Miller Thomson LLP

Private Wealth Law Department

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Miller Thomson has an excellent reputation for private wealth work in Canada. "They take a highly client-focused approach to taxation matters, with a view to providing advice that ensures compliance with complex tax rules but also fulfils the client's objectives," a source states, continuing: "They respond promptly and efficiently, and are able to communicate complex principles in a user-friendly manner. They are also, in our experience, genuinely pleasant to deal with."

"Their tax knowledge is superb," says one interviewee, adding: "They did extensive research on the issues and crafted a detailed response that was fully accepted by the tax authorities in Canada." Another interviewee comments: "They are extremely knowledgeable and are at the forefront of understanding the complexities of cross-border US-Canada planning."

Notable practitioners

Sources agree that Elena Hoffstein "is a true leader in this industry." One of her fellow estate planners said Hoffstein is "an excellent, excellent lawyer" and "the leader in this country" for this work, adding that "her technical knowledge is very strong and she relates very well to her clients; she forges strong connections with them and she is able to walk them through the technicalities of estate planning." Another source reports that "Elena is particularly skilled in the tax aspect of estate planning, and she understands the specific nuances of US citizens living in Canada. Elena has a special knowledge and experience that makes her my go-to person for this type of work."

A source says trusts and estates litigator Kelly Charlebois is "brilliant" and a "strong practitioner" who does "quality work." Another says Charlebois is "a really strong litigator and a pleasure to work against or with. She has a strong knowledge base and she is a straight shooter. She is a real star."

Rahul Sharma advises high net worth Canadian and international individuals and families on tax, trust and estate planning matters. Sharma is often highlighted for his cross-border tax planning practice. "I think he is an up-and-coming star in this space," a peer notes, adding: "He is very strong, very good, and practises across the range of private client matters. He is great for international work and he will develop a strong practice."

William Fowlis QC is a "very smart" and "very technically strong individual" who is "thoughtful in his approach" and "great to work with," says an interviewee. "I have a lot of respect for Bill," says another commentator, adding: "He focuses on tax and trust planning, and I think he has a lot of depth both technically and practically when advising clients."