REED SMITH EXPANDS TAX, BENEFITS & WEALTH PLANNING PRACTICE – (January 9, 2011, Falls Church, VA) – Reed Smith is ringing in 2011 with the addition of four new partners, a counsel, two paralegals and three support staff to its firmwide Tax, Benefits & Wealth Planning Practice. They will be resident in the firm’s Falls Church office.

The group – led by James E. McNair – includes partners Cynthia Gausvik, Gregory Rupert, and Eric Wang. All were formerly partners in the Tyson’s Corner office of Patton Boggs.

“With the addition of Jim and his colleagues, Reed Smith’s Tax, Benefits and Wealth Planning Group becomes one of the largest in the nation within an AmLaw top 50 firm,” said Reed Smith’s Practice Group Leader John Martini. “The group has one of the largest wealth preservation practices in the mid-Atlantic region and will be able to provide very useful and proactive planning techniques to our real estate developer clients and other high net worth individuals in the closely held business environment.”

The new group’s practice involves representing clients in a broad range of industries, including real estate, construction, emerging technology clients, government contractors, automobile dealers and other traditionally family owned businesses. They are highly expert in counseling clients to develop succession strategies to preserve and maintain control over their businesses and investments, while minimizing applicable estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Group members frequently write and lecture on cutting-edge estate planning techniques, current legal developments, fiduciary liability, business succession, estate freezing transactions, asset protection, off-shore planning and charitable planning for high wealth individuals and families.

Mr. McNair received his J.D. and L.L.M. from Georgetown University. He is nationally recognized for his sophisticated wealth preservation practice that includes counseling clients on federal taxation matters, with an emphasis on estate planning and developing strategies for succession in the management and ownership of closely-held businesses. Mr. McNair also handles real estate and corporate transactions, and advises clients regarding the financial and tax implications of those transactions.

“The opportunity for us to expand our wealth preservation services to meet the needs of a substantial Reed Smith client base in the mid-Atlantic region was a great draw,” said Mr. McNair. “Even very sophisticated clients need experienced counsel in this area today because formerly uniform state laws have become increasingly diverse as legislatures modify tax laws to increase their revenue. We expect our work will have great synergy with the efforts of Reed Smith’s State Tax Group and its national Trusts & Estates Group as we work together to help the firm’s clients preserve and transition their wealth.”

Mr. McNair often represents fiduciaries in litigation involving trusts and estates. He also has an extensive transactional practice, which addresses choice of form of organization; preparation of partnership, limited liability company and corporate organizational documents; corporate and partnership reorganizations and recapitalizations; as well as financing transactions and associated matters.

Prior to joining Patton Boggs in 2000, Mr. McNair was the managing partner at the Tyson’s Corner office of a D.C.-based law firm. He also served as a partner for more than 15 years at a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Cynthia Gausvik received her J.D. from American University and her L.L.M. from Georgetown University. She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Greg Rupert received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and his L.L.M. from George Washington University. Mr. Rupert is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Ms. Gausvik and Mr. Rupert have been partners with Mr. McNair since 1994.

Eric Wang received his J.D. from Emory University School of Law and his L.L.M. from New York University. Mr. Wang was with Ernst and Young and Swidler and Berlin until 2003, when he joined Patton Boggs. Mr. Wang became a partner at Patton Boggs in 2009. He is admitted to practice in Georgia, the District of Columbia, New York and Virginia.

“We are delighted to add this group to our Falls Church office,” said Karen C. Fagelson, Managing Partner of the firm’s Falls Church office. “Their specialized practice knowledge and skills will be of tremendous value to many clients in this region and throughout the firm, as will their close existing relationships with many of the owners of major real estate development and construction firms in the DC metro area. Their arrival signals a great start for a productive new year.”

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