Anne O'Brien is a well-regarded and highly-skilled trust and estate practitioner who joined Caplin & Drysdale as a Member in 2013.
The cornerstone of Ms. O'Brien's practice involves advising domestic and international private clients on safeguarding their personal and business interests. She offers counsel on matters relating to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and related areas of federal and state tax law. These areas include transfers of family wealth to succeeding generations, settlement negotiations in large estate controversies, family trust matters, and charitable tax planning. Additionally, Ms. O'Brien assists high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and families in structuring their U.S. and global holdings, as well as the transfer of those holdings to family members, trusts, charitable organizations, and other entities.
As a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and an academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, Ms. O'Brien is among an exclusive group of lawyers uniquely qualified to help clients preserve their assets on a global scale. Her noteworthy matters include:
- Counsel various members of a wealthy multinational family with respect to structure and ownership of assets, premarital planning, expatriation issues and general estate planning.
- Coordinate probate proceedings for and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit of a large estate with significant assets held in trusts involving multiple jurisdictions in both common and civil law countries.
- Represent a large Washington, D.C., estate in an IRS audit involving conservation easement and valuation issues in connection with closely-held business assets.
- Prepare private letter ruling request for trustee of large marital trust to address concerns that distributions from the trust will be treated as a disposition under Section 2519 of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Represent U.S. beneficiary's interest in Swiss estate involving Swiss succession, Lichtenstein foundation and BVI trusts.
- Prepare comments to proposed revenue ruling on private trust companies and meeting with IRS on behalf of private bank.
- Counsel Isle of Man trust company in matter involving appropriate characterization of trust for which it was a trustee and contribution thereto.
- Advise large Florida estate involving closely-held business assets with underlying real property interest subject to lawsuit initiated by nephews of decedent (settled by mediation).
- Represent numerous wealthy estate planning clients, including multinational and U.S. families owning family holding companies (family limited partnership and family limited liability companies), closely-held businesses held through tiered corporate and partnership structures and real estate assets.
- Member, Board of Trustees, Mills College in Oakland, California
- Academician, The International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers
- Member, American Bar Association, Section of Taxation and Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
- Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- State Chair, District of Columbia
- Chair, International Estate Planning Committee
- Chair, International Membership Committee
- Member, DC Estate Planning Council
- Member, Tax Management Estate, Gifts, and Trusts Advisory Board
- Past Chair, Estates, Trusts and Probate Section, District of Columbia Bar
- Founding Board Member, National Center for Family Philanthropy
- Advisory Board Member, William Wendt Center for Loss and Healing
Awards & Rankings
- The Washingtonian, Top Money Advisers, 2014; Top Lawyer, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015
- Who's Who Legal, Leading Practitioner, 2015
- Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C., 2007-Present; Top 50 Women, 2007-2008
- Best Lawyers in America, 2012, 2014, 2015
- Chambers USA, 2011-2012, 2014-Present
- Expert Guides' Women in Business Law, 2013-Present
- The Legal 500, Recommended, 2014, 2015
- Fortune Magazine, Women Leaders in the Law, 2014
- Expert Guides' Best of the Best, Trusts and Estates, 2014
- Legal Week, International Trusts and Private Client Elite, 2012
- Expert Guides' Trusts and Estates Practitioners, 2009
- Legal Times, Leading Lawyer, 2004
- U.S. News & World Report Quotes Anne O'Brien on Advice Financial Advisors Give Their Clients , U.S. News & World Report , January 29, 2016
- Anne O'Brien Named a Leading Practitioner in Who's Who Legal, Who's Who Legal , December 23, 2015
- Washingtonian Names Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Among Washington's Top Lawyers, November 19, 2015
- 18 Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Earn Best Lawyers Ranking, U.S. News & World Report, August 18, 2015
- Caplin & Drysdale's International Tax Group Earns Top Honors for Second Consecutive Year, The Legal 500, July 29, 2015
- Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers Listed Among World's Leading Women in Business Law, Expert Guides, July 28, 2015
- Clients and Peers Distinguish Caplin & Drysdale in Chambers' Rankings, Chambers USA, May 19, 2015
- Super Lawyers Lists Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers, Caplin & Drysdale, April 23, 2015
- Beth Kaufman and Anne O'Brien Named Top Estate Attorneys in Washingtonian Magazine, The Washingtonian Magazine, October 30, 2014
- Fortune Lists Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers Among Leaders in the Law, Fortune Magazine, October 6, 2014
- Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers Chosen as "The Best of the Best USA" for 2014, September 16, 2014
- Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers Earn Best Lawyers Ranking, August 21, 2014
- Guide to World's Leading Women in Business Law Lists Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers, Expert Guides, July 29, 2014
- Clients and Peers Recommend Caplin & Drysdale in 2014 Legal 500 Ranking, The Legal 500, July 1, 2014
- Global Law Experts Award Caplin & Drysdale 2014 International Private Client Law Firm of the Year in Washington, D.C., Global Law Experts, June 9, 2014
- Caplin & Drysdale Earns Top Honors in 2014 Chambers USA, Chambers USA, May 28, 2014
- The Washington Post Lists Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Among the Top Attorneys in D.C., The Washington Post, April 30, 2014
- Washingtonian Recognizes Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Among Washington's Best Lawyers, Washingtonian Magazine, December 3, 2013
- Caplin & Drysdale Lawyers Listed in World's Leading Women in Business Law, Expert Guides, November 8, 2013
- Caplin & Drysdale Enhances Tax Practice with Three Lateral Hires, Caplin & Drysdale, October 1, 2013
- "2016 Federal and State Estate Gift Tax Exemptions for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia ," with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, William D. Fournier, and Megan E. Wernke, Caplin & Drysdale, December 28, 2015
- "Maryland Estate Tax Exemption Set to Rise," with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, William D. Fournier, and Megan E. Wernke, Caplin & Drysdale, May 16, 2014
- "2014 Estate Planning: Should I Take Advantage of Portability?," with Beth Shapiro Kaufman, Caplin & Drysdale, December 23, 2013
- "Letters of Wishes and Protectors as Devices to Further the Settlor's Purposes," A Guide to International Estate Planning, American Bar Association, 2nd Ed., January 1, 2013
- "No Time Like the Present for Gifting: Tax Relief Act Planning Opportunities," Advisory, February 8, 2012
- "Federal Estate and GST Tax Repeal," Advisory, January 19, 2010
- "Wealth Transfer Strategies for Turbulent Times," Advisory, December 9, 2008