Three McGuireWoods Partners Honored as ‘Divorce, Trusts and Estates Trailblazers’

March 21, 2016

McGuireWoods partners Ronald Aucutt, Dennis Belcher, and Charles “Skip” Fox, IV, all highly regarded private wealth and trusts and estates lawyers, are featured by The National Law Journal in its inaugural list of Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazers published today. The publication recognizes top lawyers who influence change in the areas of trusts and estates law with innovative legal strategies.

Fox and Aucutt, co-chairs of McGuireWoods’ private wealth services group, helped shape U.S. estate tax policy and legislation. While serving as general counsel to the Policy and Taxation Group, Fox helped lead research that found significant economic benefit to permanently repealing the estate tax implemented as part of the 2001 Tax Act. After Congress failed to make the repeal permanent and planned to retroactively reinstate the estate tax for anyone who passed away in 2010, Aucutt led an effort to identify innovative actions to minimize the disruption the hiatus would have created. Congress adopted Aucutt’s recommendations in legislation that became law on Dec. 17, 2010.

Aucutt chairs the Office of Professional Responsibility subgroup of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council. Recently, the Uniform Law Commission selected him to be the Reporter of the upcoming revisions to the Uniform Principal and Income Act, a model trust law adopted in varying degrees by all states.

Fox has served on the editorial board of Trusts & Estates magazine and chaired the board of Trust & Investments, two leading industry publications. He writes a bi-monthly column for the American Bankers Association’s Trust Letter and is co-presenter of the organization’s monthly teleconferences. Fox also is a faculty member of the National Trust School and the National Graduate Trust School, where he has taught many of the leaders of trust departments throughout the country over the past 30 years.

Belcher is recognized as a guiding force behind amendments to federal estate tax law over the past decade. As a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, he led a taskforce whose report influenced the passage of a law simplifying estate planning for married couples. Belcher’s high-profile matters include representing the trustees of Jack Kent Cooke’s estate in proceedings that included the sale of the National Football League’s Washington Redskins to Daniel Snyder, as well as advising Elin Nordegren in her highly publicized divorce from golf legend Tiger Woods.

Aucutt and Belcher are past presidents of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, the flagship association for trusts and estates lawyers. Aucutt also served as the first chairman of ACTEC’s Washington Affairs Committee. Belcher delivered the keynote address at the organization’s 2016 annual meeting. Fox will serve as ACTEC’s 2018-2019 president.

McGuireWoods’ private wealth services group focuses on the unique needs of high-net worth clients. The group earned a Band 1 ranking from Chambers and Partners in its 2015 guide, “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.”