David Scott Sloan co-chairs Holland & Knight's Global Private Wealth practice. Mr. Sloan serves as general counsel to wealthy individuals, their families and their businesses. He works closely with clients throughout the United States to design and implement sophisticated strategies integral to family wealth planning. High-net-worth individuals, including principals of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund firms, private and public company executives, real estate developers, entrepreneurs and business owners, turn to him for advice and counsel in all aspects of wealth transfer strategies, income and transfer tax planning, philanthropy and business succession.

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 waterfall distribution. Mr. Sloan 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. Mr. Sloan is often called upon by fund counsel to develop strategies specific to their fund principals and has made several presentations to such groups. Mr. Sloan engages in similar, specific business planning for venture capital and hedge fund principals.

Single Family Offices/Family Investment 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. Sloan 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. Sloan 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.

Equine Industry Planning. Mr. Sloan represents equine clients in all facets of their business, including business succession planning, acquisition and disposition of stallion shares, joint venture relationships, ownership of stables and breeding farms, entity structuring and planning, as well as racing licensing issues.

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. Sloan 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.

Sophisticated Planning for Executives of Public Companies and Entrepreneurs. Mr. Sloan works at the forefront of the cross-section of wealth transfer and securities rules applicable to public company executives. Planning techniques for these executives who may be designated as "insiders" by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) depends upon sophisticated design and careful implementation. Mr. Sloan balances these complex issues while ensuring that the privacy needs of these high profile individuals are respected.

Industry sources praise Mr. Sloan on his work:

He's trustworthy and a great adviser.... David is an exceptional lawyer who has a strong command of complex, multifaceted issues. He's practical, sensible, and an absolute pleasure to work with.

­– Chambers High Net Worth 2022 guide

In addition to his active practice, Mr. Sloan holds many leadership positions both within the community and at Holland & Knight. Mr. Sloan currently serves as a Trustee of Berklee College of Music and formerly was the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Boston Conservatory. During 2015-2016, Mr. Sloan led the merger of The Boston Conservatory with Berklee College of Music to create the most expansive and dynamic Performing Arts school in the United States. Mr. Sloan served on the firm’s Board of Directors for nine years and served as the Business Section’s Deputy Section Leader for 11 years. During Mr. Sloan’s tenure on the Board of Directors, he chaired the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee for over five years. Mr. Sloan is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Mr. Sloan has published numerous articles and has been quoted in several publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business Week, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, The Boston Business Journal, Private Wealth Management and the New York Law Journal. His opinions have been sought out on a variety of current tax issues and have aired on television and radio. 

Quoted Articles

  • "Wealthy Americans Are Already Trying to Exploit the New Tax Law," Bloomberg , December 22, 2017
  • “Investors Think Twice About Deals With Trumps and Kushners,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek May 18, 2016
  • “Lawyers for the Wealthy Await Trump’s Estate Tax Plan,” The American Lawyer, December 21, 2016
  • “Trump Says No Deals While in Office; Sons Will Run Company,” Bloomberg, December 12, 2016
  • “Trump Says He Will Leave Family Business. The Pros Tell Him How,” Bloomberg, December 7, 2016
  • “Clinton Supports Imposing Death Tax on Americans While Avoiding It Herself,” The Washington Free Beacon, August 12, 2016
  • “U.S. Aims to Clamp Down on Tactic to Avoid Estate Tax,” The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2016
  • “Berklee and the Boston Conservatory Agree to Merger,” University Business, January 21, 2016
  • “Berklee, Boston Conservatory Finalize Merger,” The Boston Globe, January 19, 2016
  • “Fenway Neighbors Berklee, Boston Conservatory Explore Merger,” The Boston Globe, June 25, 2015
  • “Some Billionaires Not Meeting Giving Pledge Promises,” warrenbuffett.com, June 9, 2015
  • “Pledge Aside, Dead Billionaires Don’t Have to Give Away Half Their Fortune,” Bloomberg, June 4, 2015
  • “Inheriting Grandma’s House Comes With Tax Bill Under Obama Plan,” Bloomberg, January 30, 2015
  • “The Trouble with Trustees,” The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2014
  • “Wealthy Clintons Use Trusts to Avoid Full Estate Tax They Back,” Bloomberg, June 17, 2014
  • “President Obama Thinks Your IRA is Too Big,” Barron’s, June 22, 2013
  • “Billionaire Kaiser Exploiting Charity Loophole With Boats,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2013
  • “Under the Microscope,” Tulsa World, May 4, 2013
  • “Obama Squeeze on Savings of Wealthy Muddles Estate Plans,” Bloomberg, April 11, 2013
  • “States Crack Down on Top Earners Who Flee as Levies Rise: Taxes,” Bloomberg, March 12, 2013
  • “Atlantic Trust Launches GenNext Initiative, Hosting Inaugural Multi-Generational Summit,” PR Newswire, December 18, 2012
  • “Wealthy Americans Gird for their Own Cliff,” The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2012
  • “Westchester’s Wealthy Seek Crystal Ball for Uncertain Future of Federal Estate Tax,” The Journal News, September 8, 2012
  • “Rich Passing Up $10 Million Opportunity to Gift Tax-Free,” Bloomberg, July 12, 2012
  • “Restless Can Face a State ‘Exit Tax,’” Dow Jones Adviser, June 18, 2012
  • “Law Partners Could Pay for Tax Code Change: Experts,” Law360, February 23, 2012
  • “Taking Fund-Raising to a New Level,” The New York Times, December 16, 2011
  • “‘Buffett Rule’ is More Complicated Than Politics Suggest,” The New York Times, September 24, 2011
  • “Wealth Matters: Taking the Time to Pick the Right Financial Adviser,” The New York Times, April 23, 2011
  • “Foundations With a Limited Life,” The New York Times, November 10, 2010


  • Boston University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation
  • Albany Law School, J.D.
  • Binghamton University, B.S.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Trustee, Berklee College of Music; Chair, Audit and Risk Committee
  • Immediate Past Chair, The Boston Conservatory Board of Trustees
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Fellow; Massachusetts State Committee, Member
  • Boston Bar Association, Past Chair of Estate Planning Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Past Chair of Taxation Section; Past Chair of Tax Legislation Committee
  • New York Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Tax Law, Trusts and Estates, 2005-2024
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: Massachusetts, Eastern Region USA, 2016-2023
  • The Best of the Best USA, Trusts and Estates, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2022
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine, 2005-2020
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Tax: Estate Planning, 2012-2016; Wealth Management: Eastern Region, 2014-2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated