Ani C. Hovanessian

Fresh off the completion of a merger with Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, Venable has brought on board a new chair for its New York tax and wealth planning practice, hiring partner Ani Hovanessian away from her former professional home at Holland & Knight.

Hovanessian, based in New York, joins Venable as a partner, where she’ll continue her practice focused on advising high-net-worth clients, including private equity and hedge fund principals, entrepreneurs, art collectors and real estate families. She has a range of experience guiding those types of clients through wealth transfers, estate planning and protecting their assets, according to Venable.

“Ani’s experience, client base and advocacy as a trusted advisor to her clients will bolster our existing capabilities in advising high-net-worth clients,” Venable chairman Stuart Ingis said in a statement on Monday.

Also touting Hovanessian’s arrival was Michele Mulrooney, who chairs Venable’s West Coast tax and wealth planning practice. Mulrooney led the firm’s search for a leader in New York to expand the practice’s presence in the city, the firm said.

“We at Venable are extremely fortunate to have Ani assume responsibility for running and further building our New York estate planning practice,” Mulrooney said. “Besides Ani’s deep knowledge in the area, her warmth and dynamic energy for her clients makes her a perfect fit for Venable.”

For her part, Hovanessian said joining forces with Mulrooney and other “powerhouse” partners at Venable would provide “enormous value” to her existing clients. She could not immediately be reached for comment, but she noted in a statement that she looks forward to helping the firm extend its base of estate planning clients.

“My clients become part of my family, and, as their trusted adviser, I am committed to serving their best interests,” she said. “I am incredibly charged and inspired to continue providing sophisticated services and a robust Venable platform as we embrace more clients and welcome them into our family.”

For Venable, Hovanessian’s hire follows another recent addition to its tax and wealth planning practice in New York. In August, the firm added as a counsel in New York Lawrence Mandelker, who came to Venable after nearly a decade with Seyfarth Shaw.

Venable has also taken larger steps in recent months to expand its size and scope, specifically with the Fitzpatrick Cella merger. That deal, announced in August and completed in early November, saw Washington, D.C.-based Venable double its New York office to more than 160 lawyers and gain a powerful New York-based intellectual property practice. The newly merged firm has approximately 800 attorneys, making it one of the 50 largest firms in the country by head count.

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