international practice with a focus on tax and estate planning.
Silicon Valley-based Julie Kwon is quickly establishing a strong reputation in the market as peers praise her generation-skipping tax expertise. Clients say: "We've been quite blown away by her level of competence, personality and enthusiasm - she's been very quick on homing in right away on the issues."
THE FIRM This nationwide private client practice maintains its strong foothold in the private client market. The team consists of excellent attorneys working across Miami, New York, Atlanta, Virginia and Los Angeles. It offers a broad range of expertise in the wealth management sector, including a strong trusts and estates litigation team. As well as asset protection work relating to marital agreements, the team has been particularly active decanting trusts to allow initial objectives of the trusts to be fulfilled.
Commercial Awareness "Their ability to explain complex issues in everyday language is one of their key strengths."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Diana Zeydel chairs the firm's wealth management practice and earns her high ranking thanks to widespread recognition of her contribution to the wealth management community and her expertise in succession planning and wealth preservation as well as probate and trust litigation. Observers say she is a "key figure in shaping the whole wealth management legal profession."
New York-based Linda Hirschson is well recognized by peers and offers a very broad estate planning practice, including the formation and administration of charitable trusts and foundations. She has recently been busy decanting assets of old trusts into new trusts to better reflect the grantor's or beneficiary's intents.
Chair emeritus Norman Benford is based in Florida and continues to work closely with families on multigenerational estate planning, business succession and complex tax disputes with the IRS.
Lawrence Heller is based in the firm's Los Angeles office and offers significant expertise in domestic and international tax and estate planning.
Jonathan Forster is a tax expert who regularly advises clients on business succession planning, privately held companies and estate planning. He also brings with him a wealth of experience in the life insurance industry.
THE FIRM This international firm boasts a deep bench of lawyers that is strong in both trust and estate planning as well as litigation. With almost 80 lawyers based across the USA, it is well equipped to handle large, complex matters in the wealth management field. Notably, the team currently represents nominated executors of Huguette Clark's estate in the filing of her last will and testament. The team also represents Mickey Rooney in a petition claiming financial and verbal abuse by his stepson and his wife, where court protection has been granted to Rooney as the couple is charged with fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of Rooney's name.
Sources say: "They have always had strong wealth management presence in the area."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Los Angeles-based litigator Bruce Ross is extremely well regarded in the market and leads the probate and fiduciary litigation practice. He played a key role in the representation of Mickey Rooney in the elder abuse petition.
Edward Koren leads the firm's wealth management group from the Florida office. His broad practice focuses on providing wealth planning and asset protection strategic plans for entrepreneurs and owners of multigenerational businesses.
John Dadakis led the team involved in the matter involving Huguette Clark's last will and testament. He maintains a strong wealth planning practice in New York, frequently representing hedge fund and private equity investors, private entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives.
THE FIRM This firm is highly esteemed in the wealth management field and has an excellent group of lawyers based in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The team has had a very busy year, especially with trust and estates litigation as well as estate planning for artists and art collectors. Highlights include representing the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and Rodgers family in the sale of the organization to Imagem Music Group as well as the sale of Rodgers and Hammerstein's joint copyrights. Other notable estates handled by the team are those of Kurt Weill, Igor Stravinsky, Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz.
Commercial Awareness "They are extremely knowledgeable of international clients' needs and understand how matters fit in with US requirements, so you get a quality assessment of what clients need.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS "First-tier quality tax and wealth management lawyer" Joshua Rubenstein is hailed as one of the most prominent players in the market, with vast experience handling both domestic and international matters. He chairs the firm's private client practice and is described by clients as "a real polymath - not just a great lawyer but a great chap to deal with and a safe pair of hands."
THE FIRM This firm is much admired for the depth and breadth of its private client practice. Clients truly appreciate the firm's particular attention to client service as well as the extensive knowledge offered by its superb team. An increasing demand for litigation expertise has led to the expansion of the firm's fiduciary litigation team, which represents clients such as SunTrust Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman. The rest of the team continues to represent a wide array of clients and, more recently, an increasing number of family offices and high net worth individuals and families. Highlight work includes acting as counsel to Arthur J. Fisher III on corporate, estate and succession planning and tax and charitable matters.
