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CHRISTOPHER DOUGLASS VASALLO

FIRM FOUNDER

Christopher Vasallo is the founding partner of the firm and is a creative, results oriented attorney. His practice focuses on combining a high level of service, integrity, creativity, and hard work.  The firm was founded based on the belief that a boutique firm is the best setting within which to provide the highest level of service for clients and to add value for them – not simply expense. These philosophies drive his practice, as well as the practices of the firm.

Mr. Vasallo’s practice is devoted to three primary areas:  Corporate, Taxation, and Complex Estate Planning. Mr. Vasallo possesses a diverse legal and business background, having advised emerging, growth and middle market companies across various sectors of the economy including aviation, automotive, construction, retail, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, real estate, and technology.

A substantial portion of Mr. Vasallo’s practice is devoted to serving as general counsel and special counsel to wealthy families and business organizations situated in most U.S. states, as well as international jurisdictions such as the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Grand Cayman, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Europe, Africa, Russia and Australia.

To that end, Mr. Vasallo focuses on structuring, negotiating and documenting high-stakes and complex domestic and cross-border corporate and commercial transactions including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and reorganizations, international joint ventures, private equity and venture capital transactions, real estate development joint ventures, and corporate finance matters.

Further, Mr. Vasallo’s practice is also devoted to assisting high net worth domestic and international clients with traditional and advanced estate planning, coupled with gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. Mr. Vasallo’s estate planning practice involves the design and implementation of orderly wealth transfers for individuals and families in both tax neutral and tax intensive jurisdictions.  Mr. Vasallo likewise routinely assists clients with ancillary, summary and formal estate administrations as well as overseeing trust administrations.

Possessing a Master’s Degree in Taxation, Mr. Vasallo is able to assist clients with federal income tax planning, partnership and corporate tax, state taxation, federal and state tax audits and controversies, taxation of inbound and outbound transactions, and state and federal tax litigation defense, collection and appeals.  Mr. Vasallo formulates tax efficient inbound investment structures enabling foreign investors to invest and do business in U.S. markets (such as portfolio interest note and equivalent plans). In his civil tax controversy practice, Mr. Vasallo defends, negotiates and settles high exposure federal tax liabilities, including those in the multi-millions of dollars. This experience allows Mr. Vasallo to advise companies and individuals on how best to maintain their business while satisfying their tax liabilities.  Furthermore, Mr. Vasallo possesses extensive experience in navigating both state and Federal civil and criminal tax investigations and controversies.  On the international front, Mr. Vasallo practice centers around advising foreign entities and individuals relative to the U.S. federal and state tax consequences associated with their U.S. based activities, including acquisition of U.S. based entities, establishment of U.S. based affiliates, pre-immigration tax planning and related matters.

Mr. Vasallo is an authorized speaker for the Florida Bar and frequently speaks to numerous civic and private groups about the legal issues revolving around his practice areas.  Publications and seminars by Mr. Vasallo include: Seven Ways to Protect Your Assets, Pest Control Magazine Sept. 2003; Have an Asset Protection Plan, Ophthalmology Management Magazine Nov. 2003; Estate Planning Basics, MTV Latin America, February 16, 2005; Asset Protection Basics, Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company, Feb. 24, 2005; and Drafting Wills and Trusts, National Business Institute Seminars, 2006; and Preparing to Care for Your Aging Parents, Caring Resources, Inc., 2009.  Mr. Vasallo is frequently asked to be a guest speaker on related topics to a variety of audiences.  Mr. Vasallo has been a guest speaker on Public Television with regards to estate planning.

 

PRACTICE AREAS

Corporate

  • General Counsel and Special Counsel to For Profit and Non For Profit Organizations
  • Drafting and Negotiation of Complex Contracts
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital Transactions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions including Stock and Asset Purchases, Corporate Reorganizations
  • Capital Raising Transactions
  • Corporate Governance Matters
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Entity Formation
  • Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Drafting of Governing Documents for LLC’s, LP’s and LLLP’s
  • Intellectual Property Related Matters


International Transactions

  • Foreign Investment in the U.S.
  • U.S. Investment in Foreign Countries
  • Foreign Strategic Alliances & Joint Ventures
  • Cross-Border Contracts
  • Pre-Immigration Planning


Taxation

  • Federal Income Tax Planning
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Tax-Free Reorganizations
  • Partnership & Corporate Tax
  • State Taxation
  • Federal & State Tax Audits & Controversies


Corporate Taxation

  • Taxation of Inbound and Outbound Transactions
  • International Taxation
  • IRS and State Audits
  • IRS and State Tax Controversies
  • Tax Planning
  • Corporate Reorganization
  • Pre-Immigration Tax Planning
  • International Tax Planning


Estate Planning

  • Traditional Estate Planning, including preparation of Durable Power of Attorneys, Designation of Health Care Surrogates, Living Wills, Last Will and Testaments, and Revocable Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts/Grantor
  • Retained Unitrusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Dynasty Trusts
  • § 2503(c) Minor’s Trust
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • International Estate Planning, including Foreign
  • Life Insurance Planning, including Irrevocable
  • Life Insurance Trusts and Split Dollar Arrangements
  • Charitable planning including Charitable Remainder
  • Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts and Private Foundations
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning


Estate & Trust Administration

  • Administration of Testate and Intestate Estates
  • Administration of Trusts
  • Coordinating the Preparation of Estate and Gift Tax Returns
  • Coordinating the Preparation of Fiduciary Income Tax Returns
  • Estate and Gift Tax Return IRS Audits
  • Representation of Estate or Trust Beneficiaries
  • Post-mortem Tax and Other Planning


Professional Recognition

  • Florida Trend’s Legal Elite
  • Florida Super Lawyer
  • Super Lawyer Rising Star Selection
  • Paul Harris Fellowship Award


State Bar Admissions

  • The Florida Bar


Court Admissions

  • United States Tax Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida


Community Involvement

  • Board Member/Vice Chairman, Chairman, 2011-2015, Westminster Christian School Board
  • Board Member/Audit Committee/Secretary, Ministries in Action, Inc.; Board (2003 – 2009)
  • Retired Finance Committee/Diaconate, Old Cutler Presbyterian Church (Member for over 28 years)
  • President, ALPHA KAPPA PSI International Business Fraternity (1996)
  • Petion-Ville Club, Petion-Ville, Haiti (Special Counsel)


Education

  • LL.M. in Taxation, University of Miami Graduate Program in Taxation
  • J.D., University of Florida, with Honors
  • B.S., Auburn University, (Business Administration)