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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — Georgia

Band 1

第一等

From the HNW guide

A national firm with deep roots in Georgia, Alston & Bird has a solid reputation for its "excellent practice" in Atlanta. The team is praised for its core of expertise and breadth of knowledge. "I have found their work particularly impressive, they do a first-class job," notes one source, adding: "Alston & Bird would be my go-to firm because of their broad scope."

The Atlanta wealth planning group represents a range of clients from wealthy families and individuals to tax-exempt institutions and corporations. The group is also well regarded for its capacity to handle contentious matters. Market commentators say: "They are a really high-end estate planning shop."

Notable practitioners  

Benjamin White, one of the senior members of Alston & Bird's wealth planning team, is widely known in the Georgia market for expertise in philanthropic planning. "Ben is probably regarded as the best authority in the state on charitable planning," comments one fellow lawyer, adding: "He is helpful as part of any plan." As part of his philanthropic practice, White advises wealthy families and individuals structuring charitable foundations. He also represents tax-exempt organisations. 

Mark Williamson is the chair of Alston & Bird's leading wealth planning group. "Known for being very smart," according to peers, Williamson represents US-based and non-US-based citizens. He specialises in federal taxation and has particular experience acting for European clients. "He is an excellent attorney," says one source. "He is very personable, knowledgeable and experienced."

Robert Edge is one of the "top estate planners in the area," according to peers. Edge has served as president of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council and the Georgia Federal Tax Conference. A "pillar of the estate planning community," he works with wealthy families and individuals based largely in the USA.

A "future leader" in the estate planning practice, Margaret Scott has recently been elected to the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Scott's practice focuses on estate planning for individuals and institutions, with distinctive expertise in dispute resolution. "She has got a great reputation," says one source. "She is a very personable person and spends a lot of time and attention with clients."

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Band 1

第一等

From the HNW guide

The team at Bowden Spratt brings years of experience at leading national firms to a specialised trusts and estates boutique. Bowden Spratt represents wealthy families and individuals in estate planning and estate administration. The team's practice areas include incapacity planning and philanthropic planning. "They are important players in the market," says one source, adding: "They have an excellent, excellent practice."

Notable practitioners  

James Spratt is considered a "cutting-edge" practitioner by market commentators. Spratt represents clients in wealth transfer and business succession planning matters. He also advises on trust and estate administration including tax and probate controversy. "Jim is very smart," says one fellow lawyer, adding: "He is very easy to get along with."

Patricia Thompson's practice has a broad scope with a solid following in Georgia. "She is bright and a very competent lawyer," says one source. Thompson represents clients in estate and gift tax planning, including special needs planning, and estate administration. Sources also praise her client relationship skills. 

Henry Bowden is a "top-drawer" attorney with a prestigious reputation in Georgia. Bowden specialises in planning for wealthy individuals and families with complicated assets. "He has a reputation as a very bright estate planning lawyer," one market commentator notes. Bowden's practice also involves charitable planning and work with tax-exempt organisations. Contemporaries say: "Bowden does a first-class job."

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Band 2

第二等

From the HNW guide

Arnall Golden Gregory has a "top-notch," long-established and well-respected private client practice in Georgia. Based in Atlanta, the private wealth group comprises five partners and two other qualified lawyers. The team represents ultra-wealthy individuals in Georgia and handles sophisticated multi-jurisdictional estates matters.

"One of the strengths of their team is that they all have different skills," says one source. "They are a very deep team, very professional; everybody on that team is a really good communicator with the clients and they each have the ability to communicate a very complex area of the law." The private wealth group has particular experience in the planning and governance of closely held businesses. "You get the resources and confidence that you are working with a big firm," notes one market commentator, "delivered in a boutique-like manner."

Notable practitioners  

Bertram Levy is chair of Arnall Golden Gregory's private wealth group. "Working with Bert has been extraordinary," states one source, "he is the best in the class. He's absolutely carved out a reputation that is stellar." His practice focuses on sophisticated estate planning for individuals and wealthy families. Described as "practical, very trustworthy and professional," he specialises in planning for privately held businesses. Clients say: "He is fantastic, very responsive and a true gentleman."

