Brent Berselli is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Portland office, where he is a member of the firm's Private Wealth Services Practice Group and co-chairs the Family Office practice. Mr. Berselli serves as outside counsel to family offices and private businesses throughout the United States. High-net-worth individuals, including principals of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms, entrepreneurs, startup founders and business owners, seek Mr. Berselli's counsel in all aspects of wealth transfer strategies, transfer tax, and income tax planning and business succession.

Equine Industry Estate Planning. Mr. Berselli has experience with transfer and estate tax planning strategies for owners in the equine industry, including with respect to ensuring proper succession planning and the viability of the farm and equine operation as a going concern after the retirement and/or death of a principal. He has counseled substantial equine operations regarding potential lifetime and testamentary transfers of ownership interests in equine business ventures within the family as well as to key employees. Mr. Berselli counsels equine industry principals regarding the formation and governance of stallion shares within the horse racing industry as well as with respect to planning regarding breeding rights. Additionally, he has worked with charitable and other tax-favored planning opportunities regarding real estate holdings in a farm.

Family Office Entities. Pooling family assets offers several advantages, including access to investments that would otherwise be unavailable to certain family entities and individuals, centralization of asset management decisions and the resulting reduction of overall investment fees and potential creditor protection. Mr. Berselli creates new entities to accomplish these goals and works with clients' investment advisers to ensure that appropriate investment policies are developed that focus on the overall asset mix, as well as the different investment objectives applicable to a client's taxable and nontaxable estate.

Private Company Succession Planning. A workable succession plan requires considerable development that often evolves over a multiyear period. Succession planning is necessarily an iterative process that requires close interaction between owners of privately held businesses and their advisors. Mr. Berselli guides business owners in designing and implementing a succession plan that balances the current and future needs of the business and the owner. Such coordination is particularly critical where an entrepreneur wants to transfer the business to the next generation but is relying on the ownership interest in the company to fund retirement.

Pre-liquidity Event Planning. Prior to a sale of a business or a major liquidity event, there are several wealth transfer opportunities that should be considered. Such strategies often focus on passing potential wealth to future generations in a tax-efficient manner. Mr. Berselli is often called upon to assist owners of businesses that are embarking upon such transactions to guide them in this critical pre-translation planning process.

Wealth Planning for Private Equity, Venture Capital and Hedge Fund Principals. The unique nature of private equity funds requires specialized planning for the principals of such funds. Implementation of any wealth transfer strategy requires careful attention to the nature of the principal's ownership interest, the fund documents and the manner of distributions. Mr. Berselli works closely with private equity fund principals to structure transfers involving their carried interests in their funds. Following such transfers, extensive additional planning opportunities are developed that are designed to maximize future wealth transfer while minimizing overall family transfer taxes.


  • University of Washington School of Law, LL.M., Taxation
  • University of Washington School of Law, J.D.
  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A., Government, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Court Admissions
  • All U.S. District Courts in Oregon
  • All State Courts in Oregon
  • All State Courts in Washington
  • Oregon State Bar Tax Section, Executive Committee Member
  • Campaign for Equal Justice, Associate Committee Member
  • Oregon State Bar Association, Business Law Section, Estate Planning Section and Section of Taxation
  • Multnomah County Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association 
  • Clark County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: Oregon, 2022, 2023; Associates to Watch, 2020; Private Wealth Law: Oregon, Up and Coming, 2021
  • Pro Bono Award, Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section, 2012


Speaking Engagements