Amy Heller, a trusts and estates partner who joined McDermott Will & Emery in a high-profile lateral move in 2011, has left the firm for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Skadden announced Tuesday that Heller had joined the firm’s New York office, where she will specialize in domestic and international tax and estate planning matters.
“Estate planning issues arise in a variety of contexts, and our ability to anticipate and address these implications is tremendously beneficial to our clients,” said a statement by Skadden trusts and estates head Ivan Taback, who joined the firm in early 2015 from Proskauer Rose. “Amy is a leader in her field, with a broad scope of domestic and international experience handling her clients’ most complex estate planning matters.”
Heller did not respond to a request for comment about her decision to leave McDermott, which she joined nearly six years ago from Weil, Gotshal & Manges after that firm dissolved its estate planning practice.
While some firms like Weil and Debevoise & Plimpton have moved to shed their private client lawyers in recent years, McDermott has built up a prominent practice, one that saw the firm scoop up the former head of Holland & Knight’s international private client group, Leigh-Alexandra Basha, in early 2015.
The American Lawyer reported in a feature story last year on trusts and estates lawyers at Am Law 100 firms serving as counsel to clients that typically sit in the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households, an exclusive group identified has having more than $20 million in assets. In late December, some private client lawyers spoke with The American Lawyer about waiting for President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate the estate tax.
Heller’s departure from McDermott comes as the firm also saw private client pro David Adler, who joined its London office in early 2015 and advises clients on U.S. tax planning, wealth transfer and trusts and estates issues, leave its partnership ranks. Bryan Cave said in a statement Tuesday that Adler will be joining its office in London.