Jeremy Ware is "very bright," says one peer, adding: "He is a deep-thinker - I think he's got a very bright future." Ware's practice concentrates on estate planning and business succession planning. Described as "very knowledgeable on the international area," he acts for clients with multi-jurisdictional and cross-border connections. Market commentators say he is "very thorough," adding: "He has a very strong work ethic and is an incredible resource." 

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Band 2

第二等

From the HNW guide

An international firm with a national private client service group, Bryan Cave's Atlanta office is well regarded for its private client work. The team focuses on estate planning matters for wealthy families, individuals and business leaders. It has a strong track record representing corporate fiduciaries. "Bryan Cave has historically had a very significant bank representation practice," says one source, adding: "They are very responsive and their work is always high-quality."

In addition to its estate planning and business planning practice, the Atlanta team is commended for possessing a "very strong fiduciary litigation group." The private client service group acts for clients on US-based and complex cross-border structures.

Notable practitioners  

William Linkous is seen as a leader in trusts and estates law in Georgia. One lawyer describes him as "the dean of our Bar, and one of our most senior members." Linkous has a background in estate planning and fiduciary litigation. He acts as counsel to Bryan Cave and mediates in disputes cases.

Kimberly Civins "has a very deep knowledge set, both on the individual planning side and in depth of knowledge with regard to general fiduciary and corporate fiduciary needs," says one source. Civins' practice focuses on estate planning and administration for individuals and tax-exempt entities. She has a strong background working with private banks and corporate organisations. Fellows describe her as "delightful to work with."

The firm mourns the passing of its partner Frank McGaughey , who died in August 2016.

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Band 2

第二等

From the HNW guide

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is a well-established full-service firm with a substantial clientele of wealthy families and individuals in Georgia. "It is a very good name," says one market commentator, adding: "That makes people comfortable, it gives instant credibility." The estate planning group deals with lifetime estate planning and trust administration on behalf of fiduciaries or beneficiaries. The team also has a strong reputation for business planning.

"We find them to be outstanding partners to work with and highly technically competent," states one source, adding: "They have been on the leading edge of the newest laws that are coming out, the trends in the industry and the expected legislation out of Congress. They are as good as it gets."

Notable practitioners  

Co-head of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan's estate planning group, Nikola Djuric is a leading name in Georgia private client legal practice. He "is extremely easy to work with," says one source, adding: "He's very good in a collaborative environment and plays nicely with others." His practice concentrates on tax transfer strategies. He also has considerable experience in multi-generational estate planning and with private foundations. Market sources praise Djuric's flexible approach to this work. "His key strength is an understated genius," says one contemporary, adding: "He has this incredible capacity to make clients feel comfortable when having very difficult conversations. He has the personality coupled with the technical competence, which is an extraordinarily rare characteristic." 

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Band 3

第三等

From the HNW guide

Gaslowitz Frankel is seen as a go-to firm for trusts and estates litigation in Georgia. The small and highly specialised team acts for wealthy individuals and families in contests over wills and trusts, as well as business litigation. The team also has a pioneering practice for alternative dispute resolution.

"They are very good at counselling their own clients to get a settlement," says one commentator, adding: "That is where they shine and people really appreciate them - they are not just cowboy litigators, they understand the law and understand that most of these issues can be settled." 

Notable practitioners  

Described as "the best fiduciary litigator" in Georgia by peers, Adam Gaslowitz has a strong reputation for representing wealthy individuals in complicated disputes. Through his work in the legal community Gaslowitz has helped to rewrite the rules on inheritance legislation. He specialises in litigation for wills, trusts and estates.

Sources say Craig Frankel is "tenacious, and he does a good job." Frankel represents wealthy individuals in complex wills and trusts disputes. He also advises clients on commercial issues including business and contract disputes. 

