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
Oakley V. Andrews Partner Cleveland
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
Jack I. Samet Partner Costa Mesa
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

  • BakerHostetler received a 2014 “Best Law Firms” 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.
  • Twelve partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 in various private wealth-related fields.
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

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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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WealthDirector
IRS Attempts to Simplify the Application Process for Certain 501(c)(3) Organizations, but is “EZ” Better?
October 31, 2014
On July 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). Form 1023-EZ is an abbreviated version of the...
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WealthDirector
Keep Your Collection Away from the Collectors: Tax Planning for Fine Art
October 20, 2014
Appreciation of fine art can create challenging tax issues, but with proper planning collectors can minimize the estate, gift, and income tax consequences of their collections. For taxpayers hoping to keep their works in the family, a...
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WealthDirector
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July 1, 2014
On March 20, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals, in Malias v. Malias, upheld the trial court’s determination that grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) remainder interests were “property interests” for property division purposes,  and the...
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