Alan T. Yoshitake



Mr. Yoshitake is the Department Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s National Trust & Estates Practice. In conjunction with acting as Department Chair, Mr. Yoshitake is a practicing partner in the downtown Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Practice Group. Mr. Yoshitake's practice primarily focuses on sophisticated planning of trusts and estates, trust and probate administrations, charitable planning, family business, tax and succession planning and trusts and estates litigation.

During his years of practice, Mr. Yoshitake has provided advice regarding complex planning techniques including a variety of wealth transfer techniques, charitable planning and not-for-profit entity creation and compliance, management and shareholder relationships in closely held businesses, business ownership arrangements for succeeding generations of family owners, pre-marital and post-marital agreements, property division agreements, retirement income tax planning and complex fiduciary income and estate tax matters, as well as individual income tax planning (foreign and domestic), trust administration and probate administration. Mr. Yoshitake also practices in the area of federal, state and local taxation and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Tax Court, the California Franchise Tax Board and California State Board of Equalization.

In addition to his diverse planning practice, Mr. Yoshitake extensively litigates and has served as an expert witness concerning trusts and estate issues. He is regularly in Court removing and defending fiduciaries, resolving disputes between trustees and beneficiaries, negotiating and settling property disputes between family members, and protecting the elderly from being financially abused.

Mr. Yoshitake is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court, United States Tax Court, California Supreme Court and Supreme Court of Hawaii.

Mr. Yoshitake has successfully handled several noteworthy cases, including:

Litigating and obtaining a verdict for the largest surcharge against a fiduciary in a county’s history
Planning for a U.S. Resident – Foreign Citizen with assets domestically and abroad in excess of a billion dollars
Recovered multi-millions of dollars in bequests for non-profit organizations throughout the United States
Obtaining an unprecedented multi-million dollar equitable adjustment for an income beneficiary who was shortchanged on his distributions over several prior years
Advising co-trustees in their administration of over thirty related family trusts with substantial assets, regarding multi-generational and multi-jurisdictional issues
Litigating and successfully obtaining a verdict in favor of an individual Trustee against each and every allegation of breach of trust for his administration of a multi-million dollar irrevocable trust
Planning and saving a family in excess of $100 million in estate taxes
Successfully defending and arguing the appeal of a verdict in favor of the individual Trustee against breach of trust allegations for his administration of the multi-million dollar trust (25 page unpublished opinion issued by the Court of Appeal for the State of California, Second Appellate District upholding the lower court’s ruling on every issue)
Counseling and selling one of America’s largest Japanese American owned companies
Disinheriting a litigious beneficiary from a multi-million dollar inheritance
Securing a multi-million dollar judgment in a dispute between spouses involving a foreign jurisdiction, a Cayman Island Trust and California Community Property laws
Advising the ministers of one of the world’s largest religions about non-profit governance, corporate structure, standing and control
Removing a fiduciary from power and recovering most of an elderly client’s assets from the abuser
Planning for gay and lesbian clients to save multi-millions of dollars in transfer taxes and using creative planning techniques to protect their privacy
Litigating and successfully defending a Trustee from all allegations of multiple breach of duty claims in the administration of trusts valued in excess of $200 million
Designing a sophisticated pre-marital agreement for a CEO with over $400 million in assets
Recovering a multi-million dollar award for a spouse whose husband was hiding assets domestically and in a foreign jurisdiction
Removing a professional fiduciary “sua sponte” or without an evidentiary hearing for her egregious bad acts and bad judgment
Obtaining a no change letter for a taxpayer whose family was facing financial ruin and was being assessed a deficiency of over $1.2 million
Advising business owners of domestic and international closely held companies on a variety of multi-generational succession planning structures and saving billions of dollars in family wealth
Litigating and obtaining a verdict for surcharge against an experienced professional fiduciary for breach of trust and bad acts.
Successfully obtaining abatement of penalties and interest, which the IRS had assessed due to corporate trustee’s late filing of Form 706-GS(T) and late payment of GST tax
Litigating and successfully defending nearly twenty years of trust accountings, and successfully defending against a disgruntled beneficiary’s appeal of lower court rulings (38-page unpublished opinion issued by Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals upholding the lower court’s rulings on every issue)
Advising, resolving property disputes and maintaining the privacy of celebrity clients including actors, musicians, directors and sports figures
Acting as Pro Bono counsel for several adopted children to unite them with their loving parents

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Trusts & Estates and 2) Tax-Exempt Organizations
Law School Southwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1985)
Admitted Year 2005
Education University of Southern California (B.S., 1982)
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association, Hawaii State Bar Association
Most recent firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Christina Mesires Fournaris
Christina Mesires Fournaris

Christina Mesires Fournaris is a partner in Morgan Lewis’s Personal Law Practice. Since joining Morgan Lewis in 1991, Ms. Fournaris has been committed to counseling clients on all aspects of estate, tax, and generational wealth planning.

Ellen J. Deringer
Ellen J. Deringer

Ellen J. Deringer is of counsel in Morgan Lewis's Personal Law Practice.Ms. Deringer earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2000 and her B.A. from Brown University in 1995.

Francis J. Mirabello
Francis J. Mirabello

Francis J. Mirabello is a partner in and manager of Morgan Lewis's Personal Law Practice.Mr. Mirabello is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, California, and Florida.