The National Law Journal recently released the inaugural issue of Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazers profiling the top attorneys who continue to make their mark in the areas of family law, trusts, and estates. Among those profiled were Venable partners Michele Mulrooney, Chris Sega, and Stef Tucker.
Discussing her practice, Mulrooney said, "I very often structure divorce and premarital agreements. For a high-net-worth client, tax law is important in a prenup. Often, my clients don't understand assets like profit participation and copyright." She also works with entertainers to help them understand how their unique assets affect net worth. Acknowledging that the estate tax is unlikely to be eliminated, she said, "If it is, that would be a big change. But it wouldn’t eliminate the need for trusts and estates lawyers."
After starting his career as an international banker working in Asia, Sega eventually moved to estate planning in his legal career because of "the human element." He counsels clients on business succession, saying, "Very few lawyers have the MBA perspective along with the law degree." On spending the past 15 years teaching estate and gift tax courses in Georgetown's LLM program, Sega said, "I've taught almost a whole generation of younger estate planners and gotten them enthusiastic about the beautiful, exciting world of estate planning."
Representing entrepreneurs his entire career, Tucker said, "They always need estate planning, but I also realized they need income tax planning and business planning based on the type of business entity and other factors." With many of his clients in real estate, Tucker realized early on the importance of integrating creditors, taxes, and future estate planning. "I was one of the first to focus on all three together and put together programs for them. No one else has really done it."