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Christopher A. Steele

Partner

Christopher Steele is a partner in MendenFreiman’s estate planning, tax, estate administration, and business law practice areas. He serves as a trusted advisor to individuals, families, and business owners. He takes pride in building strong relationships with financial advisors, accounting firms, and family offices to ensure clients receive a comprehensive approach to their planning.

While income, gift and estate tax planning is a large part of his practice, Christopher advises clients concerning both the tax and non-tax considerations of their planning. His clients generally include families, high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, and their closely held businesses and estates.

Christopher regularly consults, writes and speaks on changes to the Internal Revenue Code and court decisions, including business valuations, captive insurance companies, retirement planning, Qualified Opportunity Zones, state-level tax credits, Section 1031 exchanges and more. He frequently works on income tax, transfer tax, and succession planning involving the use of asset protection trusts, including defective grantor trusts and defective beneficiary trusts.

Prior to joining MendenFreiman, Christopher was a shareholder at Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s Atlanta office.

“My passion and my practice is focused on helping families and business owners steward their hard-earned assets both during their life and upon their death. I take a personal interest in every relationship and help my clients strategically plan for the future in the most tax efficient manner.”

Education

  • University of Florida, LL.M. Taxation, 2012
  • Mercer University, J.D., 2011
    • Class of 1974 Scholarship
    • CALI Award in Corporate Tax
  • Georgia State University, B.B.A. in Business Administration, 2002
    • H. King Buttermore Leadership Award

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia

State Court Admissions

  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • Georgia Court of Appeals

Representative Matters

  • Counseled a client in developing a personal family estate plan to ensure future generations would be best served by the growth achieved by efforts expended by the previous generation. In addition to the practical aspects, tax efficiencies and asset protection elements of the plan provided additional advantages for the family and future generations.
  • Developed and assisted a client with a series of succession planning steps to transition ownership of an international corporation to the next generation of family members and key employees while preserving the strategic objectives of the corporation’s founders and the best interests of the employees.
  • Counseled business owners in the restructuring of a company to maximize potential growth while providing confidence to ensure continued company operations and necessary resources for family members following the death of one or more owners.
  • Developed structure for growing business with aspirations of franchising the company operations across multiple states.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Georgia, member
  • State Bar of Georgia, Young Lawyers Division (District Representative)
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Atlanta Estate Planning Council

Awards and Recognition

  • US News Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” – 2021
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars – 2020-2021
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite – 2015-2016, 2019-2020
  • Order of the Barristers
  • State Bar of Georgia Tax Award
  • Walker P. Johnson Memorial Award for Litigation Skills, Professionalism and Ethics

Publications

  • There’s Still Time To Invest in Qualified Opportunity Zones, Business Facilities, August 2020
  • Predicting and Preparing for The Estate and Gift Tax, Current Accounts, March 2020
  • Comparing 1031 Exchanges to Opportunity Zones (1031 v. 1400z-1 and 1400z-2), Georgia Society of CPAs, August 12, 2019
  • Tax Court Taketh Away While Congress Giveth Back, FC&S Legal, May 15, 2018
  • To Self-Insure or Not to Self-Insure? That is the Question., Captive Insurance Times, April 6, 2018
  • SuperLawyers
  • Georgia Trend
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