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California powerhouse Loeb & Loeb has leading trusts and estates practices in Northern and Southern California. "I think they have more breadth and depth than anyone in LA, and they have some up North too," says a Los Angeles-based competitor, adding: "They have the most people and many who are at the top of their game." A San Francisco attorney reports that the lawyers who moved to Loeb from Cooley LLP in 2018 have a "fine reputation" and "pop up all the time as competitors."
The firm also has a strong fiduciary litigation practice. "They have had for decades a wonderful group of trust and estate litigators who consistently perform amazingly," commentsone interviewee, continuing: "I would unhesitatingly refer work to them, always. They are cost-effective and amazing attorneys." On the non-contentious side, a fellow lawyer reports that "I enjoy working with them; if I see I will be working with them then I am always happy as I know the partnership will be good." Another source says: "They have a wonderful breadth of estate planners that do tremendously fantastic work. They are all phenomenal attorneys."
Alyse Pelavin"is the shining star in the practice," states one LA attorney, and another interviewee describes her as "super smart, very responsive and very creative - the best trust and estate lawyer I have ever worked with." Pelavin is seen as "a stand-out individual for business and gift planning" and someone who is "very creative and open to ideas." Another lawyer says: "If I could hire anybody to be my successor, it would be her. She is as good as they get. She is very talented, very responsive, clients love her and she seems to have all the technical skills. She is a real force to be reckoned with."
Audrey Scott assists high net worth individuals and families with trust administration, wealth transfer and estate and gift taxation. "She is a brilliant technician and she really, really develops a quick rapport and trust with the clients I refer to her - she stands out," one insider reports. Another interviewee comments: "I am very comfortable referring clients to her. I think on the gift structuring side of things, working with ultra high net worth individuals on proposed IPOs she is very strong." A third source adds: "She is great, I would 100% send a client to her with no qualms. She is terrific and easy to work with."
David Nelson "is the smartest guy in the room," says one interviewee. Nelson is co-chair of the firm's trust and estate litigation practice. He has experience representing high net worth individuals in disputes regarding trusts, estates and conservatorships. One interviewee describes him as a "marvellous attorney," and another comments: "He handles himself well - I have found himself to be an honourable guy and to have a reasonable manner."
Gabrielle Vidal is co-chair of the firm's trust and estate litigation practice. One source remarks: "I think so highly of her, she is such an impressive attorney. I have nothing but good things to say about her, she is the whole package: a wonderful advocate, very smart, cares about her clients and her cases. I give her the highest praise." Another interviewee says: "She is the best, she is amazing, she is at the top of her field. She is aggressive when she needs to be, but she knows when it is appropriate. I refer big litigation matters to her."
Jeffrey Loeb advises high net worth individuals and families with estate planning and trust and estate administration. One interviewee says: "Jeff was incredibly patient with us – talking through a million different scenarios with us. He just had such a wonderful confidence – it was clear that there was no situation we could possibly face that he hadn't dealt with before." This interviewee continues: "At the end of the day, if my family or I have to activate our estate plans, it will be the worst time of our lives. In times like that, I want to be sure that my family will have someone with them who will be compassionate, professional and think of all the ramifications. And in Jeff and his firm, I feel like I have that resource."
Leah Bishop "is one of the smartest lawyers I know," says one source. Bishop has experience in tax planning and trust and estate administration for high net worth individuals, closely held businesses and charitable organisations. "She is a good lawyer, and her practice is very good," comments one of Bishop's peers, who explains that "she is very involved with high net worth individuals and she does a bit more charitable planning than most, which is unique. She represents very wealthy individuals very well." A fiduciary litigator in LA says Bishop is "my go-to estate planner," adding: "Leah is great. She is wonderful, such a good attorney - the estate planner that always comes to mind."
Myron Sugarman is "a stalwart of trust and estates, a founder in this market," reports a source, adding: "I think he is excellent, I really admire him." Sugarman has a wealth of experience representing clients on matters to do with estate and tax planning and charitable giving. Another interviewee says: "He has incredible energy, a legend. He is good for work in Silicon Valley."
Paul Frimmer "is really brilliant," a source says; "he is so intelligent and smart - he has expertise like no other, especially for tax." Frimmer advises high net worth clients on estate planning, and is known for his expertise in art law. One interviewee comments on his art law speciality, saying: "Paul is a fine lawyer. I think he is interested in charity and art law, and has developed a real reputation in town for representing artists and collectors." Another remarks: "He is great, and he likes to share his knowledge in the art law area. I am very comfortable referring work to him or asking him questions - he is very collaborative and knowledgeable."
Rachel Harris is known for her work on domestic and international estate planning, and is chair of the firm's international trust and estate planning practice. One source recognises that "she focuses on the international area," and adds: "I think she is really smart and a very good advocate." Another describes Harris as "very good, smart, responsive and a pleasure to work with."
Rodney Lee assists high net worth clients with a range of litigation matters, including financial elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty. "I like Rodney, he is a smart lawyer," one source says, and another notes: "He has a wonderful personality and counsels rather than controls."
Stuart Tobisman has a long-time reputation as a top estate planning specialist in Los Angeles. California interviewees consider Tobisman to be "an icon in the estate planning area," a "very knowledgeable, extremely detail-oriented and thoughtful" practitioner who is also "a lovely, lovely gentleman and technically very good."