Ellis H. Pretlow

    Office: Norfolk
    Admissions: Virginia


    Ellis is a Member in the firm’s Norfolk office where her practice focuses on trust and estate matters and transfer and fiduciary taxation. Ellis, a Suffolk native, comes to the trusts and estates arena naturally as the daughter of a trusts and estates attorney. Her estate planning work includes thinking through the complex intersection of family succession and tax planning to implement thoughtful and efficient estate plans for her clients. Her estate planning work often intersects with tax planning, which is a crucial part of the operation of a holistic and well-rounded estate plan both during life and after death. In addition to the planning component of trusts and estates, Ellis also assists clients and their families in the probate and administration of estates and the administration, modification, and termination of trusts.

    Recognition & Honors

    • Norfolk Trusts and Estates; Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2021-2023
    • Top Lawyers; CoVaBIZ Magazine, 2020-2023
    • Virginia’s Legal Elite; Virginia Business Magazine, 2018-2022
    • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association’s Walter E. Hoffman Community Service Award, 2021
    • Top 40 Under 40, Inside Business, 2020
    • Millennial on the Move, CoVaBIZ Magazine, June 2018
    • Law Clerk to the Honorable Karon O. Bowdre; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 2012-2013
    • James W.H. Stewart Tax Law Award, 2012
    • Managing Editor; Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice
    • Order of the Coif
    • Omicron Delta Kappa, Alpha Circle


    • Virginia Bar Association
      – Wills, Trusts & Estates Section Legislative Committee
    • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
    • Downtown Norfolk Council; Board of Directors
    • Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council; Board of Directors
    • Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Council; Board of Directors, 2016-2021
    • Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council; Board of Directors, 2014 – 2019
    • Hampton Roads Community Foundation; Professional Advisory Committee
    • ACCESS College Foundation; Board of Directors; Batten Legacy Society Advisory Council
    • Downtown 100; Member, 2014 – 2019
      – Steering Committee and Projects Committee
    • LEAD Hampton Roads; Graduate, Class of 2018

    Speaking Engagements

    • Speaker, “Estate Planning for Changes in Retirement Plans and a Rising Interest Rate,” 41st Annual Trusts & Estates Seminar, October 2022
    • Speaker, “Issues that Arise After Death and Prior to Qualification,” 40th Annual Trusts & Estates Seminar, October 2021
    • Speaker, “Four Weeks & A Funeral: Considerations for the Two Weeks Prior to Death and the Two Weeks After Death,” The Conner-Zaritsky 41st Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Administration Seminar, April 2021
    • Speaker, “Income and Estate Tax Planning: What to Expect from the Biden Administration,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly Webinar, March 17, 2021
    • Speaker, “Fiduciary Income Tax Issues: From Death to Trust Termination,” 38th Annual Trusts & Estates Seminar October 2019
    • Moderator, 37th Annual Trusts & Estates Seminar October 2018


    • University of Virginia; B.A., 2009
    • Washington & Lee University School of Law; J.D., magna cum laude, 2012

    Press & Publications