Managing Partner: Martin L White
Senior Partner: H. Morrison Johnston
Number of partners: 28
Number of other lawyers: 47
Languages: English, German, Japanese
Johnston Allison Hord (‘JAH’) is a regional, mid-sized law firm serving clients primarily in the Southeastern US. Founded in 1912, the firm’s practice areas include trusts and estates, corporate, mergers and acquisitions, nonprofit, commercial real estate, commercial litigation, employment practices and benefits, health care, creditor’s rights and financial services. The firm also has the ability to associate other law firms nationally and internationally for the benefit of clients through its membership with Meritas, an international affiliation of more than 190 full-service law firms.
Main Areas of Practice:
Asset Protection Planning:
JAH counsels clients on how to preserve assets until distribution or death. JAH attorneys help ensure that a client’s assets pass to intended beneficiaries and not to unintended ‘beneficiaries,’ such as the Internal Revenue Service or creditors, often through the appropriate use of a trust, a limited partnership, or a limited liability company.
Business Succession Planning:
JAH attorneys advise closely held businesses and their owners in all aspects of transitioning ownership, management, and control of a business. Many clients rely on JAH for full-service representation through all stages in the life cycle of a business. JAH regularly counsels and prepares shareholder, operating, and partnership agreements among owners; advises owners with respect to tax planning opportunities, including income, estate, and gift tax strategies; and structures succession plans appropriate to the circumstances and wishes of the owners, whether transition to family members, sale to management or outside investors, or creation of employee stock option plans (ESOPs).
Charitable Planning & Exempt Organisations:
JAH attorneys represent generous donors and charitable organisations. JAH advises private foundations and public charities through all stages of formation, funding, governance, tax compliance, crisis management, and dissolution. JAH’s representation of donors includes business owners engaged in pre-transaction charitable planning strategies to leverage and maximise the impact of their charitable gifts, and JAH attorneys assist donors in structuring, negotiating, and documenting major gift agreements, recognition rights, and press release statements that reflect the value and legacy of the family’s philanthropic commitments to the community. JAH is extraordinarily proud of the positive impact their clients make and serves to magnify that impact through thoughtful planning and experienced counsel.
Elder Law & Special Needs Planning:
JAH works with clients to ascertain their long-term care objectives, assess financial ability to finance such objectives, and identify and procure eligibility for available long-term care benefits. The team is skilled at creating special needs trusts and supplemental needs trusts to preserve eligibility for means-tested public benefits. JAH also assists with guardianships and conservatorships for minors and adults who are unable to manage their affairs.
JAH guides families of long-term clients and executors of deceased individuals through the steps of administering an individual’s estate. The team leads executors and administrators through the probate process; addresses necessary estate, income, and generation-skipping tax issues to minimise tax liabilities; attends to cash flow concerns of beneficiaries; and ensures that the decedent’s assets pass to his or her specified beneficiaries. Fiduciary Litigation: Fiduciary litigation can involve a will contest or caveat, a modification or termination of a trust, or claim for surcharge or breach of fiduciary duty. JAH engages in both fiduciary-side and beneficiary-side representations, and the experience helps JAH attorneys understand the challenges unique to both perspectives.
With experience in all facets of federal and state taxation, JAH’s team of tax attorneys works to provide sophisticated tax planning to corporate, tax-exempt, closely held business, executive, and high net worth clients. JAH applies comprehensive knowledge in strategically mitigating the tax burdens for clients in areas involving mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, business tax planning, nonprofit tax planning, employee benefits, business succession planning, wealth transfer planning, charitable planning, and state and local taxation. Additionally, when tax controversies arise JAH handles tax audits, appeals, and litigation. JAH’s highly skilled team members include four attorneys with Masters of Laws degrees in taxation, three Certified Public Accountants, four Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a Certified Specialist in Taxation, and two Board Certified Specialists in Estate Planning