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Varnum Receives Highest Ranking in 2017 Chambers High Net Worth Guide

July 14, 2016

Varnum's Estate Planning practice received the highest possible ranking in the inaugural edition of Chambers High Net Worth (HNW), which rates service providers to the private wealth market.

Varnum was ranked in the First Band of legal providers in the new guide, which covers private wealth management work and related specialties in key jurisdictions around the world. The guide features in-depth editorial about the leading lawyers and law firms for wealthy individuals and families.

According to Chambers:

"Varnum is a long-established presence in the Michigan legal market. Sources say that it is a 'great firm' and identify the estate planning team as 'exceptional.' Its attorneys handle all manner of estate planning and administration matters, including those concerning tax compliance, charitable giving and trust and estate disputes.

"Lawyers at the firm are also well placed to offer substantial expertise and services to clients with closely held businesses. 'The level of work is fantastic,' reveals an impressed interviewee."

Chambers and Partners is a London-based research and publishing organization which has been ranking lawyers and law firms for the past 26 years. Chambers directories are based on research of 150 full time editors and researchers who conduct in-depth telephone interviews of lawyers and clients. Chambers HNW is their first directory for the private wealth market. In addition to lawyers and law firms, the guide features listings and information about many of the top accountancy and tax firms, private banks, wealth management firms and multi-family offices acting for high net worth individuals.

Several Varnum attorneys were cited as notable practitioners. Chambers HNW published the following:

"Marilyn Lankfer is a well-known and highly regarded figure at the Michigan trusts and estates Bar, and was heavily involved in the drafting of the Michigan Uniform Trust Code. "She has a great reputation," says a source. She advises her clients on a comprehensive range of estate planning matters, including charitable giving, estate taxation and estate and trust administration. Sources identify Lankfer as a standout individual and observe that she has a 'robust practice.' A peer confides: 'I like her a lot, I was impressed.'

"The 'really great' Dirk Hoffius works with individuals and the families on a wide variety of estate planning matters. "Dirk is particularly good. He is outstanding and a great community member, and one of the widely recognized estate planners in Grand Rapids," observes an interviewee. Another source says: 'Dirk is phenomenal,' adding: 'He sets the bar when it comes to exceptional client service.' Hoffius is counsel at the firm. 

"Tom Kyros assists clients with estate planning, estate and trust administration, and estate settlement and has a strong philanthropic practice. Sources note that 'he is a very fine estate planner" and "very involved in the philanthropic community.' Another interviewee says: 'What I really appreciate about Thomas is his creativity,' before adding: 'He is able to think through complex issues and come up with multiple solutions and ideas.' Kyros currently serves as the firm's executive partner."

Varnum's Estate Planning Group is one of the largest in the state, experienced in the most sophisticated tax and planning techniques. The estate planning team offers a broad range of services to fit individual needs, from the simplest plans to the most complex.

In addition to the Chambers HNW listing, Varnum is one of the few Michigan law firms to be ranked in Chambers USA, the guide to law firms and lawyers in the U.S.

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