Global Head of Private Clients: Michael E Kavoukjian
White & Case is a global law firm with a longstanding presence in the markets that matter today. The firm’s on-the-ground experience, cross-border integration and depth of local, English and US-qualified lawyers help clients work with confidence in any one jurisdiction or across many.
Private Clients Practice:
White & Case’s global private clients group dates back to the founding of the firm in 1901, when J P Morgan selected White & Case to create Bankers Trust Company. White & Case is a recognised leader in the fields of trusts and estates and estate litigation, representing many of the world’s leading families, Fortune 500 executives and corporate fiduciaries.
The global private clients group comprises some of the most highly regarded and experienced partners in the profession. The group assists high net worth individuals and families worldwide with the accumulation, management, transfer and protection of personal wealth. A unique aspect of the practice is its broad geographic reach. With 44 offices in 30 countries, White & Case offers unparalleled resources to private clients around the globe. Its ability to create integrated solutions across multiple jurisdictions means that the practice has a significant cross-border element.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm assists high net worth clients in domestic and international tax and estate planning. It has unmatched experience in planning for multi-national families with assets in multiple jurisdictions, clients with inherited wealth, CEOs of established companies, entrepreneurs with closely held business interests, and principals of private equity firms. The family office practice has broad experience in the creation and administration of these increasingly popular entities. Partners have won numerous accolades and are routinely sought out for their opinions on new developments in the estate planning field.
White & Case has extensive experience in fiduciary litigation and has counselled parties in some of the most significant cases in the field. Its lawyers represent beneficiaries and fiduciaries, both corporate and individual, in the resolution of high-stake disputes regarding trusts and estates as well as tax controversies. The firm has acted as lead counsel in many complex adversary proceedings involving hundreds of millions of dollars and multiple countries. The fiduciary litigation team includes a unique combination of lawyers in trust and estate law, tax, and litigation procedure and tactics at the administrative, trial and appellate levels. These capabilities have earned the firm a place on the shortlist for clients seeking sophisticated advice in complex cross-border litigation involving trusts and estates.
Estate & Trust Administration:
The team advises corporate and individual fiduciaries in all aspects of trust and estate administration. The team is routinely selected to handle some of the world’s largest estates, including those valued at over US$1 billion. Lawyers possess the wide range of skills necessary to navigate among complex laws regarding income, estate, wealth and generation-skipping taxes, investment rules and fiduciary liability issues. This includes advice on post mortem tax planning, the funding and termination of trusts and fiduciary accounting proceedings. The firm’s broad resources ensure that lawyers can handle virtually any legal issue that may arise in a complex estate, including real estate, corporate, employment benefits, intellectual property, and charitable issues.
A hallmark of the group is the representation of the fiduciary departments of major financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank Trust Company, The Goldman Sachs Trust Company, JP Morgan Chase Bank, UBS, U.S. Trust and Citibank. The group provides advice on virtually all aspects of multi-state fiduciary administration and regulatory compliance, and are routinely selected by leading trust companies to head the litigation team when they are confronted with complex disputes.
The firm’s private client lawyers represent world-renowned foundations, endowments, and other tax-exempt organisations in all aspects of their operations. The firm’s representative clients in this field have included the American Hospital of Paris, the Commonwealth Fund, the Dana Foundation, the Frick Collection, the Guggenheim Museum, the Huntington Library, the Metropolitan Opera, the Morgan Library and Trinity Church. The team is experienced in the creation of private foundations and public charities, including preparation of their applications for tax-exempt status and negotiations with tax authorities. The team also advises donors in connection with major gifts.
The firm’s private client practitioners advise on a broad range of management issues for business owners, including succession planning, corporate finance, security holdings, restructuring and ongoing management. Counselling of senior executives also includes advice on employment contracts and compensation arrangements such as golden parachutes, stock option plans and retirement planning. The group also advises on compensation issues in the context of corporate transactions.
Partner and Global Head of Private Clients: Michael E Kavoukjian
Tel: +1 212 819 8403 / +1 305 995 5227
Email: [email protected]