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 with dusty tomes, he can be found lost in thought coming up with ideas for his clients’ businesses.
Rett’s practice focuses on helping clients with mergers and acquisitions. He serves as a strategist at each step of the process, helping clients buy, sell, form and fund businesses. He has successfully represented clients in a broad range of industries including manufacturing, professional services, health care and technology. He is the firm’s liaison to the Georgia Association of Manufacturers. Rett serves as co-head of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice, and has a strong interest in middle market deal-making. He 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 an investment partnership, structuring a deal, or advising an individual executive or closely-held family enterprise.
Rett has extensive experience working with international clients from many parts of the world, especially Canada, Australia, Germany, and Japan. He is sensitive to the cultural differences and different ways of doing business that each client brings to the table, and successfully helps his clients navigate the U.S. business environment. He has assisted many clients with structuring their international in-bound investments whether that takes the shape of a joint venture, license and distributorship relationship, Greenfield project, real estate development partnership, or strategic acquisition.
Rett also acts as outside general counsel for many of his clients. Coming from a family business background, he 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 also gained extensive experience working with emerging companies in the software and technology spaces. He routinely advises clients regarding their capital and fundraising activities and how to best position themselves for growth. He also works with many clients to set-up strategies to capitalize on the potential tax benefits available in the industry. He is a firm liaison to and active participant in the Atlanta CEO Council (formerly Atlanta CEO Hi-Tech Council) which is a peer networking group for C-suite executives predominately in tech.
Rett 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.
SGR Webinar – “Navigating Family Enterprises Amid COVID-19”, moderator, July 31, 2020
CFO Leadership Council – “Law School for CFO’s” – moderator, October 18, 2018
Association for Corporate Growth – “Deals with Globalization” – panelist, August 14, 2018
Atlanta Capital Connection – “Annual M&A Update” – panelist, February 7, 2018