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Elite practice continues national expansion with emphasis on estate planning, trust administration, family business succession planning, and domestic and international tax


Los Angeles, CA (December 1, 2016) – Venable LLP, an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, announced today the addition of four high-profile partners to its growing national Tax and Wealth Planning practice. Jonathan C. Lurie, William R. Burford, Jason P. Trenton, and Andrew D. Copans joined the firm as partners in the Los Angeles office. The four-member team was previously with McDermott Will & Emery LLP and brings with it three paralegals and three staff members.

Michele M. Mulrooney, Chair of Venable's West Coast Trust and Estates practice, welcomed the group by saying, "Jonathan is one of the most highly-regarded professionals in his practice and more than lives up to his reputation. He has not only built a sterling practice; he has assembled a talented legal team with Bill, Jason, and Andrew. Their addition to Venable will help to propel us to become one of the marquee tax and estate practices in the country."

Managing Director of Venable's West Coast offices Douglas C. Emhoff said, "Our clients are turning to us for guidance on what to expect in the future and how best to navigate any potential changes ahead. Over the past year, Venable has committed itself to taking one of California's top tax and wealth planning practices and transforming it into a national powerhouse. The addition of Jonathan and his team reaffirms our commitment to that goal and our ongoing efforts to build a practice that is unparalleled in the industry."

"I have known Michele throughout her career, so when this opportunity presented itself to me, I knew that the timing was right. Together, our two teams will create one of the strongest private client groups in Los Angeles," said Mr. Lurie. "Venable provides broad-based services, that go beyond trusts and estates, that our clients will have access to as they expand their needs. We look forward to a smooth integration and what looks to be a bright future for us."

At Venable, the group joins a growing national practice that has seen several noteworthy additions over the past year in its West Coast offices, including Friedemann Thomma, with his concentration in international tax in San Francisco; Meredith R. Bushnell and Suzanne C. Farley, who focus on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals and families in San Francisco; and Grace Chung and Bryan H. Kelly in Los Angeles. With more than 60 attorneys nationwide, the group has a number of top-ranked attorneys concentrating on domestic and international tax, sophisticated estate planning that includes the preservation and protection of wealth for generations of families, the establishment and advising of private foundations, and other services for high-net-worth clients and family offices.

Jonathan C. Lurie is an American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Fellow who focuses his practice on international and domestic tax, estate planning, and trust administration. He has lectured on estate planning at Whittier School of Law and the University of West Los Angeles, and frequently speaks and writes on the subject. He has also served as an expert witness in several cases involving trust administration. Chambers USA has ranked Mr. Lurie as a Band 1 attorney in both California, Tax: Estate Planning and Nationwide: Wealth Management. Mr. Lurie earned his J.D. and B.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1976 and 1974, respectively.

William R. Burford focuses his practice on tax, estate and business succession planning, formation and operation of tax-exempt organizations, trust and estate administration, and probate controversies. He has significant experience with all forms of irrevocable trusts and other estate planning instruments, partnership and LLC agreements, real estate transfers, court petitions, tax returns, audits, and ruling requests. He previously worked as a wealth advisor for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Southern California. Mr. Burford earned his LL.M. from New York University School of Law in 2002 and his J.D. and B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1991 and 1988, respectively.

Jason P. Trenton is a legal specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He advises clients on trusts and estates, family business succession planning, and international estate planning, with a particular focus on U.S.-Canada estate planning. Mr. Trenton earned his LL.M. from Loyola Law School - Los Angeles in 2005, his LL.B from University of Windsor - Ontario in 1996, and his B.A. from Queen’s University - Kingston, Ontario in 1990.

Andrew D. Copans focuses on all aspects of estate and wealth transfer planning, including international estate planning, business succession planning, and post-death administration. He has extensive experience in structuring sophisticated wealth transfer techniques and routinely counsels clients on estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax issues, and works closely with families and family offices in implementing and administering complex estate plans for domestic and international high-net-worth individuals and families. Mr. Copans earned his LL.M. from Loyola Law School - Los Angeles in 2007, his J.D. from the University of Southern California - Gould School of Law in 2003, and his B.A. from Cornell University in 2000.

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Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. The firm has more than 600 attorneys who serve domestic and international clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory matters, and government affairs.