Melissa focuses her practice on private client and family wealth planning, corporate, and transactional matters, counseling clients on a variety of business and tax matters. She has significant experience advising businesses of all sizes on issues related to formation and dissolution, ongoing corporate governance issues, commercial contracts and contract negotiation, and business succession (including strategic sales, acquisitions and mergers). Her background in tax and estate planning enables her to bring a creative but practical approach to her clients' legal concerns, and her emphasis on understanding clients' business models enables her to meet their needs. Specifically, Melissa routinely advises clients on estate planning; estate and trust administration; premarital planning; planning for retirement assets; charitable giving; and income, estate, generation-skipping transfer, and gift tax planning. Melissa also counsels cross-border clients on pre-immigration planning, foreign and domestic trust issues (including fiduciary income taxation issues), and compliance with FATCA and CRS, as well as U.S. clients on planning for assets in foreign jurisdictions. In addition, she counsels clients on trust and estate litigation matters, including trust accountings, will contests, guardianship proceedings, and actions for construction and reformation of trusts and wills.
She also has significant experience advising non-profit entities, including counseling foreign and domestic tax-exempt organizations on formation, obtaining tax-exempt status, state charitable registration, and ongoing business, corporate governance, and tax compliance issues. She is a certified Chartered Adviser in Philanthropy, and has extensive experience advising large, domestic, and international charitable foundations (including both public charities and private foundations) on a variety of matters ranging from general foundation administration and corporate governance to regulatory compliance matters, including interfacing with state attorneys general and taxation authorities along with the IRS. She frequently works with family members in their capacities as directors and officers, advising them on matters related to board issues and the general management of large private foundations. Melissa routinely counsels private foundations on issues related to required annual distributions, self-dealing transactions, compensation arrangements, jeopardizing investments, excess business holdings, and taxable expenditure transactions (including the exercise of expenditure responsibility). She has also advised numerous private foundations regarding the termination of private foundation status, including through conversion to public charities, the sale/disposition of substantially all of a foundation’s assets, and foundation mergers and reorganizations.
Prior to joining the firm, Melissa practiced with two large international law firms in New York and a smaller firm in New Jersey.
- University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2011)
- Princeton University (A.B., 2008)
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- New York State Bar Association
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Cincinnati Bar Association
- 100 Wise Women
- United Way Emerging Leaders
- Cincinnati Estate Planning Council, board member
- Chartered Adviser in Philanthropy (CAP) certified
- Dechert LLP’s 2016 Samuel E. Klein Pro Bono Award
- Best Lawyers®, Ones to Watch, Corporate Law, Family Law; Tax Law (2021)