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.


Gail Cohen

Gail Cohen

Chair of Fiduciary Trust’s Board of Directors and General Trust Counsel  |  Fiduciary Trust International
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Trusts


Joshua Rubenstein

+12129407150

Joshua Rubenstein

National Chair Private Client  |  Katten Muchin Rosenman
JURISDICTION

United States (NY, NJ)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Cross border planning
Litigation
Family office

Enhanced Q&A

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

A phenomenal victory that saved our client millions of dollars.

How did you get into private client?

I am the fourth generation Rubenstein to do private client work and was expected to join my father’s firm. However, I never wanted to be a lawyer. I was a Greek and Latin major at university. I finished my coursework for a doctorate in Latin. When it was time to pick my doctoral thesis, everything had already been done – you had to do something so microscopic that it was boring. Even though I realised I loved the Classics, I wanted to be practical – dissecting conjunctions wouldn’t help anybody! Then I wanted to be a lawyer, but not a trust and estates lawyer. Then I did a rotation to trust and estates and realised that I figured it out for myself, and I did want to do it, versus what was expected of me.

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

While the nature of legal practice and being a lawyer is changing rapidly, the need for private client lawyers may be closer than most things to being a constant, since it is based upon greed or opportunity but rather upon mortality – for which at least at the moment there is no cure.

What is your favourite quote?

"Ain't no use worrying about the things you can do something about, 'cause there's always something you can do about them. Ain't no use worrying about the things ain't nothing you can do about, 'cause ain't nothing you can do about them.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I love travelling, fine dining, music (and playing the piano and guitar).

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

Five Fields, London.

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

1. When to resume in-person meetings. My answer is as soon as possible, but that depends upon everyone’s tolerance given the then state of affairs.
2. Crystal ball gazing. The world is in an unprecedented state of flux. Clients will want our best predictions, and wrong or right, they deserve them.
3. Client management. The easiest thing to do is exactly what our clients “say” they want. Because in reality they often don’t know what they really want, we will need to interpret their words, based upon our knowledge of them, and then help them achieve their actual as opposed to perceived goals. Tough job.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I trusted my instincts at the start of my career, when I chose private client over transactional work. It was counter-trend, but it was what I cared about. I was stressed for a long time over whether or not I should not have become an investment banker. I would reassure my younger self to trust my instincts.

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

1. Respond as soon as humanly possible, even if only to say that it will take more time to answer their question. Everyone is on tenterhooks and wants to know at least that you received their communication and are working on it.
2. Follow up proactively. Clients can be simultaneously exorcised about an issue but then in avoidance mode when it comes to responding.
3. Give practical advice. Clients want to benefit from our experience, not necessarily to know what saves the most taxes but more often what makes the most sense to do (which may or may not be the same thing).


Vlad Portnoy

+1 212 920 6371

Vlad Portnoy

Managing Partner  |  Law Offices of Vlad Portnoy, P.C.
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

New York
New Jersey

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate Planning
Probate and Administration of Estates (including cross-border)
Guardianships

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Private Investment Office

Q&A

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

Many exciting and challenging legal matters, including several highly coveted fiduciary Court appointments

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

Listen to your clients. Understand not only their immediate needs but also their hopes, dreams and motivations. Always try to understand your client better as a human being before bringing it back to the legal or business talk.

What sets you apart from your peers?

Personal touch and care. Also, I am bilingual in English and Russian. Having received high school education in Russia, and having gone through graduate and law programs in the United States, I keenly understand the way both countries operate and the way their citizens think and behave. As court-certified interpreter, I can translate not only between the two languages but also convey ideas, so nothing is ever lost in translation.

What is your favourite quote?

"I can accept failure. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan


Darrell V. King CFP TEP

+1 203 249 7865

Darrell V. King CFP TEP

Director of Business Development  |  Stonehage Fleming
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

USA
Canada

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Domestic and international fiduciary structures
Global investment support
Custody and family governance resources.

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Family Office

Q&A

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

International families come to us with complex problems. Here are three highlights from last year:
• Facilitating the establishment of several complex trust and related structures for families with cross border fact patterns. This enabled the preservation and ultimate transfer of wealth to family members in other jurisdictions.
• Establishing a family office administrative platform to support the effective operation and management of several real estate properties around the world and the entities that own them.
• Establishing a complex, consolidated reporting solution for a client with investments in several countries, several investment providers and multiple asset classes.

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

Seek opportunities to live and work in multiple jurisdictions. It enhances your capabilities, your understanding and your perspective on the world

What sets you apart from your peers?

The ability to provide fiduciary and family office services to clients around the world, without geographic restrictions. Also the breadth of service offering at my firm compared to other providers in our space. An important final point: we have a truly bespoke approach to serving clients.


Claudia Caffuzzi

+12124640894

Claudia Caffuzzi

Vice Chairman  |  JP Morgan
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

New York

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Planning for Latin American individuals
US cross border planning

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Private Banker
Multi-National Families

Q&A

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

I have been advising clients in Latin America for over twenty-five years, and have had the pleasure of helping families pass their wealth across generations, with multiple jurisdictions involved. Through my practice and professional network I have been able to share trends and experiences from across the globe to clients throughout Latin America, with a focus on Mexico.

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

I think the best advice I can give to someone starting out in their career is that private client work requires a deep sense of empathy, great curiosity, a strong moral compass and a keen eye for detail.


Michael Ben-Jacob

+1 212 836 8310

Michael Ben-Jacob

Partner  |  Arnold & Porter
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

New York


Sasha Grinberg

+1 212 504 5642

Sasha Grinberg

Senior Associate  |  Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

New York

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Complex cross-border planning
Trust administration
International regulatory compliance.

Q&A

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

The highlight of my practice has been ensuring that my client's continue to receive the top notch service they have come to expect from Cadwalader and our team. We strive to provide our clients with the expertise, results and attention that they deserve, even during a globally challenging time.

How did you get into private client?

I was incredibly interested in the Private Wealth group at my firm and was lucky enough (or spent enough time badgering the practice chair) to get a chance to work and learn from the best.

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

I would advise rising starts to continue to learn, work well with others, and stay as responsive as you can to the needs of your clients.

What is your favourite quote?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. ”Winston Churchill

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Aside from running after my three children (well currently two as the third is a newborn and not yet running) I really enjoy traveling, salsa dancing and watching great films.

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

My favorite current local restaurant is called Como and I love it because the fairly small menu has all of the items my husband and I served at our wedding in Italy in 2010.


Warren Whitaker

+12122972468

Warren Whitaker

Partner  |  Day Pitney
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States
- New York
- New Jersey

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Administration of estates and trusts
Succession planning

Q&A

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

Creating a US private trust company to act as trustee of a variety of US and offshore trusts for a cross-border family.

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

The cross-border estate planning field holds enormous opportunities, with increasing globalisation, exchange of information and pressures for compliance.

What is your favourite quote?

"The fault is not in our stars, But in ourselves,” Julius Caesar.


Rashad Wareh

+1 212 980 9809

Rashad Wareh

Partner  |  Kozusko Harris Duncan
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (NY, VA, D.C.)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Cross-border tax and estate planning
Family governance
Tax

Q&A

How did you get into private client?

Having the good fortune of joining a long-standing private client practice over 23 years ago.