Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Firm Overview

Main Office
Main Office
1700 Pacific Avenue, Suite 3700
Dallas  TX  75201
Phone
  • (214) 361-5600
Websites
Business
For Businesses

Representing companies and organizations from family-owned shops to the Fortune 1000 list, FGH's award-winning attorneys offer a full complement of business legal services, including litigation and arbitration defense in the areas of
Corporate Law and Business Transactions

Contract review and preparation
Business formation and structuring
Business deals and transactions
Development and governmental relations counsel
Trademarks and copyrights
Commercial leases
Mergers and acquisitions
Taxation
Estate Planning
For individuals and families, FGH provides legal services including estate planning, probate and probate litigation, divorce, elder law and guardianships.
Estate Planning & Elderlaw

Complex estate planning for taxable estates
Basic estate planning at fixed fee for smaller estates
Living Trust formation and administration
Asset protection
Business succession planning
Guardianships
Government benefits planning
Family limited partnerships
Employment
We represent businesses and executives in all aspects of employment law, including HR counsel, litigation and arbitration defense, contracts, investigations and audits.
Experienced Attorneys
Led by award-winning employment lawyer Julie Heath, the firm's attorneys are experienced and successful in the state and federal courts, and in litigation prevention counseling.

Liza Farrow-Gillespie, Partner

Liza Farrow-Gillespie practices wealth preservation law an area that encompasses privately held businesses and investment, estate planning and probate, elderlaw, taxation, asset protection, and charitable foundations. She is a passionate advocate for strategic legal planning to protect multi-generational assets, minimize tax burden, protect quality of life, prevent expensive litigation and maximize governmental benefits, while accomplishing an individual's or family's entrepreneurial and philanthropic goals. Representing multiple generations of some of Dallas's most revered families, Ms. Farrow-Gillespie conducts due diligence on private equity investments and provides counsel in advantageous structuring of deals, acquisitions, and business formation.

Ms. Farrow-Gillespie has won numerous awards for her work. For the past several years, she has been named to the list of Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine; and to the list of Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) by Texas Monthly. Liza has also been named a "Five-Star Professional" in estate planning by Texas Monthly in every year since 2013. She was the subject of a December 2013 profile in the business section of the Dallas Morning News, and of a March 2015 profile in the Texas Bar Journal. Ms. Farrow-Gillespie is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Her 18-attorney law firm has been named as a "Best Law Firm" in America (small firm category) by U.S. News & World Report.

Before founding the law firm of Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP in June 2007, Liza served as permanent briefing attorney for the late United States District Judge Barefoot Sanders, Northern District of Texas. Ms. Farrow-Gillespie is a former associate with Cohan Simpson Cowlishaw and Wulff LLP, now merged with Jackson Walker LLP; and is a 1992 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (Dean's Award; Order of the Coif; Executive Editor of the Texas Law Review). She is a guest lecturer in advanced business law at SMU University and is a frequent speaker on wealth preservation topics.

Practice Areas
Privately Held Business Formation, Structuring, Transactions, and Succession Planning
Estate Planning Wills and Trusts
Tax Planning
Investment Structuring and Due Diligence
Asset Protection Planning
Elderlaw and Guardianship
Nonprofit Organizations
Education
  • University of Texas School of Law
    J.D. , 1992

Julie E. Heath, Partner

Julie Heath focuses her practice primarily in the area of employment litigation and counseling. In addition to litigation and arbitration defense, she counsels HR departments and businesses of every size on all aspects of employment law, from addressing day-to-day employment and personnel questions, to investigating internal employee claims, to defending governmental agency audits, to advising clients on steps for litigation avoidance. Ms. Heath is rated AV-Preeminent by the peer-reviewed Martindale-Hubbell service, and she has been named a Texas Super Lawyer (a Thomson Reuters Service) and a Texas Monthly "Top Attorney in Texas" every year since 2012. She has been selected for inclusion in the Martindale Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers, comprising less than 5% of women attorneys who have received the highest possible peer rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Ms. Heath has over 25 years of experience in the federal and state courts, including significant appellate court experience. One of her recent jury trial wins, which she also successfully defended on appeal, was named a "Top 10 Texas Verdict" by Texas Lawyer magazine. She has successfully defended a recent Fair Labor Standards Act jury verdict on appeal to the Fifth Circuit, and summary judgment rulings before the Dallas Court of Appeals.

Before co-founding the firm, Ms. Heath practiced in the commercial litigation section of Baker Botts LLP and as a solo employment litigation attorney.

