Andrew W. Vorzimer
Attorney at Law/Partner
Andrew W. Vorzimer heads the firm’s Third Party Reproductive Practice at Vorzimer/Masserman (VM). Mr. Vorzimer is a frequent author on subjects including third party reproduction, surrogacy and egg donation. Mr. Vorzimer was the recipient of the “Illumination Award” from the American Fertility Association (AFA) and the 2017 Whittier Law School Alumni Attorney of the Year Award. Mr. Vorzimer is recognized worldwide as the foremost expert in the field of Surrogacy, Egg Donation and Reproductive Law. Mr. Vorzimer has also handled numerous high profile litigation cases including: David Copperfield vs. Butterfield & Butterfield; Elizabeth Taylor vs. The National Enquirer; Estate of Howard Hughes vs. Summa Corporation; the professional liability portion of the Twilight Zone case; and has represented the State of California in the People vs. Coastal Insurance lawsuit. Reported Case of note: North River Insurance Company vs. American Home Assurance Company, 210 Cal. App. 3d 108 (1989).
Mr. Vorzimer has been quoted as an expert or appeared in numerous magazines and news shows including 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Medical News Today, USA Today and MSNBC . Mr. Vorzimer was a Contributing Author to: Consents and Contracts, “Principles of Oocyte and Embryo Donation”; Insurance Handbook for Business Litigators; and CEB Civil Procedure Before Trial,1990. Mr. Vorzimer has authored numerous articles including: What to Look for in an Egg Donation Program; Workplace Environment: Sexual Harassment; Business & Professions Code Section 17200: California’s Unfair Competition Law; Sexual Harassment: Increase in Claims Strikes Fear in Employers; and Hostile Work Environment Claims Have Employers on the Defensive. Mr. Vorzimer and Mr. Masserman were also part of a small group of attorneys who assisted Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes in drafting AB1217 which codified the current best legal practices regarding surrogacy agreements in California, and was added to the California Family Code as Section 7962.
Mr. Vorzimer attended Whittier College School of Law where he served as Executive Editor of Law Review and was published. Mr. Vorzimer graduated from Whittier in 1988, Magna Cum Laude (J.D.). Mr. Vorzimer did his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and University of Miami. Mr. Vorzimer is admitted to the State Bar of California; American Bar Association; Los Angeles County Bar Association; United States District Court, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of California; the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; and the Supreme Court of the State of California. Mr. Vorzimer is a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM); Fellow of American Academy of Associated Reproductive Technologies Attorneys (AAARTA); International Federation Of Fertility Societies (IFFS); RESOLVE; World IVF; Board of Directors of Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED); Founding Fellow of the International Surrogacy Forum; National Association of Surrogate Mothers; OPTS; INCIID; and Academy of Associated Reproductive Technologies. Mr. Vorzimer is also a faculty member of IFFS/ASRM and the REI Nursing Congress. Mr. Vorzimer also is a member of the board of the Walking Strong Foundation, to find treatment and cures for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Dean E. Masserman
Attorney at Law/Partner
Dean E. Masserman is a highly experienced and respected trial lawyer, who has handled in excess of 40 jury trials and 3,300 court trials and substantive hearings in both federal and state court, and serves as chairperson of the firm’s Family Law Practice, Civil Defense Practice and Complex Litigation Practice. Mr. Masserman began his legal career as a Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender. Since founding VM in 1994, Mr. Masserman has expanded his practice to include all facets of Family Law litigation.
Mr. Masserman’s, specialties include third party reproduction litigation, property disputes involving frozen embryos and genetic materials, marital and non-marital transactions, divorce, spousal and child support disputes, restraining orders, and complex criminal and family litigation. In addition, Mr. Masserman has successfully defended clients in matters pertaining to Employment Law, Criminal Defense, Immigration, Construction Defect Law, Unfair Competition, Products Liability Defense, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination Defense, and Entertainment Law.
