Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 4, 2014

Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon celebrate 40 years

R. Wayne Peters, Wade Cannon, Robert L. Lockaby, Jr., and Sam D. Elliott - Photo by David Laprad

Founded July 1, 1974 by Charles Gearhiser, Wayne Peters, and Sidney Carpenter, Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon is a Martindale AV rated firm made up of 13 attorneys, including nine members and four associates collectively licensed to practice in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

The firm’s lawyers are among the most respected in Chattanooga. Four of its attorneys are listed in the publication, “Best Lawyers in America,” including Peters, who was recognized as the 2013 Chattanooga Best Lawyers Trust and Estate Lawyer of the Year, and 2012 Chattanooga Best Lawyers Tax Law Lawyer of the Year. In addition, three of its lawyers are listed as Mid-South Super Lawyers, two are listed as Rising Stars, four have been honored as Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellows, three have been honored as Tennessee Bar Foundation Fellows, and one has been honored as an American Bar Foundation Fellow. 

Throughout the years, the attorneys of Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon have been highly active in the local legal community. Among their current ranks are a past president of the Tennessee Bar Association, a past president of the Chattanooga Bar Association, an immediate past president of the Tennessee Bar Young Lawyers Division, the current president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the current vice president of the Chattanooga Bar Young Lawyers Division. 

The greater focus at Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon, however, is the diverse litigation, business, tax, and estate planning work it does for its clients. To that end, two of its lawyers have advanced tax degrees, and two are qualified as certified public accountants. 

While speaking with the firm’s members, associates, and support staff during the firm’s celebratory lunch at 212 Market Street Restaurant on Thursday, June 26, Peters said the firm’s goal has always been to provide quality legal services in an efficient and cost effective manner. 

“We compete with hundreds of lawyers and strive to make ourselves distinctive by doing so. When we began with just a few clients 40 years ago, we never dreamed we’d be blessed to represent the many clients that came to place their trust in us and allowed us to be their lawyers, counselors and friends. 

“Much of our success can be attributed to our loyal staff of lawyers and assistants, who we appreciate and respect.” 

Elliott said everyone associated with the firm feels “enormously blessed” to have reached the four-decade milestone: “Our celebration is dedicated to the many people who have had a part in our 40-year history, and we eagerly anticipate the journey ahead for our lawyers, staff, and clients.” 

The anniversary comes just over one year after founding member Gearhiser passed away. Of his departed partner and friend, Elliott said, “We remember Charlie Gearhiser with fondness and respect. We miss his leadership, his legal acumen, and his incomparable sense of humor.” 

Gearhiser’s portrait will be hung in a suitable place at the firm’s downtown Chattanooga office, located at 320 McCallie Avenue.  v