M. Everett Peaden


Mergers & Acquisitions; Business Law; Taxation; Estate Planning & Wealth Management

"I want to help my clients achieve their goals and attain the best possible results given their unique circumstances."

Business and Tax. Rett’s practice focuses on helping the owners of closely-held businesses and professional services firms exit their businesses, whether that involves selling the business or transferring it to the next generation. Getting a business onto a solid footing with regard to succession planning is essential, and Rett is well-versed in sophisticated tax strategies and entity structuring techniques that may be needed. He will also advise on and guide clients through strategic acquisitions to grow their own businesses. Rett regularly counsels clients on corporate, partnership, and related tax-planning matters, including the negotiation and preparation of mergers and acquisitions agreements, the drafting of shareholders agreements, the formation of limited partnerships and limited liability companies, the structuring of inbound investment opportunities for foreign nationals, the creation and operation of private foundations and public charities, and the review and drafting of executive compensation agreements. In connection with advising the owners of closely-held businesses, Rett has developed a particular interest in the taxation of pass-through entities such as S-Corporations, partnerships, and trusts.

Preserving legacy. The estate planning side of the practice, often done for the owners of closely held businesses, is highly personal, involving an individual’s legacy and the achievements of a lifetime. Rett’s purpose is to help his clients prepare for the future, provide for their families, and accomplish their long-term personal and charitable goals. In doing so, he works to develop plans that are well thought out and emphasize preserving wealth from unnecessary taxes and unanticipated risks. He knows how to take family dynamics into account, and draws insights from his work in business exit-planning and trust and estate administration to help families plan with foresight to avoid problems that could happen later on. Rett is often called upon by other professionals to advise them on the complicated income and transfer tax issues that can arise in the context of trusts and estates. On the trust and estate administration side of the practice, Rett works in both contested and uncontested matters. He assists survivors in managing their inherited wealth, and often continues to serve their families and family businesses as a trusted advisor on the basis of the confidence he inspires in them.

Professional Organizations

  • Member of the Atlanta Bar Association
  • Member of the Georgia Bar Association
  • Member of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council
  • Member of the Association for Corporate Growth
  • Member of the Technology Association of Georgia

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by other lawyers and Georgia Super Lawyers magazine as a “Rising Star” in the list of Georgia Super Lawyers on multiple occasions

Outside the Practice

Rett is a native of the Atlanta area, having graduated summa cum laude from Woodward Academy. He is married to Vivien, a law school classmate from China, whom he met on the first day of law school. They reside with their two children in Dunwoody.


Bar Admission

Georgia, 2006


University of Florida, Levin College of Law (LL.M. in Taxation, 2007)
Vanderbilt University (J.D., 2006)
Emory University (B.A., 2001)