“I have been in the investment advisory, trust and wealth management business at Security Pacific, Bank of America and Wells Fargo for over 30 years—most recently as the Regional Managing Director of Wells Fargo’s Southwestern Region’s Wealth Management Group, where I had supervisory responsibility for the management of the Bank’s trust and estate services, brokerage services, private banking, wealth/legacy planning and investments throughout Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. While in that capacity, I hired and dealt with hundreds of lawyers and law firms. I can say unequivocally that when the Bank needed a tough and effective legal advocate in Southern California, we turned primarily to Howard Kipnis. Time and time again he solved difficult problems, got results and fully accomplished the Bank’s objectives at a reasonable cost. He is a brilliant legal tactician who can solve the most complex legal issues. I would recommend Howard and his firm without reservation.”
Former Executive Vice President/Regional Managing Director, Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management/Private Client Services (Southwestern Region)
“I have been in the Wealth Management industry for over 30 years with Security Pacific and Wells Fargo – -with 25 years in a senior management capacity with Wells Fargo. My last position before retiring from Wells Fargo was EVP and Regional Managing Director for Los Angeles , Manhattan Beach and Las Vegas regions. My responsibilities included direct oversight of Trust and Estate, Investment Management, Private Banking and Brokerage services.
Over the past 25 years I have worked with numerous law firms and attorneys regarding various trust and estate issues and litigation matters. I met Howard Kipnis in 1992 , when I was the Regional Manager of Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management office in San Diego. Howard immediately lived up to his reputation as a tough, smart , efficient and an ethical litigator by successfully representing Wells Fargo as trustee in a substantial fiduciary matter. Howard continued to be one of few attorneys I would utilize for larger, more complex litigation issues in the San Diego market.
I would not hesitate to recommend Howard and his firm!”
Executive Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management Group (Retired)
“When a Trust is written, the hope is that the family will ‘get along’ and allow the parents’ financial legacy to gracefully pass on to their heirs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case! As a Trustee, when you find yourself in a legal battle with your family members, you will need to select an attorney who will know how to navigate the legal system and be able to take on tough issues. Howard Kipnis and his colleagues at his firm are the representation you should consider. Howard was always an ally to me as Trustee and was able to take on some very difficult situations in a very efficient and effective manner. He is experienced, articulate and compassionate. I highly recommend Howard and his associates!”
“Howard Kipnis is a tremendous resource for anyone needing an attorney who specializes in trusts and estates litigation. We were lucky to find and work with Howard on two different litigation matters where he secured exceptional results in two complex probate/trust litigation matters. In the first, an elderly decedent left her estate to a local non-profit organization with which we are involved, only to have an estranged child challenge the bequest. Howard successfully defended the non-profit organization and resolved the contest on favorable terms, thereby avoiding a lengthy and expensive trial. In a second matter, a relative was bequeathed a significant sum of money by her long-time, best friend only to have an estranged heir contest the inheritance. After undertaking well targeted, cost-effective discovery in the case, Howard ensured all of the bequested funds were received by our relative as the decedent had intended. Howard is smart, analytical, thorough, kind, supportive, and extremely patient. He undertakes the work necessary to secure a great result while supporting his clients during what were both very emotional and stressful situations.”
Robin and Kevin Werner
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1985
“Over the last three decades, I have worked with Howard Kipnis on numerous matters stemming from simple disputes over trust dispositive provisions to complex disposition of unique assets of substantial value benefitting various stakeholders with differing perspectives. In all these cases, Howard’s deep and practical knowledge of the law and alternative dispute mechanisms coupled with a solution oriented approach offered expedient and excellent results. Although Howard focuses on end-result and is a tough negotiator on behalf of his clients, his style is collegial, attentive and engaged. He educates as well as advocates with passion and enthusiasm. Howard and his firm are held in high regard by the legal community and the local courts.”
SVP – Wells Fargo Bank: Investment and Fiduciary Services
“For almost 20 years Howard was our “go-to” guy in San Diego for cases filed against Wells Fargo’s retail group. He successfully handled complex cases for the Bank in jury and bench trials, and in arbitration. He is smart and intuitive, as well as tough, but ethical and fair. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him!”
Former Vice President and Senior Counsel, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
“We were dining at a San Diego restaurant and overheard the owner discussing appreciation of his attorney who had successfully won his case. When we asked who his attorney was, he referred us to a San Diego Law Firm. That chance meeting was the best referral possible for our situation, and led us to Steve Barnes.
Previously, we had a Los Angeles attorney representing us in an ongoing family probate matter in an LA court. Our previous attorney with over 30 years of experience could not stop the Trustee (50% beneficiary) from constantly taking us to court. The trustee continued to take advantage of the situation despite the fact the trustee had a few years’ experience as an attorney.
Once Steve Barnes became our attorney, he was able to quickly get up to speed and stopped the trustee from continually taking advantage. Steve was well prepared, responded quickly, competent, professional, retained the facts, and knowledgeable regarding Probate Law. Steve Barnes was strong at proving legal points to the judge.
We have a good attorney-client relationship; and even though the probate matter is still pending, we are in very cable hands and highly recommend Steve as a probate attorney.”
Carla & Doug Sprowls