Chambers and Partners has once again lauded McGuireWoods as one of the country’s top private wealth services firms in its prestigious High Net Worth Guide. The firm earned a nationwide ranking — as it has each year since the guide’s 2016 launch — and rankings for the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Chambers also singled out nine McGuireWoods lawyers for individual honors. Partners Charles D. “Skip” Fox IV and John B. O’Grady were ranked as notable practitioners in the Eastern United States and in Virginia. Partners Ben Candland, Jean Gordon Carter, Andrea C. Chomakos, E. Graham McGoogan Jr, Michele McKinnon, William Sanderson and Gino Zaccardelli earned state rankings in the guide.
Fox and Carter received Band 1 state rankings, the highest Chambers awards, and the firm earned Band 1 state rankings for Virginia and North Carolina.
“We are proud that respected, independent authorities such as Chambers consistently recognize McGuireWoods for having one of the nation’s strongest private wealth services groups,” said J. Tracy Walker IV, the firm’s managing partner. “Our lawyers are respected nationally for their leadership and insight and our clients value their guidance.”
“These rankings show the team’s depth and experience and the strong relationships we continue to cultivate with our clients,” added Carter, who co-leads the practice.
McGuireWoods’ private wealth lawyers advise high-net-worth clients, nonprofits, fiduciaries and businesses in all aspects of tax and wealth planning and are influential voices in shaping U.S. tax policy.
“Our clients have complex financial and personal interests that require experienced and trusted advisers, and our private wealth team excels at serving their unique needs,” said Gerald V. Thomas II, chair of the firm’s Tax & Employee Benefits Department.
Clients and peers praised the firm’s comprehensive capabilities in interviews with Chambers researchers.
“They’re really great at helping clients find creative solutions to tax issues and questions, and family succession issues,” one client said.
Fox was described as “very well known” and “highly skilled” in advising clients on estate planning and trust administration. He served as the 2018-2019 president of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the nation’s premier association of trust and estate lawyers.
O’Grady advises clients on succession planning, corporate and estate planning, tax and charitable matters and fiduciary litigation. He was praised in the guide for being “very knowledgeable” and “super professional.”
Candland was described as “a great lawyer” for his work advising individuals, institutions and corporate trustees on estate planning and administration.
Carter was hailed as “absolutely the number one lawyer for high net worth clients in North Carolina” and “an exceptional lawyer, a compassionate lawyer and motivated by her clients’ best interests.”
Chomakos co-chairs the firm’s fiduciary litigation group. “Her knowledge of current tax codes as well as her in-depth knowledge of trust and estates is truly top-shelf,” an industry professional told Chambers.
McGoogan advises businesses and high-net-worth individuals. Another industry professional interviewed by Chambers said McGoogan excels because he “brings tax codes and local tax issues to life.”
McKinnon, leader of the firm’s nonprofit and tax exempt organizations team, advises charities, colleges, large private foundations and charitable trusts on federal tax and governance matters. “Her charitable planning expertise is amazing — she is the best in the country,” a client said.
Sanderson co-leads the private wealth services group and advises individuals and families on estate and business planning matters. A fellow attorney called Sanderson “a very thoughtful, calm and highly intelligent lawyer who really cares about his clients and grasps not only the legal but also the personal dimension of the matter. He is responsive and extremely knowledgeable.”
Zaccardelli concentrates on planning for gift taxes, estate taxes and generation-skipping transfer taxes. “He’s very knowledgeable, competent, steady, patient, and focused on the most important matters,” a client told Chambers.