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Duane Morris Welcomes Private Client Services Team in San Diego

November 14, 2022

Duane Morris Welcomes Private Client Services Team in San Diego

November 14, 2022

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SAN DIEGO, November 14, 2022—S. Andrew Pharies and Ellen H. Whelan have joined as partners and Michelle C. Glasser, Gretchen Tomanek Shaffer, Erin E. Norberg and Liliana Menzie as special counsel in Duane Morris LLP’s Private Client Services Practice Group in its San Diego office. The attorneys join Duane Morris from DLA Piper.

“We have once again attracted marquee talent to our firm, highlighting that Duane Morris is a destination for stellar, high-performing attorneys,” said firm Chairman and CEO Matthew A. Taylor. “Our momentum and growth trajectory in California continues to be exciting and we will continue to expand in the state.”

“This well-experienced team certainly enhances our practice group and achieves our strategic goal of establishing a West Coast presence to complement our East Coast strengths,” said Michael D. Grohman, chair of the firm’s Private Client Services Practice Group. “Additionally, our Duane Morris platform provides Andy, Ellen and their team with access and resources to advance their work, especially in key markets like New York and Florida,” added Amy J. Guss, vice and incoming chair of the firm’s Private Client Services Practice Group.

“We are so pleased to welcome Andy and Ellen to our dynamic and collaborative office. Their experience and capabilities will enable us to now offer a full range of legal services to our local clients,” added Edward Cramp, managing partner of the Duane Morris San Diego office.

S. Andrew Pharies practices in all aspects of domestic and international estate planning, trust and estate administration, tax planning, charitable planning, exempt organizations, family business planning, trust and estate dispute resolution and tax controversies. He is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), a member of the advisory board of the UCLA-CEB Estate Planning Institute and a former member of the executive committee of the California State Bar Trusts and Estates Section (TEXCOM). He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013 and has been designated a Super Lawyer since 2008. Pharies has authored numerous articles in statewide and national publications on trusts and estates and tax law, and he has spoken on various topics related to trusts and estates and tax law at over 50 conferences nationwide, including the University of Miami Heckerling Estate Planning Institute, the ACTEC Annual Meeting, the UCLA-CEB Estate Planning Institute, the USC Tax Institute, the Tulane Tax Institute and the Washington Estate Planning Institute. 

Pharies is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law (J.D., 1992), where he was editor-in-chief of the Oregon Law Review, and the University of California, Riverside (B.S., 1989).

Ellen H. Whelan has more than 30 years of experience in estate planning; estate, gift and generation-skipping taxation; family succession planning; stock option gifting; living trust formation and administration; irrevocable trust planning; charitable planning; and life insurance planning. The Daily Transcript selected her for its list of Top Attorneys for 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, and the Los Angeles Times has recognized Whelan among Los Angeles’ Women Leaders in the Law. San Diego Magazine lists Whelan in its annual publication of Top Lawyers and Lawyers of Distinction has selected Ellen as one of its Lawyers of Distinction for 2020.

Whelan is a graduate of Stanford University (J.D., 1984) and the University of California, Davis (B.A., summa cum laude, 1981), where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Michelle C. Glasser focuses her practice on domestic estate planning, trust and probate administration, transfer tax (estate, gift, and generation-skipping) planning and business planning. She advises clients on their basic estate plans, such as declarations of trust, wills, advance health care directives, durable powers of attorney, as well as advanced estate planning techniques, which include qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified domestic trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts, purchase and sale agreements, co-tenancy agreements and split-dollar insurance conversions. She also assists with the formation of private foundations and family owned businesses. Glasser’s work in this area encompasses general partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations and the conversion, dissolution and revivor of entities. She also prepares federal estate and gift tax returns.

Glasser is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law (LL.M., 1999), the University of Arizona College of Law (J.D., 1998) and the University of Arizona (B.A., 1994).

Liliana Menzie concentrates her practice in international tax with a focus on inbound international tax planning for foreign nationals. She also devotes part of her practice to domestic estate planning. Menzie assists foreign individuals and families in the structure and planning of their U.S. assets and investments, including the purchase, sale and transfer of real properties located in the United States. Her professional experience includes estate planning for foreign individuals with U.S. family members, pre-immigration planning and advising clients on the U.S. tax consequences of termination of lawful permanent resident status (e.g., green card renunciation) or relinquishment of U.S. citizenship. Menzie also advises U.S. clients on their estate planning, such as trusts, wills, advance health care directives, durable powers of attorney and irrevocable life insurance trusts and assists clients with U.S. information reporting requirements with the Internal Revenue Service. Menzie is licensed to practice law in Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker.

Menzie is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law (Diploma in Taxation, 2005; LL.M., 2002) and the Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara, Mexico (J.D., 1999).

Erin E. Norberg has focused her practice for the past 30 years on estate planning and administration for individuals and families. She advises and assists clients with respect to estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning, trust formation and post-death administration, charitable planning, life insurance planning, intrafamily transactions, multigenerational gifting, irrevocable and dynasty trust planning, transfer tax mitigation strategies, estate and gift tax return preparation and probate court proceedings.

Norberg is a graduate of the University of San Diego (J.D., magna cum laude, 1993), where she was a member of the San Diego Law Review, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (B.S., 1986).

Gretchen Tomanek Shaffer focuses her practice on a wide variety of estate planning matters, primarily in the context of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax, revocable and irrevocable trust planning, estate and trust administration, life insurance planning, charitable planning and intrafamily transactions. She works with estates ranging from negligible

assets (on a pro bono basis) to estates in excess of $2 billion. Shaffer handles planning for clients with closely held businesses, concentrated real estate holdings, concentrated positions of publicly traded stock and ownership of professional sports franchises. She advises affiliates of publicly traded companies on estate and gift tax matters and represents corporate and private fiduciaries in estate and trust administration matters. Shaffer works closely with private foundations and advises boards of trustees and boards of directors of charitable organizations on fiduciary duties and liabilities. She has drafted and overseen the operation of multiple charitable grant agreements in excess of $1 billion on behalf of clients.

Shaffer is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2007), where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and was symposium editor of the Villanova Law Review. She is also a graduate of Colgate University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1999), where she received highest honors in computer science.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s multifaceted legal and business challenges through the collegial and collaborative culture of its more than 900 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally. The firm represents a broad array of clients, spanning all major practices and industries. Duane Morris has been recognized by BTI Consulting as both a client service leader and a highly recommended law firm.