Gravel & Shea PC

September 2018

Attorney Scott Rowland Joins Gravel & Shea Real Estate Team

This month, Gravel & Shea welcomed Scott Rowland to the firm. As an Associate Attorney on the real estate team, Scott will bring a background in commercial real estate, renewable energy development and environmental law to serving clients on a range of real estate, administrative law and corporate matters.

“I am very pleased to join Gravel & Shea and am looking forward to this opportunity to assist clients in the communities where I grew up,” said Scott.

Scott is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was a Staff Editor of the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and a clinician in the Vermont Law School Energy Clinic. Prior to attending law school, Scott worked as a project analyst with a prominent renewable energy developer in Boston.  In that role Scott worked closely with investors, contractors, utilities and state governments to develop and maintain successful projects.

“We are so excited to have Scott join our real estate group at Gravel & Shea,” said Partner Michelle Farkas. “Scott has deep connections to Vermont — his home state and where he chose to attend both college and law school — and his many years of solar development experience will provide valuable support to our renewable energy clients.  We are delighted Scott chose to remain in Vermont and begin his practice here with Gravel & Shea.”


Gravel & Shea Partner Recognized in Chambers High Net Worth Guide

Gravel & Shea is honored to be featured for the third year in a row in the Chambers & Partners High Net Worth Guide for Private Wealth Law.

We are also proud to congratulate Gravel & Shea Partner Jeanne Blackmore for her individual recognition as a notable practitioner.

The Chambers High Net Worth Guide is used by advisers to wealth individuals to provide international, objective guidance on a broad range of areas, from private wealth management to philanthropy. In particular, the Guide features in-depth editorial information about the leading lawyers and law firms for wealthy individuals and families.

According to the Guide, Gravel & Shea “enjoys a fine reputation in the Vermont trusts and estates community.” A local wealth professional calls the estate-planning department “very rigorous” in representing “a lot of high-end clients.”

At Gravel & Shea, Jeanne focuses her practice on tax and estate planning, probate and trust administration, and general business taxation. According to the Guide, she is a frequent target for advice in estate planning.

The High Net Worth Guide defines Private Wealth Law as including but not limited to: “charitable planning; wealth transfer; business succession planning; estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning (in the US); life and health insurance planning; the creation and administration of trusts and estates; asset transfer; the taking-public of closely-held businesses; and structuring outward and inward investment. Contentious matters are also included, such as trusts disputes, probate contests and contested wills.”

Vermont Officials Emphasize Importance of Blockchain Innovation

From left to right: David Thelander, Gravel & Shea; Natalia Karayaneva, Propy; Vermont Governor Phil Scott; Kate Purcell, 360 Consulting; Eva Cildermane, Propy.

Members of Gravel & Shea’s blockchain technology group attended the Governor’s ceremonial bill signing for S.269 (now Act 205), An Act Related to Blockchain Business Development, on August 29.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott officially signed the bill into law on May 30, 2018, but the State scheduled an additional signing ceremony in South Burlington in recognition both of the bill’s significance and of the crucial role the city has played in advancing blockchain activity by hosting the first U.S. real estate transaction completed entirely in blockchain.

“Innovations in the financial services industry are the source of tremendous economic progress and growth,” said Governor Scott. “The financial industry is poised for even greater innovation and progress with blockchain technology.” He told the assembled crowd that we cannot just sit on the sidelines, that Vermont must remain a leader. The Governor, along with others, provided special thanks to Oliver Goodenough, Special Counsel at Gravel & Shea, for his critical role in bringing the law to fruition.

Governor Scott emphasized the importance of both primary elements of the blockchain law: the creation of Personal Information Protection Companies helping to both protect sensitive personal data and promote economic activity; and the creation of blockchain-based LLCs providing legal structure and certainty to entrepreneurs in the blockchain space.

The Governor highlighted Gravel & Shea client Propy’s role in moving the blockchain ball forward in Vermont, giving Natalia Karayaneva, the company’s Founder and CEO, one of the pens used in the signing. Propy is the international real estate marketplace and title registry company that facilitated the blockchain-based South Burlington real estate transaction.

Karayaneva thanked Vermont for creating the bill and for making the State a “pioneer in the world” and a “haven” for blockchain companies. She emphasized how valuable the certainty associated with the creation of blockchain-based LLCs will be for new blockchain companies, sharing that legal uncertainty in the United States has made it difficult at times for her own business to move forward. And she thanked Gravel & Shea for helping the company to complete the transaction in compliance with local laws.

Gravel & Shea’s Blockchain Technology group specializes in analyzing and resolving legal issues related to blockchain technology.