Award Winning Law Firm

AWARD-WINNING FIRM

Lee A. Summerford

PARTNER

ABOUT:

Lee A. Summerford is a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rated partner in the Tax and Corporate section of the firm. Mr. Summerford concentrates his practice in the areas of business law and estate planning. His business practice includes corporate, partnership and LLC formation, contract preparation and negotiation, sales and acquisitions, buy-sell agreements, and succession planning. His estate planning practice ranges from simple wills to complex tax-motivated estate planning, and he handles all aspects of probate, estate and trust administration. In addition, Mr. Summerford regularly deals with the Internal Revenue Service and State Department of Revenue on estate and income tax issues.

Mr. Summerford handles a number of issues peculiar to physicians and medical practices including shareholder agreements, employment contracts, covenants not to compete, hospital privileges, and state and federal regulatory issues and compliance.

Mr. Summerford attended Mercer University, graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. While an undergraduate, Mr. Summerford was Grand Master (President) of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and was awarded the Kappa Sigma National Scholarship-Leadership Award. He also received the Georgia Baptist Heritage Scholarship and the Clifton Forrester Memorial Scholarship.

Upon earning his undergraduate degree, Lee attended the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and received his Juris Doctor cum laude in 1996. While at Mercer, he served as Senior Managing Editor of the Mercer Law Review and was a member of the Brainerd Currie Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Lee graduated in the top 2% of his class, and received American Jurisprudence Awards in Property, Torts, American Legal History, Civil Procedure II, and Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9). He also was the recipient of the James C. Rehberg Academic Scholarship and was named the 1996 Tax Scholar by the Georgia Federal Tax Conference.

Mr. Summerford is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (Fiduciary Law, Health Care and Corporate sections), the Savannah Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers Association and is the Treasurer and a member of the Board of Governors at the Forest City Gun Club.

Mr. Summerford has been included in "Best Lawyers in America" for Trusts and Estates from 2003 through the present including “Lawyer of the Year” for 2016. In addition, Mr. Summerford was named a Georgia "Rising Star" by Atlanta Magazine in the area of Closely Held Businesses from 2006 to 2011, and has been named to Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite” in the areas of Taxes/Estates/Trusts for 2013, 2016 and 2017. In 2001, he was recognized as one of the top "40 Business Leaders Under 40" in the Savannah Business Report and Journal.

He is admitted to practice before the Georgia state courts, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the United States Tax Court.

Lee is also a family man and is most proud of his wife, Mary Dekle Summerford, who has been a public school history teacher for 27 years, his daughter Katie who is at UGA Law School, and his son Jake who is graduating Benedictine Military School and headed to college. Lee is an avid outdoorsman and competitive skeet and sporting clays shooter recently named to the 2017 National Sporting Clays Association Georgia All State Team. He has coached his children in many sports over the last 15 years and is very involved in youth shooting in the Savannah area as a founder and director of the Forest City Juniors youth shooting team and as the Head Coach of the Varsity Sport Shooting Team at Benedictine Military School. He also serves as the vice president of the Forest City Gun Club in Savannah.

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Litigation

  • Business Law

  • Probate and Estate Administration

  • Wills, Trusts and Estates

  • Taxation

  • Health Law


EDUCATION

  • J.D., Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law 1996 (Cum Laude)

  • B.A., University of Georgia, 1988


BAR ADMISSIONS 

  • Georgia

  • Supreme Court of Georgia

  • U.S. Tax Court

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Best Lawyers Consumers Guide

  • Best Lawyers in America Trusts & Estates (2003-2020)

  • Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year (2016)

  • Atlanta Magazine Georgia "Rising Star" Closely Held Businesses (2006 - 2011)

  • Georgia Trend's Legal Elite in Taxes/Estates/Trusts (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018)

  • Savannah Business Journal 40 Business Leaders Under 40" (2001)

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star

  • Best Lawyers in America®: Corporate Law; Trusts and Estates (2020)

  • Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite” Taxes, Trusts, & Estates (2020)

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Health Lawyers Association

  • State Bar of Georgia

  • Savannah Bar Association

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