Private Wealth

For nearly 100 years, BakerHostetler lawyers have advised and represented generations of clients in sophisticated, long-term planning for their families, their businesses and their philanthropies. With more than 30 practitioners in offices across the country, we are uniquely qualified to counsel clients whose critical legal needs require the cross-disciplinary resources of a broad-based national law firm. Our Private Wealth practice provides comprehensive experience in the areas of concern for high-net worth clients, including:

  • Family legacy planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Trust and estate administration
  • Fiduciary representation
  • Tax controversy matters
  • Family offices
  • Formation and operation of private trust companies
  • Family law issues

Unlike many large law firms, we continue to devote substantial resources to our Private Wealth practice. We understand the importance of these services to our clients and in maintaining longstanding client relationships built on trust. With families and businesses expanding geographically, our national footprint ensures consistent personal service of the highest quality in multiple jurisdictions. Rapidly changing state laws provide new challenges and opportunities to high-net worth families, making it more important than ever for clients to have access to legal counsel with regional knowledge, and the necessary contacts with local and state government bodies and court systems.

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Often a client’s needs require input from other legal disciplines and our Private Wealth lawyers operate as the gateway to our firm’s broad range of practice areas. We work collaboratively with our colleagues in the areas of real estate, business, securities, family law, and litigation to provide full-service and creative solutions in a cost-effective manner. In this way, we are able to serve as “general counsel” to high-net worth families and their businesses, helping coordinate their needs across multiple issues and legal disciplines.

Many of our clients have their own family office, and we have been pioneers in working together with family office personnel to efficiently serve the diverse needs of these sophisticated clients. We have a dedicated team of Private Wealth lawyers, and others from related disciplines, who work collaboratively to focus our substantial experience in structuring and servicing family offices. Our Family Office team has counseled clients in the formation and operation of their own private trust companies, providing them with the benefits of a permanent corporate trustee.

Trustees and executors rely on our substantial experience in representing fiduciaries. For nearly a century, we have represented individual and corporate fiduciaries in some of the largest and most complicated trusts and estates in the nation. If controversies arise in the fiduciary context, we use our deep understanding of tax law and business acumen to help structure practical and successful outcomes. If a resolution cannot be obtained through negotiation, we collaborate with experienced BakerHostetler litigators to effectively represent our clients in court.

Learn more about how we partner with our clients in the areas of:

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Rebecca C. Alexander Partner Denver
Edward J. Beckwith Partner Washington, D.C.
Leslie W. Bradenham Associate Washington, D.C.
James P. Casey Associate Costa Mesa
William J. Culbertson Counsel Cleveland
Leah E. DeLancey Partner Costa Mesa
Ashley L. Dietrich Associate Denver
Janny M. Duong Associate Costa Mesa
Jennifer L. Eschedor Counsel Cleveland
Christopher D. Fidler Partner Columbus
Robert R. Galloway Partner Cleveland
Theodore Z. Gelt Of Counsel Denver
Ellen E. Halfon Counsel Cleveland
Suzanne M. Jambe Partner Cleveland
Herbert W. Kalmbach Of Counsel Costa Mesa
Robert K. Lease Partner Cleveland
Gordon F. Litt Partner Columbus
James A. Loeb Partner Cleveland
Chad W. Makuch Associate Cleveland
George T. Mooradian Partner Costa Mesa
Lisa A. Roberts-Mamone Partner Cleveland
Kevin G. Robertson Partner Cleveland
Barry R. Robinson Partner Columbus
Daniela Ronchetti Associate Denver
Anthony J. Scaletta Partner Orlando
Mark D. Senff Partner Columbus
Michelle M. St. Pierre Partner Denver
David L. Starbuck Partner Denver
Michael R. Stiff Partner Denver
Raymond L. Sutton Jr. Partner Denver
Joseph F. Verciglio Partner Cleveland
Samantha M. White Associate Denver

Recognition

  • “Best Law Firms” 2014: National Tier 1 Ranking in the area of Trusts & Estates Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
    • Regional Tier 1 rankings were earned in Trusts & Estates Law in Cleveland, Colorado, Columbus and Washington, DC.
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2014: Twelve partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in various private wealth-related fields.

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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WealthDirector
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Cases Regarding the Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans
January 26, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, respectively, regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans by the states. While the Court’s decision to hear the cases was...
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WealthDirector
Still Waiting For Guidance on Material Participation
January 23, 2015
In March 2014, I commented on the US Tax Court decision in the Frank Aragona Trust case. In that case, the tax court disagreed with the Internal Revenue Service’s arguments that a trust was incapable of providing “personal services” to...
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WealthDirector
Protecting A Family’s Most Valuable Asset – Privacy
January 6, 2015
Each day, family offices receive, relay, and manage a family’s private information.  Depending on the family and the role of the family office, the information managed can be voluminous and include financial information, tax identification...
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WealthDirector
U.S. Supreme Court Now Likely to Rule on Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans
December 2, 2014
To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to rule on the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex marriage. Even in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor (discussed here), the U.S. Supreme Court left to...
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WealthDirector
Tax Court Rules Corporate Merger of Family-Owned Businesses Results in Substantial Taxable Gift
November 17, 2014
In September, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Cavallaro v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-189, holding that a merger of two family-owned businesses resulted in a $29.6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cavallaro to their three sons...
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