Client Service "Very helpful in getting things done and helped me with a road map of legal things that I needed to get done quickly."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dennis Belcher's broad practice focuses on charitable planning, trust and estate administration and fiduciary litigation. He is described as a "terrific and pragmatic lawyer." Clients appreciate his excellent business acumen and his ability to help them weigh up the risks before making a decision.
Market sources are also full of praise for Ronald Aucutt, who heads the firm's private wealth practice and is said to be a "unique individual who can make incredibly complex things simple." He brings deep experience advising clients on wealth transfer from generation to generation and is also well versed in tax planning and controversies including Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 rules relating to generation-skipping and special-valuation rules.
Charles Fox is another very highly regarded practitioner in the wealth management field who frequently works with the firm's taxation group on matters related to estate tax. He has extensive experience handling audits of estate tax returns as well as the formation of various charities.
John O'Grady is praised by clients, who say: "He is absolutely dedicated to his work and really cares about his clients." He is also particularly appreciated for his "businesslike approach and is very well recognized for his expertise in wealth management."
Dana Fitzsimons specializes in fiduciary litigation and counts the likes of SunTrust Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman as clients. Sources say he is "very knowledgeable and took time to understand the business when looking at the prospect of litigation, which helped us feel comfortable with decisions."
THE FIRM Commentators applaud this firm's private client practice for its sophisticated estate planning work as well as its ability to handle any related matters with the support of a strong corporate and litigation team. The New York-based team has been particularly busy with estate planning work relating to current favorable tax provisions and high-profile contested trust and estate matters, such as the case involving the estate of Huguette Clark. Other key clients include Rockefeller Trust, the Museum of Modern Art, Bruce Wasserstein's trust and estate and the Samuel Bronfman Foundation.
Sources say: "I have found the personnel extremely bright and the people we work with are highly respected, great with the clients; and we have created good relationships with them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Georgiana Slade heads the firm's trusts and estates department and continues to impress clients, who say: "She is brilliant, comes up with creative solutions, thorough, client-oriented and can handle extremely sensitive issues."
James Sligar's practice focuses on advising families and high net worth individuals on estate and charitable planning. He also regularly advises various nonprofit corporations.
David Stoll has established a strong reputation in the market, regularly advising private equity and hedge fund investors and closely held business owners. Clients "can't speak highly enough of him, he's totally fantastic, professional, up to date and discreet."
THE FIRM This group has a strong position in the market and continues to impress with the high caliber of attorneys based on Florida, New York and Los Angeles. Its additional geographical reach allows it to serve a wide client base in an increasingly international environment. The team offers clients a full range of services including sophisticated tax and estate planning, asset protection and insurance planning as well as pension benefits rights and charitable foundation work. Notable estate clients include George Balanchine, Keith Haring and Leonard Bernstein. It also works closely with major institutions such as JPMorgan, US Trust and Merrill Lynch.
Sources say: "Good service and very responsive and helpful."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Pratt heads the Boca Raton, Florida office and specializes in estate planning, asset protection, charitable giving and post-mortem tax planning. Clients note that "he is one of the best estate and tax attorneys in the country, he is also generous with his knowledge and caring in how he approaches his client relationships."
New York-based Jay Waxenberg chairs the firm's private client practice and focuses on advising families on transferring wealth from generation to generation with minimal tax impositions. He is also particularly adept at structuring business ventures to maximize potential for future generations and is often involved in trust and estate litigation.
Andrew Katzenstein is best known for his tax expertise and focuses on providing clients with tax planning advice relating to trust and estates and generation-skipping tax plans, as well as income tax-related matters. He is based in the Los Angeles office.
Albert Gortz is also based in Florida and offers considerable experience in the administration of trusts and estates as well as advising charitable organizations and public charities. Clients looking to move to Florida particularly seek out his tax expertise.
THE FIRM International estate planning and cross-border litigation are key components of this active private client practice. The 40-strong team offers extensive experience handling expatriation and pre-immigration work for clients moving to the USA. It is also well equipped to help clients structure their international assets in trusts and corporations offshore and in the USA.
