“Wyatt has been looking to grow our estate planning practice and this merger is an excellent fit for both firms,” said Glen Reid, partner in-charge of Wyatt’s Memphis office. “The addition of these highly talented lawyers contributes to Wyatt’s growing national reputation in estate planning, charitable giving, foundations, special needs counseling, elder law, and sophisticated tax planning.”
The merger bumps Wyatt’s estate planning up to 27 attorneys, six who are certified Estate Planning Specialists, and six who are fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate counsel. The estate planning emphasis they explain to be a response to the rising need for baby boomers to do their estate planning and also because family-owned businesses are needing more aid in managing their estates.
“It’s a growing area of our practice,” said Bill Hollander, managing partner of Wyatt.
“Our strategic plan calls for growth,” he said, “and when we looked around in the Memphis market, we felt the Williams McDaniel firm was the best estate-planning firm in west Tennessee. We were very interested in bringing them into the firm.”
McDaniel enthused about the merger as well. “In addition to Wyatt’s outstanding estate-planning practice, the firm offers us experienced lawyers in over 30 other service areas which we can now offer to our clients,” said A. Stephen McDaniel, McDaniel’s senior attorney. “We have a large number of high-net-worth clients who own and operate closely held businesses, where their business affairs are often intertwined with their personal financial planning.”
The strategy firms have been using in 2011 to use mergers to fight a bad market seemed to be easing up in 2012, but it nevertheless continues to inspire many firms to make such a venture.