Rett Peaden is a Partner in the Corporate Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.
Rett started out thinking he wanted to be a college professor, until he realized that a PhD in the humanities was not the surest path to gainful employment. Now, instead of spending his days in library stacks filled with dusty tomes, he can be found lost in thought coming up with ideas for his clients.
Rett’s multidisciplinary practice often focuses on helping clients with mergers and acquisitions. Many of his clients are the owners of closely-held and family enterprises for whom selling a business is the most significant financial transaction in their lives. Rett has a strong interest in middle market deal-making and sits on the Association for Corporate Growth’s Committee for M&A South, the largest middle market focused M&A event in the Southeast.
In addition to a traditional law school degree, Rett earned an advanced degree in Taxation. His in-depth knowledge of tax strategies and entity structures helps clients achieve their goals whether forming a partnership, structuring a deal, or planning for the tax-efficient transfer of family wealth.
Rett has extensive experience working with international clients from many parts of the world, especially Europe, Canada, and Japan. He is sensitive to the cultural differences of doing business that each international client brings to the table, and successfully helps his clients navigate the U.S. tax and business environment. He has assisted many clients with structuring their international in-bound investments and strategic acquisitions.
Rett also acts as outside general counsel for many of his clients. Coming from a family business background himself, Rett is keenly attuned to the concerns of business owners and strives to provide common-sense, actionable advice without confusing legalese.
Along with the growth of Atlanta’s technology sector, Rett has gained extensive experience working with emerging companies and their owners. He routinely advises clients regarding their capital and fundraising activities and how to best position themselves for growth and tax efficient exits. He is a firm liaison to the Atlanta CEO Council (formerly Atlanta CEO Hi-Tech Council) which is a peer networking group for C-suite executives predominately in tech.
It is not unusual for clients that Rett has worked with when selling their business to continue working with him long afterwards to implement family wealth strategies including setting-up family offices, preparing sophisticated trust and estate plans, making charitable bequests, and advising on privately-placed investments.
Rett grew up in Atlanta and graduated summa cum laude from Woodward Academy where he was a National Merit Finalist and Captain of the Academic Team. He earned a B.A. degree in philosophy from Emory University, where he was in the Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honor Society and won the Byzantine History Award. He received a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was President of Colloquy, a student organization that invites outside speakers to campus. His LL.M. in Taxation is from the University of Florida.