Jennifer Jordan McCall

+1.650.233.4020

Jennifer Jordan McCall

Partner  |  Pillsbury Law
JURISDICTION

United States (CA, FL, NY)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning
Private Wealth

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

There have been several highlights -growing our trusts and estates department at Pillsbury, including substantial revenue increase and addition of strong personnel, winning three trust and estates litigation proceedings simultaneously in California courts, advising on dozens of trusts at year end to save federal and state estate and income taxes and to take advantage of current high exemptions with sophisticated and cutting edge planning.

How did you get into private client?

My father was a trust and estates attorney for approximately 60 years; he served as a wonderful mentor. He worked at Cravath and Cadwalader and was second in his class at Harvard Law School. He was instrumental in breaking the Japanese Co. during WWII. Similarly, I have always loved math – I went to Princeton to major in math and I love tax law. It must be genetic.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

There are no shortcuts. Every case must be handled extremely carefully, as this is highly technical. Double check your work and talk to your colleagues to develop innovative and correct tax strategies. Be patient with your clients, as their needs are highly personal and sensitive. If you follow these steps, you should develop a strong practice.

What is your favourite quote?

“The people who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of the people who are doing it.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I love to make ceramics on the wheel – I actually had a Fulbright grant to make Ceramics in Copenhagen, Denmark after Princeton. I still have a studio. I also love to play golf – my favorite golf course is Royal County Down in Northern Ireland.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Café Benoit in Paris.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

The international environment involving tax regulations and recent changes to US tax law. Some of the rules that have led to growth include: new controlled foreign corporation constructive ownership rules; GILTI, CRS, FATCA, and repeal of the 30-day rule.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

Generation Skipping Tax (GST). With the new administration in the US, federal GST exemptions are likely to go down. They are at historic highs at present. The current GST exemption can exempt assets in a trust for an unlimited number of generations, however, to take advantage of that, clients would need to set up a trust in a jurisdiction that allows for long term trusts such as WY or DE. Currently, the limitation of the deduction is causing more high-net worth clients to relocate to FL and to use a FL resident as trustee of very large trusts, greatly increasing our FL business.

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

We have recently been coordinating more formally with our partners on Pillsbury’s award-winning Litigation team. Our team has successfully resolved conflicts, in trial and out of court, at home and in jurisdictions around the globe. Our team focuses on the various litigation-related needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families and family offices bringing a seamless and holistic legal approach to resolving unique disputes and creating tailored solutions for our clients.


Scott Rahn

+1 (424) 320-9440

Scott Rahn

Founder & Co-managing Partner  |  RMO Lawyers
JURISDICTION

United States (CA, KS, MO, FL)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trust and probate litigation
Trust and probate administration
Conservatorships
Financial elder abuse litigation

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Despite the current global tumult, over the past 12 months we have been able to expand our practice regionally and nationally, which allows us to help more people with their contentious trust, probate and conservatorship matters.

How did you get into private client?

Luck, really. I was a young lawyer working in a financial services litigation boutique (with no trusts and probate group) and one of our clients was sued in probate court. Probate court was “weird,” the “wild west.” It had it’s “own rules,” but I was “smart” and could “figure out it out.” When I showed up in court and saw how small, collegial and sophisticated the bar was I was smitten. I steered my career toward this space, joining Foley & Lardner’s Los Angeles office trusts and probate group as lead litigator, later becoming partner at Greenberg Traurig, before opening RMO LLP in 2015.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

What we do matters. It matters to the people we represent, their families, and legacies. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and empathetic, human, with clients, all of whom are struggling with a compromised or deceased loved one, but understand that they also need us to be bluntly honest with them about the relative strengths and weaknesses of their situation. Failing to set an emotional client’s expectations early and often will only lead to problems later. Don’t put yourself or your client in that position.

What is your favourite quote?

“Sometimes it takes years for a person to become an overnight success.“ – Prince

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Family, travel, cycling, golf, sports (Chelsea FC, LAFC, Packers, Dodgers, Lakers), and vintage cars.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Capo on Ocean in Santa Monica, sitting at the bar, sipping a dirty martini, watching time stand still over the delectable sweet corn ravioli and rich steak Florentine cooked on the wood burning grill, topped off with a small vin santo or amaro. Heaven.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

The delay in scheduling trials. We are trial lawyers and enjoy the advantages we are able to bring to our clients’ cases as a result, but with trials being scheduled years out that leverage is not as meaningful currently.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay the course. It’s going to be great!

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1) Be human, compassionate, engaged, and honest.
2) Explain the advantages technologies emerging from the pandemic offer and how we are using them to reduce costs and expedite results.
3) Build in time to talk through the experience of using technologies with which clients may not be familiar or comfortable.


