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Family Business

The challenges facing closely held and family businesses are unique. It's business and it's personal, all at once.

From executing leadership changes in a manner that preserves peace at Thanksgiving to advising on critical compensation decisions, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys regularly represent family business clients on:

  • Company structures
  • Business and tax planning
  • Estate planning
  • Interfamily/owner relationships
  • Leadership transition and succession
  • Working with minority shareholders
  • Dispute resolution
  • Non-active family owners
  • Compensation and equity incentives for family owners
  • Non-family employees compensation and benefits
  • Regulatory compliance, including on employees and products

Our approach
After counseling family businesses for decades, we have seen the transformative impact of providing a bigger-picture business viewpoint. Commonly, a family's wealth creation extends beyond a single business venture. Strategic decisions must consider the interplay of all of the family's holdings.

As a full-service corporate law firm, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr offers critical resources for family businesses to expand their views and business intelligence. Our attorneys offer issue-specific counsel on strategic business structuring, finance, federal and state taxation, litigation, estate planning, employment law and employee benefits, and environmental law.

Our experience is as varied as the many industries in which our clients' family businesses operate. Our management of legal issues is on par with how we address the emotional, personal and social overlays inherent in family businesses. When needed, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys collaborate with leading psychologists and family office professionals in wealth planning, asset management, probate, tax and estate issues.

Our leadership

The strengths of our family business counsel were the subject of an article in the Baltimore Business Journal. Members of the Family Business Practice include the chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Probate and Trusts Law Section; a member of the Baltimore Estate Planning Council's board of directors; and attorneys who have been named to Baltimore's "Legal Elite" by SmartCEO andSuper Lawyers. One of our attorneys, Russell Fishkind, is the author of, "Legacy of a Lifetime and Probate Wars of the Rich & Famous: An Insider's Guide to Estate Planning and Probate Litigation."


Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys' experience guiding family businesses and closely held companies is well represented in the educational seminars and topics we have presented and written about, such as:

  • "Business Succession Planning: Passing the Torch Without Getting Burned: Balancing the Interests of the Older and Younger Generations and Keeping the Peace"
  • "Decision Making in Family Businesses: Things are not Always as they Seem"
  • "Family Governance or Anarchy: How to Stop the Family Business from Destroying the Family"
  • "Sound Financial Management after Selling a Business – A Discussion about Establishing and Transferring the Stewardship of Wealth in Order to Build Families and Self-Reliant Descendants"
  • "War and/or Peace – Celebrity Probate Litigation and Lessons Learned"
  • "Creating Liquidity While Retaining Control: An M&A Perspective, How Business Owners Can Cash in Without Cashing Out"
  • "Planning for Future Generations: A GRATifying Experience – How to Lessen the Estate Tax Bite"
  • "Why Do Family Businesses Fail?"
  • "Have You Prepared Your Children for Their Inheritance?"
  • "Collaboration Can Be Key to Successful Family Business Planning"


The group includes attorneys who have received the following recognition:

Trade Groups & Associations


Russell J. Fishkind
Marc A. Citron