Practice Areas
Employment Law
Employment Litigation and Arbitration
Commercial Litigation
General Counsel

Debra L. Witter, Partner

Debra L. Witter has practiced law in Dallas for twenty-eight years, both in law firm settings (large and small) and corporations (ranging from start-ups to a Fortune 500 corporation). Before joining Farrow-Gillespie & Heath, Debra was Senior Vice-President, Legal, for Blockbuster, Inc. Prior to that position, she served as general counsel for Star Concessions, Ltd., a company operating retail and restaurant concessions at airports. Ms. Witter began her career at the law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist, and was also a partner in the law firm of Cohan, Simpson, Cowlishaw, Aranza & Wulff.

Debra Witter's primary practice areas include advertising and promotions law, trademarks, contracts, e-commerce, and Internet law. She provides small and mid-sized Texas businesses with a wide range of "general counsel" services. Debra is also a trained mediator. Her focus is on finding cost-effective, practical solutions to legal challenges.

Debra holds a Juris Doctor with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of the Texas Law Review; Chancellors (highest academic honor); and Order of the Coif. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with highest honors and special honors in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Ms. Witter is a member of the Texas Association of Mediators; the American Bar Association; the State Bar of Texas; and the Dallas Bar Association. She is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation; and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas.

Practice Areas
Advertising and Promotions Law
Corporate Law
Trademarks

Jessica Dunne, Associate

Jessica Dunne is an associate attorney at Farrow-Gillespie & Heath. Jessica has substantial experience in civil litigation with a special interest in estate planning, probate and guardianships. In addition to representing individuals in various probate and estate planning matters, Jessica has been appointed attorney ad litem in numerous heirship determinations and guardianship proceedings in both Dallas and Collin Counties. Jessica has also published articles on probate and estate planning basics and has been quoted by numerous media sources on estate planning topics, specifically as they relate to healthcare issues.

Jessica graduated cum laude from Baylor Law School in 2011 where she was the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship. During law school, Jessica competed in mock trial, moot court and client counseling competitions. She received recognitions including Dean's List, the "High A" in her Client Counseling and Family Law Advocacy & Procedure courses, and was awarded both the Abner V. McCall Evidence Award and the Family Law Advocacy & Procedure Award. In the summer of 2009, Jessica clerked for the late Honorable Robert E. Price in Dallas County Probate Court Two. Prior to law school, Jessica attended Texas A&M University where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008. Jessica is an alumni of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.

Jessica's professional memberships include the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, Texas Aggie Bar Association, Attorneys Serving the Community and the State Bar of Texas.

Practice Areas
Probate and Guardianship Litigation
Probate Proceedings
Estate Planning

Christian S. Kelso, Senior Associate

Christian S. Kelso practices in the areas of estate planning, wealth preservation and transfer, probate, tax and transactional corporate law. His primary focus is finding practical, cost-effective solutions for families and businesses to avoid costly, and often heartbreaking disputes in both the courtroom and the living room. Mr. Kelso is a counselor who is dedicated to making the law work for his clients and helping them understand how best to address the legal issues they face.

Mr. Kelso's estate planning and wealth preservation practice involves both large and small estates, but is premised on the notion that the size of a client's estate should not be relevant to the amount of compassion and dedication each deserves. Whether the situation merely calls for a simple Will to care for minor children or complex trusts to mitigate tax liability, Christian works closely with his clients to craft solutions that best achieve their goals, both legal and personal.

Where probate of an estate is required, Mr. Kelso provides assistance and advice which is focused on minimizing litigation and intra-family disputes. When proper planning is in place and other circumstances allow, this process can be straight-forward and simple, particularly for clients who have the right counselor by their side to guide them through the legal formalities. Other situations, however, can be more complicated. The death of a loved one can often set an entire family at odds as emotions and forgotten tensions well up. Such problems are often compounded where poor planning (or no planning at all) has been put in place in a timely manner. In situations like this, Christian is able to draw on both his personal and professionals experience to ease family tensions and deploy appropriate legal strategies so that clients can move on with their lives.

Mr. Kelso's transactional corporate practice is focused on avoiding legal problems before they materialize. He helps businesses develop solutions that mitigate risk, both in the form of legal exposure and tax. Employing a full-time, in-house attorney can be expensive, but every business faces situations which are best addressed with the counsel of a trusted advisor. Mr. Kelso fills this roll by acting as general counsel on an as-needed basis and assisting with all manner of issues. These include document and lease review, overseeing corporate governance and maintenance of records, advising on employment matters, drafting contracts, assisting with regulatory compliance, sales of business assets or the business itself, and business succession planning for future generations.