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Band 3

第三等

From the HNW guide

Formed in 2011, Wallace Morrison & Casteel is a relatively new trusts and estates boutique which has fast made a name as a leader in Georgia's private client market. The founding partners of this specialist boutique all have experience at large national firms. "They are at the top of the game," says one source. 

Wallace Morrison & Casteel concentrates on estate planning for wealthy families and individuals who are US and non-US residents. They also have a strong reputation for structuring charitable entities and succession planning for business owners. Sources agree that "they do exceptional work."

Notable practitioners  

Stephanie Casteel concentrates on tax planning in relation to trusts and estates. She also works with tax-exempt organisations and in asset protection. "When I get into arcane trusts and estates issues, she is my sounding board," confides one source, adding: "Stevie's my go-to person if I am doing something that is not straightforward."

John Wallace is a former partner at King & Spalding and president of ACTEC. "He's the dean of trusts and estates law," says one commentator. Wallace's practice includes estate planning for US and non-US residents. Contemporaries describe him as "the leading light in the area" and "one of the eminent estate planning and high net worth lawyers in the state."

Ralph Morrison has represented high net worth individuals in Georgia for more than 30 years. As a previous chair of the fiduciary law section of the State Bar of Georgia, he has a trusted background in fiduciary litigation work. Morrison is well regarded and contemporaries say they "would not hesitate to refer to him" on trusts and estates matters.

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Senior Statesmen

Alston & Bird LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Robert Edge is one of the "top estate planners in the area," according to peers. Edge has served as president of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council and the Georgia Federal Tax Conference. A "pillar of the estate planning community," he works with wealthy families and individuals based largely in the USA.

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Senior Statesmen

Bryan Cave LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

William Linkous is seen as a leader in trusts and estates law in Georgia. One lawyer describes him as "the dean of our Bar, and one of our most senior members." Linkous has a background in estate planning and fiduciary litigation. He acts as counsel to Bryan Cave and mediates in disputes cases.

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Band 1

Bowden Spratt Law Firm PC

From the Chambers HNW guide

Henry Bowden is a "top-drawer" attorney with a prestigious reputation in Georgia. Bowden specialises in planning for wealthy individuals and families with complicated assets. "He has a reputation as a very bright estate planning lawyer," one market commentator notes. Bowden's practice also involves charitable planning and work with tax-exempt organisations. Contemporaries say: "Bowden does a first-class job."

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Band 1

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Co-head of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan's estate planning group, Nikola Djuric is a leading name in Georgia private client legal practice. He "is extremely easy to work with," says one source, adding: "He's very good in a collaborative environment and plays nicely with others." His practice concentrates on tax transfer strategies. He also has considerable experience in multi-generational estate planning and with private foundations. Market sources praise Djuric's flexible approach to this work. "His key strength is an understated genius," says one contemporary, adding: "He has this incredible capacity to make clients feel comfortable when having very difficult conversations. He has the personality coupled with the technical competence, which is an extraordinarily rare characteristic." 

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Band 1

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bertram Levy is chair of Arnall Golden Gregory's private wealth group. "Working with Bert has been extraordinary," states one source, "he is the best in the class. He's absolutely carved out a reputation that is stellar." His practice focuses on sophisticated estate planning for individuals and wealthy families. Described as "practical, very trustworthy and professional," he specialises in planning for privately held businesses. Clients say: "He is fantastic, very responsive and a true gentleman."

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Band 1

Bowden Spratt Law Firm PC

From the Chambers HNW guide

James Spratt is considered a "cutting-edge" practitioner by market commentators. Spratt represents clients in wealth transfer and business succession planning matters. He also advises on trust and estate administration including tax and probate controversy. "Jim is very smart," says one fellow lawyer, adding: "He is very easy to get along with."

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Band 1

Wallace Morrison & Casteel

From the Chambers HNW guide

John Wallace is a former partner at King & Spalding and president of ACTEC. "He's the dean of trusts and estates law," says one commentator. Wallace's practice includes estate planning for US and non-US residents. Contemporaries describe him as "the leading light in the area" and "one of the eminent estate planning and high net worth lawyers in the state."

