"He is a brilliant individual," praises a client source, explaining: "He has an unbelievably sharp legal mind and great business acumen. He has a great bedside manner and he is wonderful to work with. He listens to us, gives us great advice and explains so that we understand. He would be the number one on the list in the state for who I would recommend."
Chambers USA 2017
Stephen Dyer is the chair of the private clients section of the tax department at Baker Botts. His practice emphasizes estate and business planning for extraordinarily high net worth individuals (many of whom have family-owned businesses) and representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration. The principal focus of his practice is the design, implementation and defense of advanced asset transfer and business succession strategies. He also advises clients in divorce cases (along with lead divorce counsel) when substantial trusts and family entities are involved.
Mr. Dyer is widely recognized for his work representing clients in Texas and throughout the country in transfers of hard-to-value assets, family limited partnerships, business valuation issues and family business succession planning.
Mr. Dyer is ranked as Band 1 in Texas: Private Wealth Law for Chambers High Net Worth (2016-2018) and is also recognized as the only Texas attorney represented in Private Wealth: Central Region for Chambers High Net Worth (2016-2018). He is also listed in Best Lawyers in America (2007-2018, Woodward White, Inc.) and Texas Super Lawyers (2004-2017, Thomson Reuters). Chambers High Net Worth (2018) quoted one of Mr. Dyer's clients saying that "he is ‘brilliant, caring and very diligent in serving a demanding person such as me!’ adding that he is ‘smart and eager to help.’”
Mr. Dyer's educational background was focused on business and finance. Before becoming an attorney, he worked as an investment banker in mergers and acquisitions for Wasserstein Perella & Co., Inc.
- Founding entrepreneurs – assistance to founders of businesses, both privately and publicly owned, worth anywhere from $25 million to over $1 billion, in all aspects of restructurings and transition of ownership to subsequent generations or charity, including those businesses involved in a variety of industries such as oil and gas exploration and production, oilfield services and equipment, petrochemicals and related products, timber, various types of manufacturing, real estate (retail, multifamily, hotels, office buildings), technology (equipment and services), distribution (heavy equipment, beverages, warehousing), retailing (cars, grocery, clothing, furniture), insurance, banking, import/export, farming and ranching, tourism and services of all kinds
- Wealthy heirs and their fiduciaries – representation of trust and estate fiduciaries and beneficiaries in dealing with each other generally and in the handling of substantial long-term family wealth and complex trust and estate administrations, including advice on how to exercise powers over trusts and estates, how to deal with financial advisors of all kinds (accountants, money managers, insurance providers), resolving conflicts among beneficiaries and resolving conflicts between beneficiaries and fiduciaries
- Wealthy individuals – representation in all aspects of their estate planning, from traditional wills, trusts, estates, and marital property issues to the creation of family limited partnerships and other entities, the implementation of advanced transfer tax avoidance strategies and charitable giving
- Professionals and executives – representation of wealthy corporate executives, doctors, lawyers, investment bankers and others in connection with wills, trusts and estates, employee benefits as they relate to estate planning, the creation of family limited partnerships, marital property issues and other matters
- Divorcing couples – in conjunction with lead divorce counsel, representation of a party in connection solely with advisory work (not expert testimony) pertaining to high net worth estate planning issues implicated by a divorce, including changes to family limited partnerships and trusts, and related income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues
- Charities and their donors – assistance in the creation of private foundations, family funds at community foundations, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts, as well as specific purpose charitable gifts, naming rights gifts and other concerns; representation of prominent local charities in connection with the receipt of gifts, structuring of planned giving programs, estate administration and related matters
Awards & Community
Recognized for Private Wealth Law by Chambers High Net Worth, 2016, 2017 & 2018
Recognized for Wealth Management by Chambers USA, 2015 & 2016
Listed in Best Lawyers in America, (Woodward/White Inc.), 2007-2018
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters), 2004-2018
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star (Thomson Reuters), 2004
The University of Texas at Austin, Development Board, 2013-present
The University of Texas School of Law Alumni Association Executive Committee, 2014-present
The University of Texas System, Chancellor's Council 2013-present; Executive Committee 2015-present
DePelchin Children's Center, Planned Giving Task Force, 2003; Planned Giving Advisory Council, 2006-2007; Board of Directors, 2006-2011, 2013-2018
The Kinkaid School, Advancement Committee, 2012-2017; Alumni Association Board of Directors, 2009-2014; Vice President, 2011-2012; President, 2012-2013
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
Houston Bar Foundation, Fellow
Publications, Speeches & Presentations
One Step Closer to Tax Reform - Senate Passes Bill, International Tax Provisions at Odds with Bill Passed by the HouseFirm Thought Leadership
Houston Estate & Financial Forum