Trusts and Estates

The Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP fiduciary litigation team comprises seasoned trial lawyers and has broad experience in litigating complex trust, estate, custodianship and guardianship matters, at both the trial and appellate levels, in various state and federal jurisdictions.

Our lawyers have a deep understanding of the common law and statutory requirements governing fiduciary disputes and have substantial experience in litigating the following issues:

  • trust disputes
  • probate and estate litigation
  • breach of fiduciary duty claims (e.g., self-dealing, conflicts of interest)
  • objections to accountings
  • petitions for instructions
  • prudent investing
  • suspension and removal of fiduciaries
  • trustee fees litigation
  • the fiduciary exceptions to attorney-client privilege laws
  • appellate litigation.

Our practice strategically draws from Akin Gump’s commercial litigation, tax, corporate, and investment management departments, along with other available resources. Thus, we can provide clients with counsel who have extensive litigation and trial experience in both state and federal courts, as well as substantive understanding of the particular areas in dispute. Many of our lawyers are nationally recognized, and have frequently been featured in legal publications regarding high-profile victories for our clients.

Where disputes can be more effectively resolved through alternative dispute resolution, our fiduciary litigation team represents clients in mediation and arbitration, and frequently appears before the AAA, JAMS, ADR and various other alternative dispute resolution venues. Further, as part of our commitment to anticipate potential litigation, rather than react to it post-facto, our representation includes pre-litigation investigations, advice and strategic planning to favorably position the case before litigation even begins.

Representative Matters

  • successfully defended a multimillion-dollar trust against a $343 million damages claim from a company controlled by the former fiduciary for that trust, obtaining a zero damages jury verdict
  • successfully defended major trust against multiple fee petitions for millions of dollars by creditors of the trust, including former attorneys for the beneficiary
  • represented trustees of a major trust in defense of ongoing objections to their accountings, seeking tens of millions of dollars in surcharge claims
  • successfully represented executors of multimillion-dollar estate in connection with the settlement of their executor accountings
  • successfully represented former trustees in a dispute with a successor trustee regarding its purported succession to the former trustees’ attorney-client privilege.