Michael Kavoukjian

Partner, New York, Miami



Mr. Kavoukjian is a partner in the Firm's Global Private Wealth & Family Offices Group. He began his practice in the area of trusts and estates law in 1985 and is a former chairman of the American Bar Association's Committee on Estate Planning.

Mr. Kavoukjian advises high-net-worth individuals and families worldwide in all aspects of estate planning, including tax-advantaged transfers of assets, multigenerational planning, the taxation of trusts and estates, charitable giving, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial planning, and issues relating to change of residence. He has counseled a broad range of clients, including those with inherited wealth, owners of closely held businesses and international clients with multijurisdictional contacts. In his planning practice, he works closely with investment advisors, insurance planners and accountants to ensure a coordinated approach to his clients' needs.

Mr. Kavoukjian also has broad experience in the administration of trusts and estates. He has counseled both individual and corporate fiduciaries in the performance of their duties and has advised the trust departments of leading financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Northern Trust. He has represented both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in contested and non-contested accounting proceedings, in judicial proceedings to remove and appoint fiduciaries and in audit proceedings with state and federal tax authorities.

Mr. Kavoukjian has particular experience with complex estate-related litigation, both international and domestic, including high-stakes will contests and construction proceedings. He has supervised significant cases involving proceedings in multiple European, Asian and U.S. jurisdictions.

Mr. Kavoukjian also advises on the creation and administration of private foundations and public charities. He serves on the boards of several organizations, including The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, The Jamestown Foundation, and Thomson-Reuters Practical Law the Journal. Mr. Kavoukjian is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Mr. Kavoukjian is a member of the New York and Florida bars and practices in both jurisdictions. From 1994 to 1998, he was on leave to the US government, where his duties included acting as special advisor to the US Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bars and Courts
New York
US District Court for the Southern District of New York
US District Court for the District of Minnesota
Harvard Law School
Stanford University


Awards and Recognition

Notable Practitioner, International Private Client, Chambers Global 2017–2019 

Leading Lawyer, Private Wealth Disputes – New York, Chambers High Net Worth 2018–2019 

Leading Lawyer, Private Wealth Law – Florida, Chambers High Net Worth 2016–2019 

Leading Lawyer, Private Wealth – Eastern Region, Chambers High Net Worth 2017–2018 

Named one of the Top 30 Practitioners in Trusts and Estates, Best of the Best USA, Euromoney Expert Guides 2018

Leading Lawyer, Tax: Estate Planning – Florida, Chambers USA 2014–2016 

Leading Lawyer, Wealth Management – Nationwide, Chambers USA 2014–2016 

Recognized Practitioner in Trusts and Estates, Euromoney Expert Guides 2016 

"Best Lawyer," The Best Lawyers in America 2008–2015 

Named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in the United States, The Robb Report/Worth Magazine 

Named in Who's Who in American Law 

Named in Who's Who in America 

Named in Who's Who in the World