June 09, 2009

Cadre of Tax & Estate Planning Attorneys Join Venable in Los Angeles

Veteran Group Broadens Firm’s National Business Practice on West Coast

6 min

LOS ANGELES – June 9, 2009 – The Los Angeles office of Venable LLP continues its expansion with the arrival of eight Los Angeles attorneys - seven from the firm Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen and one from Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP. The new Venable partners include Brad Cohen, Michael Foster, Robin Gilden and David Schwartz. Michael B. Luftman will join the group as a partner in the near future. Attorneys Charles Kolstad and Kyle R. Neal will become of counsel and Richard Luftman will join as an associate.

The group’s innovative approach to structuring novel business transactions, such as the recording industry's so-called "360 deals," and developing strategies to resolve complex business and tax issues has earned it a distinguished and diverse body of clients. The areas in which the group counsels clients include corporate law, state, Federal and international income tax planning, estate planning, charitable giving, nonprofit organizations, tax controversy, probate, trust administration, trusts and estates, and executive compensation.

"This exceptional corps of attorneys further projects Venable's top-tier corporate and tax and wealth planning practices onto the national stage," said Robert Waldman, a tax partner and chair of Venable's Business Division. "We have long served clients across the country, but this marks the first time we have a fully staffed business team resident on the West Coast. We believe there is no better regarded group of attorneys in California when it comes to addressing complex tax and business issues."

Douglas Emhoff, partner in charge of Venable's Los Angeles office, emphasized that the group’s strong reputation for offering exceptional counsel on tax and business issues will not only enhance the capabilities of the Los Angeles office, it will be an asset for the entire firm and its clients.

Incoming partner Brad Cohen explained the group's decision to join Venable. "The synergy between our practice and Venable’s existing services addressed our strategy of meeting our clients' increasing needs for national and international representation," he said. "Our familiarity with, and respect for, several attorneys at Venable helped create an exciting opportunity to join forces and expand our practices."

Brad Cohen
Brad Cohen's practice emphasizes individual, corporate and partnership income tax planning and transactional real estate matters. Brad advises clients on complex estate planning, charitable giving, nonprofit and charitable organization matters, tax controversy, executive compensation (including deferred compensation) and tax aspects of marital settlement negotiations. In addition, he advises on planning related to mergers and acquisitions, financing and business succession planning addressing the business, income tax and estate tax issues on an integrated basis. Mr. Cohen is best known for his business and tax advice related to the motion picture, television, music, emerging media and sports industries. One of the focuses of his practice is coordinating the relationships among the entertainment, advertising and nonprofit industries. His clients have included former presidents of the United States and a United States senator.

Michael Foster
Michael Foster's practice emphasis centers on international tax planning, individual and partnership taxation, estate planning, corporate and business law, and real estate matters. Foster has lectured on international tax matters before the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries Annual Meeting, State Bar of California, California Society of CPAs, Los Angeles County Bar Association and other professional and trade associations.

Robin Gilden
Robin Gilden focuses her practice in corporate, partnership and individual taxation, transactional business matters and international taxation. She also has experience in mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation and the application of the deferred compensation rules of section 409A. Prior to entering private practice, Gilden worked in the tax departments of two Fortune 100 companies. Gilden has lectured on partnership tax matters before the USC Tax Institute and the California Society of CPAs. She also teaches a partnership tax class at Loyola law school.

Charles Kolstad
Charles Kolstad concentrates his practice in the area of corporate, partnership and international tax matters. He assists clients in tax planning relating to the acquisition, dispositions and restructurings of business, corporations and partnerships, and asset financing strategies, including gain-deferral strategies and tax-advantaged financing. He has advised start-up and emerging companies on a variety of corporate matters, including raising capital in the private and public debt and equity markets.

Michael B. Luftman
Michael B. Luftman's practice emphasizes tax planning for owners of privately held businesses, high net worth individuals and professionals. He also works with accountants, investment advisors, life insurance agents and other client advisors in designing and implementing tax planning for individuals, corporations, partnerships, and state and local matters. Luftman has extensive experience with all types of estate and gift tax matters, including succession planning for privately held businesses, charitable gifting, private foundations, limited partnerships, pension planning, asset protection planning, and probate and trust administration proceedings and the related tax work. His tax controversy experience includes being involved in many administrative appeals or tax court matters at the federal and state levels concerning income tax, estate tax, employment tax, sales tax and property tax issues. He has served as an expert witness on many occasions. Michael is a certified specialist in taxation law.

Richard Luftman
Richard Luftman practices in the areas of tax, estate planning, probate, trust administration, and trust and estate litigation. He focuses his estate planning practice on assisting high net worth individuals and their businesses in estate, tax and succession planning to meet personal and family goals. He focuses his probate and trust administration practice on post-death tax, probate, and trust administration matters. In his trust and estate litigation practice, he represents fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and other interested parties in estate, trust, and conservatorship litigation matters.

David Schwartz
David Schwartz concentrates his practice in the areas of individual, corporate and partnership income tax planning and tax controversy, transactional business matters, estate and business succession planning, trust and estate administration, and charitable planned giving.  On the estate and business succession planning side, Schwartz has substantial experience in, and has lectured and written articles on such techniques as generation-skipping planning, sales and loans to "intentionally defective" irrevocable trusts, GRATs, and charitable lead and charitable remainder trusts. 

Kyle R. Neal
Kyle R. Neal, who joins Venable from Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP, focuses her practice on tax and estate planning for high net worth individuals, including outlining and drafting living trusts, generation-skipping trusts, GRATs, family limited partnerships, sales of remainder interests, QPRTs, children's education trusts, life insurance trusts, split-dollar agreements and charitable gifts. Her experience also includes establishing and qualifying tax-exempt organizations and preparing gift and estate tax returns.



One of The American Lawyer's top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.