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Jonathan Rikoon practices in the areas of trust and estate planning, administration and litigation. He engages in sophisticated estate and tax planning for wealthy individuals and families, preparation of wills and trusts and the administration of trusts and estates. He helps to establish various tax-efficient multi-tier family, business and investment vehicles, such as partnerships, limited liability companies and closely held corporations with trust ownership, and he structures third-party business transactions to facilitate tax and estate planning. Jonathan has pioneered the development of estate planning techniques customized for private equity fund principals and hedge fund managers, and he has written and presented on that topic for the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation and the University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

Jonathan’s practice also includes negotiation and resolution of family business and trust disputes, as well as Surrogate’s Court and tax litigation. His writings have appeared in a number of journals, and he has lectured for the Practising Law Institute, the American Corporate Counsel Association, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the New York State, City and County bar associations and other groups.

In 2008, Jonathan was nominated by the Senate and appointed by the President to serve as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. He was appointed in 2009 to the New York EPTL-SCPA Legislative Advisory Committee as a liaison to the New York City Bar Association. In 2011 Jonathan was appointed a member of the Surrogate’s Court Advisory Committee to the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. As an active member of several committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the New York State Bar Association, he has drafted several items of proposed and enacted New York legislation.

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  • New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Pomeroy Scholar, Order of the Coif
  • University of Pennsylvania, A.B., cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Tax Court

Bar Admissions

  • New York


  • French


  • Named "New York Metro Super Lawyer" in Estate & Probate by Thomson Reuters (2022)
  • Named in Chambers High Net Worth Guide in USA Nationwide Private Wealth Law: Eastern Region and New York, Private Wealth Law (2019-2022)
  • Named "New York City Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers (2012)
  • Named a "Leading Trusts and Estates Practitioner" in the Best of the Best Expert Guide to the World's Leading Trusts and Estates Practitioners, published by Legal Media Group (2018-2020)
  • Named "New York City Litigation - Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year," Best Lawyers (2016, 2018)
  • Named in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, in Nationwide Wealth Management: Eastern Region (2009-2019)
  • Named "New York Metro Super Lawyer" in Estate Planning & Probate and Trust Litigation by Thomson Reuters (2006-2012, 2014-2021)
  • Named one of "The 100 Top Attorneys" in Trusts and Estates, Worth magazine (2005, 2007 and 2008)
  • Highest "AV Preeminent (5 out of 5)" Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (1992-2017)
  • Named "Best Lawyer" in Trusts & Estates Litigation and Trusts & Estates, The Best Lawyers in America, published by Woodward White, Inc. (2014-2023) 


  • Member, The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Business Planning Committee and State Laws Committee)
  • Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Estate and Gift Taxation; Committee on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts)
  • Member, New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section, Executive Committee; First District Representative; Committee on Estate Litigation Member, Chair; Committee on Taxation, Vice Chair)