Fred M. Perkins III
Charles T. Coleman

Corporate & Transactional

We ensure that every contract you make is impeccable - starting with the one you make with us.

We’ve been prudently protecting the best interests of our clients for more than a century, offering thoughtful counsel and meticulous due diligence on a wide array of corporate and transactional matters.

Banking & Secured Transactions

We are proud of our long tradition of representing Arkansas banks in achieving their corporate goals. It has been our privilege to represent a number of Arkansas-based state or federally chartered institutions in a variety of transactions, including corporate formation and governance, capital formation, taxation, state and federal regulatory matters, and in other areas integral to the corporate existence and operations of banking institutions. Our representation also extends to serving as Arkansas counsel for large national institutions, as well as local community banks.

Recent transactions in which our banking and commercial lending lawyers have served as counsel are the following:

  • Representing an Arkansas bank holding company in conversion to Subchapter S corporate status.
  • Representing an Arkansas state chartered institution in acquisition of another Arkansas state chartered bank, which included corporate due diligence, analysis of bank financial records and review of real estate in connection with acquisition of multiple branches.
  • Representing dissenting shareholders in the exercise of rights under the Arkansas banking statutes.
  • Successfully representing an Arkansas state chartered institution in recapitalizing to avoid closure by the FDIC.

We are also involved in clients’ commercial lending activities, such as loan documentation, negotiation with borrowers and borrowers’ counsel and loan closings. We also assist lenders in a wide variety of commercial lending transactions, including asset-based working capital loans, equipment loans and leases, construction and real estate loans and corporate acquisition financing. Among our clients are state and federally chartered financial institutions located within and outside Arkansas and syndicated financings for lending groups.

Corporate & Securities

We serve as counsel to numerous local and regional companies and as Arkansas counsel to a significant number of national and international companies with facilities or business activities in Arkansas. Our corporate and securities attorneys advise a wide array of business clients on matters, such as corporate structure and management, mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions, real estate and land use, public and private securities and debt offerings, state and federal regulatory questions and tax and compensation planning questions.

Several of our corporate and securities attorneys also advise insurance and healthcare clients on regulatory restrictions and limitations relating to acquisitions, business planning and corporate structure.

Wright Lindsey Jennings is recognized as one of the leading corporate and securities firms in Arkansas by Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Individual attorneys practicing in the corporate and securities area are highly regarded by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Wright Lindsey Jennings provides a wide range of estate planning and asset protection services, including the preparation of wills, trusts, family-owned companies and family-limited partnerships. We start by reviewing a client’s existing estate condition and discussing the objectives and needs of the individual client and/or family. Our team of experienced attorneys then works closely with the client to identify tax minimization techniques and, where appropriate, explores business succession and other issues concerning future asset management.

In its most basic form, estate planning is the process by which an individual or family arranges the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. Wills and trusts are the common instruments utilized to achieve estate planning goals. Estate planning may also involve current financial planning, combined with contingency planning for the time when a family member becomes incapacitated. We achieve great comfort and success for our clients because we focus on the lifetime needs of our clients and then work that “lifetime plan” into how assets will be distributed upon death.

Asset protection refers to the conscious effort to protect one’s assets in the face of potential creditor attack or future uncertainty. Many people already engage in a form of asset protection by purchasing insurance. Our attorneys explore other legal tools with our clients that can be used to affirmatively shield assets from potential court-awarded monetary judgments or other attacks.

Probate, Estate and Trust Administration

In addition to working on the preparation of estate and trust documents, our attorneys regularly advise administrators and fiduciaries in the administration of these estates and trusts. We are dedicated to the efficient and safe administration of wills, trusts and estates. Through years of experience, our firm can provide efficiencies not easily found. Our goal is to settle estates as quickly as possible, with good economy, communication and diligence.

Special Needs Planning

In order for many individuals with special needs to obtain health insurance and other assistance, they must qualify for Medicaid and other government programs based on financial need. We help our clients to legally protect assets so as to retain or obtain eligibility for these life-giving benefits. This type of planning also applies to our clients who wish to provide for an heir with special needs in a will or a trust.

Elder Law

In addition to estate planning, WLJ can assist clients with planning for incapacity issues, long-term care and potential threats that could erode an estate. WLJ can provide guidance and assistance to aid in asset preservation through the employment of legal solutions, such as irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, annuities and other tools. We seek ways for our clients to avoid guardianship proceedings, but we also have great experience in guardianship cases and can help our clients minimize costs and difficulties associated with this type of proceeding.

Fidelity & Surety

Wright Lindsey Jennings is one of the few law firms in Arkansas with a team of attorneys practicing in this area of the law. While fidelity and surety bonds are similar to insurance policies, the law governing fidelity and surety bonds, and the relationships among the parties affected by them differs radically from insurance law.

Our attorneys have extensive experience representing the parties to all types of fidelity and surety bonds in both state and federal courts, including companies issuing fidelity and surety bonds, financial institutions, contractors and sub-contractors, owners and owners’ representatives and indemnitors. We serve in numerous national organizations related to fidelity and surety issues, write articles for national journals and speak frequently at forums on bond law.

General Counsel

Every business, no matter the size or type, needs legal counsel available to review contracts, answer basic employment questions, assist with risk assessments, and other ongoing concerns related to the business. Engaging legal counsel to address matters on an ongoing basis is a key step to understanding and minimizing risks associated with business activities.

Recognizing not all businesses need a full-time legal staff, our firm developed a general counsel practice to fill this need. Through these close relationships, our attorneys gain valuable knowledge about the workings of our clients’ businesses, positioning us to function as a true resource for the business. These relationships are as unique as the businesses we serve, and we believe in crafting solutions to meet the client’s individual need.

