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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.

Wayne is the founder and president of Zell Law, an estate and business planning boutique firm and was partner with several prominent law firms. Wayne also worked as 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 2013-2015 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 an adjunct professor with George Mason University and is involved in charitable activities in the community and is currently serving as a Member of the Board of Directors of Northern Virginia Family Services and as a member of the Cornerstone Board of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.


  • 11718 Bowman Green Drive, Suite 100
    Reston, VA 20190

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Tax Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Areas of Concentration

Tax planning, Estate planning, Business planning, Corporate formation and transactions, Mergers and acquisitions, Private equity transactions, Venture capital funding, Business succession planning, Executive compensation/non-qualified deferred compensation plans, Estate and trust administration

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