Ashley G. Blake

Ashley G. Blake

South Dakota Trust Company Attorney

My Story

Ashley Blake is a South Dakota trust company and trusts and estates attorney at Davenport Evans. Ashley’s practice primarily focuses on trust company creation and compliance and trust administration and litigation.

Trust Companies

Ashley is an industry leader and highly accomplished in the establishment of South Dakota trust companies.  She regularly assists clients with the creation and compliance of trust companies, both public and private, under South Dakota law.  Ashley has extensive experience forming, and regularly works with, a wide-variety of different types of trust companies, including:

  • private family trust companies,
  • custodial trust companies,
  • cryptocurrency and digital asset trust companies,
  • traditional trust companies,
  • international trust companies,
  • IRA or HSA trust companies, and
  • retirement plan or employee benefit trust companies.

Ashley has helped obtain numerous public and private South Dakota trust company charters for clients, and is uniquely skilled in this area.  Ashley’s work with trust company clients also includes drafting necessary policies and procedures, assisting with changes of control or mergers, and working with trust companies on an extensive range of post-charter compliance issues, from general board and trust committee compliance to responding to regulatory exams, new statutes, administrative rules, or regulatory guidance.  Along with her trust company compliance work, Ashley also helps her trust company clients with their many trust administration or custodial account administration issues.

Trust Administration & Litigation

Ashley’s practice also includes assisting clients with a vast array of trust administration issues including:

  • modification or reformation,
  • decanting,
  • division or severance,
  • merger or consolidation,
  • termination,
  • removal or appointment of trustee, advisor, or trust protector,
  • approval of accountings,
  • virtual representation questions,
  • trustee liability issues, and
  • changing situs and governing law.

Ashley also regularly reviews trusts drafted by out-of-state attorneys for South Dakota validity and provides guidance to her trust administration clients on the requirements of South Dakota trust law.  Ashley helps her clients achieve their objectives both non-judicially and through formal court approval.  She also assists clients in trust litigation when matters are contested. Ashley has worked with numerous ultra-high net-worth clients on a variety of trust issues, from consent-based matters to highly contested litigation. 

Internet & Cyber Law

A final focus of Ashley’s practice is cyber law.  Along with being well-known for her trust and trust company work, Ashley is also known for her cyber law acumen.  She regularly assists clients with the legal side of digital issues that affect their businesses, including privacy policies and terms of use for websites, cryptocurrency issues (including compliance issues for cryptocurrency and digital asset trust companies), digital contracts and licensing agreements, online marketing compliance, and a wide variety of other digital-related legal matters.

About Ashley

Originally from Sioux Falls, Ashley graduated with honors and a dual-major from Harvard University.  She obtained her JD, ranked first in her class, and with Sterling Honors, from the University of South Dakota School of Law.  In law school, Ashley received an unprecedented 23 Dean’s Certificates for Outstanding Performance/CALI Awards for the top grade of any student in her classes and obtained the first and second only perfect semesters in the history of the law school.  Ashley was the recipient of many awards and scholarships, including the prestigious Gavel Award and Everett Bogue Scholarship. She served as the Lead Articles Editor on her school’s law review, was a graduate assistant for Dean Tiffany Graham and Professor Frank Pommersheim, and founded and served as president of the Internet and Cyber Law Society organization at her law school.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking, playing board games, and spending time with her family.

Position: Associate
Direct: (605) 357-1222
Email: ablake@dehs.com

Professional Experience

Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP 
Associate: 2016 – present

Education

Harvard University 
(B.A., with Honors, 2009) 

University of South Dakota School of Law 
(J.D., Sterling Honor Graduate, 2016)

Professional Memberships

State Bar of South Dakota
American Bar Association

Licensure

Admitted to Practice (State):
South Dakota, 2016

Accomplishments

Dean’s Certificate for Outstanding Performance/CALI Awards: Trusts & Wills; Employment Law; Media & Communications Law; Contracts I & II; Federal Income Tax; Property I, Federal Tax Procedure; Constitutional Law; Insurance; First Amendment Rights; Advanced Torts; Nonprofit Organizations; Business Entity Taxation; Criminal Law; Fundamental Legal Skills I & II; Civil Procedure I & II; Torts II; Criminal Procedure; Evidence; and Indian Law.

Lead Articles Editor, South Dakota Law Review, Vol. 61 (2015-2016)

Author: “I Don’t Understand Anything”: An Analysis of Why State v. Diaz Was Misguided and May Lead to An Erosion of Miranda and Its Progeny’s Protections for Juveniles in South Dakota, 60 South Dakota Law Review 144 (2015)

Award Recipient: Gavel Award, 2016; Lawrence & Catherine Piersol Award for 1st Place in Law Review Write-On Competition, 2013; R.D. Hurd Award for Best Appellant Brief at Sam Masten Moot Court Tournament (2013)

Scholarship Recipient: Everett Bogue Scholarship; Alan Bogue Legal Writing Scholarship Award; Dave Curlington Criminal Procedure Scholarship Award; Donald Shultz Scholarship; Gary G. Colbath Scholarship Award; Robert V. Burns Award; Edward Hope Scholarship

Protecting what you’ve built.

Phone Numbers

Driving Directions

Davenport Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP

206 West 14th Street
P.O. Box 1030
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1030