Holland & Hart expanded its private client and tax practices, adding a six-lawyer team in Salt Lake City, Utah, from local firm Kirton McConkie.
The group bolsters Holland & Hart’s wealth, estate, employee benefits and tax planning services for clients. Their addition comes as Holland & Hart and others face increased competition in Salt Lake City from the country’s largest law firms.
“With Utah’s burgeoning economy, we’re seeing increased demand for our services helping high net worth clients protect their wealth through proactive planning and management to facilitate tax efficient generational wealth transfer,” said Steve Young, leader of the Denver-founded firm’s tax and benefits practice group, in a statement.
Kirkland & Ellis, Wilson Sonsini and Foley & Lardner are among the major law firms that have planted a flag in Salt Lake City with new offices in the last year. The area is considered a burgeoning hub for tech startups and venture capital cash.
Brent Andrewsen and Thomas Mecham are joining Holland and Hart as partners, while Brad Lowe is joining in of counsel role. The three other Kirton McConkie lawyers are joining as associates.
Andrewsen advises individuals and organizations on charitable planning, wealth management and business planning, according to the firm. Mecham focuses on estate planning strategies for high-worth clients. Lowe counsels private and public companies on employee benefits and executive compensation, Holland & Hart said.
Holland & Hart employs about 400 lawyers, including more than 150 equity partners, largely in offices straddling the Rocky Mountains.
Young said in an interview that he doesn’t see the Big Law firms descending on Salt Lake City as competition in private wealth management area.
“The attorneys in those firms seem to be more corporate and litigation types,” he said. “I don’t know of any tax groups that have come here.”
But he also doesn’t expect those firms to be the last to set up shop in the city.
“The secret that the intermountain West is a great place to live and work is out,” he said.
Young also said the firm had been steadily adding to its tax capacity, and had been searching for a decade to find a private wealth tax group “to do similar work and have synergy with the group’s existing tax capacity.”
The firm’s clients include Wells Fargo & Co., which Holland & Hart lawyers are defending in a lawsuit alleging that the bank aided and abetted a lawyer-led Ponzi scheme. Chevron Corp., Deere & Co., McKinsey & Co., and Novartis AG are among the firm’s other clients.
The firm reported $296.6 million in gross revenue last year, making it the 119th largest in the country, according to The American Lawyer.
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