John D. Dadakis concentrates his wealth planning practice on representing executives of Fortune 500 companies, successful entrepreneurs in private businesses, and managing directors and investors in hedge and private equity funds. As "Personal General Counsel" to an elite national client base, Mr. Dadakis develops and implements wealth preservation strategies that address the financial and social goals of those he serves. He is highly knowledgeable and experienced on the development and use of family mission statements and family constitutions. His Personal General Counsel model is uniquely suited to handle the needs of family and closely held business owners.

Personal General Counsel. Having worked with numerous Fortune 500 CEOs, Mr. Dadakis understands that the foundation of wealth planning is built through a team effort. He works with his clients' accountants, financial advisors and insurance consultants to develop and perpetuate the wealth agenda of clients. At its core, Mr. Dadakis' practice is built on the relationship that he develops with each client. By understanding a client's personal goals and ambitions, Mr. Dadakis is able to integrate a team and a plan providing comprehensive support to clients. As Personal General Counsel, he serves as a sounding board, counselor and legal coordinator for the myriad personal and business issues which high-net-worth individuals confront.

Wealth Preservation Strategies. Recognizing that an individual's wealth does not just consist of financial assets, but also "human assets" and "societal assets," Mr. Dadakis works with his clients over their lifetimes. Both devising and implementing various strategies, he and the Holland & Knight team routinely assist clients in achieving their wealth preservation and asset protection goals. Mr. Dadakis understands that as one attains a greater level of wealth, thinking of your legacy becomes more complex.

The Holland & Knight team provides a strategic estate and wealth management service, known as the Family Heritage Practice. The advice provided through this practice permeates the broad areas of family relationships, generational wealth mentoring, and social and civic goals. Having helped clients pass millions of dollars to future generations through tax minimization and wealth transference strategies (such as GRATs, Family Limited Partnerships and frozen partnership interests), Mr. Dadakis and his team work with each generation on the stewardship of wealth as it relates to financial and social responsibility in an effort to avoid the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" syndrome. One of the core principles of the practice is that we recognize that it is only with active planning and maintenance that the true goals of clients can be realized. Working with a number of private equity principals to transfer value before realizations over the past 15 years, Mr. Dadakis has effectively saved these clients over $100 million in estate taxes.

Family Business. For many years, Mr. Dadakis has focused on the multidisciplinary needs of family-held enterprises. The unique legal demands of family businesses require a more comprehensive approach to wealth planning issues. Starting in the late 1980s, he was instrumental in founding the Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises (AFHE) and served as its president for more than 10 years. Through the studies and discussions that have been advanced at the association's meetings, Mr. Dadakis has cultivated a national family businesses client base for which he provides assistance in resolving generational transition problems. He also works with owners developing family mission statements and family constitutions, utilizing the latter to develop a comprehensive overall forum which assists in the oversight of the constituencies of a family business.

Mr. Dadakis has been quoted in many major news publications and has appeared on Bloomberg Radio. He also writes extensively, including articles on the concept of the Personal General Counsel.

Quoted Articles

  • "A Big Tax Break for Socially Responsible Investing," The New York Times, November 9, 2018
  • "Epic Celebrity Estate Battles," Financial Advisor, December 15, 2017
  • "Digital Messages for Loved Ones From Beyond the Grave," The New York Times, October 23, 2015
  • "Live Longer and Heirs Will Prosper in New York," The New York Times, April 18, 2014
  • "How to Avoid an Estate Battle After You Die," The New York Times, June 14, 2013



  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D.
  • The Johns Hopkins University, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Florida
  • New York
  • New York City Family Enterprise Center, Board Member
  • American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
  • The Florida Bar
  • State Bar of California
  • Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises Family Firm Institute
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, 2018-2020
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: Eastern Region, 2017, 2019  
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: New York, 2016-2019
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: USA, 2016, 2018   
  • Chambers USA — America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Wealth Management: Eastern Region, 2006-2016
  • Guide to the World's Leading Trusts and Estates Practitioners, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2011
  • Top 100 Attorneys — Worth Magazine, 2005, 2007
  • PLC Which Lawyer? — U.S.A. — Private Client Lawyer


Speaking Engagements