Client Service "The team has a prevailing mindset that puts the clients’ interest first - they are diligent and thoughtful and their patient and strategic approach helps their clients."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Warren Whitaker is a very well-recognized practitioner in both the domestic and international market. He is particularly well positioned to advise high net worth individuals and multinational families on estate planning and income tax-related matters from a global perspective.
Dina Kapur Sanna continues to establish a strong international tax planning practice, having specialized in US federal tax matters for clients with assets or family members across the world. She has also developed numerous structures for domestic and nonresident clients to accommodate multijurisdictional tax considerations.
THE FIRM Loeb & Loeb has an especially well-recognized team based on the West Coast, supported by a team based in New York. In addition to specializing in gift and estate planning, charities and foundations, the team has expanded its offering, particularly on the international front with attorneys focused on both US and non-US clients on international tax planning and IRS offshore voluntary disclosure initiatives. The team represented trustees of the late Margaret Cargill's charitable trust in landmark agreements involving the exchange of shares in The Mosaic Company for the trusts' Cargill stock, to make the trust one of the largest charitable foundations in the USA, based on current estimation of proceeds.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Frimmer has long-standing experience in the wealth management sector and maintains a strong reputation for his broad practice which includes probate and trust administration, art law and tax-exempt organizations. He has formed and advised numerous charitable foundations lending major art works to museums.
Leah Bishop is highly esteemed in the market and recently co-represented trustees of Margaret Cargill's charitable trusts in its key agreements. Clients appreciate that she is "incredibly competent, confident, responsive, accessible and proactive."
Stuart Tobisman chairs the Los Angeles trust and estates group. He worked closely with Bishop in the Cargill trust matter and is especially well regarded for his great demeanor and extensive experience in estate and tax planning.
THE FIRM This team continues to impress peers and clients thanks to its particular attention to client service and the high caliber of attorneys that form this group. It continues to handle trust and estate planning and wealth transfers for multigenerational families and family offices, but also increasingly advises corporate fiduciaries on tax considerations. The team's tax expertise is also sought after in controversies with the IRS and tax authorities.
Client Service "Our experience has been very positive - they are very responsive, on top of the law and its changes and easy to communicate with."
Commercial Awareness "Always on the cutting edge, plugged into new opportunities as they know our family and tax structure extremely well, and as the world changes they have been enormously helpful."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Halperin and John O'Neil cochair the firm's wealth management practice and are both based in New York. Sources note that Halperin is "a phenomenal lawyer - really applies great process in looking for solutions, great at integrating others' ideas, the hardest-working attorney and also very accessible." O'Neil specializes in both domestic and international matters and brings considerable experience representing large family offices and development offices of a couple of major medical centers. Clients appreciate his excellent judgment and "rely on him for very sound advice."
THE FIRM This esteemed wealth management group consists of talented attorneys based in New York, Virginia, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It is widely recognized for its strong tax planning capabilities and represents numerous owners of closely held businesses, young entrepreneurs and investment fund managers. Prenuptial agreements and charitable trusts are other areas of strength within the team. The San Francisco Ballet, The Salvation Army and trustees of the Eva Benson Buck Trusts and the Elisa Zaffaroni 1989 Trust are among the long list of clients this team represents.
Sources say: "The team is very good, with a very high degree of professionalism."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Supersmart and absolutely brilliant" Ellen Harrison is one of the most reputed names in the market. She specializes in tax matters such as gift, income and estate tax planning as well as tax and estate litigation relating to IRS appeals and domestic tax court litigation.
Clients say Jennifer Jordan McCall is "very smart, very industrious, experienced and comes up with a lot of good ideas." She heads the firm's wealth management group and splits her time between the New York and Silicon Valley offices.
THE FIRM This impressive outfit is based in Chicago and continues to earn praise for the excellent service and quality of work it offers. The team has been particularly active advising banks on fiduciary and regulatory issues involved in takeovers and transactions of trust companies. It also offers vast experience advising multigeneration families and private businesses on estate and tax planning. Its experienced litigation team focuses on representing corporate fiduciaries in trust and estate litigation matters.
Client Service "We are getting great treatment as a long-standing client, and engagement partners have gone out of their way to make us feel good."
