William F. Russo
T (513) 977-3479
F (513) 977-3479
T (513) 977-3465
As the second oldest of nine children, Bill began resolving family disputes at an early age. His childhood also gave him insights as to how children may perceive fairness and equity differently than do the parents. While some wealth strategists may believe that tax avoidance is the major objective of wealth planning, Bill believes that wealth planning is ultimately about family planning: how to devolve wealth without creating acrimony or bitterness among family members, and all the while preserving the motivation and drive for personal success among succeeding generations of beneficiaries.
Bill brings his intelligence, creativity and experience to add value and benefit to the wealth planning experience. It is not surprising, then, that Bill is frequently retained as expert co-counsel by other attorneys, including other estate planning attorneys for assistance in resolving or informally mediating family disputes surrounding the transmission of the family’s wealth. If asked to describe his legal practice, Bill would say that he adds value to a particular client’s situation by providing multi-generational wealth transfer solutions that resolve business, personal, tax and any charitable issues, without negatively impacting the character and ambition of succeeding generations.
In addition to advising clients as detailed above, Bill represents individual and corporate taxpayers before the IRS, state Tax Commissioners, and various courts, and has prevailed in a number of litigated tax controversies.
He has served as the Chairperson of both the Taxation Committee and the Estate Planning and Probate Committee of the Cincinnati Bar Association. Bill also lectures extensively to various local, regional and national audiences on topics relating to the income and estate taxation of family business enterprises.
Bill has been a member of ACTEC, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, for over ten years. He has been a member of the firm's Board of Directors, is a current member of its marketing and benefits committees, and is a permanent member of its administrative committee.
Estate & Wealth Planning Experience
Bill emphasizes the proper use of the latest tools and techniques to shift wealth to succeeding generations at the lowest possible transfer tax cost. Bill addresses a variety of matters relating to family business enterprises, including formational, organizational structure, and buy/sell issues from both a business and family context.
Tax Law Experience
Bill represents a number of limited liability companies treated as partnerships for federal income tax purposes and has extensive experience with the intricate special allocations that are frequently employed in the operating agreements of such entities. For a number of years Bill has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Cincinnati College of Law teaching courses relating to the taxation of partnerships and limited liability companies as well as basic federal income tax.
Awards & Honors
- Greater Cincinnati "Tax Lawyer of the Year,” 2011
- Listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America® every year since 1995
- Recognized by Law & Politics Media, Inc. as an Ohio Super Lawyer® (2004-2020) and as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio” (2005)
- Recognized by Woodward/White as the "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati for Trusts and Estates, 2015
- Named a Leading Lawyer by Cincy Magazine in 2020
Certificates & Affiliations
- Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Federal Taxation Law through December 2021
- St. Xavier High School, Board of Trustees, 1996-2003
- Adjunct Faculty, University of Cincinnati College of Law
- 2005, Florida
- 1979, Ohio
- U.S. Tax Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- University of Cincinnati, J.D., 1979, Order of the Coif, Editorial Board, University of Cincinnati Law Review
- University of Cincinnati, B.A., 1976, Phi Beta Kappa