Esther Hopkins, founder and principal of the Law Offices of Esther Hopkins, P.C., provides personalized legal counsel to individuals and families in the areas of estate planning, business planning, business succession planning, probate and trust administration, and special needs planning. She is particularly adept at handling the planning and administration challenges unique to high net worth individuals and families, complex estates and business successions.
Esther spent the first 13 years of her career as a business litigation and transaction attorney. During this time, she saw how lawsuits between family members often tore families apart. She realized that many of these lawsuits could have been prevented with proper planning, and decided to focus on estate planning and closely related areas. Esther’s experience as a litigator gives her a unique perspective on planning and how to avoid the types of mistakes that can lead to lawsuits and other potential problems.
Esther has a very large and close-knit family. Her father was one of twelve children, while her mother had eight siblings. Esther has approximately 50 first cousins. Family has always been the most important part of Esther’s life, and this is another reason why she has chosen to focus on planning rather than litigation. She takes a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction from helping families protect the people they love, the assets they have worked so hard to achieve, and working to prevent the types of infighting over “who gets what” that can destroy family relationships for a lifetime.
Esther received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1990. She earned her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, in 1993. She became a member of the State Bar of California in 1993. In addition, Esther is fluent in Spanish.
Esther’s community participation has included volunteer work for the Advocates for Children’s Rights and Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Esther was also active on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Ventura County YMCA. She is an active member of WealthCounsel and Provisors. In her free time, Esther enjoys hiking, biking, running, and most of all, spending as much time as possible with her family.
Fabiola B. Karls
Fabiola focuses on guardianships and conservatorships, probate and trust administration and litigation, elder law crisis management, and contested conservatorships. She also has broad experience in family law, which she incorporates in her practice in the resolution of family conflicts that may arise in conservatorship, estate and trust administration matters.
As an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Fabiola became an intern with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles, where she reviewed and analyzed legal briefs and observed evidentiary hearings and trials, and settlements of civil and family law cases. She graduated from CSUN in 2001 with a degree in Political Science. Fabiola went on to Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and attained her Juris Doctorate Degree in 2004. The following year, she was admitted to the State Bar of California.
Fabiola is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and resides in Porter Ranch with her family.
Stefan L. Guttensohn
Stefan practices in business transactional work with a focus on cross-border matters and corporate financing. He has served a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as investment funds and government agencies.
Stefan has practiced in Los Angeles, Toronto, Washington, DC, Riyadh and Casablanca, and is a member of the bars of California, New York, District of Columbia and Ontario (Canada). Aside from his private practice experience, Stefan also previously served with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ontario Securities Commission (Canada).
Stefan is an adjunct at Loyola Law School and LA Mission College.
Corporate/Commercial and Mergers:
- Advised a telecommunications company, as seller, on the sale of a spun-off division
- Advised a multinational company on tender offers for government bids, with one such bid potentially exceeding $1 billion in revenue
- Advised an independent investment dealer in a failed bid to acquire a Canadian energy company, which has subsequently become listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
- Advised a Middle-Eastern institutional investor in its acquisition of an investment holding company, which contains an investment manager, investment adviser, trustee, broker/dealer, and IT investment fund
- Advised National Scientific Company Limited in aspects of its joint venture with Gulf International Lubricants
- Advised a Saudi conglomerate in the reorganization of its real estate division
- Advised a US-based Tier One and Two automotive parts manufacturer in a multimillion dollar purchase of a Moroccan automotive parts manufacturer
- Advised various Canadian-based Tier One and Two automotive parts manufacturers in their supply relationships with the major US automobile manufacturers
- Advised a wealth management company with over $8 billion in assets under management in their corporate governance
- Advised a motion picture industry visual effects company in the reorganization of its corporate structure
- Advised a prominent pharmaceutical company in the acquisition of a Moroccan subsidiary of another pharmaceutical company as part of a worldwide acquisition valued over €4 billion
- Advised Nautic Partners, LP, a US private investment fund, in its acquisition of Canada Cartage and Directed Integrated Transportation, the two largest Canadian ground transportations companies
- Advised an insurance company in its $100 million-plus preference share offering
- Advised an insurance company in its $40 million initial public offering on the Saudi Stock Exchange
- Regularly advised a number of mining resource companies on listing and continuous disclosure matters on the Toronto Stock Exchange and NASD quotation systems
- Advised a petrochemical company, as purchaser, on aspects of a private placement of shares in Saudi Arabia, valued in excess of SR450 million
- Advised a real estate investment company, as issuer, on a private placement of securities in Saudi Arabia
- Advised a European private equity fund in a $100 million-plus USD investment by Canadian institutional investors
- Advised an investment manager of a closed-ended fund in the merger of two of its affiliated investment funds into a third investment fund
- Advised Colony Capital in a development containing seven hotels, two golf courses and residential communities in Morocco
- Advised RealCapita in the development of 200 social/affordable housing units in Morocco
- Advised Dubai International Properties in a joint venture with the Moroccan government for the $12 billion development of multiple resort complexes