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Renowned Trusts & Estates Lawyer David Thoms Joins Varnum

January 13, 2020

David M. Thoms has joined Varnum’s Estate Planning Team. He is based in the firm’s Birmingham and Kalamazoo offices.

Thoms provides sophisticated counsel to individuals, families and businesses on gift and estate planning needs, wealth transfer issues and business succession planning. In addition to his law degree, he holds a degree in taxation and he frequently advises on economic development incentives, commercial real estate finance and tax planning. He is a sought-after presenter on issues related to estate planning, charitable giving and governance of nonprofit organizations, including family foundations.

"We are pleased to welcome someone of David’s caliber and reputation to the firm as we continue to grow our presence around the state,” said Varnum Chair Ron DeWaard. “His legal ability and stature within the community are admired and valued.”

“David’s particular experience and focus allows him to serve a unique client base with complex legal needs,” said Christopher Caldwell, who leads Varnum’s Estate Planning Team. “He is highly respected in the estate planning community by clients and practitioners alike, and we are delighted to welcome him to the Varnum team.”

“I was attracted to Varnum’s distinctive platform and the opportunity to join the highly-regarded estate planning team of this entrepreneurial and growing firm,“ Thoms said. “I’m very confident that my clients whose needs extend into other aspects of law will be well served by my new colleagues, and I look forward to joining the creative and talented team at Varnum.”

About David Thoms

Thoms is the recipient of numerous recognitions and awards, including the Vanguard Award from the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association. He is an accredited estate planner by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils.

In addition to continuing educational programming for organizations such as ICLE and the Michigan Association of Certified Financial Planners, Thoms has been a featured speaker at the Western Michigan Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Innovation Center, the Henry Ford Health System Department of Philanthropy and Children’s Hospital Foundation of Michigan.

He is a member of the American Planning Association, Michigan Association of Planners, the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit (which he formerly served as president, among other leadership roles), the Planned Giving Roundtable of Detroit and the Estate Planning Council of Western Michigan. He also serves on the board of directors and audit committee of Greenleaf Trust.

Within the broader community, Thoms is active in numerous arts and nonprofit organizations, including the boards of Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Salvation Army of Metropolitan Detroit and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also served on the boards and as president of the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA Inc. and as president of the Alliance Française de Grosse Pointe board. He is past president of the French Festival of Detroit, Inc.

Outside of Michigan, he serves on the boards of the French American Foundation of New York and the International Advisors Committee at the Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C.

About Varnum's Estate Planning Practice

Varnum’s Estate Planning Team is one of the largest in the state, experienced in the most sophisticated tax and planning techniques. Varnum is one of the few Michigan firms to be ranked by Chambers HNW, which highlights leading professionals in private wealth management in key jurisdictions around the world.

Varnum’s estate planning practice has grown by more than 35 percent in the past five years, with much of that growth due to lateral attorneys who have joined the firm in the Southeast and Southwest Michigan offices.

Varnum’s Estate Planning Team includes practitioners in all offices across the state, including key personnel in the firm’s recently-opened Birmingham office.

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