McDermott Adds One of Nation’s Top Private Client Lawyers


WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 2015) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery today announced that Leigh-Alexandra Basha, one of the nation’s most prominent private client lawyers, will join the Firm as a partner based in Washington, D.C. in the Private Client Practice Group, effective April 10th. With the addition of Ms. Basha, the Firm will establish a Private Client practice in the nation’s capital with Ms. Basha as the head of the practice in that office. Ms. Basha formerly chaired Holland & Knight’s International Private Client Practice for the past decade. She was recently elected to Council of the International Bar Association’s Legal Practice Division and is past Chair of the IBA’s Individual Tax and Private Client Committee.

Ms. Basha focuses her practice on domestic and foreign estate and tax planning. She counsels an affluent international client base on a wide range of sophisticated matters, including estate and trust administration, family wealth preservation, tax compliance, business succession planning, expatriation and pre-immigration planning.

“We are delighted to welcome Leigh to the firm, and are very pleased that she will lead our private client team in our Washington office,” said Carol Harrington, partner and global head of McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group. “We searched for many years to find the right person to establish and lead our private client presence in Washington, one of the country’s leading centers for international private client work. Leigh is recognized as one of the best international private client lawyers in the nation, and her strong ties in both Washington and Europe will further enhance McDermott’s reputation as one of the premiere law firms for international private client matters.”

McDermott’s Private Client Practice is widely recognized as the top practice in the United States and attracts leading private client attorneys here and abroad. Its International Private Client Group has grown steadily over the years, with lawyers working on international private client matters in London, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto. Most recently, McDermott added Jean-Marc Tirard, one of the best known private client lawyers in France, as a partner in the Firm’s London office.

Henry Christensen, head of McDermott’s International Private Client Group, added, “I am delighted that Leigh is bringing her many talents and vast expertise in global tax and estate planning to the Firm. She is a highly-respected and extremely well-known figure in the private client community. Leigh and I have worked together on projects over the years, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I look forward to working closely with Leigh over the next years as we together grow the international private client practice.”

Ms. Basha explained, “I found the opportunity irresistible to practice with Terry Christensen, Read Moore, and Carlyn McCaffrey, as well as others in the firm, as I work to expand my international practice on this outstanding platform. I very much look forward to this opportunity.”

Ms. Basha, a graduate of American University Washington College of Law, received an L.L.M. in Tax from Georgetown University Law School. She is an adjunct professor of Wills, Trusts and Estates at American University Washington College of Law.

Ms. Basha, who is bilingual in French, has been recognized by Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business guide, International Private Client, 2014; Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers guide, Wealth Management: Eastern Region, 2014; Top Money Adviser, Estates Attorney, Washingtonian Magazine, 2014; The International Who’s Who of Private Client Lawyers (2013), Who’s Who Legal 100: Private Client (2014), and The Best Lawyers in America guide; Tax Law, Trusts & Estates (2012-2015), among her many accolades. She lectures and has written extensively about international estate and tax planning issues. Ms. Basha is editor of A Guide to International Estate Planning: Drafting, Compliance and Administration Strategies, Second Edition.

McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group represents high-net-worth individuals, families and closely held businesses with an extraordinary focus on the client’s specific, unique objectives. The team of nearly 70 lawyers and 30 non-lawyer professionals is recognized as the top private client practice in the United States and among the top practices worldwide. In 2014, U.S. News–Best Lawyers named McDermott “Law Firm of the Year” in Trusts & Estates Law, and Chambers USA ranked the private client practice alone in the top tier in wealth management.

About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.