Wayne M. Zell, Shareholder

Wayne Zell’s extensive background as an attorney, CPA, and entrepreneur provide him a wealth of insight to his clients’ business operations and challenges.  For over 30 years, Wayne has counseled clients as an attorney, accountant, and business advisor in a wide range of industries, including technology, government contracting, real estate, retailing, and wealth management, with a special emphasis on tax and business planning. His clients also include for-profit and non-profit executives, service providers, and high-net worth individuals.

He has extensive experience in representing clients in complex estate planning, tax, and business planning transactions and matters. On estate planning matters, Wayne routinely advises clients in structuring and preparing intricate revocable and irrevocable trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, life insurance vehicles, charitable giving arrangements including charitable lead and remainder trusts, private and public foundations and grant making programs, asset protection planning, joint ventures with tax-exempt organizations, and compensation and equity incentive plans for executives.

On tax and business planning matters, Wayne represents closely-held businesses and their owners on general business operations, tax and business succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, private equity fund formation and operation, equity and debt investments, and executive compensation matters. He also represents key employees of publicly traded and privately held entities in planning for the receipt and disposition of stock options, restricted stock, and synthetic equity, including phantom stock and stock appreciation rights.

Prior to joining Odin, Feldman & Pittleman P.C., Wayne was the founder and president of Zell Law, an estate and business planning boutique firm and was partner with several prominent law firms. Wayne also was a Senior Manager in the Washington National Tax Service Office of Price Waterhouse, specializing in tax-exempt organizations and flow-through entities, including partnerships, limited liability companies, and trusts.

Wayne has received an AV rating, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ for his legal ability and general ethical standards.  In 2013-2018, Wayne was honored by being selected as one of the The Best Lawyers in America® for Tax Law. In 2010, Wayne was recognized among Virginia’s “Legal Elite” in Virginia Business magazine, and in 2006 he was named one of the Washington, D.C. area’s “Legal Elite” by SmartCEO Magazine. He is a frequent lecturer on estate and business planning topics, hosted a popular educational radio talk show Blueprint for Wealth from 2007 to 2013, and now hosts podcasts featuring special guests and tax, business planning and estate planning topics.  He also has been a guest columnist for the Washington Business Journal and guest blogger for Washington Business Journal WBJ BizBeat writing bi-monthly posts on tax, business, and estate planning topics of interest.

Wayne is actively involved in charitable activities in the community, currently serving as a member of the Cornerstone Board of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

  • J.D., The College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law, 1985
    • BNA Law Student Award
  • B.S., Commerce (Accounting Concentration), University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce, 1980
Admitted to Practice
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court
Areas of Concentration
  • Business and Commercial Law
  • Business Organizations
  • Business and Succession Planning
  • Corporate Finance Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Estate and Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Partnership Law
  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Technology
  • Trusts
  • Wealth Preservation and Asset Protection
  • Wills
Professional Activities
  • Guest Blogger, WBJ BizBeat, Washington Business Journal, 2008-2013
  • Columnist, Washington Business Journal, 2009-2012
  • Podcast Host
  • Professional Organizations
    • Fairfax Bar Association
    • Virginia Bar Association –Business and Taxation Sections
    • Maryland State Bar Association
    • D.C. Bar Association
    • American Bar Association –Taxation and Business Law Sections
    • Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants
Honors & Awards
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2013-2018 for Tax Law
  • Virginia Business magazine’s “Legal Elite” 2010 & 2011 – Taxes, Estates, and Trusts
  • SmartCEO magazine’s Legal Elite – 2006
  • SmartCEO magazine’s Smart CPA – 2005
Speaking Engagements
  • Controlled Exits Using ESOPs, Seminar, April 2014
  • Purpose Built Capital Rewards for Owners and Executives, The National Capital Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and Sagemark Consulting, May 14, 2013
  • Changes in 2013 Tax Law and Prospects for Tax Reform, HighTower’s 1st Annual Family Wealth Conference, April 11, 2013
  • Selecting a Business Planner, Lawyer and Financial Advisor – Panel Discussion, Carr Workplaces, April 9, 2013 watch a video recording of Wayne’s discussion portion of event
Community Activities
  • Children’s Charities Foundation
    • Board Member, Treasurer
  • Northern Virginia Family Service
    • Gift Planning Advisory Committee, Chair
    • Volunteer