Corp America March 2017

CORP AMERICA / MARCH 2017 21 , James McCarten of Burr & Forman tells us more about the successful firmand exactly what it is that makes it the first choice for clients. The firm recently received the prestigious Lawyer of the year -Tennesee award. Cream of the Crop Burr & Forman is a southeast regional law firm with 300 attorneys and 11 offices spread throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Delaware. The legal team serves clients with local, national and international needs, with particular strengths in the financial institution, healthcare and manufacturing industry sectors. James M. McCarten is a senior member of the Corporate and Tax section of the firm, with primary responsibility for tax issues that arise in representing mid-market, closely-held businesses when the business is a target of or participant in an M&A transaction, is undertaking business succession planning (or implementing such a plan) or needs to consider estate planning for the owner(s) of the company (most often due to transfer tax and liquidity considerations). James embellishes on his role at the firm, tells us more about his career and where it all began. “I have been practicing in the tax arena since 1979,” he begins. “I started my tax career with Coopers & Lybrand, the old Big 8 accounting firm, then went back to law school. Following law school, I worked for the Department of Justice in the Tax Division where I litigated federal tax cases in district court on behalf of the government. I then moved to private practice and earned my LLM from Emory University Law School while working full-time in Atlanta. “When I was moved to Tennessee in 1998, I began and have since maintained an active and interesting practice with, for the most part, closely- held businesses. Although I have experience representing publicly traded companies, that experience has primarily been working on state and local tax controversies in Tennessee and surrounding jurisdictions, with some transactional state tax experience along the way. Being in a position to assist clients and add value to the business and the family, not only as a lawyer, but also as a trusted advisor has brought much pleasure and reward and will keep me involved in the practice of law much longer than I had originally anticipated. My work is still fun, interesting and gratifying.” Jim tells us that every lawyer at Burr Forman is committed to keeping up-to-date with legal trends by immersing themselves in their areas of practice. “Personally, I have found that working with my local chamber(s) of commerce has been a wonderful two-way street with regard to keeping current on industry trends,” he explains. “I am able to help smaller, less sophisticated companies understand what is going on, and while working with larger, sometimes multinational, companies/employers, I learn from their management and/ or legal team about the specific issues with which they are currently dealing, often long before I hear about the issue(s) through bar organizations. It is this type of community activity which Burr Forman strongly encourages for all of our lawyers. Industry group leadership is especially encouraged and appreciated as part of our firm culture.” It is staying ahead of the curve like this that helps Burr Forman keep its services innovative and a market leader. Jim elaborates on how the firm takes the time to invest in its clients, its colleagues and the communities it serves. “Being viewed as one of the top lawyers and top law firms comes not merely from hard work, knowledge or experience, all three are integral pieces to delivering quality legal services to our largest and to our smallest clients. Where Burr Forman and I worked hardest at distinguishing ourselves is to ensure that we bring a diverse, creative and forward-thinking approach to working with clients that enables us to achieve exceptional results that matter. We learn our clients’ businesses, how they think and what they need, while at the same time keeping up with industry and legal trends in order to adapt to the challenges of the present and anticipate the future needs which our clients will have. We mentor and support our associates and younger staff, but also our older lawyers to bring a tradition of shared purpose and vision to our work. Last, our lawyers serve as volunteers and leaders in their communities to improve the quality of the legal profession and the quality of life of those in the communities we serve.” With regards to the future, James states that he and the firm will continue to provide clients with quality legal services. “The more we are able to assist our clients with their own goals, whether providing assistance with projects large or small, helps ensure the growth and success of our law firm. The tax laws at both the federal and the state levels, are almost always changing, and for me the challenge is to keep up with those changes and to make sure that the clients to whom they apply understand the impact of those changes on their businesses as well as their tax filing obligations and tax liabilities. All of us at Burr do our best to make sure that, in whatever practice area we work, we are providing our clients with proactive and timely advice.” K Company: Burr & Forman LLP Name: James M. McCarten Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 511 Union Street, Suite 2300, Nashville, TN 37219 Second Address: 171 17th Street, NW, Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA 30363 Telephone: +1 (615) 724 3236 1702CA65