Kent D. Lawson

+1 415 967 0201

Kent D. Lawson

Principal  |  Vela International Tax Advisory
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States
California

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Global tax planning
Compliance
Controversy matters for private clients

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Tax Advisory

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Using an international tax treaty to help save a business with several thousand employees that was in jeopardy due to onerous tax law changes.

What sets you apart from your peers?

I am often able to solve problems that my peers cannot because my advice is informed by a deeper understanding of international tax law and is also more creative and flexible.

What is your favourite quote?

"My only regret in life is that I have not drunk more champagne.” - John Maynard Keynes


Wei Zhang

+852 3711 1644

Wei Zhang

Partner, Registered Foreign Lawyer  |  Withersworldwide
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

California, USA
New York, USA
Connecticut, USA

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Tax
Wealth planning
Structuring


Adam Streisand

+1 310 228 3727

Adam Streisand

Partner  |  Sheppard Mullin
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

California

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International wealth structuring
Cross border succession planning
Transatlantic tax and estate planning

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Winning an inheritance dispute involving the courts of the U.S. and Chile.

How did you get into private client?

Mentorship.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

As my grandfather used to say, “anyone can say he is Muhammad Ali. Someday you have to step into the ring and prove it.” Forget the marketing. Strive for excellence and the clients and tributes will come.

What is your favourite quote?

“Sometimes in nature, a lion bears an ass.” Abraham Lincoln. And as a result, I have had a long and prosperous career fighting inheritance battles.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Improving my French. Cycling. My wife is an opera and musical theatre director and I am a fan.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Vincenti


Bruce Ross

1 213 970 9739

Bruce Ross

Senior counsel  |  Seyfarth Shaw, LLP
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate and Trust Litigation; Mediation of Estate and Trust Disputes; Estate and Trust Administration

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Coming out of semi-retirement and joining the international firm of Seyfarth Shaw in its highly regarded Trusts and Estates Practice.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Gain a specific expertise or practice niche on which you can speak and write.

What is your favourite quote?

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.”
Abraham Lincoln


James Tsang

+85221030306

James Tsang

Partner  |  Squire Patton Boggs
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (Texas & California)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Succession planning
Tax

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Handling a few cases for US clients to successfully negotiate with the IRS and seeing relief from their eyes. 

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Be passionate about what is important to the client.

What is your favourite quote?

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” Winston Churchill.


Read Moore

+1 650 815 7682

M. Read Moore

Partner  |  McDermott Will & Emery
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (CA, OR, WA, IL)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Taxation trust law
Business succession
Corporate governance

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Implementing a substantial reorganization of a family's assets from one jurisdiction to another following moves by family members and the sale of the family's business.

How did you get into private client?

I am a second-generation private client lawyer; my father practiced private client law for over 50 years and was an excellent role model.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Keep up to date on tax law and succession law developments outside of your country and on developments at international organisations concerned with tax law, money laundering, transparency, and the legal profession.

What is your favourite quote?

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Walking and hiking, travel, reading nonfiction.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Zuni Cafe, San Francisco.


Francis Mirabello

+1 215 963 5248

Francis Mirabello

Partner  |  Morgan Lewis & Bockius
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (PA, CA, FL)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate planning
Income tax planning
Family business succession planning

Q&A

How did you get into private client?

Have been primarily in the private client practice of a law firm since graduating from law school 42 years ago.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Become an expert in your field, provide quality client service and be creative.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Golf, travel.


Geoff Kertesz

+44 (0)20 7903 7966

Geoff Kertesz

Partner, Trust and Probate Litigation  |  Stewarts
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (CA)
England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trust disputes
Probate disputes
Succession planning

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Joining the team at Stewarts! Before my move, I had been seeing an uptick in larger, more complex instructions, and that trend will only continue now that I am at my new firm.

How did you get into private client?

Wills and trusts was my favourite subject in law school, but I started my career doing mega commercial product liability cases. I hated it. One day, I went to the will and trust disputes partner in my law firm and asked if she had any work for me. She did, and I have never looked back.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

As a private client adviser, you are a legal counsellor and quite often an emotional counsellor. Do not underestimate how important matters can be to clients, no matter how trivial they may seem to you.

What is your favourite quote?

"Mr Simpson, the state bar forbids me from promising you a big cash settlement. But just between you and me, I promise you a big cash settlement," Lionel Hutz, The Simpsons.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I enjoy running and my goal is to get my 10k time below my age. Neither figure is public knowledge.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Comptoir Gascon in Smithfields.