Commercial Awareness "Excellent, because they can communicate in plain English - estate planning can be pretty stressful and people need to know what they are signing."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Abendroth leads the private client team and clients "feel comfortable working with him as he is steady, dependable and up to speed with issues." His broad practice includes estate and trust administration and litigation, reorganization of business holdings to minimize transfer taxes and fiduciary law.
David Hodgman is a very well-respected individual in the wealth management industry and offers extensive trust and estate litigation, including tax-related controversies, as well as tax and estate planning for families and closely held family businesses.
THE FIRM This 16-strong private client team is a long-standing player in this practice area and has a well-established reputation nationwide, with lawyers based in Chicago and New York. Its recent workload has included international estate planning, fiduciary representation and a significant amount of work for public charities and private foundations. The team also plays a key role in shaping the industry with its involvement in the drafting of various acts relating to trusts in Illinois.
Sources say: "A very reputable firm with very high quality and they do a great job."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Terrific attorney" Susan Bart is well positioned to handle a wide range of trust and estate matters including charitable planning, gift and estate tax planning and estate administration. She works closely with clients on establishing trust structures to best suit their individual needs and objectives.
Lyman Welch maintains a strong reputation for his broad practice and is heavily involved in the drafting of pending state legislation relating to private settlement of trust disputes and updates to the current provisions relating to the modernization of trusts.
Based in New York, Susan Harrington is best known for her expertise in international tax and estate planning for multinational families, US citizens and foreign nationals.
Jordan Klein heads the private client team in Chicago and maintains an active and broad trust and estate practice. His works closely with a wide range of clients on estate planning and administration settlement as well as philanthropic and fiduciary advice.
THE FIRM This New York-headquartered firm has a strong private client team which is backed by its leading corporate practice. The team handles a significant amount of M&A, corporate and banking work for its private clients. It also maintains a very active litigation practice, advising Frank McCourt in the high-profile disputes with Major League Baseball with regards to the Los Angeles Dodgers' ownership and various cross-border trust litigation matters. On the transactional side, the team advised the Heyman family in its sale of International Specialty Products to Ashland for $3.2 billion. It also advised the trustees of Grupo Continental's founding family's trust with respect to their majority ownership in the merger of two large Coca-Cola bottlers in Mexico.
Client Service "They are very forthcoming with helpful bulletins that are written very commercially and are easy to understand."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Basil Zirinis is very well recognized in the market, especially in the international arena, for his significant experience representing foreign trustees or individuals with assets or family members in the USA. He also maintains an active litigation practice and was involved in the high-profile Pritzker family litigation in the USA and the Bahamas. He heads the firm's international private client practice.
James Black manages the firm's trust and estates group and has a broad trust and estate practice backed by ample experience in the real estate sector. In addition, he also works closely with various charitable organizations.
Clients say Charles Dowling has a "wonderful manner, he knows the relevant laws inside out and is fully familiar with estate, gift and income tax regimes - his knowledge is encyclopedic."
THE FIRM This international firm benefits from its strong global network, attracting both US and multinational clients thanks to its dedication to the wealth management sector and its extensive cross-border planning experience. The team is particularly sought after for its experience handling complex matters for families through generations but also represents a broad client base which includes investment fund managers, entrepreneurs, high-profile individuals and closely held business owners.
Client Service "I'm particularly impressed with their availability, their creativity and their discipline to complete the work in a timely fashion."
Commercial Awareness "They are extremely smart, competent and creative and understand our needs and treat us as important clients.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ivan Sacks has established a strong international tax and wealth structuring practice, with a significant Latin American client base. Clients appreciate that "he just seems to know how to get things done and how to present and make it bite-size and comfortable for a client." He manages the New York office and heads the Latin American wealth management group.
James Brockway heads the firm's global wealth planning group and specializes in offshore trust planning and advising non-US clients with foreign assets. His practice is backed by extensive life insurance and financial product planning experience as he also heads the insurance and financial products planning team.
David Stein comes highly recommended by clients, who say: "His international expertise is extremely valuable and he is very practical as a lawyer and gets solutions that work for us." He co-heads the firm's US regional practice from the New Haven office.
THE FIRM This highly esteemed team is particularly noted for its deep and broad understanding of the domestic and international wealth management industry. It has a strong presence in the international arena, representing families from Europe and South America on governance, tax and wealth succession planning related to closely held family businesses. The team also advises multinational families on tax-efficient structures and administration of family assets. It currently represents five large estates being audited by the IRS and tax authorities with regards to real estate, art, business interests and property outside the USA.
