An international firm with historic roots in Florida, Greenberg Traurig is the region's major player for private clients. The firm has seven offices across Florida, with trusts and estates lawyers located in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. A Florida lawyer says the firm has "a fabulous estate planning group, excellent. Greenberg's got some very talented, top-of-the-line people."
Attorneys in Greenberg Traurig's trusts and estates team are able to draw on the firm's specialism in areas such as real estate, litigation and international tax. The group is well regarded for sophisticated tax planning and asset protection. "I consider them to be fantastic partners," says one market adviser, who adds: "When I give work to Greenberg I know the clients are getting the right knowledge and that's incredibly valuable." Clients describe Greenberg's trusts and estates team as "exceptional and always consistent."
Diana Zeydel is practice chair of Greenberg Traurig's national trusts and estates group. She represents affluent individuals in personal estate planning and business succession planning. "When I think about US matters I think about Diana Zeydel," says one market commentator, adding: "She is a rock star." She also has experience acting for corporate fiduciaries. Through an extensive speaking schedule and her activities in the legal community, Zeydel has gained a national reputation as a thought leader in private client work. "We need more like her," one wealth adviser comments, adding: "She has a never-satisfied thirst for knowledge and she implements that on behalf of her clients. The service she brings to them excels, and she is tireless."
James George is a member of Greenberg Traurig's litigation team, known for his experience and expertise in fiduciary litigation for high net worth clients. Described as "good quality" and "collaborative," George represents individual and institutional fiduciaries. "He is a fantastic probate litigator," says one peer, adding: "He has been involved with some of the biggest cases that have come out in the state."
Ozzie Schindler "is very highly regarded," says one source, adding: "He has got to be one of the top international guys." Schindler advises wealthy individuals and corporations whose estates have international tax implications. Based principally in the tax department, Schindler advises US and non-US citizens with pre-immigration, expatriation and acquisition planning. Peers say: "He has technical tax knowledge and understanding of the market."
Norman Benford "is a veteran," comments one peer, adding: "He is one of the founding fathers of estate planning in Florida." The national chair emeritus of Greenberg Traurig's trusts and estates group, Benford represents wealthy individuals and families for estate planning and family business structuring. He principally focuses on estates that have the capacity to turn litigious. "He is what we all like to be," says one fellow lawyer, who adds: "He is not just an attorney, he is a counsellor to clients - he understands their needs beyond the issues of estate planning."