Brian C. Vertz has practiced 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.
Loyalty and work ethic are the traits Brian values most. Coming from a blue collar background, Brian knows the importance of using each billable hour effectively to advance the client’s objectives. 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. Brian was selected as the Pittsburgh 2019 Lawyer of the Year for family law through The Best Lawyers in America peer review process. Certified in mediation and arbitration, Brian is well equipped to negotiate and resolve cases out of court. When a case can’t be settled, Brian is a formidable advocate in the trial and appellate courts with 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. These skills also benefit clients whose financial circumstances are less complicated, but just as important. Brian has also developed a concentration in matrimonial tax issues. His book, “Frumkes & Vertz on Divorce Taxation,” is the go-to reference on tax strategy for family lawyers.
Brian also publishes current analysis on tax and financial issues for divorce lawyers and their clients, as well as 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.
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 doctorate in law and master’s in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, respectively. Brian has been trained by the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts in business valuation and also has earned a certification in arbitration and divorce mediation.
In his third decade as a family lawyer, Brian has an impressive track record in the trial and appellate courts and is recognized as an authority on family law taxation and complex financial divorce.
A prolific writer of legal education materials, each year Brian publishes the latest edition of “Frumkes and Vertz on Divorce Taxation” (James Publishing), the leading national reference for family law tax analysis and case law. He was an author of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s “Family Law Update,” a publication about the latest legal developments in child support, equitable distribution and custody cases.
Frequently tapped to teach advanced family law topics to judges and peers in the legal community, Brian has been invited to speak to the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges and to address 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 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2018 drew record attendance, teaching lawyers about the details of the new tax law.
Brian is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a fellow of the AAML, of which he currently serves as an officer 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 Chapter Leaders Committee. Brian is a member of the program committee for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section.
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.
Brian is a Lifetime Fellow, Director and Secretary of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation, a national endowment delivering grants to charities that serve children and families in more than 50 cities across the United States.
In addition to his leadership roles within the Foundation, Brian also serves as a member of its fundraising and executive committees. He and other dedicated AAMLF supporters awarded $185,000 in grants to 37 charities in 2019 alone! Brian particularly enjoys the opportunity to present funds raised by AAMLF to Pittsburgh-area charities, including KidsVoice, a nonprofit advocating for thousands of abused, neglected and at-risk children in the Allegheny County Juvenile Court system.
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. He is a founder of the ACBA Toastmasters, the only chapter devoted to improving the public speaking skills of lawyers.
Outside of the legal community, Brian is a supporter of local hunger charities, including the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. He supports several nonprofit and neighborhood organizations in his community and served as a trustee and officer for the Crafton Public Library.
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 strength training and 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.
I 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. The pandemic has slowed down my travel, of course, but soon I’ll be able to return to the places I’ve always wanted to explore.
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 nevertheless accept as friends and clients. Still, I’ve gotta say — Go blue!