When it all began a little over 25 years ago, Oklahoma City
attorney Julian Kornfeld had a comfortable general law practice in El
Paso and Lubbock,Texas.
He handled the usual divorce cases and other general assignment
duties that are the bread and butter of most attorneys.
But then the glamour wore off a bit, he said, and he began to look
for an area of law which held more interest.
He decided tax and estate planning was the way to go so he
enrolled in New York University and began studying for his legal
master's degree in tax planning.
Today, Kornfeld is recognized as one of the foremost attorneys in
tax and estate planning in Oklahoma City.
The recognition was brought home recently when Kornfeld was chosen
by Town & Country Magazine as one of the nation's top tax planning
Chosen after exhaustive peer interviews, legal publication
research and client referrals, Kornfeld's recognition comes this
month when the national publication hits the stands.
Kornfeld came to the city in 1962 and at the time was the only
Oklahoma City attorney practicing with a specialized degree in tax
"Since then, of course there's lots and lots of people who do,"
But lots and lots of people aren't named as one of the top tax
attorneys in the country.
"The best thing about being chosen is two-fold really," Kornfeld
"It's always nice to be recognized by your peers. It's nice to be
recognized as one of the best and it's always nice to be the best.
"Secondly I feel like when you are recognized, it's got to be
helpful to your own business."
Created in 1982 with the merger of two Oklahoma City law firms,
Kornfeld, Franklin & Phillips now ranks as one of the top firms in
Oklahoma City in tax and estate planning.
But they aren't without competition and that's just fine with
"There's always going to be competition," he said. "It's like Joe
Lewis once said, "You have to be hungry to be a good fighter' and I
think there's a lot of truth to that.
"We think there's a healthy amount of competition, but I do think
the expansion of the amount of lawyers will not grow in the next five
years like it has in the past five," Kornfeld said.
"Having this honor and being in the magazine will be helpful,"
Kornfeld said. "I think the biggest thing about this award and the
area I practice in, is helping others achieve their objective.
"I think in the tax planning area, you can see how you helped
somebody more immediately than you can in other areas of the law,"
"Someone may come to you with a business proposition and say,
"Okay, here's the way I have it set up.' I'll take a look at it and
say, "okay, the way you have it set up you're going to pay $75,000 in
taxes,'" Kornfeld said.
"Then, I'll show them a different way to do it and they may only
pay $25,000 in taxes. …