R. Wayne Peters began his professional career in accounting in 1966 and the practice of law in 1968. He practices primarily in Georgia and Tennessee. For the past 24 years, he has been selected for inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” for Trusts and Estates, Litigation & Controversy – Tax, Litigation – Trusts & Estates, and Tax Law. He was selected Chattanooga Best Lawyers Trust and Estates Lawyer of the Year 2013 and 2015; Chattanooga Best Lawyers Tax Law Lawyer of the Year 2012, 2014 and 2016; has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” 2006-2016; selected as a 2011 Top 100 Tennessee Mid-South Super Lawyer; and enjoys the highest available rating given by his peers, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell. In 2010, he was accepted to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He is also a Certified Estate Planning Law Specialist, an Accredited Estate Planner and is qualified as a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator.
His varied practice involves business, estate and tax matters, with a focus on business, wealth transfer, estate planning, mergers and acquisitions, foundations, and business and estate related litigation. Wayne represents many entrepreneurs, start up companies, closely held and family businesses, manufacturers, professional service companies, banks, restaurant chains, automobile dealerships, construction firms and other businesses in day to day legal matters, sales and acquisitions, operations, planning, and employment matters
Wayne is often called upon by owners and officers of businesses to advise them regarding mergers and acquisitions, business strategy and planning, as well as risk minimization and legal and tax strategies.
In the course of his practice, Wayne has successfully handled many substantial business acquisition, estate and trust transactions, as well as business litigation and estate litigation. Wayne has also successfully represented clients in tax and audit matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities. He has negotiated numerous favorable outcomes for clients as a result of his thorough and aggressive representation.
Wayne's practice also includes sophisticated tax planning and succession planning for individuals and businesses. He develops the strategy for and implements wealth plans resulting in optimum planning for the deferral and minimization of death taxes.
Although Wayne does not engage in a divorce practice, he does consult with and mediate for high net worth families seeking to minimize the adverse personal, economic, tax and business consequences of a marriage breakup.
Wayne’s goal in his practice is to work with clients and their other professional advisors to guide and assist them through difficult situations while negotiating for the optimal results and minimizing adverse consequences, tax exposure and whenever possible avoiding the delays, expense and uncertainty of litigation.
|GA||Active Member in Good Standing||1969||08/28/2021|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated||Martindale-Hubbell||2014|
|Tax Lawyer of the Year Chattanooga, TN||Best Lawyers in America||2014|
|Tax Lawyer of the Year Chattanooga, TN||Best Lawyers in America||2013|
|Tax Lawyer of the Year Chattanooga, TN||Best Lawyers in America||2012|
|Super Lawyer Business and Estate Planning||Super Lawyers||2011|
|Best Lawyers Tax Law||Best Lawyers in America||2011|
|Best Lawyers for Litigation and Controversy--Tax||Best Lawyers in America||2010|
|Estate Planning Law Specialist||National Association of Estate Planners||1998|
|Best Lawyers in America--Trusts and Estates||Best Lawyers in America||1996|
|Accedited Estate Planner||National Association of Estate Planning Councils||1990|
|Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers for 30 years||Martindale-Hubbell||1983|
|Managing Partner||Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon||1974 - Present|
|Partner||Stophel, Caldwell & Heggie, PC||1968 - 1974|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Best Lawyers in America||Best Lawyer of the Year, 2014, Chattanooga Tax Law||2014 - Present|
|Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission||Approved General Civil Mediato||2000 - Present|
|Chattanooga Tax Practitioners||Member||2000 - Present|
|Tennessee Estate Planning Specialist||Certified||1998 - Present|
|Accredited Estate Planner||Certified||1990 - Present|
|American Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|Tennessee Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|State Bar of Georgia||Member||N/A|
|Lookout Mountain Bar Association||Member||N/A|
|The Estate Planning Council of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Inc||Member||N/A|
|National Association of Dealer Counsel||Member||N/A|
|Tennessee Automotive Association||Member||N/A|
|Chattanooga Estate Planning Council||N/A||N/A|
|Washington University School of Law||Master of Laws Taxation||1969|
|University of Tennessee||JD - Juris Doctor||1968|
|Universit y of Tennessee--Chattanooga||BS - Bachelor of Science||1966|