Sources say: "Very good - they have lots of domestic clients and a diverse international practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Terrific lawyer" Anne O'Brien is particularly active in the international wealth management arena, representing several multinational families on wealth planning and tax-efficient structures. Commentators say: "She is really good at breaking things down, explains things to clients and provides very helpful guidance and advice on technical issues."
THE FIRM This is a well-established firm with a long-standing presence in the wealth management field. Its highly esteemed team operates largely out of New York and earns its reputation through its excellent representation of multigenerational families on efficient transfer of assets. It also combines considerable expertise in tax law, art law, employment benefits and charitable planning to provide clients with a complete wealth management service.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Frankel is a very well-respected name in the market and offers significant litigation experience in the tax and trust and estate field. He also has a strong trust and estate administration practice.
Theodore Wagner brings over four decades of experience representing families and individuals on estate planning matters such as gifts, charitable planning, trusts structures and various family business and investment vehicles. He also advises clients on trust and estate administration issues and chairs the firm's trust and estates practice.
THE FIRM This New York-based trust and estates team continues to impress with its sophisticated planning work as well as a strong litigation offering. On the litigation side, the team continues to represent the New York Library in the highly publicized Brooke Astor case, while wealth transfer and estate planning for private equity and hedge fund managers form a major part of the workload. It has also recently developed expertise in estate planning for the LGBT community.
Client Service "Working with them has been very easy and we have found them very responsive, thoughtful and thorough."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jonathan Rikoon chairs the firm's trust and estates group and was pivotal in building the practice. He has extensive experience advising clients on planning, administration and litigation issues relating to trust and estates, more particularly in the private equity and hedge funds industry. Clients say: "He is very smart, very responsive to all our issues and very thoughtful and thorough."
THE FIRM Despite the departure of up-and-coming lawyer Deborah Dunn, this firm maintains a strong private client practice that is backed by an outstanding corporate practice. Private equity and hedge fund managers are among its large client base, for whom they provide complex and high-level strategic planning advice. The team works closely with clients to provide the most efficient strategies in complex situations.
Client Service "I've thoroughly enjoyed working with them - efficient, incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and they get things done quickly. They also have creative solutions to complex problems."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Handler is best recognized for representing private equity funds principals, but also advises a whole range of clients on planning and administration of trusts and estates. He is described by sources as "exceptionally bright, very creative and very helpful."
THE FIRM Clients are full of praise for this team's attention to client service and its deep resources. Despite the recent retirement of high-profile attorney Howard McCue, the team continues to expand with promotions on the partner level. The 11-strong team, based in the Chicago office, is recognized for its strength in the charitable foundations arena and currently represents The Poetry Foundation, which has become the largest poetry organization in the world since the receipt of a noteworthy gift from Ruth Lilly. In addition, the team has handled a significant number of IRS audits for clients and regularly advises banks acting as trustees on investments as part of their duties to the beneficiaries.
Client Service "They are very responsive, do good-quality work and always provide a good experience."
Commercial Awareness "They pay careful attention to understanding a client's situation in developing complex ideas to transfer wealth from one generation to the next."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate that Donna Morgan is "very responsive, gets things done in a timely fashion, has very thoughtful ideas, looks for opportunities for clients and deals very well with delicate situations and family dynamics." She leads the firm's private client practice and focuses on estate planning and representing nonprofit organizations on the establishment of foundation and charities.
James Casey is quickly developing an impressive charitable planning practice and played a key role in the representation of The Poetry Foundation. He is particularly appreciated for his "wide knowledge of tax laws relating to nonprofit organizations and foundations."
THE FIRM This wealth management group is best recognized for representing some of the largest private equity principals such as Bain Capital, TPG Capital and The Carlyle Group. Charitable planning for leading colleges and universities is another key area of the practice, as the team currently advises Harvard University on gift planning and charitable trust matters. It also has extensive experience representing families and high net worth individuals on a whole range of planning matters including the structuring of investments and assets in trusts both onshore and offshore.
