Vanja Habekovic is a Partner and Chair of the Tax Department. Vanja is a corporate attorney with a tax expertise. She specializes in mergers and acquisitions,  executive compensation, international tax, and 1031 exchanges. Her extensive knowledge of various areas of law informs her multidisciplinary approach and holistic vision of matters. 

After graduating from Stanford Law School, Vanja began her career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP where she was involved in billion-dollar equity and debt offerings and developed her tax expertise. Vanja has spent the past two decades crafting innovative tax solutions. This is what sets her apart from other corporate attorneys—the depth and breadth of her tax knowledge and extensive experience. Clients often comment that they are impressed with her ability to identify and anticipate critical issues before they arise and her dynamic problem-solving. Vanja prides herself on the quality of her research and the originality of her arguments for her clients’ benefit.

For nearly 20 years she has advised clients on numerous issues and truly excels at: 

  • Mergers and acquisitions: structuring to optimize tax efficiency
  • Executive Compensation: structuring equity, phantom equity, and deferred compensation plans
  • International tax: advising non-US clients on structuring their US real property and other investments
  • Real Estate Transactions: tax structuring, including 1031 exchanges
  • Equity and Debt Financings: structuring to optimize tax efficiency
  • Tax controversy: defending clients in complex high stakes audits, in particular 1031 exchanges

She has worked with clients in many industries, including technology, fashion, art, beauty, real estate, and food & beverage.

Vanja is constantly sharpening her decision strategy skills as a competitive pool player and her talents as a classical pianist, gourmet chef, and interior designer show that she is multidisciplinary in all aspects of her life.

Representative Matters

Represented the lead investor in his $10MM Series A investment in a financial services platform

Structured a complex 1031 exchange for a partnership with partners desiring to cash out

Represented a beer distributor in a sale of its distribution rights for $180MM

Represented Todd Pipe & Supply LLC, a plumbing wholesaler, to Reece Limited for $160MM

Represented seller in an asset sale of their insurance subrogation business

Negotiated tax and executive compensation issues on behalf of a technology company in a tax-free merger 

Honors & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Women’s Leadership Awards, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2022 

Women of Influence: AttorneysLos Angeles Business Journal, 2021

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2020-Present

Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Multiple Years

Community & Professional

State Bar of California

Real Estate Broker in California, 01860429

Media & Events

Blog Posts


  • Employment Law Reporter, 12.19.2023
  • California Business Journal, 09.09.2019
  • Equity Compensation in LLCs and Partnerships
    California Business Law Practitioner, Spring 2017
  • Homes Away From Home Author
    Los Angeles Lawyer, 01.2016, 01.2016
  • Limited Liability Companies for Dummies
    Technical Editor, 3rd Edition
  • Structuring Business and Real Estate Opportunities in the U.S.
    ECJ News, 05.2014
  • Look Before You Leap: The IRS Relief Offer on Worker Classification
    Taxing Matters, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 05.2012
  • How to Spice Up Restricted Stock
    Taxing Matters, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 05.2012
  • Successfully Deducting Success-Based Fees
    Taxing Matters, Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP, 01.2012

Speaking Engagements



J.D., Stanford Law School

B.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Phi Beta Kappa


  • California
  • U.S. Tax Court 


  • Croatian
  • Spanish
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