Family-Owned Business

Your Family Business and Your Family’s Future

At Jackson Walker, we work with high net worth families and individuals with family-owned businesses to develop and strengthen the framework of the businesses that will secure their legacy for generations. We collaborate with family-owned business clients and their advisors to develop the best strategies possible to achieve their business objectives, taking into consideration business structure and best practices tax planning, and wealth preservation to accomplish the family’s plans for tomorrow, next year, and the next generation.

Our Approach

We believe good legal representation begins with good listening skills. Our clients differ widely in the businesses they run and the goals they hope to achieve. We begin by developing a deep understanding of our client’s hopes and dreams, as well as their worries and concerns, so we can work together to develop the right overall plan for their family. We never presume to know what a client wants for their business or their family. We listen to what they tell us and encourage a candid discussion about their financial objectives and generational goals. Our purpose is to see that what the clients build today will serve the needs of their family tomorrow.

What Sets Us Apart

We work with family-owned business clients every step of the way, whether the ultimate goal is to sell the business or to pass it on to future generations. It is said that failing to plan is planning to fail. These families and individuals often see their business as serving a greater purpose than its financial success. We work with our clients to define and then secure that purpose by creating a plan with both the structure and flexibility needed to weather the passage of time, changing economic forecasts, and additional family members. The plan, however, is just the beginning. We then work alongside our client and their advisors to put the pieces into place, ensuring that everything is moving smoothly in the present while keeping an eye on the future. We strive to create plans that expand rather than limit our client’s options for leveraging, investing, and using business and personal strengths to their advantage, so they can better navigate the unexpected twists and turns of life.

Our Clients

Our family-owned business clients share two things in common: they want their business and their family to thrive. We have clients with a singular business and clients with dozens. Some clients have large extended families; some are individuals preparing for their future family. Some were born into wealth; some have found themselves on an unexpected path to success. It doesn’t matter how large or small, specialized or diversified, growth-focused or stability-focused a client is, we work with their situation and their vision. As a business-focused firm with wide-ranging practice groups, we have the skills and experience to offer industry specific services, as well as the tax, corporate, employment, and finance services that affect all businesses. We work with partners and practice groups across the firm to ensure a holistic plan for every client.

Our Services

We work with family-owned business clients in all aspects of comprehensive business structuring and legal advice, wealth preservation, protection and transfer, and any related disputes.

Comprehensive Business Structuring and Legal Advice – We assist our family-owned business clients in negotiating contracts, governance matters, and general business/legal matters. In addition, we represent our family-owned business clients in entity formation, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and aid with financing any of these transactions. We can also lead you through private securities offerings.

Estate Planning – We work with our clients to plan for their future, whether they need simple wills or structures created to address complex inter-generational succession, management, ownership, and contingency issues.

Business Succession Planning – Beginning with initial planning and choice of entity decisions, we provide advice to our family-owned business clients on buy-sell agreements, tax implications, entity flexibility, life insurance, and retirement planning.

Asset Protection Planning – From simple plans to protect assets from creditors and eliminate the need for probate, to intricate techniques for safeguarding wealth across multiple generations, we can design and implement the right strategies for each client.

Probate, Trust, and Estate Administration – We help individual and corporate executors and trustees administer trusts and decedents’ estates efficiently and cost-effectively.

Charitable Planning – We work with clients in fulfilling their charitable estate planning goals, including the establishment and administration of charitable trusts, private foundations, donor-advised funds, and public charities. We can also assist in making large or complex gifts to domestic and international charitable organizations.

Additional Services

Dispute Resolution – When controversies arise, our clients rely upon the capabilities of one of the largest trial groups in the Southwest United States. We represent family-owned business clients that are plaintiffs and defendants in both personal and business litigation.

Privacy Preservation – Privacy protection must be considered not in isolation, but as part of a comprehensive strategy for asset protection and wealth preservation. Our attorneys are well-versed in traditional and advanced planning tools available to safeguard privacy.

International and Immigration Issues – We regularly advise families with multiple citizenships and domiciles on a wide variety of issues, including United States immigration, citizenship, cross-border income, transfer tax issues, and estate planning.

July 18, 2019

Stephanie Chandler Quoted in ‘The Texas Lawbook’ on the Changing M&A Landscape for Family-Owned Businesses

Following the sale of C.H. Guenther and Whataburger, The Texas Lawbook sought insights from Stephanie L. Chandler on the rising number of mergers and acquisitions involving family-owned businesses based in Texas.

More Family-Owned Business News