Plenty of law firms feature excellent litigators, great fiduciary and probate practitioners, and outstanding tax lawyers.

Few, however, can claim that their lawyers actually practice in all three of these areas, as ours do. Even fewer can match Holland & Hart’s experience at the intersection of fiduciary, probate, and tax law and litigation.

Each lawyer on our Trust & Estate Litigation team has a background in tax, estate planning and administration, and litigation. We approach client issues with sophisticated knowledge of the rules and responsibilities that govern negotiations and outcomes surrounding any dispute. We use this deep understanding to achieve most favorable outcomes for our clients, whether through proactive solutions, mediation, arbitration, or, when necessary, at trial and all the way through the appellate courts.

Trust and Estate Litigation Client Results

  • Prevailed at trial and obtained an award of attorney fees in a family partnership dispute involving the interpretation of a will, partnership agreement, and partnership law.

  • Prevailed at trial on nine counts of breach of fiduciary duty against a trustee, which included a complex jurisdictional argument regarding situs of the trust, presentation of over a decade of reconstructed accountings and overcoming a statute of limitations argument. Obtained awards of attorney fees against opposing counsel and the opposing party.

  • Prevailed at trial in a dispute involving the interpretation of a will contract by successfully defending claims against a beneficiary for breach of the will contract, unjust enrichment and constructive trust.

  • Prevailed on directed verdict at trial on multiple claims and successfully enforced a no-contest clause against will contestant.

  • Obtained summary judgment on claims of civil theft and breach of fiduciary duty against a former trustee who stole approximately $1.5 million from the trust—the court entered judgment for approximately $4.5 million (treble damages) and left open the possibility of obtaining additional damages at a hearing.

  • Assisted a beneficiary in resolving multiple disputes involving a complex family wealth transfer plan, which included trustees also serving as officers in a family business, multi-state discovery disputes, claims for removal of trustees and surcharge, and claims for division and modification of trusts.

  • Assisted a corporate trustee to obtain a favorable settlement in a difficult estate administration, involving claims among the corporate trustee, the Decedent’s children, and the surviving spouse. The claims included a common law spouse claim, disputes over tangible personal property, fiduciary compensation, and estate tax apportionment.

  • Obtained a favorable settlement from the IRS for a personal representative, including over $1 million in abated interest and penalties on overdue estate tax.

  • Obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement for a charitable beneficiary of a trust. This complex dispute spanned many years and involved claims of undue influence, lack of capacity, breach of fiduciary duty, removal and surcharge, and the defense of fraud claims. Litigation team obtained successful results at all stages of dispute.

  • Holland & Hart continues to successfully represent Joanne Black as appellate counsel in In the Interest of Joanne Black. Most recently, the Colorado Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari that was filed by the opposing party, Ms. Black’s brother, and defended against by Holland & Hart. Because the petition for cert was denied, the opinion issued by the Colorado Court of Appeals in Black v. Black, 422 P.3d 592, stands as settled law. The Black opinion addresses a variety of important issues, including conflict of interest transactions entered into by a fiduciary and the probate court’s jurisdiction to hear a civil theft claim.

Trust and Estate Litigation Publications

Trust and Estate Litigation Speaking Engagements and Events

  • "In the Interest of Joanne Black, Protected Person, 2018COA7," Faculty, 38th Annual Estate Planning Retreat, Colorado Bar Association, June 2018
  • "Digital Assets in Estate Planning," and "Digital Assets in Estate Administration," Colorado Bar Association, Trust and Estate Spring Update, T&E Talks, March 2017
  • "'Til Death Do Us Part: Intersections Between Divorce Practice and Probate and Elder Law Practices," Colorado Bar Association CLE, February 2017; Arapahoe County Bar Association CLE, December 2017; Estate Planning Council of Southeast Denver, May 2018; and Douglas Elbert Bar Association CLE, October 2018
  • "Fourth Annual Fall Symposium: Emerging Trends in Fiduciary Law and Litigation," Holland & Hart, Denver, CO, November 2016
  • "The Dangers of Relying on Trust Language," Denver Trust Officer's Association, Denver, CO, January 2016
BAND 1: Chambers HNW: Private Wealth Law, Colorado, 2017-2020

Ranked Band 1 for Private Wealth Law in Colorado by Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) Guide, 2017-2020. In addition, David Crandall, Laura Dinan, Margot Summers Edwards, Laura Hundley, and Carol Warnick are ranked as notable practitioners.

Named in Worth's "Top 100 Attorneys"

Carol Warnick: named on "Top 100 Attorneys" list by Worth magazine, for trust and estates and other private client practice areas

3 Litigation - Trust & Estates Best Lawyers® 2020

3 Private Client attorneys recognized in Best Lawyers in: Litigation - Trust and Estates

Widget Image

Unless you are a current client of Holland & Hart LLP, please do not send any confidential information by email. If you are not a current client and send an email to an individual at Holland & Hart LLP, you acknowledge that we have no obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you submit to us, unless we have already agreed to represent you or we later agree to do so. Thus, we may represent a party adverse to you, even if the information you submit to us could be used against you in a matter, and even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us.