Loyalty and work ethic are the traits Brian C. Vertz values most. Clients who work with Brian remark on his tenacity and unwavering dedication to their financial and emotional well-being. In the legal community, Brian is known as a pragmatic and creative “problem solver” who won’t play games or engage in rhetoric. Coming from a blue collar background, Brian knows the importance of using each billable hour effectively to advance the client’s objectives.
When a case can’t be settled, Brian is a formidable advocate in the trial and appellate courts. Working side-by-side with David S. Pollock since 1992, Brian has developed an impressive track record in difficult child support and divorce litigation, as well as prenup enforcement and child custody proceedings. Using his business valuation training and MBA degree, Brian is frequently engaged in complicated financial cases involving business owners, licensed professionals, pro athletes and executives.
Brian has also developed a concentration in matrimonial tax issues. His book, “Frumkes & Vertz on Divorce Taxation,” is a nationally distributed legal treatise on tax strategy for family lawyers.
Brian is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers of which he is president of the Pennsylvania chapter. He is co-chair of two national committees and director and a lifetime member of the AAML Foundation, its charitable wing. Brian is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section Council and its Executive Committee.
Brian is a prolific writer who teaches the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s annual Family Law Update, one of the most-watched family law programs statewide. He has been invited to speak to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and writes legal education materials on business valuation, divorce taxation, executive compensation, and marital settlement agreements. Brian also publishes an insightful legal blog, FamilyLawTaxAlert.com, which provides current analysis on tax and financial issues for divorce lawyers and their clients and publishes light-hearted, client-minded stories (Five Classic Pop Songs that Contain Advice for Getting Separated) for the American Bar Association and other similar legal organizations.
Brian has stayed in family law for more than 25 years because of 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. He balances long work hours by staying physically active in a wide range of outdoor and fitness activities, including golfing, mountain hiking and going to the gym. He loves travel and has explored South Africa, Spain, Germany, and 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, respectiv
Expanding on his MBA education, Brian has been trained by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts in business valuation.
Brian has also earned a certification in arbitration and divorce mediation.
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.
In his third decade as a family lawyer, Brian has developed an impressive track record in the trial and appellate courts. He is recognized as an authority on family law taxation and complex financial divorce, teaching advanced family law topics to judges and peers in the legal community. Brian applies his well-practiced skills in research, writing and public speaking to craft powerful legal briefs and deliver compelling arguments in the courtrooms of Western Pennsylvania.
Each year, Brian publishes the latest edition of “Frumkes and Vertz on Divorce Taxation” (James Publishing), and “Family Law Update” (Pennsylvania Bar Institute). For more than two decades, “Divorce Taxation” has been the leading national reference for family law tax analysis and case law. “Family Law Update” is a publication containing the latest legal developments in child support, equitable distribution and custody cases. Brian is invited to speak to bar associations, financial planners and divorce accountants across Pennsylvania and the United States.
Brian is one of the leading voices in analyzing the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 as it affects divorcing spouses and their families. His nationally broadcasted tax webinar for the AAML in 2018 drew record attendance, teaching lawyers about the details of the new tax law. He also maintains the blog, FamilyLawTaxAlert.com, where he shares tips and tax analysis.
Brian is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, of which he currently serves as president of the Pennsylvania chapter. Four AAML presidents have appointed Brian as national co-chair of the Amicus Committee, and he is also chair of its Practice & Technology committee. Brian is a member of the executive committee for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section.
Super Lawyers and Pittsburgh Magazine have named Brian as one of the “Top 50 Attorneys in Pittsburgh.” Brian is rated as “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. He is listed as one of the region’s top matrimonial lawyers by Ten Leaders. He has been included in each edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 2010.
Brian is a member of the executive committee for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section. In 2018 he was appointed to the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Laws. Comprised of attorneys, judges and law professors from across the Commonwealth, the committee provides advice on formulating domestic relations laws to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Brian was selected as the Pittsburgh 2019 Lawyer of the Year for family law through The Best Lawyers in America peer review process. He has been included in each edition of The Best Lawyers in America since 2010. Super Lawyers and Pittsburgh Magazine have named Brian as one of the “Top 50 Attorneys in Pittsburgh.” Brian is rated as “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. He is listed as one of the region’s top matrimonial lawyers by Ten Leaders.
Brian’s commitment to public service is a cornerstone of his career. After previously serving in various roles and executive committees, currently Brian serves as director of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation. The Foundation is a national endowment delivering grants to local charities that serve children and families in more than 50 cities across the United States. Brian is a lifetime member of the AAML Foundation and serves on its fundraising committee, which hosts events annually to support the Foundation. Brian is also a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.
Since the beginning of his career, Brian has represented indigent clients through Neighborhood Legal Services and its pro bono clinics, as well as the Self-Help Center in the Allegheny County courts. He is a Fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation and has volunteered for Attorneys Against Hunger, cooking meals at a local soup kitchen. Brian is a supporter of local hunger charities, including the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and nonprofit and neighborhood organizations in his community. He was a trustee and officer for the Crafton Public Library, and a founder of the ACBA Toastmasters, the only chapter devoted to improving the public speaking skills of lawyers.
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. I’m not good yet, but I have a great time with friends, family members, clients and colleagues. I also love to travel and enjoy the world’s treasures and festivals, such as Oktoberfest in Munich, the Alhambra in Spain, wineries in Tuscany, and Christmas in England.
I’m a devoted fan of Michigan college sports. Our local alumni group gathers for Saturday football games, and when I travel, I look for Michigan bars to catch the games with the locals. In Pittsburgh there are an awful lot of Ohio State graduates, whom I reluctantly accept as friends and clients. Still, I’ve gotta say — Go blue!