Hossein Berenji

Hossein Berenji, owner of Berenji & Associates, is a seasoned divorce lawyer with a practice focused on complex, high net worth divorces.

His commitment to providing aggressive, high-quality representation has led to consistent multi-million-dollar property settlements and countless favorable alimony and child support judgments throughout Los Angeles County. Whether it’s fiercely litigating a case through trial when the opposition is unreasonable or obtaining the best settlement for a client who wants to avoid a lengthy, painful court battle, he is known for using his vast courtroom and negotiation experience to attain optimal resolutions tailored to meet the needs of each client. In addition to divorce litigation, Hossein has extensive experience handling spousal support, custody and visitation matters, child support and paternity disputes, and preparing pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Hossein has been recognized by numerous legal organizations for his outstanding work as a family law attorney, he is regularly consulted by media outlets about high-profile family law cases, and he regularly supports and volunteers his time to public service organizations in Southern California. He is an active member of Rotary International, assisting in fundraising for domestic and international humanitarian causes, and has provided pro bono representation to victims of domestic violence through Neighborhood Legal Services, an organization dedicated to helping low-income residents of Los Angeles County. He is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and is a former director and current member of the Iranian American Bar Association.

Prior to obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School, Mr. Berenji received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA. Since 2001, he has been admitted to practice law before the California Supreme Court and other lower state courts.

MEDIA RECOGNITION AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:

  • VoyageLA Magazine, April 2, 2019
  • US Weekly, June 13, 2016 “Inside Their Bitter Battle” (Johnny Depp & Amber Heard)
  • US Weekly, September 30, 2016 “Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie’s Temporary Custody Agreement: Divorce Attorney Explains”
  • US Weekly, October 5, 2016 “Why Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Agreed to Let The Kids Live With Her (For Now)”
  • US Weekly, October 17, 2016 “Brad Pitt’s Shattered World”
  • Javanan Magazine
  • The Impact of the New ‘Tax Cuts on Jobs Acts’ on Alimony and Support Orders, Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business (PSWALSB) Conference, February 2019
  • The Pasadena Outlook, 8/23/2018
  • The La Canada Outlook, 8/30/2018
  • Regular Expert Commentator on Family Law Issues, KIRN 670 A.M.
  • Panel Moderator, When is it Over? The Date of Separation, IABA National Conference (Collaboration between Iranian American Bar Association, IABA Foundation and UC Irvine School of Law), September 19, 2015
  • Tying the Knot Without Getting Your Assets Tied Up, February 8, 2012, Iranian American Bar Association

AWARDS AND AFFILIATIONS:

  • Super Lawyers, Top Rated Family Law Attorney
  • Best Legal Counsel, Distinguished Member
  • Top10 Beverly Hills
  • The National Advocates, Top 100 Lawyers
  • America’s Premier Attorneys, Top 30 Matrimonial and Family Law
  • Lawyers of Distinction
  • Iranian American Bar Association, Former Director, Los Angeles Chapter
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member of Family Law Section
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Rotary International

EDUCATION:

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1997
  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 2000

Nikoo Berenji

Nikoo N. Berenji brings to Berenji & Associates over a decade of experience representing hundreds of large corporations and individual defendants in a wide range of high-stakes legal matters in state and federal courts in Los Angeles

After graduating from UCLA, Nikoo was awarded a full scholarship to Berkeley Law School, consistently ranked one of the top law schools in the nation. She served as a federal judicial extern to the Honorable Judge S. James Otero, and then started her legal career as an associate attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the largest, top-tier law firms in the world. She has been a trial attorney on behalf of both the United States federal government and Los Angeles County.

She is passionate about helping her clients access and obtain justice through the legal system, and she applies that passion to each and every family law matter she handles at Berenji & Associates.

Nikoo is also an adjunct professor at UCLA’s School of Law and USC School of Law, has appeared as a guest speaker on numerous legal topics, and is actively involved in numerous local non-profit boards and organizations. Nikoo is married to Hossein Berenji and together they have two daughters.

EDUCATION:

  • Berkeley Law School, J.D. 2007
  • New York University, M.A. 2006
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 2002

AWARDS AND AFFILIATIONS:

  • President and former Conference Chair, Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business
  • Lecturer-in-Law, USC Law School and UCLA Law School
  • Past President and Director, Iranian American Bar Association
  • Former Chair and Steering Committee Member, All Saints Church Foster Care Project
  • American Jurisprudence Award, International Law, Berkeley Law School
  • Articles Editor, Berkeley Journal of International Law
  • K. Yee Fellowship, Berkeley Law School
  • Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, Regional Championship Winning Team

Annie B. Arakelian

Annie B. Arakelian has years of experience aggressively advocating on behalf of her clients in a wide range of legal and financial matters, allowing her to apply the skills and expertise she’s gained to each and every case she works on here at Berenji & Associates.

Prior to joining our firm, Annie spent much of her career as a tax attorney, protecting clients’ high-dollar assets from seizure, and navigating clients through complex financial planning to safeguard their interests. This experience, as well as her time at the Glendale City Attorney’s Office and the Baltimore Public Defender’s Office, have afforded her the litigation skills and a unique perspective she offers all our family law clients in need of effective representation for disputed matters regarding their assets, alimony and child support.

