Smith, Gambrell & Russell: Laura L. Wartner | Head of the Tax Practice | Private Client Services


Manage episode 180930736 series 1456831
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About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP - Learn more about Laura Wartner Laura L. Wartner is a Partner in and Head of Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s Tax Practice, with a focus in Private Client Services on family business planning, estate planning, and probate administration. [TRANSCRIPT] I got started in the practice of law in kind of a roundabout way. My undergraduate major was in social work and I spent my senior year in college working with families on what's called a community house in a very poor area of Cincinnati. And I soon came to realize that a lot of what I needed to do to help them involved being able to read and interpret laws and figure out how they apply to families and how they can help families. And so that is how I became interested in studying the law. A lot of what I do is still helping families, many of whom do have, not necessarily financial problems, but certainly, there's a lot of emotional issues and psychological issues that come about in trying to work with families in creating their plans that work for them and their family. So I chose to practice in this area of law, well, I should say I didn't really choose it, it chose me. When I started my practice, I was in the corporate group and I did a lot of corporate planning and tax planning, anything having to do with corporations, businesses, partnerships, but what happened a few years into my practice is there was a recession. As everybody knows, when recessions occur the business work dries up. At the same time the senior partner in the firm that I was working who did all of our estate planning died. Since I had taken a class in law school in the state planning, I then became the firm expert in estate planning. I, at first, was not really interested in doing it but the more I did it, the more interested I became in the area. It actually became an area that when I had a choice a few years later to go back to corporate I chose to remain in estate planning because I love the kind of work that we do and the relationships that we get to build. I think what sets us apart is that we view our job as not preparing documents, we view what we can offer to families as creating plans to transition wealth, family values, what's important to the family on to the next generation. We simply use documents to carry out the plan, but it's the planning that's the important part, not drafting documents.[END] About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP SGR is a full-service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s more than 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, construction, and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, London, Munich, New York, Southampton, and Washington, D.C.

32 episodes