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:


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
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
Ashley L. Thompson Associate Denver
Joseph F. Verciglio Partner Cleveland
Samantha M. White Associate Denver


  • “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


In The Blogs

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Retirement Planning Strategies under the Scrutiny of the Federal Fisc
August 26, 2015
President Obama’s proposed budget for 2016 shows that some retirement planning strategies have drawn the attention of the Federal government and may be subject to future legislative limitations. The President’s proposed budget suggests...
IRS Plans to Further Restrict Family Business Valuation Discounts
August 21, 2015
IRS regulations anticipated for release as early as this September may further restrict valuation discounts. The exact scope of the regulations is unknown, but the regulations will likely make it more difficult for taxpayers to discount...
The Ohio Supreme Court Places Limitations on the Ohio Bright Line Income Tax Residency Presumption
August 4, 2015
On July 8, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court found that Ohio nonresidents may not claim the benefit of the Ohio “bright line” presumption of nonresidency for income tax purposes if the taxpayer attests to having a domicile outside Ohio on the...
Trusts Find Shelter from State Taxes in State Courts
July 31, 2015
In two recent cases, taxpayers have successfully challenged state taxation of trust income on the basis that the taxing states had a minimal connection to the trust. In The Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North Carolina Dept...
Bitcoin and the Like: Further Tax Developments to Monitor
May 13, 2015
Virtual currency developments continue to emerge, including state tax guidance, a court decision on deductibility of losses, and the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the “Act”). State Tax Guidance The New Jersey Division of...