Client Service "I find them extremely smart, responsive, consummate professionals who hold themselves to very high standards - very astute and comfortable with the intricacies of the legal issues."
Commercial Awareness "We like the quality of the attorneys, the depth of the thinking, the creativity of the solutions as well as reliable and detailed follow-up.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marc Bloostein is "very responsive, creative, a nice personal style with the ability to look at a situation and figure out where the opportunity is and its commercial impact," according to clients. He frequently works with hedge fund and private equity principals on establishing effective wealth transfer, tax and investment structures.
THE FIRM This firm offers a truly integrated service, combining an excellent corporate practice with an array of wealth management experience. Clients also benefit from the firm's extensive international outreach, as the group is particularly adept at handling both domestic and international planning. The team operates largely out of the New York office. It also works closely alongside well-established corporate fiduciaries such as the Citigroup Private Bank, Goldman Sachs Trust and JPMorgan Trust.
KEY INDIVIDUALS New York-based Winthrop Rutherfurd brings over 35 years of experience in the private clients industry and is well recognized for advising trust and private client departments of financial institutions Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust and Chemical Bank. He also advises families and high net worth individuals on a wide array of estate and charitable planning matters.
Michael Kavoukjian chairs the firm's global private clients group and splits his time between the New York and Miami offices. His practice focuses on tax aspects of wealth management including trust and estates taxation, charitable giving and tax-efficient asset transfers. He also handles significant multijurisdictional work for international clients and closely held business owners.
THE FIRM This firm joins the rankings this year thanks to tremendous praise for the work handled by its talented team. Sophisticated lifetime planning and wealth transfers are particular areas of forte, while the decanting of trusts and the administration of large complex estates have also kept it very busy. The team also handles a substantial amount of international tax and trust planning for non-US clients with connections to the USA.
Client Service "They are exceptional - extremely technically sound and from a client service standpoint they are very proactive and the follow-up and responsiveness is great."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David McCabe chairs the firm's private clients practice in New York and focuses on advising high net worth individuals and families on sophisticated wealth planning strategies. Clients say: "He's great - so careful, thoughtful, smart, always available, extremely devoted and very proactive, which is the most important for lawyers." He also advises foreign nationals on US aspects of tax issues and US citizens on the establishment of offshore trusts.
Loretta Ippolito has established a strong domestic and international estate planning practice, frequently advising non-US clients on foreign trust and tax planning. She is described by sources as a "very technically competent and great adviser."
"Premier international estate planning attorney" Robert Lawrence
of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is widely regarded as a leading authority on international tax and estate planning. He chairs the firm's private client group in New York and is a member of the International Academy of Estate & Trust Law.
"Top-notch lawyer" Pam Schneider
is a founding partner of wealth management boutique Gadsden Schneider & Woodward LLP, and commands an outstanding reputation in the field. She is singled out as a go-to attorney for generation-skipping tax.
Beth Shapiro Kaufman
of Caplin & Drysdale impresses both clients and peers with her expertise in tax-related matters and brings to the table extensive experience working with the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy. Commentators note that she is "professional, efficient, thorough, very smart, good with people, possessed of excellent judgment and a pleasure to work with."
of Kaye Scholer LLP is a well-respected trust and estate litigator and brings over three decades of experience handling complex family disputes. She also maintains an active estate planning practice, advising clients on preventive planning measures.
of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP enters the table this year through strong peer recommendation for the work he has handled. He has represented trust beneficiaries in the sale of business interests held in a trust as well as the diversification of trust assets and trust distribution changes.
Mississippi-based Kurt G Rademacher
of Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada, PLLC has impressed clients with his international tax expertise having previously worked in firms based in London and Hong Kong. Clients note that "in Kurt, we have a US estate planning specialist who knows and understands the UK perspective and in other respects has an international outlook."
of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP is very well recognized in the field and offers vast experience in taxation, succession planning and regularly advises clients on employee benefits. He is based in the California firm's Rancho Santa Fe office.
is a partner in Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP's private client practice and offers a broad domestic and international practice, with particular expertise in Chapter 14 and estate freezes. Clients say: "Her client service is really exceptional - extremely responsive and really understands estate law very well."
