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Consulting Counsel Arrangements

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"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."

– Henry Ford

Overview

Sometimes lawyers, accountants, and other professionals need to bring in an outside firm or “consulting counsel” to assist with a client matter due to its complexity. This may happen when the first firm is facing issues not within its particular area of expertise or does not have a practice dedicated to the relevant area of law, or when a second opinion is warranted or required.  In many cases, teaming with a trusted partner firm is preferable to a full-fledged referral; the original firm can retain an active role in the matter, while benefiting from the experience of attorneys with a background in other fields.

These circumstances occur frequently with regard to tax and estate planning issues. Estate, income and gift tax laws and regulations, on the federal, state, and international levels, are complex and subject to change. Lawyers who don’t regularly practice in these fields often choose to work alongside specialized practitioners when a client project requires sophisticated tax planning strategies or resolution of matters with tax authorities. Similarly, questions about fiduciary duties, powers, and beneficiary relationships frequently arise in trust and estate administration matters, and may not be well understood by other practitioners.

IPB’s Estate Planning team has had significant experience as consulting counsel, working collegially with other lawyers and advisors on complex matters, such as:

  • IRS Audits and Appeals and Tax Litigation
  • Private Letter Rulings. Work to obtain PLR for trust reformation in connection with S corporation election, with accounting firm and trust counsel. 
  • Estate Tax Liability. Review District of Columbia estate tax obligations of Virginia decedent owning real property through in a business entity in the District of Columbia.
  • Trust Administration. Review of options for trust modification, identity of beneficiaries as takers of last resort, and non-judicial settlement agreement requirements, for law firms and trust companies.
  • Foreign Tax Matters
  • Estate Planning Templates. Reviewed joint revocable trusts and [other documents] for small law practice serving DC metro clients. 
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