Tara Jones Willecke
Of Counsel
Tel. (212) 689-1600
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Villanova University, B.A. 1999
Temple University, J.D. 2002
Bar Admissions:
New Jersey (2002)
New York (2003)

Tara Jones Willecke

Having practiced Matrimonial and Family Law exclusively for over sixteen years, Ms. Willecke brings to her clients a wealth of experience, a compassionate ear and a commitment to giving honest and pragmatic advice.  Ms. Willecke’s dedication to her clients, and her tireless efforts to put them in the best position to achieve their goals, are second to none. 

Ms. Willecke is known for being a skilled negotiator and a zealous advocate for her clients, both inside and outside the courtroom.  Her client’s ultimate goals are always at the forefront of her mind as she carefully crafts a strategy for each client as an individual.  Whenever possible, Ms. Willecke seeks to attain her client’s objectives through a negotiated settlement.  But, when it is in her client’s interests, or when the client’s objectives cannot be achieved through settlement, Ms. Willecke is an experienced and strategic litigator who is well-prepared.

Ms. Willecke was immediately drawn to the intensely personal aspects of family law and wanted to help individual clients navigate these difficult and delicate matters---which might include counseling them through the divorce process, working with them to resolve a child custody or child support issue, or negotiating the terms of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Whether a matter involves children, a long-term marriage in which there is financially dependent spouse, or a couple who are about to marry and are negotiating a prenuptial agreement, Ms. Willecke realizes that these issues are critically important to her clients.  She recognizes that the manner in which they are handled can have a long lasting impact on the family.  Each matter is different and Ms. Willecke recognizes that the strategy and approach to each matter must be carefully crafted and well thought out.

Prior to joining Donohoe Talbert LLP, Ms. Willecke was a Partner in the Matrimonial Department of Blank Rome LLP.

Reported Decisions:

o   Wechsler v. Wechsler, 58 A.D.3d 62 (2008) Drafted a successful appellate brief to the Appellate Division, First Department involving, among other things, the value to be attributed to the client’s separate property interest in a business and whether trapped-in capital gains should be deducted dollar-for-dollar from the value of the client’s investment company (a $21 million tax issue);

o   I.K. v. M.K., 753 N.Y.S.2d 828—Successfully obtained an order suppressing recordings made by the father of the mother’s conversations with the children;

o   Kaye v. Kaye, 2005 N.Y.Slip.Op. 50008---Obtained an award of 60% of the value of the marital townhouse in the wife’s favor and obtained an award of 90% of personal injury settlement proceeds which had been commingled with marital funds. 

Cases of Note include:

o   Represented the spouse of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and successfully negotiated a confidential resolution of all issues, including division of their $63+ million estate and specifically division of intricate and complex qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and deferred compensation;

o   Represented one of the top 25 executives at a Fortune 100 company in a marital dissolution proceeding which included review of employment and employment separation agreements and analyzing the impact of The Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) on his rights and entitlements under the employment agreement including on his compensation;

o   Represented the CEO of a Fortune 100 company in a marital dissolution proceeding including drafting a successful motion in limine to exclude an expert’s valuation report and testimony; and

Represented the wife of a Co-Founder of a technology start-up company and successfully argued that the husband’s interest should be valued using the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model (“BSOPM”), rather than the methodology employed by the court-appointed neutral—the first matrimonial case in the State of New York in which the BSOPM was used to value a business interest.