Mr. Masserman also assists and defends hospitals, IVF clinics and surrogacy agencies with their informed consent documents and negligence claims. Mr. Masserman frequently works with Mr. Vorzimer in the Third Party Reproduction practice. Mr. Masserman was instrumental in securing the first pre-birth judgment of maternity/paternity in the United States following the landmark decision in Buzzanca v. Buzzanca. He also authored an article regarding recent advances in Pre-implantation Genetic Determination (PGD), and the legal ramifications associated with this procedure, for the Journal of Assisted Reproductive Law. Mr. Masserman and Mr. Vorzimer were also part of a small group of attorneys who assisted Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes in drafting AB1217 which codified the current best legal practices regarding surrogacy agreements in California, and was added to the California Family Code as Section 7962.
Mr. Masserman is a regular speaker at the STARTART nursing congress, and at various medical. AAARTA and ABA sponsored presentations, speaking on legal issues in the ART community. Mr. Masserman has made regular media appearances including: The Today Show; CBS Morning News; Good Morning America; CNN with Connie Chung; CNN Tonight; KFI-640am Radio: Regular guest legal analyst; CNBC’s “Rivera Live; CNBC’s “The O.J. Simpson Trial”; and “LA Extra” with Gene Gleeson. He has also appeared as a guest lecturer on Criminal Procedure for the Legal Education Conference Center (LECC), done pro bono work as an attorney volunteer with the Los Angeles Superior Court Domestic Violence Program, and previously served as a Judge Pro Tem for the County of Los Angeles and the City of Culver City.
Mr. Masserman graduated from Southwestern University School of Law (J.D.) and did his undergraduate studies at University of Colorado at Boulder and University of California at San Diego (B.A.). Mr. Masserman is admitted to the State Bar of California; United States District Court, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of California; the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; and the Supreme Court of the State of California. Mr. Masserman has previously represented the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department handling Civil Rights litigation, the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office assisting indigent clients, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – Narcotics Unit as a state certified clerk. In addition to being a licensed attorney, Mr. Masserman is also licensed as a Real Estate Broker by the California Department of Real Estate. Mr. Masserman also is a member of the board of the Walking Strong Foundation, to find treatment and cures for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Amani T. Hanson - Of Counsel
Attorney at Law
Amani T. Hanson graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, she performed research at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center in the department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience. After college, she was awarded with a Post-Baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health. Such award consisted of a 2-year NIH grant to perform research full time at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Lab of Integrative Neuroscience. During this time, Mrs. Hanson studied fetal alcohol syndrome, particularly the effects of alcohol on neuronal migration within the cerebellum. She has first authored a publication in the Journal of Neuroscience and presented her research as several scientific meetings.
Mrs. Hanson then attended the Rutgers School of Law – Camden and the School of Business – Camden, where she completed a J.D./M.B.A. dual degree program. Mrs. Hanson was formerly an associate at VM from 2014 -2021. Currently Mrs. Hanson resides in Texas and is Of Counsel to the firm, collaborating with VM’s Assisted Reproduction team. Mrs. Hanson is fluent in Arabic and enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and exercising.
Attorney at Law
Krystel Zambrano is a Senior Associate with the firm’s Assisted Third Party Reproduction, Family Law, and Civil Defense/Complex Litigation groups. She received her law degree from UCLA School of Law, where she graduated Order of the Coif. Ms. Zambrano was an active member of her law school community. She served as the external co-chair for the Latino Law Student Association, a staff editor for the Chicanx Latinx Law Review, and a volunteer for several immigration rights and homelessness clinics. Prior to joining VM as an associate, Ms. Zambrano externed for the Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked at a large law firm where she worked on breach of contract, mass torts, personal injury, and consumer class action cases in state and federal court. Ms. Zambrano obtained her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, summa cum laude, and is fluent in Spanish.
Ms. Zambrano also has extensive experience in the Assisted Third Party Reproduction field. Before attending law school, she spent several years working with agencies, clinics, and intended parents seeking to complete their families through assisted reproduction technologies.
Attorney at Law
Larissa Donikian is a California licensed attorney working with the firm’s Assisted Third Party Reproduction group. She received her law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She served as the Secretary of the Armenian Law Students’ Association after two years of active membership. Prior to joining VM as an associate, Larissa was employed at a large law firm where she worked on general liability cases including breach of contract and personal injury matters. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Irvine earning two Bachelor of the Arts degrees in History and Political Science.
