Pierce Atwood LLP

Private Wealth Law Department

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Attorneys in the Portland office of Pierce Atwood assist private clients with trust and estate matters. "They're an excellent firm and obviously a powerhouse in the state of Maine," insists one contributor, adding: "It's high-quality work with top talent." Another market expert enthuses: "I think the firm is operating at a top level. I wouldn't hesitate to send someone over there if they needed sophisticated planning."

Pierce Atwood has offices across New England and receives praise for its regional focus. "They're just a terrific organisation," says an interviewee. "The fact they operate in Boston and across other states is great. We need heavy lifting and they provide it."

Notable practitioners

Barbara Wheaton has a traditional trust and estates practice, with a particular expertise in family foundations, charitable organisations and contested estates. "She's one of, if not the best trust and estates lawyer in Maine," says an out-of-state attorney, adding: "Barbara's done some of the most complicated trust and estate work I've come across. She's got an intensity but is kind and soft in the way that she works with you. She is way ahead of you mentally, often two steps ahead thinking about things, but she's so nice about it. She's the rare combination of brilliance and kindness." Another interviewee says: "She's perhaps one of the finest lawyers on an intellectual and judgement basis. You can always count on Barbara."

Marianna Putnam Liddell is involved in complex estate planning and administration. "Molly has the capability of doing high-level tax work as well as being a more than competent estate planner," reports one interviewee. Another says: "She's head of the practice and has been involved in some of the most complicated trust and estate issues with clients. She is kind of a go-to person if it's tough and complicated in a large-scale way. She has a very particular set of skills that set her apart from a lot of other attorneys in the state of Maine."