Ancillary to his general counsel role, Mr. Kelso takes particular pride in assisting startups address the issues that are specific to new businesses. Legal issues are often far from the minds of new business owners, but the initial phases of a business' lifecycle are often determinative of its eventual success or failure. By helping clients get their businesses set up right from the beginning, Christian seeks to save them time and money down the road. In particular, where clients need to raise capital, to get their businesses going, Mr. Kelso is able to assist them avoid both internal disputes among owners as well as running afoul of securities and other regulatory compliance rules which might apply.

Practice Areas
Estate Planning and Probate
Taxation
Business Law

Scott Chase, Of Counsel

Scott Chase has practiced health law, corporate law, and intellectual property law for over 35 years. Mr. Chase is Board Certified in Health Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Scott Chase has served as General Counsel for two public companies, including a large hospital management company. In 2002, Scott was among the first 28 Texas lawyers to be Board Certified in Health Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been consistently listed as a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer (a Thomson Reuters service), including in 2014. Scott has also been included in Best Lawyers in America for more than 10 years, and in D Magazine's Best Lawyers in Dallas. Scott Chase was the 2012 recipient of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation Award of Excellence for community and legal activities.

Scott's primary practice focus is business transactions for physicians and healthcare facilities, as well as healthcare regulatory issues such as ACA, HIPAA and peer review. Because of his regulatory experience, he lectures extensively on the background and substance of the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Chase handles general corporate matters and trademark/copyright issues for physicians and also for a variety of non-healthcare clients. Scott has served as an arbitrator, for both AAA and JAMS, in health reimbursement issues and intellectual property disputes, and as a mediator in peer review disputes.

In addition to being a founding member of three Dallas Bar Association (DBA) Sections, i.e., Health Law, Corporate Counsel and Franchise Law, Scott Chase has chaired the DBA's Corporate Counsel, Health Law and Solo and Small Firm Sections as well. Scott has served as President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and as chair of the DBA House, Community Involvement, Membership, Memorial and History and Peer Assistance Committees. He has helped build 20 DBA-sponsored Habitat for Humanity houses. As a member of various other DBA committees, e.g., Law Day and Law in the Schools, Scott has been a frequent lecturer, for over 25 years, on the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence to schools in Dallas Independent School District.

Practice Areas
Health Law
Corporate Law
Contracts

Patricia Davis, Of Counsel

Patricia Davis, Ph.D., is of counsel to Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP in the practice areas of Title IX law and employment litigation. Dr. Davis represents students and others in all aspects of Title IX law, including internal complaint procedure and appeal, mediation and arbitration, and litigation.

Dr. Davis is a former university professor and administrator, positions from which she retired after more than twenty years' service. She is an experienced Title IX investigator in both the litigation and higher education contexts. Pat was formerly a litigation attorney with Jackson Walker LLP, and she served as law clerk to the Honorable Barefoot Sanders (deceased), United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas.

Pat holds an M.Div. and Ph.D. in counseling from Princeton Theological Seminary, and received her law degree from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Davis was chair of Southern Methodist University's most recent (and successful) NCAA Gender Equity review.

Dr. Davis has served on many diverse non-profit boards including the Southern Methodist University Board of Trustees, the SMU Human Rights Advisory Board, the Video Association of Dallas, the International Rescue Committee Dallas Advisory Board, the Planned Parenthood of North Texas Religious Advisory Board, the Embrey Family Foundation Board of Directors, the Grace Presbytery Board on Housing, and the Alliance for Human Dignity (founding member and chair). She has consulted with numerous additional boards on issues of strategic planning and sexual harassment/abuse.

Dr. Davis has published two books relating to counseling and trauma with adolescents, and numerous articles on sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault as a weapon of war, and human trafficking. Her teaching and scholarship have won a number of national awards including a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship and a Lilly Foundation Fellowship along with awards from the United Methodist Church for her work with adolescent girls, and the Carey Maguire Center Ethics Award at SMU.

Practice Areas
Title IX Litigation
Employment Litigation

Christopher Elam, Associate

Christopher Elam's corporate and transactional practice has allowed him to help numerous businesses, business owners, and individuals. He likes solving problems for his clients, but he loves to prevent problems from occurring in the first place through careful drafting and negotiation.

