Working third shift at the Omni William Penn Hotel by night and cramming in the rigorous curriculum of a Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration education by day, Brian C. Vertz never dreamed he would become a divorce lawyer. Corporate law seemed like the logical destiny for someone with an aptitude for economics and financial analysis, yet his first year on the job proved equitable distribution wasn’t far from mergers and acquisitions. Complex financial issues have become the watchword of Brian’s legal career.
Writing briefs for the Superior Court and Supreme Court appeals was one of Brian’s first legal tasks. He soon proved himself to be as effective in the courtroom as he was in written advocacy. The financial concentration he brought to family law raised the bar for effective legal representation, but the real reason why Brian has stayed in family law for nearly two decades is his compassion for the clients and children who are affected by divorce and the profound change it can bring to their lives — change he helps them to embrace with financial stability and renewed control over their lives and futures.
After practicing with several firms, including Reed Smith, David S. Pollock & Associates and McCarthy McDonald Schulberg & Joy, Brian joined Pollock Begg shortly after its inception in 2001 and became partner in 2012.
Brian is a prolific writer and speaker who authors and lectures regularly for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the annual Family Law Update, one of the most-watched family law programs statewide. He is frequently tapped as a speaker for the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and has written legal education materials on business valuation, tax, child support, executive compensation, equitable distribution and marital settlement agreements. Brian is also the author of an insightful blog, which provides expert analysis on family law issues for both legal professionals and members of the public.
To balance a sedentary work life, Brian remains physically active and participates in a wide range of outdoor and fitness activities, including golfing, mountain hiking and going to the gym. He loves travel and makes an annual pilgrimage to the California wine country.
A former resident of Downtown Pittsburgh, Brian now resides in a small suburb of the city.
Brian obtained his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan, and his Juris Doctor and Master in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, respectively.
Brian is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania, the state courts of Georgia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Brian’s accomplishments are well-noted in the legal community. A fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, he was elected board secretary of the Pennsylvania chapter in 2014, currently serves as second vice president and will ascend to the position of chapter president by 2018. Brian is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings and is ranked as one of the region’s top matrimonial lawyers under age 45 by Ten Leaders. He has been listed in every edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 2010 and has ranked among the list of Super Lawyers Top 50 Attorneys in Pittsburgh for a decade.
A lawyer adept at financial analysis in divorce proceedings, Brian is also a certified Valuation Analyst and a member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. Brian co-authored the latest edition of Frumkes and Vertz on Divorce Taxation, published in February 2016. A nationally recognized legal treatise on tax-related divorce issues for attorneys and accountants for more than 15 years, “Divorce Taxation” is updated periodically to incorporate new rules and expand coverage. He also maintains the blog, FamilyLawTaxAlert.com, where he shares tips and tax case analyses. Brian was recently appointed national chair of the AAML Amicus Committee and is also one of only three certified arbitrators in family law in western Pennsylvania.
Brian is member of the Family Law sections of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County bar associations and has served as a council member and committee chair within the organizations. Brian has served in leadership positions with Toastmasters International, and in 2012 he founded ACBA Toastmasters, the only chapter devoted to improving the public speaking skills of lawyers. Brian frequently lectures on family law matters for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and has been tapped twice to speak before the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.
Brian’s commitment to public service is unwavering; he volunteers for Neighborhood Legal Services and donates to the Fellows Program of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation. Brian is a strong supporter of the arts and various nonprofit and neighborhood organizations in his community. Brian is often tapped as a guest bartender at the HYP Club. He is also a member of the board of trustees for the Crafton Public Library and a founder of the ACBA Toastmasters, the only chapter devoted to improving the public speaking skills of lawyers.
A firm advocate for pro bono services, Brian donates time as NLSA pro bono PFA attorney and volunteer pro se motions attorney through the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County.
Face to Face
My clients might be surprised when they receive a call from me after hours or on weekends, but I’m not bound to my desk chair all the time. In addition to a commitment to staying physically active, I have a wide range of interests that keep me on the go. In the summer, I enjoy kayaking on the Allegheny River, biking the trails around the three rivers and taking hiking trips. In between those events, I’m often doing strength training to stay in shape and avoid injuries.
In the past few years, I’ve devoted some of my leisure time to learning golf. Every golfer will tell you improvement comes in fits and starts, but I love it, and it gives me time to enjoy the outdoors with friends, family, colleagues and clients. I also love to travel and enjoy the world’s treasures and festivals, such as Oktoberfest in Munich, the grape harvest in Tuscany and Christmas in England. I am an active uncle to my niece and nephew. My brother and his wife had their second child in the summer of 2011, so I take every opportunity to visit with them in San Diego and when the whole family gets together in Michigan.