Recent works include advising a nonresident foreign national moving to the USA on the creation of a trust to eliminate future gift and estate taxes.
is head of Kramer Levin's practice group and has expertise covering the full range of estate planning and trust administration work. He recently worked with Hader on negotiating a post-nuptial agreement relating to marital assets worth $5 billion.
Kozusko Harris Vetter Wareh LLP is a wealth management boutique with offices in New York, New Haven, Washington, DC and Chicago. Founding partner Donald Kozusko
is based in Washington, DC and is well recognized for his strong tax expertise and extensive litigation experience.
Based in Seattle, Malcolm Moore
of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is a long-standing market player with an excellent reputation on a national level. Sources say he has "a very broad base of knowledge and a great demeanor."
of Baker Botts LLP's Texas office is very well recognized for handling estate and gift tax litigation with the IRS, and more particularly for representing clients in controversies involving assets such as interests in limited liability companies and limited partnerships.
Clients describe Douglas Siegler
of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP as "very thorough, very creative and he comes up with planning strategies and techniques I haven't seen elsewhere and that are very good."
He moves up in the rankings this year after huge praise for his excellent tax planning practice.
Well-respected Lawrence Brody
of Bryan Cave LLP is best known for his life insurance expertise in the estate planning realm. He also works closely with the Washington University School of Law and University of Miami School of Law.
of Thompson Coburn LLP is hailed for his charitable planning specialty as well as for representing exempt organizations. He also works closely with the IRS in providing education programs for its estate and gift tax lawyers.
of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC leads the firm's wealth management group from the Charlotte office. He has established an impressive practice which covers tax and estate planning and estate administration for closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.
Based in Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP's St. Louis office, Charles Redd
handles a wide variety of matters such as gifts, estate and income tax, tax planning and trust and probate litigation. He recently successfully settled a case involving alleged mismanagement of investments of several trusts on behalf of a major corporate fiduciary.
of Moses & Singer LLP "is one of the top asset protection attorneys in the country,"
according to sources. He is singled out for his expertise in wealth preservation and succession planning through offshore trusts and sophisticated planning strategies.
Florida-based Lauren Detzel
chairs the private client group at Dean, Mead, Egerton, Bloodworth, Capouano & Bozarth PA and is hailed for her excellent estate planning practice, especially relating to tax matters. She has also been active in the contested tax area and regularly advises family or closely held businesses on succession planning.
chairs Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP's private wealth practice and cochairs the associations and nonprofit organizations group. Clients say he is "really wonderful - very good at anticipating needs, stays ahead of things, is extraordinarily current with tax laws and extremely responsive."
He offers a broad practice that covers both domestic and international work.
According to peers, Myron Sugarman
of Cooley LLP is a "terrific estate planner, very smart and very knowledgeable."
Based in the San Francisco office, he heads the firm's private client practice and brings decades of experience in tax planning and taxation of charitable or nonprofit institutions.
of Tescher & Spallina PA is widely known as a tax expert in the wealth management field, handling gift and estate tax matters for families, closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.
of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has certainly established herself in the market and continues to impress peers with her outstanding capabilities. She handles considerable work involving hedge fund and private equity interests but also has expertise in estate freezing, retirement, insurance and business succession planning.
of Shearman & Sterling LLP is well positioned to handle domestic and international matters, frequently advising US citizens and foreign nationals on tax planning and the establishment of cross-border trusts.
of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP continues to impress clients, who have "found working with him delightful - he brought to the table a very strong grasp of all the issues, has a depth and breadth of understanding of this arena, and is very much a team player whose goal is to do what's in the best interest of the client."
of Kaye Scholer LLP focuses on international estate planning, working closely with families and corporate fiduciaries with relations to the UK, Italy, France, Switzerland, Israel, Brazil and the US Virgin Islands.
"Brilliant, ambitious, smart and creative," Louis Harrison
of Harrison & Held, a Chicago-based wealth management boutique, joins the rankings this year from excellent recognition of his contribution to the field. He specializes in estate planning for privately held businesses and partnerships as well as tax planning, gifting strategies and charitable dispositions.
recently left Kirkland & Ellis to join Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group LLP in Idaho. She brings significant experience in multigenerational estate planning and working with taxpayers in gift and estate tax audits and appeals.