By RITA DUCKWORTH
After receiving his law degree in Florida, Garrett C. Reuter Jr. surrendered to what he calls the “Boomerang Effect.” He had moved away but came back home in 2006 to start his career.
Reuter received an accounting degree from University of Notre Dame before attending University of Miami School of Law. There he earned not only a Juris Doctor (J.D.,) but also a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in taxation.
Choosing to focus on trust and estate law, he worked at a large downtown St. Louis law firm for his first six professional years. In 2012, he joined Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale PC. At the forefront of his decision was a chance to work with his father, Garrett C. Reuter Sr. who worked at the law firm.
“My dad was an attorney for 40 years. I grew up wanting to be a lawyer, too. I never considered any other career; he was a big influence on that.”
Sadly, Reuter Sr. passed away only a year and a half into his son’s tenure at Greensfelder.
“I haven’t had him around to be the mentor and tutor that I hoped,” says Reuter. “But I learned a lot by watching him throughout my life.”
Reuter helps clients plan their estates during their lifetimes, reviewing and preparing trusts and wills and administers trusts and estates for decedents. He offers general advice to fiduciaries and handles will and trust litigation and disputes. He also does tax planning, helping clients across the wealth spectrum develop and execute their plans.
The move to Greensfelder allowed Reuter to broaden his practice, and follow in his Dad’s footsteps. “A lot of my clients are small businesses and closely held companies. I’ve had the opportunity to branch out and become, in essence, the general counsel for their companies,” says Reuter.
“My clients call with business-related issues, real estate questions, labor and employment issues, or litigation concerns. I give general business advice, and when an issue is not in my area of expertise, I direct them to the appropriate attorney in-house.”
Greensfelder has more than 150 attorneys and offices in St. Louis, Belleville and Chicago.
“We cover nearly every facet of the law,” explains Reuter. “You name it, we have an expert in it.”
Reuter enjoys the crossover between his work with trusts and estates and small businesses. “The two worlds often go hand-in-hand,” he says, pointing to business succession planning as an example.
“These businesses are my clients’ lifeblood, not just how they make their money. As their trusted advisor, they tell me deeply personal things. I understand that they’re not going to open up to just anybody.” For Reuter, these personal relationships are the most rewarding part of his job.