Although his practice is primarily focused on advertising and marketing transactions, Christopher has experience in a wide range of issues including corporate governance, intellectual property and trademark, non-competes, confidentiality agreements, manufacturing and license issues, real estate transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions. In addition, he has particular knowledge of the constantly evolving regulatory framework governing direct sellers and multi-level marketers. Prior to joining Farrow-Gillespie & Heath, he counseled owners and members of the Board of Directors of an approximately billion-dollar direct selling company.

Christopher holds a Juris Doctor with high honors from the SMU Dedman School of Law, where he was an editor of the International Law Review. He received a Bachelor of Arts in the honors English program from the University of Texas at Austin.

Practice Areas
Advertising and Media Law
Corporate Law

Jennifer Lewis, Partner

Jennifer N. Lewis became a partner at Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP as of 2016. Her primary practice areas are estate planning, probate, guardianships, corporate law, and taxation. Ms. Lewis has substantial experience in administration of trusts and decedents' estates. She advises clients regarding estate and incapacity planning; federal income, estate, and gift tax issues; probate, trust, and guardianship administrations; and the formation and operation of business entities and non-profit organizations. In addition to handling complex estates, Ms. Lewis provides cost effective estate planning and probate solutions to individuals and families.

Ms. Lewis has been named to the list of "Rising Stars" by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) for 2016. Jennifer was honored in December 2015 as "The One to Watch" by the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.

Jennifer is a 2008 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, where she was business development editor for the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, and an officer of the Texas Aggies Law Student Association and of the Christian Legal Society. In 2007, she served as intern to United States District Judge Jane J. Boyle, Northern District of Texas. A certified mediator, Jennifer Lewis has more than 100 hours of mediation experience in contract and consumer disputes. She is an alumna of the Oxford University Study Abroad Program. Ms. Lewis has substantial experience as a Certified Public Accountant assistant.

Practice Areas
Estate Planning
Probate & Guardianship
Taxation
Corporate Law & Contracts
Business Formation & Transactions

Angela Hunt, Partner

Angela Hunt advises clients on how to maximize the effectiveness of their business interactions with local, state, and federal government. Ms. Hunt joined Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP as a partner in 2013, after serving on the Dallas City Council for eight years, the maximum term allowed by law.

Ms. Hunt has won numerous awards for her work, including having been named to the list of "Best Lawyers in Dallas" by D Magazine for 2015.

Elected to the Dallas City Council at the age of 33, Angela Hunt is the youngest woman ever to have served as a Dallas councilmember. Ms. Hunt is known as an independent leader who during her council tenure was focused on improving the lives of everyday citizens and ensuring fiscal responsibility. Citing her "high energy, deep focus, rock-hard integrity, generally intelligent take on issues and open heart," the Dallas Observer selected Angela as the city's best councilmember for seven years running. She has also been recognized as the "Best Council Person" by the Dallas Voice and as the Dallas Morning News City Hall Blog's "Most Effective Councilmember." In 2010, the League of Women Voters of Dallas honored Angela with the Virginia MacDonald Leadership Award, which is "given to a League member who has exhibited courage in working for change and who inspired leadership in others."

Prior to being elected, Angela spent eight years as a commercial litigator at the law firm of McKool Smith. She has served on several city boards and commissions; served as executive vice president of the Dallas Homeowners League; founded the M Streets Conservation District, and served on the executive board of Preservation Dallas. Ms. Hunt is a regular editorial contributor to the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer.

Practice Areas
Zoning & Land Use
Government Relations
Economic Development Consulting

Renda J. Miller, Of Counsel

Renda J. Miller has extensive experience in corporate law, contracts, entity formations, commercial agreements, business transactions and mergers/acquisitions throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Ms. Miller's background includes practice in boutique business law firms; senior in house positions at a publicly held multinational corporation; and a partnership in an Am Law 50 global law firm.

Renda is a strong advocate of collaboration between legal counsel and the client to insure that the counsel's legal perspective is in alignment with the client's business objectives. Her clients include small, middle-market and publicly held companies in a wide variety of industries.

Ms. Miller's proficiencies include negotiating and documenting commercial transactions with key customers, suppliers, vendors, affiliates, joint ventures and strategic partners; partnership, joint venture, LLC company and ancillary agreements; crafting standardized templates in sales, service, distribution, procurement and other commercial operations; negotiating, documenting and closing mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, strategic alliances and partnerships; lending transactions, intercreditor agreements; due diligence reviews; corporate risk management; and a wide variety of other corporate and commercial matters and transactions.

