Baker Botts LLP

Private Wealth Law Department

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Baker Botts offers the full range of estate planning and administration services to high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals and families. A market source says that there is "nobody better," adding: "They are the absolute best for someone needing complicated estate planning or fiduciary work."

The firm is also highly regarded for its handling of fiduciary disputes and tax litigation. "When it comes to estate tax controversy, particularly with family limited partnerships, they have been counsel or represented parties in many of the famous reported cases," observes an interviewee, who adds: "These guys have been there and done that 20 million times."

Notable practitioners

The "legendary" John Porter has significant experience representing clients in gift, estate and income tax litigation matters against the IRS. He is "nationally renowned" for his expertise in this area, and one market commentator describes him as "really the best guy in the field in the US for estate tax litigation." Another commentator remarks: "He is maybe the pre-eminent family limited partnership litigator in the US," adding that he is the "go-to guy for technical issues."

Keri Brown handles estate, gift and income tax controversy work. She deals with complex trust and estate litigation for fiduciaries, with an industry source commenting: "She does an excellent job of navigating through IRS litigation waters." One market expert says: "I have used her several times for client matters and would do so again in a heartbeat."

Paige Ben-Yaacov advises high net worth individuals and families on estate planning and administration. Her expertise encompasses complex trust structures, family limited partnerships and business succession planning. An industry source states: "I admire her willingness to roll up her sleeves and research a problem," adding that she is "one of those folks you can rely on to dig and find an answer where there is not a lot of precedent."

Stephen Dyer is widely admired for his work with a range of high net worth clients in estate and succession planning matters and regularly advises family businesses and closely-held enterprises. One wealth adviser says: "He is one of the most technically competent estate planning attorneys in this area and also carries a good bedside manner in how he communicates information." Another market insider notes that "he is definitely one of the major players in the city."