Larissa has a lifelong commitment to philanthropy and since 2010 has dedicated her efforts to the nonprofit organization, Focus on Children Now. Focus on Children Now runs multiple school programs in third-world Armenia aimed at benefitting pre-school and kindergarten students. In her free time, Larissa enjoys Muay Thai kickboxing, hiking various trails throughout Los Angeles, and traveling to new places (most recently to Peru).
W. Kwamina Ngissah
W. Kwamina Ngissah (Kwam) graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988, and then attended Loyola Law School. Kwam first worked for VM from 1997 to 2004. In 2004, Kwam left VM and spent the next 10 years working in the field of construction defect litigation defense with a nationally known law firm. Kwam rejoined VM in 2015 as a senior paralegal, and works with both the third party reproduction and litigation paralegal teams. Kwam is well versed in worker’s compensation, construction defect litigation, malpractice defense, insurance claim resolution, family law litigation, surrogacy and egg donation.
In his free time Kwam manages his real estate portfolio, plays in local poker tournaments, is an amateur sports enthusiast, is a master griller and sous chef, and judges local Cumbia and salsa events. Kwam is also a volunteer Life Skills coach.
Helaena Eichberg joined VM as a Senior Paralegal in 2015. Ms. Eichberg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from UC Riverside in 2004 and went on to earn her paralegal certification from UCLA in 2008. Prior to joining the VM team, Ms. Eichberg worked in collections law and criminal defense.
Ms. Eichberg’s primary responsibility is to prepare and file court pleadings in the 58 California counties in order to establish parental rights for our clients. In her free time, Ms. Eichberg enjoys playing poker, cooking, crossfit, yoga, and going to concerts. Ms. Eichberg also runs in the Spartan Race several times a year.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Robyn Gelgand, born and raised in Los Angeles, began working in entertainment in 1995 providing administrative support to studio executives in television and film. She moved into studio film publicity in 2006, where she specialized in talent relations with high profile entertainers and VIP talent.
Robyn joined VM as executive administrative assistant to Mr. Vorzimer in 2021. Her primary responsibilities include providing high-level administrative support to VIP clients, identifying and addressing the needs of the firm’s senior managers, paralegals and attorneys, overseeing logistics, and correspondence. In her spare time, Robyn enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to concerts, and reading a good book.
Weiwei Zhao joined VM as a legal assistant in 2016. Ms. Zhao earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English of International Business with a double degree in finance from Tianjin Foreign Studies University in 2011. Ms. Zhao worked as a volunteer for Summer Davos Forum—Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2010, and offered translation service for committee members. Ms. Zhao studied in the MBA program in University of New Haven from 2011 to 2013. After graduation, Ms. Zhao worked as an immigration legal assistant in Yerman & Associates, LLC in New York City, assisting with drafting legal papers, performing legal research, and translation for Chinese clients. Ms. Zhao is fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English. Ms. Zhao’s responsibilities are working directly with VM’s Chinese clients in both IVF and egg donation matters, as well as translation services. Ms. Zhao also accompanies Chinese clients to obtain birth certificates and passports upon request. Ms. Zhao enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, skiing and reading books in her free time.