Areas of Practice
Corporate Law
Contracts and Commercial Agreements
Business Transactions
Mergers & Acquisitions

Charlotte Nall

Charlotte is an associate attorney at Farrow-Gillespie & Heath. Charlotte focuses her practice on probate litigation. Prior to her probate practice, Charlotte practiced in commercial litigation. From 2012 to 2013, Charlotte served as a law clerk to Justice Phil Johnson at the Supreme Court of Texas. Her commercial litigation and appellate law experience assists her in providing successful, thorough, and efficient litigation strategies in probate and guardianship proceedings.

Charlotte Nall graduated Valedictorian from SMU Dedman School of Law in 2012. During law school, she was Child Advocacy Clinic Chief Counsel, Assistant Managing Editor for the International Law Review Association, Angel Tree Coordinator for Christian Legal Society, and a LexisNexis Associate. She was consistently on the Dean's List and graduated Order of the Coif. In 2010, Charlotte served as an intern to both United States District Judge Gray Miller, Southern District of Texas and United States Bankruptcy Judge Jeff Bohm, Southern District of Texas. Prior to law school, Charlotte attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with High Honors in 2009.

Area of Practice
Corporate Law
Contracts and Business Transactions
Nonprofit Organizations

Mary L. O'Connor, Partner

Mary L. O'Connor's practice focuses on representing public companies and their officers and directors in commercial litigation and arbitration, securities litigation, internal investigations, and regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings.

During the course of her career, Mary has been named to the list of Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine, and to the list of Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) by Texas Monthly Magazine.

Areas of Practice
Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
Securities Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings
Internal Investigations

Jennifer Gadd Snow, Senior Associate

Jennifer Gadd Snow practices in the areas of health care law and business litigation. She is the author of numerous articles on health care law. Jennifer represents physicians and physician groups in health law matters, and she represents companies and executives in business litigation.

Ms. Snow has been named to the list of "Rising Stars" by Texas Monthly Magazine and Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) in every year since 2014.

Jennifer Snow is a director of the City of Dallas's "Fort Worth Avenue TIF Board," where she reviews and administers tax increment financing matters for the Oak Cliff community. In Fall 2012, Ms. Snow completed the Dallas Bar Association Civil Trial Academy. Jennifer has served as legal advisor to the Development Committee of the Oak Cliff Foundation.

Areas of Practice
Commercial Litigation
Health Law
Nonprofit Organizations

Henry Wehrmann, Partner

Henry S. Wehrmann practices in the primary areas of personal injury litigation defense, products liability litigation defense, toxic tort defense, and employment litigation defense. Mr. Wehrmann's practice includes representation before the Texas State judicial panel for Multi-District Litigation (MDL), in defense of asbestos cases. He also counsels clients on e-Discovery, cyber exposure, and related insurance issues. Licensed since 1983, Henry is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has been rated AV-Preeminent (highest possible rating for attorneys and law firms) by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 15 years.

In addition to litigation defense, Henry Wehrmann practices in the area of sports and entertainment law and represents clients in the amusement industry as well as serving as defense counsel for the State Fair of Texas as to liability claims brought against them. Mr. Wehrmann is a tribal lawyer authorized to practice before all courts of the Chickasaw Nation. Henry is a former chair of the Sports & Entertainment Law section of the Dallas Bar Association.

Areas of Practice
Personal Injury Litigation Defense
Products Liability Litigation Defense
Sports and Entertainment Law

Chris Wilmoth, Partner

Partner Chris Wilmoth focuses on probate, guardianship and trust litigation. He also conducts mediations and accepts appointments as a special judge. Mr. Wilmoth served as Judge of Dallas County Probate Court Number 2 from 2011 through 2014.

As presiding judge of a statutory probate court, Chris Wilmoth conducted over 6000 hearings and held numerous bench and jury trials. He earned a reputation as a fair, compassionate, and pragmatic judge. In the 2013 Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll, Judge Wilmoth received over 90% approval for his impartiality, preparedness, and timely decisions. His overall approval rating of 87% was the highest for a newly elected statutory probate judge in over 20 years. Chris is a member of the faculty of the Texas College of Probate Judges and has taught judges from across the state about monitoring guardianships since June 2013. He is also a member of the Texas Judicial Branch Certification Commission's Guardianship Certification Board.

Practice Areas
Probate Litigation
Guardianship Litigation
Probate Proceedings
Special Judge
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