Representative Experience

  • Represented the widow of a highly successful investor in negotiating a confidential settlement believed to be among 2014’s largest litigated estate matters. The case presented novel, complex conflicts of law, state taxation and multistate residence issues.
  • Served as trustee of approximately 30 family trusts valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars for multiple branches of a family, handling competing interests, providing long-term planning advice and negotiating resolution to conflicts while avoiding litigation.
  • Represented hedge fund and private equity investors in establishing trusts to benefit children and future generations—entirely transfer-tax exempt—and saved clients’ families hundreds of millions of dollars in transfer and income taxes.

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  • Advised a family with a substantial trust how to distribute and decant parts of the existing trust to new trusts to take advantage of the current high GST exemption, which is also lengthy in potential duration, thereby saving the family millions of dollars in transfer taxes.
  • Advised a family how to avoid state income tax by establishing new trusts that carefully observe state law yet properly result in no state income tax, thereby saving the family millions of dollars in state income tax.
  • Advised a large family how to leverage the current high transfer tax exemptions through the sales of assets to a grantor trust at current very low interest rates, and advising regarding optimal treatment of the outstanding note at the date of death of the grantor.
  • Served as co-trustee of ongoing trusts and a charitable foundation created by the widow of a community and business leader with extremely substantial assets and providing strategic advice on matters involving cultural institutions and long-range tax planning.
  • Won a unanimous decision by California’s State Board of Equalization completely abating a proposed $10 million assessment against husband and wife clients in a case involving complex residency and source-of-income issues.

Practice Area Highlights

  • Team lawyers received recognition in Chambers’ High Net Worth Guide since the creation of the guide (2016-present).
  • Recognized Nationally as Tier 1 in Trusts & Estates Law in U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey (2019-2021). The ETTP group was also named Tier 1 in New York City and San Jose (2019-2021). ETTP lawyers have ranked annually since 2003.
  • Recipient of Leaders in Law 2020 Global Award, Wealth Management Firm of the Year in USA – California (2020).

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  • Recognized with the International Advisory Experts Award, Wealth Management in California (2020).
  • Pillsbury’s ETTP team features National Law Journal’s “Trust and Estates Trailblazer” (2017).
  • Team members are recognized by The Legal 500 U.S., and most of our ETTP partners are peer-selected members of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).