Weiwei Zhao 于2016年作为一名律师助理加入VM. 她于2011年毕业于天津外国语大学，拥有英语国际商务和金融双学位。她是2010年夏季达沃斯论坛中的一名志愿者，为组委会的成员们翻译相关内容。2011年至2013年，她在美国康涅狄格州的纽海文大学攻读MBA硕士学位。2013年毕业后，她作为一名移民律师助理开始在纽约曼哈顿的耶曼律师楼工作，工作内容包括协助律师起草法律文书，搜索移民相关的信息，帮助中国的客户和美国律师之间进行翻译。赵女士能流利的说中文和英文，她在VM的工作职责是直接与中国客户联系处理代孕与捐卵事宜并协助翻译，同时她还协助中国客户获得出生证与护照。在业余时间，她喜欢旅行，游泳，徒步旅行，滑雪，和阅读。
Jing Yang was a Chinese transaction lawyer in Shanghai before joining VM. Ms. Yang graduated from the Wuhan University School of Law with a double degree in Law and Economics. From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Yang gained great experience with corporate, foreign direct investment, and contract law while working in renowned law firms in Shanghai. From 2010 to 2014, she managed the legal department of Shanda Group, a leading Company in the Internet & Entertainment Industry, based in Shanghai. In 2014 Ms. Yang attended UCLA Law for her master degree in Law (LL.M.). After graduation she was hired to serve VM’s Chinese clientele to further her passion for family law and related cutting edge issues. Ms. Yang is fluent in both Mandarin and English. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, singing Karaoke and watching movies with friends.
杨晶女士在加入VM 之前是一名中国非诉律师。她毕业于中国武汉大学法学院，拥有法学及经济学双学位。2008年至2010年，她在中伦上海分所等知名律师事务所从事公司法，外商直接投资以及合同法律实务；2010年至2014年，她在中国互联网及娱乐产业的领头羊盛大集团担任法务经理一职。2014年，她前往美国加州大学洛杉矶分校法学院攻读法学硕士。2015年夏天硕士毕业后，她出于对美国家庭法，娱乐法及相关前沿问题的热爱，加入VM 团队以服务我们的中国客户。杨律师能说流利的中文及英文。在业余时间，她喜欢旅行，烹饪，同朋友一起唱卡拉OK及看电影。
Business Operations Manager
Silvia Masserman emigrated from Ecuador to the United States in 1995 to pursue a career in travel and tourism. Soon afterward Mrs. Masserman started an international import/export company shipping goods around the world and simultaneously established a real estate development company in the United States. In 2005 Mrs. Masserman joined VM providing services in International Marketing, Branding and Client Development.
Mrs. Masserman is well versed in the field of Surrogacy and Egg Donation and travels abroad on behalf of VM to speak and meet with potential and existing clients. Mrs. Masserman currently serves as the business operations manager for VM. Mrs. Masserman also oversees VM’s charity operations to assist disabled children in Mexico, and sits on the board of the Walking Strong Foundation to find treatment and cures for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Jules Estrada, originally from Los Angeles, joined VM as an Office Assistant and Receptionist in February 2019. Ms. Estrada has experience in Workers Compensation and Medical Billing and is working on getting her Legal Assistant/Paralegal Certificate. Ms. Estrada’s current responsibilities include overseeing logistics, correspondence, digital file management, backing up staff attorneys in the firm’s reproductive practice and assisting day to day operations. Ms. Estrada enjoys sight-seeing, good food and sunny beach days.
Olga Arellano, originally from Mexico, joined VM in May 2018 as a legal assistant and Spanish interpreter. Ms. Arellano graduated from UCI – Mexico with a Bachelors Degree in journalism and communications. In 2018, Ms. Arellano graduated and was certified as a courtroom interpreter from SCSI. In her free time she enjoys working out and going out on road trips to discover new places and experience new cultures.
Ivanna Altamirano, originally from Ecuador joined VM in 2021 as a legal assistant. Ms. Altamirano graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2021 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in Spanish and Criminal Justice. Throughout her college career she was listed on the Dean’s List for high academic achievements while being an active member in the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Ms. Altamirano assists Mr. Masserman in civil litigation, family law, and third-party reproduction practice. Her primary responsibilities include written discovery, deposition and trial preparation, fact-checking and compiling case evidence, communicating with opposing counsel, clients, and Los Angeles court clerks. She oversees logistics, correspondence, digital file management, and assists with day-to-day operation of the firm. Ms. Altamirano is also fluent in Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Sandra Zambrano graduated from Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil with a degree in International Business in 1984. Ms. Zambrano was employed at Egg Donation, Inc. in the mid 2000s and found helping people build their family through assisted reproduction very fulfilling. Sandra joined VM in 2015. In her free time Ms. Zambrano enjoys watching movies, cooking, and spending time with her family.