During law school, Annie was honored with a distinguished award for earning the highest marks of her class in International Litigation & Arbitration. She also competed on the John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Team and served on the Moot Court Executive Board.

EDUCATION:

  • Loyola Marymount University, B.A. in Sociology with a Minor in Business and Administration and Economics, 2009 (Graduated with Honors in Sociology)
  • University of Baltimore School of Law, 2012

AWARDS, AFFILIATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:

  • The National Advocates, Top 40 under 40 (2018)
  • Presentation, “The Impact of the New ‘Tax Cuts on Jobs Acts’ on Alimony and Support Orders”, Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business (PSWALSB) Conference, February 2019
  • LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles (2019)
  • Armenian Bar Association
  • Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (LAGLCC), Member (2018-2019)
  • Armenian Professional Network

Soojin Youn

Soojin Youn has devoted her legal career to the practice of family law and draws from her specialized experience to help all her clients at Berenji & Associates.

While attending Georgetown Law School, Soojin obtained experience through diverse internships, including at a private international firm, a national non-profit organization, and in the District of Columbia Superior Court.  After graduating, she joined a boutique law firm in DC specializing in domestic relations and dealt with numerous family law cases involving complex division of assets, child custody disputes, and modifications of support.  She returned to her home state of California in 2019 and joined Berenji & Associates, where she zealously advocates for all her clients to help them reach successful resolutions of their family law issues.

Soojin prides herself on her attention to detail and research skills, and realizes every family law case brings with it its own unique facts and issues. This enables her to tailor her skills and services to finding specialized solutions that meet the needs of every client she represents.

EDUCATION:

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. 2015
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A. 2009

AWARDS AND AFFILIATIONS:

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association: Family Law Section
  • Korean American Bar Association

Steven Kunysz

A Southern California native, Steven Kunysz brings to the team over a decade of experience in family law.

While Steven had always intended to become a lawyer, he began his legal career in 2010 as a paralegal at a small law firm where he played an integral role in clients’ family law cases. There, he honed his legal research and writing skills on everything from simple uncontested divorces, to complex, heavily litigated, high asset disputes, while also gaining invaluable experience working on civil cases during his time at the firm. When the opportunity to go to law school presented itself within a few years, he took that opportunity in order to do more to help clients going through difficult times as an attorney. The close relationships he formed with his family law clients and the positive impacts he was able to make in their lives played a significant role in his decision to practice family law after becoming an attorney.

In law school, Steven earned special recognition and commendations for his legal writing skills, and further enhanced his analytical abilities, all while continuing to work full-time serving clients as a paralegal. Since becoming an attorney, Steven has helped many family law clients by working to identify the issues that are most important to them, and then using his substantial experience in both family law and civil litigation to determine the best legal strategies for each one’s unique situation and concerns.

EDUCATION:

  • Pacific Coast University School of Law, J.D. 2018
  • California State University, Long Beach, B.S. Criminal Justice, 2009

AWARDS AND AFFILIATIONS:

  • State Bar of California
  • United States District Court – Central District of California
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Family Law Section

Arely Paez

Arely provides valuable support in all stages of our clients’ family law matters, from filing through trial, as well as uncontested matters and mediations.

She joined Berenji & Associates after spending years honing her organizational, administrative and customer skills in her previous positions.  Arely is fluent in English and Spanish, and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University.

Jacqueline Lara

Prior to joining Berenji & Associates, Jacqueline worked for several years at a nationally recognized legal services firm ensuring day-to-day operations ran smoothly and efficiently.

She developed strong relationships with court and judicial staff and brings these relationships with her to our firm. She loves knowing that through her work as a family law legal secretary, she is helping clients and families through what is often the most difficult time in their lives.  She is fluent in English and Spanish and loves to spend time with her family in her free time.

Tyler J. Metcalf-Bowers

As the Client Relations Specialist, Tyler J. Metcalf-Bowers is dedicated to ensuring all clients experience the stellar service we pride ourselves on providing here at Berenji & Associates.

Tyler joined the firm after obtaining extensive experience in operations management, communications and data analysis. Whether it’s through communicating clients’ concerns to our various departments, developing new ways to strengthen our relationships with clients, or addressing clients’ billing questions, Tyler leverages his unique skill set to make sure our clients are more than satisfied with the representation they receive at Berenji & Associates.

Jennie Raphelt

Jennie Raphelt is the newest attorney to join Berenji & Associates, after being awarded a scholarship and attending Lewis and Clark Law School. Prior to law school, she spent over a decade as an educator in Texas school systems.

Her desire to help others and love of new challenges ultimately led her to return to school to become a lawyer and then pursue a career in family law. In law school, she took advantage of opportunities to diversify her knowledge through externships at the district attorney’s office, a boutique immigration law firm, and a state tax clinic assisting low-income individuals.

Jennie loves tackling complex support and asset division issues, and is passionate about helping her clients resolve their cases in ways that best meet their individual families’ financial and emotional needs. Her extensive experience with children and families, and the knowledge gained through her coursework allow her to do so successfully as an associate at Berenji & Associates.

Education:

  • Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D. 2019
  • West Texas A&M University, B.A. 2016
  • Admissions:
  • State Bar of California