HIPAA Training

By offering document review, system and procedure analysis, policy drafting and updating, as well as staff training on evolving HIPAA regulations, our dedicated team helps covered entities and business associates comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and its amendments. Our team offers on-site training as well as policy and procedure review to help manage risks.

Local Government & Municipal Utilities

Wright Lindsey Jennings offers sophisticated representation and general counsel services to several local government boards and commissions on a wide range of matters encompassing the Freedom of Information Act, constitutional law and civil rights issues, elections law, labor and employment law covering grievances and due process terminations, real estate, eminent domain proceedings, free speech issues, bidding and contract matters, law enforcement issues, municipal bonds, public finance and leasing. In addition, we have extensive knowledge of environmental law, as well as water and wastewater issues.

We represent clients before state and local governments with respect to a variety of topics, ranging from site-specific concerns to broader issues. When requested by clients, our attorneys can monitor legislative activity to quickly address legislative or regulatory matters as they arise.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Our mergers and acquisitions attorneys regularly counsel public and private companies, private investors and financial advisors in all types of corporate restructuring transactions, such as asset and stock transfers, exchange offers, mergers, joint ventures and going-private transactions.

We take a collaborative approach to these transactions and offer experienced service and value during all phases of acquisitions and divestitures. Whether our client is a purchaser or a seller, we manage transactions from initial offers to successful executions, including structuring, negotiating and financing transactions. We represent both small and large clients in a wide range of industries, such as business services, telecommunications, retail, agriculture, food service, healthcare and financial services.

Our industry experience and knowledge allows us to provide practical and innovative solutions in a timely, cost-effective manner on any transaction no matter how simple or complex. We work closely with the other WLJ practice groups to provide customized legal solutions to each client.

Municipal Finance

We have been privileged to represent issuers of municipal debt, underwriters, trustees and other participants in municipal finance for almost 50 years. Our attorneys regularly provide services as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel and trustee’s counsel in a variety of municipal finance transactions.

Many of our municipal finance attorneys hold memberships in the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) and regularly attend and participate in seminars and continuing legal education available through NABL. Wright Lindsey Jennings is recognized as one of the leading municipal finance firms in Arkansas.

Natural Resources

Although Arkansas is known as the Natural State, one of the state’s oldest problems is how to achieve effective management of its natural resources. Today, the greatest challenges for clients who rely upon the state’s natural resources for business, recreation and enjoyment are ever changing state and federal legislation, increasing regulatory control and competing interests for rights to harvest, cultivate, extract and market diminishing natural resources. Whether a client is in need of advice regarding water, oil, natural gas, timber rights, solar and other energy facilities, or other naturally occurring resources, our attorneys have the skills to effectively guide clients through complex legal, financial, practical and political issues.

The firm has represented various State agencies, cities and counties throughout the State of Arkansas in financings involving energy savings transactions, both taxable and tax exempt, for financing of such projects as solar facilities for the generation of electricity, natural gas and coal-fired electric generating facilities, government buildings and facilities, and tax-exempt lease transactions to finance the full range of governmental and commercial energy facilities.

Specifically with respect to energy bond and tax-exempt energy lease transactions, in the past five years Walter McSpadden has represented approximately one dozen Arkansas governmental entities in connection with the issuance of more than $400,000,000 in energy financings.

Partnership & Taxation

Our experienced attorneys regularly advise business entities, individuals and tax-exempt organizations on taxation questions and matters related to taxation, such as business and individual tax planning and mergers and acquisitions (both taxable and non-taxable). In addition, charitable and tax-exempt entities, estate planning, estate and gift taxation, trusts and probate are areas in which we have extensive experience. We can answer both state and federal tax questions relevant to Subchapter C and S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, individuals, trusts, estates and tax-exempt entities.

We serve clients in state and federal tax audits and appeals as well as in tax litigation matters in state and federal court.  Individuals in need of estate planning matters also utilize our knowledge of revocable and irrevocable life insurance and charitable trusts and in probate of decedents’ estates. Other clients include a significant number of tax-exempt entities in the healthcare, religious and charitable sectors, whom we assist not only with routine questions concerning operations of tax-exempt entities, but also in preparation of applications and documentation necessary to obtain a tax-exempt determination from the Internal Revenue Service. By tapping into the firm’s expansive attorney groups, we collectively structure and document mergers, acquisitions, tax-exempt municipal bond financings and tax-deferred and non-recognition exchange transactions.

Post-Merger Integration

In today’s business world, mergers and acquisitions are common-place. But, there is more to the agreement than closing the deal. Companies must also merge the policies, benefits and personnel of two or more companies into a new one.

We take a collaborative approach when assisting our clients with this process, drawing on the experience of our Business and Labor & Employment Teams (and outside benefits and change management experts when needed) to help ensure the business goals of the merger or acquisition are not hindered by “culture” issues or legal landmines under the laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service or any other government agency.

Real Estate

Wright Lindsey Jennings offers a wide range of real estate-related legal services, including acquisition and sale of properties; finance; representation of landlords in documentation and negotiation of commercial leases; real estate tax issues confronted by owners of real estate, timberland and land management issues; and litigation involving real estate. We also provide services to owners of residential real estate in a variety of matters.

In addition to our general real estate practice, we regularly counsel owners and developers of real property with legal issues related to the design and development of commercial, office, retail and residential properties in the State of Arkansas. We also frequently represent clients before local planning commissions, city councils and other bodies having jurisdiction over planning, zoning and development matters in and around Arkansas metropolitan areas.

Representing a number of local improvement districts created to fund and construct public streets, utilities and other public improvements required by the City of Little Rock in connection with the expansion of various neighborhoods in the city.