Cohen Co-Chairs International Bar Association Annual Meeting Panel

January 7, 2014Quotes & Mentions

Harvey Cohen, partner at Dinsmore and Shohl, recently co-chaired a cross-border Closely Held Succession Planning panel in Boston along with participants from top law firms in Germany, Canada, Austria, The Netherlands and Canada.

The essential takeaways from the international panel included:

  • Start the difficult conversations about succession with the principals or patriarch sooner rather than later
  • A formal succession plan must be agreed across the family and any other interested owners
  • Tax structuring is key for a successful transition
  • Mandatory heirships (the inability to cut out a close relative from generational transfers) can trip up a succession plan in many international jurisdictions
  • The introduction of outside investors can “mis-align” interests and a comprehensive stockholder agreement or other legal tool is a must
  • Key tax issues in succession planning for family-owned companies include income, gift and inheritance taxes as well as a host of other transfer (exit) taxes imposed in numerous jurisdictions worldwide
“Heading panels of leading practitioners from around the world on practical, everyday, important topics and learning from the panelists is key to maintaining Dinsmore as a leader in global legal practice,” noted Cohen.