NEW YORK (March 2, 2011) — Smith, Gambrell & Russell announced today that Claudio A. De Vellis and Dorothy J. Santos have joined the firm’s Estate Planning and Wealth Protection Practice resident in New York. Both arrive from the law firm of Abrams Fensterman where Mr. De Vellis served as director of Abrams Fensterman’s Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Estate Administration Practice.
“Claudio and Dorothy’s arrival not only provides additional depth to our Estate Planning and Wealth Protection Practice, it also demonstrates the type of attorneys that will be part of our growing presence and success in New York,” said Stephen M. Forte, SGR’s Managing Partner. “Since opening our New York office a little over two years ago, SGR has added more than 20 professionals who practice in New York. We expect additional growth in the New York office to further the goal of strengthening SGR’s presence in this important market.”
Mr. De Vellis joins the firm as partner, focusing his practice on estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax planning for individuals, closely held business owners and charitable organizations. His practice includes all aspects of estate planning, from drafting wills and trusts, to forming business entities, to counseling clients on the income, estate and gift tax treatment of charitable giving. Mr. De Vellis advises individual and corporate fiduciaries in connection with the administration of estates and trusts and represents clients in disputes arising out of the administration of estates and trusts. He also counsels clients on a wide range of business and tax planning matters for closely held business owners.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. De Vellis practiced in New York City as a certified public accountant and represented individual and corporate clients before the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance on various tax matters.
Mr. De Vellis received a BBA from Hofstra University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the Tax and Personal Financial Planning Sections of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. De Vellis is admitted to practice law in New York.
Dorothy J. Santos joins the firm as an associate in the Estate Planning and Wealth Protection Practice. Ms. Santos received her B.S., summa cum laude, from the University at Albany, State University of New York and her J.D., magna cum laude, from New York Law School. Ms. Santos is a member of the American Bar Association and the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. She is admitted to practice law in New York.