40 Under Forty 2022


JULI DREIFUSS T rust matters for attorneys who work with high-net-worth individuals. After all, these clients are asking their lawyers to oversee significant wealth. Juli Dreifuss, a wealth transfer and succession planning expert with Much Shelist, has more than earned this trust. Since joining Much Shelist in the sum- mer of 2012, Dreifuss has steadily built a growing roster of repeat clients. There’s a reason for this: Dreifuss has demon- strated impressive skills in working on the often-sensitive financial matters that her wealthy clients face. Greg Mann, member of the manage- ment committee of Much Shelist, has worked closely with Dreifuss throughout her career. He says that it didn’t take long for Dreifuss to impress her colleagues. “Immediately upon joining our firm, Juli became an integral and highly valued member of our client team,” Mann said. “Over the ensuing decade, Juli’s abilities as an attorney and her skill in working with high-net-worth individuals, families and their fiduciaries on highly sensitive mat- ters has continued to grow exponentially.” Dreifuss faced a challenge immediately after arriving at Much Shelist. At this time, certain large gift-tax exemptions included in Pres. Obama’s 2010 Tax Relief Act were set to expire after a two-year window. Al- though Dreifuss had only been practicing law for a few years, she hit the ground, as Mann says, sprinting. Dreifuss prepared countless docu- ments during this time, Mann said. And she developed and presented to Much Shelist leaders several sophisticated tech- niques and solutions to help the firm’s cli- ents reach their goals during this period

of uncertainty. The Much Shelist team ad- opted many of these strategies, increasing their ability to provide customized solu- tions to their clients. Today? Dreifuss is skillfully handling an- other challenge for her clients. This time, it’s the potential expiration of several gift- tax and estate-tax exemptions that were made available during the prior presiden- tial administration. “Once again, Juli is rising to the chal- lenge,” Mann said. “She has developed nuanced and sophisticated techniques in- volving grantor-retained annuity trusts, in- tentionally defective grantor trusts and oth- er wealth-transfer options that help clients preserve assets and minimize tax exposure while achieving clearly defined objectives.” While Dreifuss has earned praise from her colleagues for her technical skills, they also cite the empathy she has for her clients and her passion for finding the best solutions to their financial chal- lenges. Serving high-net-worth individuals requires attorneys to navigate often-del- icate family dynamics. Dreifuss displays a true talent in this area, her colleagues say. “Time and again, my colleagues and I have received feedback from clients prais- ing Juli’s availability, responsiveness and grace under pressure,” Mann said. Despite building a busy career, Dreifuss has found time to serve her community and profession. She is a member of the Chicago Community Trust Young Pro- fessional Advisory Committee and has helped incorporate several animal-welfare organizations. As a result of these efforts, the Animal Legal Defense Fund award- ed Dreifuss its Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award.

Grace under pressure”

AGE 39

FIRM Much Shelist, P.C. LAW SCHOOL Chicago-Kent College of Law

AREA OF PRACTICE Government wealth transfer and succession planning



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