Family Business & Family Office Services

Many of McGuireWoods’ individual and family clients have sophisticated financial and personal interests that require special skills and focused attention by experienced legal advisors. Client holdings often include complex asset portfolios consisting of one or more private businesses, large blocks of public company stock, real estate (including personal residences and other assets often located in more than one country), aircraft, yachts, art and other property, the value of which they would like to maintain, maximize and ensure is being passed to subsequent generations in the most efficient manner possible.

No matter the needs and goals under consideration, our firm devises and implements practical and flexible plans to help ensure such needs and goals are met. We provide straightforward guidance to family businesses and family offices that helps them comply with the complex web of state, federal and international laws governing the taxation, management and transfer of private assets.

Family Businesses

A particular concern for most proprietors is the transfer of ownership and control of the family business from one generation to the next. Our firm assists in the formulation of arrangements to keep the business in the family. We take advantage of the latest technologies to help us more efficiently analyze alternatives and design the best plan for our clients.

In addition, our lawyers help with minimizing taxes through the integration of strategies such as valuation discounts and estate freezes. We also consider the impact of income, gift, estate and generation-skipping taxes, and help clients plan for immediate and long-term cash needs. We have substantial experience in designing techniques to withdraw cash from businesses to meet the family’s requirements during the principal owner’s life as well as at death.

Family Office Services

In today’s global economic environment, international investments are of special interest to family offices. These investments require careful attention and frequently are best made through special purpose entities formed by the family to acquire and own them. This type of ownership is particularly advantageous for assets located in a foreign country.

McGuireWoods’ family office practice offers advice relevant to specialized legal needs such as compliance with U.S. and foreign securities and immigration laws. With team members in our London and U.S. offices, we have substantial experience working with families, family offices, and their various advisors throughout the world.

We assist numerous clients in establishing and maintaining cost-effective relationships with their advisors, and help family offices manage and minimize a range of legal and business risks. In addition, we advise our clients on mission statements and strategies, charitable foundations, and education of younger generations, as well as providing second opinions and legal audits. In addition, our Private Equity team also regularly represents single- and multi-family offices in buyout transactions, minority equity investments, venture capital investments, co-investments, fund investments, fund-of-funds strategies and family office formation.