K. Eli Akhavan

Senior Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

New York
United States
T:+1 212 318 3005
New York
United States
T:+1 212 318 3005
K. Eli Akhavan

K. Eli Akhavan

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Eli Akhavan is Senior Counsel in the New York office, focusing on tax and estate planning for high net-worth US and non-US clients.

Eli advises international individuals and families with respect to tax and estate planning for their US assets and beneficiaries. Eli also advises cross-border clients on all aspects of international estate matters, including foreign trusts, pre-immigration and expatriation planning, and on planning for the purchase of US residential and investment real property. Eli has considerable knowledge of the reporting requirements applicable with respect to foreign financial accounts and assets and with respect to FATCA and its global equivalent, the Common Reporting Standards (CRS). Eli's practice includes advising clients on the formation of private trust companies for purposes of wealth management and privacy.   

Additionally, Eli counsels US and non-US individuals and families on implementing domestic and foreign asset protection structures involving trusts and other vehicles to protect clients from creditors. Eli advises clients on domestic asset protection trusts in the US in jurisdictions such as Nevada, Delaware and Wyoming, and on foreign asset protection trusts in jurisdictions such as the Cook Islands and Nevis. Eli also integrates innovative private placement life insurance planning into his clients' plans as an estate and asset protection tool.         

With respect to ultra-affluent US clients, Eli employs sophisticated wills and trusts, as well as closely-held entities, to enable his clients to transfer their wealth at a minimum tax cost. Eli also advises US clients on Puerto Rico's Acts 20 and 22 which allow clients to achieve income tax savings by relocating to Puerto Rico.  

Eli has served as professor of International Taxation at St. John's University Law School. He is a recognized authority on tax and estate planning matters having been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business and Bloomberg News. Most recently, he has lectured in the Caribbean and the Middle East on asset protection and cross-border planning matters. Eli has written numerous articles that appear in legal publications in the US and abroad. 

Professional experience

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LL.M, NYU School of Law, 2010
JD, NYU School of Law, 2006
BA, magna cum laude, Economics and Philosophy, Columbia College, 2003

  • New York State Bar
  • Structured and implemented an international wealth structure involving a private trust company and foreign trusts for the benefit of US and non-US beneficiaries
  • Developed an asset protection plan to protect client from future potential creditors through the use of offshore and domestic trusts
  • Advised client on the use of private placement life insurance as an estate planning and asset protection tool
  • Provided FATCA and CRS compliance analysis for cross-border private wealth structure involving domestic and foreign trusts and related entities including a private trust company 
  • Advised high net worth client on relocating to Puerto Rico from the United States as an alternative to expatriation and to minimize income tax liability 
  • Represented clients from a variety of jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East on US estate planning matters  
  • Co-Author, "Don't Leave It All on the Field: Why Athletes Require Special Planning," Leimberg Services, February 2020
  • Author, "In Re Rensin – Blueprint for Foreign Asset Protection Trust Planning," Leimberg Services, June 2019
  • Author, "The Best Offense is a Good Defense – A Primer on Asset Protection Planning for Professional Athletes," American Bar Association, Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, Winter 2018.
  • Author, "Asset Protection Planning Primer for Accountants," Tax Stringer, NYSSCPA, June 2017
  • Co-Author, "Succession Planning for Franchisees," American Bar Association, Franchise Law Journal, Spring 2017 
  • Co-Author, "Planning for the Stars: Estate and Insurance Planning for Entertainers and Professional Athletes," Tax Stringer, NYSSCPA, January and February 2017
  • Co-Author, "Don't Drop the Ball," Trusts and Estates, April 2016
  • Author, "The Puerto Rican Tax Parade," Trusts and Estates, May 2015
  • Author, "DINGing State Income Taxes with Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts," Trusts and Estates, May 2014
  • Co-Author, "Creditor Protection—The Reciprocal Issue for Reciprocal Trusts (It's Not Just About Estate Taxes)," BNA Tax Management Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal, March 2013
  • Author, "Brushstrokes of Art Planning," Trusts and Estates, August 2012
  • Author, "Artfully Deferring Taxes," Probate & Property, July/August 2012
  • Author, "Legal Gaga, Tax Planning and Asset Protection Strategies for Celebrities," Trusts & Estates, February 2012
  • Author, "Basic Principles of Estate Planning Within the Context of Jewish Law," Probate & Property, July/August 2011
  • Co-Author, "The State of Estate Planning," Trusts & Estates, March 2011


  • Presenter, "Future of Private Wealth," STEP Israel Conference, June 2019
  • Presenter, "Puerto Rico as a Domestic Tax Haven," Strafford Publications, June 2019
  • Presenter, "Legal Challenges to Asset Protection Planning," Southpac Offshore Planning Institute, Nevis, May 2019
  • Presenter, "Domestic and International Asset Protection Planning," ProLaw CLE, April 2019
  • Presenter, "Domestic and Foreign Asset Protection Planning, Shenkman Private Client Group, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc." January 2019
  • Presenter, "International Tax and Estate Planning," Wealth Counsel, October 2018.  
  • Presenter, "US Israeli Tax and Estate Planning for Dual Citizens," Strafford Publications, April 2017
  • Presenter, "Tax and Estate Planning for Art Collectors," Strafford Publications, April 2017
  • Presenter, "Barbarians at the Gate," Financial Planning Association, September 2016
  • Presenter, "Asset Protection for Celebrities," 16th Annual Meeting of New York State Society of CPAs Westchester Chapter, June 2016
  • Presenter, "Primer on Asset Protection," Nassau County Bar Association, December 2015
  • Presenter, "Asset Protection Planning – Myth v. Law," Shenkman Private Client Group, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., November 2015
  • Presenter, "Tax and Estate Planning for Pension and IRA Assets," National Business Institute, May 2015
  • Presenter, "Estate Planning with QPRTs," National Business Institute, May 2015
  • Presenter, "Estate Planning with GRATs and Grantor Trusts," National Business Institute, May 2015
  • Presenter, "Foreign Bank Account Reporting and IRS Voluntary Disclosure Programs," Oppenheim Group, December 2014
  • Presenter, "Family Offices and Art; Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls," NYSSCPA Family Office Committee, December 2014
  • Presenter, "Asset Protection Planning," National Business Institute, November 2014
  • Presenter, "Legal Gaga: Estate, Tax and Asset Protection Planning for Celebrities," Entertainment, Arts and Sports Committees of the NYSSCPA, October 2012
  • STEP (Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners)
  •  International Tax Planning Association 
  • American Bar Association (International Estate Planning and Asset Protection Committees)
  • New York State Bar Association (International Estate Planning Committee)
  • Farsi