Law firms Eckert Seamans and Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore combine practices, effective February 1

The law firms of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC (“Eckert Seamans”) and Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore (“Tener, Van Kirk”) have announced plans to combine. The combination takes effect February 1, 2017. The combined firm will maintain the name of Eckert Seamans.

Tener, Van Kirk, a Pittsburgh-based firm, focuses its practice exclusively on areas of law pertaining to personal planning for individuals and families, including wills, estates and trusts, and taxation-related issues. The combination comes at a time of transition at Tener, Van Kirk, following the loss of the firm’s managing partner and esteemed colleague, Robert B. Wolf, who was an integral part of the firm for the past 42 years. The combination with Eckert Seamans allows Tener, Van Kirk to maintain the continuity of high level estate planning and estate administration services which it has long provided to its clients.

Joining from Tener, Van Kirk are attorneys Nancy L. Rackoff, Timothy F. Burke, Jr. and Todd T. Jordan. The lawyers, along with key administrative staff, are noteworthy additions to Eckert Seamans’ Estates & Trusts Group, and will serve the firm’s growing private client base. Their practice also has synergies with other areas of Eckert Seamans’ practice, such as advising on the sale of family businesses and handling estate-related litigation.

“We are delighted to welcome the Tener, Van Kirk team to Eckert Seamans,” said firm CEO Timothy P. Ryan. “Eckert Seamans’ Estates & Trusts Group has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and the addition of this exceptional group of lawyers will further strengthen our ability to provide our clients with the most creative and sophisticated representation possible for their most important needs. This is also a great cultural fit, with our firms’ shared commitments to our clients, pro bono service, and community involvement.”

Rackoff added, “This combination brings together two strong firms with exceptional client service. We were drawn to Eckert Seamans’ outstanding reputation and the chance to offer our clients a significantly expanded platform with a broader reach, both geographically and in terms of the range of legal counsel that a firm of more than 350 attorneys and advisors brings.”

“We are very pleased that this talented and well-respected group of attorneys has chosen to join Eckert Seamans,” said chair of the firm’s Estates & Trusts Group Raymond C. Vogliano. “The expertise and experience of our new colleagues builds on the existing strength of Eckert Seamans’ Estates & Trusts practice and enables us to provide our clients with additional resources.”

About the Lawyers

Nancy L. Rackoff joins the firm as a member (partner). She is a member of the National Association of Estate Planners, the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Probate and Trust Law Section and Professional Ethics Committee, Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, and the Allegheny County Estate Planning Council. She has been selected for inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” and “Super Lawyers” for many years. Active in the community, Rackoff is also a trustee and officer of several local boards, including the Forbes Fund, Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and the Jewish Health Care Foundation. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975 and her B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972.

Timothy F. Burke, Jr. joins the firm as special counsel. He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has been included in “Best Lawyers in America” since 1994 and “Super Lawyers” since 2005 for his work in trusts and estates. He presents annually at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Estate Law Institute on the topic of planning for retirement distributions. He received his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973 and his A.B. from Holy Cross College in 1970. He is a member of the American Bar Association Tax and Real Property and Probate and Trust Law section, a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, and the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Probate and Trust Law Section.

Todd T. Jordan joins Eckert Seamans as special counsel. He is a frequent course presenter for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Jordan is a council member of the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Allegheny County Bar Association. He was also a member of the Allegheny County Orphans’ Court Rules Committee which drafted the new local rules. Jordan received his J.D. from Widener University in 1995 and his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1991.

About Eckert Seamans’ Estates & Trusts Group
Eckert Seamans’ Estates & Trusts Group provides a full array of estate planning and administration services to individuals, entrepreneurs, owners of family businesses, fiduciaries, charitable foundations, and other nonprofit organizations. The Estates & Trusts group have extensive experience in the law of decedents’ estates, trusts, probate, and taxation. They counsel clients on developing, implementing, and administering comprehensive lifetime and testamentary estate and tax planning strategies that carefully balance personal and wealth accumulation goals. Matters such as the succession of a family business enterprise, asset protection, and philanthropy are routinely addressed.

The team also works closely with business owners and corporate executives and their families in designing and selecting various alternatives under pension, profit sharing, and other corporate benefit plans. Clients are advised on income and wealth transfer tax strategies and on the repositioning of assets so that insurance and other beneficiary designations are in harmony with their estate plan.

Members of the group represent clients in all types of federal and state tax controversies involving estate, gift, generation-skipping, and income tax matters. The firm is also equipped to efficiently handle estate and trust-related litigation matters, including will contests, distribution disputes, fiduciary liability actions, and guardianships, including significant experience with limited liability entities, private annuities and grantor trusts, and other sophisticated planning strategies.

About Eckert Seamans
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC has more than 350 attorneys located in 14 offices throughout the United States, including Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; Newark and Princeton, New Jersey; White Plains, New York; Providence, Rhode Island; Troy, Michigan; Charleston, West Virginia; and Hartford, Connecticut. The firm provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of litigation, including mass tort and products liability; corporate and business law; intellectual property; labor and employment relations; aviation; bankruptcy and creditors’ rights; employee benefits; environmental law; construction; public finance; real estate; tax; estates; and transportation.

Eckert Seamans’ practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country’s business. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines, and railroads. The firm also represents numerous federal, state, and local governmental and educational entities. In order to provide global reach and access to legal resources that enhance our ability to serve clients’ needs around the globe, Eckert Seamans has partnered with SCG Legal, a global network of over 145 independent law firms with more than 11,500 attorneys. For more information about the firm, please visit www.eckertseamans.com.

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