Attorneys Sam Zodeh and Ian M. Fisher were instrumental in negotiations in the Estate of Huguette M. Clark, resulting in the creation of the Bellosguardo Foundation. In 2011, copper heiress Huguette M. Clark died at age 104. Clark’s Will established the Bellosguardo Foundation to foster the arts and directed that the Foundation receive Bellosguardo, the 24-acre Clark summer home overlooking the Pacific in Santa Barbara, as well as Clark’s art collection and cash. Clark’s relatives challenged the validity of her Will in the New York Surrogate’s Court. After lengthy negotiations, the case was settled prior to the start of a jury trial. Under the terms of the settlement, in addition to the Clark summer home, the Bellosguardo Foundation will receive Clark’s $1.7 million doll collection, and $4.5 million in cash. The Bellosguardo Foundation will be formed and operated in New York; however, Helene Schneider, mayor of Santa Barbara, will nominate seven members of the initial 10-member Board of Directors of the Foundation.
The Firm’s representation of Huguette M. Clark and her family’s Santa Barbara affairs spans over 80 years and dates back to the 1920’s when the Firm’s partner, Harold Parma, represented Clark’s mother in connection with the remodel of Bellosguardo.