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James (Jim) R. Kanner


Jim Kanner is a partner in the firm’s business, estate planning and trust and estate administration practice areas. His business practice areas include business structure and formation, business operations such as contracts, executive compensation, investment transactions including venture capital and private equity funding, and mergers and acquisitions. Jim’s estate planning practice includes foundational planning and encompasses wills, powers of attorney and healthcare directives, as well as tax-minimization and asset-protection strategies through various trusts and related entity structures. He also handles general estate and trust administration matters.

Prior to joining MendenFreiman in 2014, Jim was a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, where he practiced for 16 years. He was also previously a partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP.

“I enjoy working closely with individuals and business owners in their planning to ensure their business and personal goals are consistent and achieved as efficiently as possible.”


  • Emory University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 1986
  • Washington & Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., Political Science, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina

Representative Matters

  • Represented the sellers in a $74 million stock sale of a data management company.
  • Represented the buyer of a communications integration firm in a hybrid tax-free §721 and taxable stock purchase transaction valued at $36 million.
  • Represented the seller of a card-scanning technology business in a $50 million combination cash and rollover equity transaction.
  • Restructured ownership of a resort holding company to implement an estate planning transfer strategy through a discounted LLC transfer via a spousal access trust.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, member
  • State Bar of Georgia, member and former chair of the Fiduciary Section
  • North Carolina State Bar, member (inactive)
  • Atlanta Bar Association, member
  • Atlanta Estate Planning Council, member

Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating – AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Review Rating – AV® Preeminent™ 4.5 out of 5
  • Georgia Super Lawyers – 2013-2017
  • Georgia Trend Legal Elite – 2012
  • Top Rated Lawyer – 2016
  • Georgia Legal Leaders – 2016
  • AV Preeminent
  • Georgia Trend
  • SuperLawyers
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