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Band 1

Alston & Bird LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Robert Edge is one of the "top estate planners in the area," according to peers. Edge has served as president of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council and the Georgia Federal Tax Conference. A "pillar of the estate planning community," he works with wealthy families and individuals based largely in the USA.

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Band 1

Alston & Bird LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Williamson is the chair of Alston & Bird's leading wealth planning group. "Known for being very smart," according to peers, Williamson represents US-based and non-US-based citizens. He specialises in federal taxation and has particular experience acting for European clients. "He is an excellent attorney," says one source. "He is very personable, knowledgeable and experienced."

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Band 2

Gaslowitz Frankel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Described as "the best fiduciary litigator" in Georgia by peers, Adam Gaslowitz has a strong reputation for representing wealthy individuals in complicated disputes. Through his work in the legal community Gaslowitz has helped to rewrite the rules on inheritance legislation. He specialises in litigation for wills, trusts and estates.

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Band 2

Wallace Morrison & Casteel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Ralph Morrison has represented high net worth individuals in Georgia for more than 30 years. As a previous chair of the fiduciary law section of the State Bar of Georgia, he has a trusted background in fiduciary litigation work. Morrison is well regarded and contemporaries say they "would not hesitate to refer to him" on trusts and estates matters.

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Band 2

Cohen Pollock Merlin & Small, P.C.

From the Chambers HNW guide

Tony Turner "has an enormous practice," says one fellow lawyer, "he is a wonderful guy, very smart, and he has a very very good practice." Based at the Atlanta firm Cohen Pollock Merlin & Small, P.C., Turner represents clients in estate planning and business succession planning matters. He has a strong reputation for probate administration. "He has got presence and demeanour," says one family adviser, adding: "He is a very easy-going communicator. He's much more than an attorney who does wealth planning, he's a family lawyer. He has a very dynamic and growing practice."

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Band 3

Wallace Morrison & Casteel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Stephanie Casteel concentrates on tax planning in relation to trusts and estates. She also works with tax-exempt organisations and in asset protection. "When I get into arcane trusts and estates issues, she is my sounding board," confides one source, adding: "Stevie's my go-to person if I am doing something that is not straightforward."

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Band 3

Gaslowitz Frankel

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources say Craig Frankel is "tenacious, and he does a good job." Frankel represents wealthy individuals in complex wills and trusts disputes. He also advises clients on commercial issues including business and contract disputes. 

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Band 3

Alston & Bird LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

A "future leader" in the estate planning practice, Margaret Scott has recently been elected to the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Scott's practice focuses on estate planning for individuals and institutions, with distinctive expertise in dispute resolution. "She has got a great reputation," says one source. "She is a very personable person and spends a lot of time and attention with clients."

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Band 3

Bowden Spratt Law Firm PC

From the Chambers HNW guide

Patricia Thompson's practice has a broad scope with a solid following in Georgia. "She is bright and a very competent lawyer," says one source. Thompson represents clients in estate and gift tax planning, including special needs planning, and estate administration. Sources also praise her client relationship skills. 

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Up and Coming

Bryan Cave LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Kimberly Civins "has a very deep knowledge set, both on the individual planning side and in depth of knowledge with regard to general fiduciary and corporate fiduciary needs," says one source. Civins' practice focuses on estate planning and administration for individuals and tax-exempt entities. She has a strong background working with private banks and corporate organisations. Fellows describe her as "delightful to work with."

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Up and Coming

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jeremy Ware is "very bright," says one peer, adding: "He is a deep-thinker - I think he's got a very bright future." Ware's practice concentrates on estate planning and business succession planning. Described as "very knowledgeable on the international area," he acts for clients with multi-jurisdictional and cross-border connections. Market commentators say he is "very thorough," adding: "He has a very strong work ethic and is an incredible resource." 

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