David Thal is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Stamford office and is a member of the firm's Private Wealth Services Group. Mr. Thal focuses his practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable planning, family office services and tax matters.

Mr. Thal represents a diverse client base, but focuses his practice serving as counsel to ultra-high-net-worth families and their family offices, including hedge fund founders and the founders of multinational closely held businesses. He offers estate planning strategies customized to his clients' often complex circumstances. His recent representations include leading the estate settlement process for a large family office client and managing the day-to-day affairs for institutional-size domestic and international trust structures.

Clients are impressed with Mr. Thal's work, saying he is:

Always very diligent, always on time and he is a pleasure to work with. … He has a very comprehensive knowledge and he is very practical too, which is a great combination. … He is responsive, practical and methodical.

Chambers High Net Worth 2021 guide

Mr. Thal develops family offices as well as advises clients with established family offices. He helps clients understand, execute and manage sophisticated estate planning, business succession and wealth transfer techniques to preserve family wealth through generations. He also advises clients on the successful implementation of a range of tax and estate planning techniques, including grantor retained annuity trusts (GRAT), installment sales, charitable lead annuity trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts and private foundations tailored to specific client goals.

Mr. Thal has significant experience effectively collaborating with teams of advisors and family office professionals to serve the best interests of his clients. Mr. Thal frequently provides continuing legal education (CLE) courses on estate planning matters.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Thal was a principal in the private clients group of a boutique private wealth law firm in Stamford.

Representative Experience

  • Settled estate of a founder of multinational closely held business
    - Represented fiduciaries in successful resolution of federal estate tax audit
    - Coordinated divestiture of business holdings as outside general counsel
  • Advised a high-net-worth client to enhance estate planning benefits through income tax basis planning and completed a variety of estate freeze techniques
  • Implemented restructure and domestication of offshore trusts 
  • Implemented an estate plan for co-founder of multifamily office, including advice with respect to carried interest planning
  • Coordinated and supported family office operations during family office leadership transition 
  • Advised a family office client on fund formation and succession planning through family partnerships
  • Advised clients on funding of private foundation, development and implementation of philanthropic mission and programs
  • Significant experience resolving disputes between beneficiaries and trustees


  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., Tax
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D.
  • Williams College, B.A., English
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • New York State Bar Association, Member, 2012-Present; Trusts and Estates Law Section, 2012-Present; Tax Section, 2019-Present
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Estate and Probate Section, 2010-Present
  • Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, Development & Topic Editor, 2009
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers High Net Worth guide, Private Wealth Law: Connecticut, 2021-2024
  • Janet Spragens Low-Income Tax Clinic Pro Bono Award, University of Connecticut School of Law, 2009


Speaking Engagements