Prominent Private Client Lawyer Joins McDermott’s Washington Office


WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 24, 2015) — International law firm McDermott Will & Emery today announced that Ellen K. Harrison, widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent private client lawyers, has joined the Firm as a partner based in the Washington, D.C. Private Client practice. Ms. Harrison was previously a partner at another AmLaw 100 law firm in Washington, D.C.

The addition of Ms. Harrison advances McDermott’s strategic focus on expanding its Private Client practice in Washington. D.C., established this year when Leigh-Alexandra Basha joined the Firm in the Nation’s Capital. With its clients and families increasingly global in their interests, McDermott is committed to the continued expansion of the Private Client practice in the international estate planning area. In addition to Ms. Basha in D.C., Jean-Marc Tirard, David Adler and Nicholas Holland recently joined as partners in McDermott’s Private Client practice in London. The new Washington Private Client practice, as it adds qualified associates, will work closely with other McDermott offices in the U.S. and London to provide coordinated worldwide advice to wealthy clients and family offices.

Ms. Harrison focuses her practice on a broad range of tax issues, including estate planning and administration, tax controversies, and U.S. and international income, gift and estate tax planning. Her clients include high net worth individuals, businesses and charitable organizations. Ms. Harrison has significant experience in a wide range of estate planning matters, including drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney, prenuptial agreements, buy-sell agreements, a variety of corporate documents, and family partnership agreements. She also enjoys a sophisticated tax controversy and estate litigation practice, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits, IRS appeals, refund claims, and U.S. Tax Court litigation.

“I have known Ellen professionally for many years, and am delighted to welcome her to the Firm as a partner and colleague,” said Carol Harrington, partner and global head of McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group. “She is highly regarded not only in Washington, one of the leading centers for international private client work, but also around the nation as one of the truly elite attorneys in our field. We are extremely proud that McDermott’s reputation continues to grow as the premiere international law firm for private client matters with the addition of such outstanding professionals as Ellen.”

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Ellen to McDermott,” said Henry Christensen, head of McDermott’s International Private Client Group. “The combination of Leigh and Ellen – two of the nation’s foremost international private client experts – in a single office and practice will enable us to serve our sophisticated clients in a more holistic manner. As wealth becomes more geographically dispersed, and the rules and regulations governing personal wealth planning and transfer become more complex, our presence in world capitals becomes ever more important. We are proud to offer our clients the best of the best wherever they may be.”

Ms. Harrison is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a Past Regent and Past Chair of the International Estate Planning Committee of ACTEC, as well as the Current Chair of the Washington Affairs Committee. She is also a Vice President (Americas) of the International Academy of Trusts and Estates Lawyers, where she served on the Executive Council. Her other affiliations and leadership positions include Liaison to AICPA; American Bar Association, Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; Liaison to AICPA and Co-Chair, Trust and Estate Governmental Submissions Committee; American Law Institute; Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami School of Law, Advisory Committee; and DC Estate Planning Council; and former Adjunct Professor, Georgetown Law Center.

Ms. Harrison received her B.A. from the University of Michigan with highest honors, and her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the bar of both the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Among her many honors and awards, Ms. Harrison has been recognized by Chambers USA in Wealth Management; Best Lawyers in America, Litigation and Trusts & Estates; Guide to the World’s Leading Trusts & Estates Lawyers, Euromoney/Legal Media Group; Washington’s Top Lawyers, Estates, Trusts & Tax Planning by Washingtonian; and Super Lawyers.

McDermott’s Private Client Practice has been 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 Silicon Valley.

McDermott’s Private Client Practice Group consists of over 70 lawyers and 30 non-lawyer professionals and represents high-net-worth individuals, families and closely held businesses with an extraordinary focus on the client’s specific, unique objectives. The In 2014, U.S. News–Best Lawyers named McDermott “Law Firm of the Year” in Trusts & Estates Law for the second time, and Chambers USA ranked the private client practice as one of only two firms 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.

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