Gary A. Zwick J.D., LL.M., CPA, AEP®

Attorney, Walter | Haverfield LLP

Gary has a general tax practice, with emphasis on tax planning for closely-held and family businesses and their owners, and high net worth individuals. This encompasses not only income tax planning, but also estate planning, retirement plans and planning, business and individual taxation, Subchapters C & S, mergers and acquisitions, employee benefits and IRS, and tax court practice and controversy work. Mr. Zwick also handles criminal tax matters.

Before joining Walter | Haverfield in 1997, Gary, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, spent 21 years in public accounting, including serving for many years as Director of Tax Operations and Head of the Cleveland Office Tax Department for a large regional Bowman 100 CPA firm.

Gary is the principal author of the book "Tax & Financial Planning for the Closely Held Family Business," published by ALI-ABA, and a co-author of the book "Transferring Interests in the Closely Held Family Business," also published by ALI-ABA. Both books will continue to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing, beginning in 2019. He has also authored or co-authored over a dozen feature articles for major tax publications including a chapter entitled "Transfers of Property in Exchange for Services - Section 83," for the Lexis Nexis Online Tax Encyclopedia, published in January 2007. For many years, Gary was the Tax Clinic editor of the August rotation in the Tax Adviser, the AICPA's national tax publication. He is also a contributor to the ALI-ABA Practice Checklist Manual on Advising Business Clients II and the book, "Golden Opportunities," by Amy and Armond Budish.

Gary is a frequent speaker, both locally and nationally, on tax subjects, with hundreds of speaking engagements to tax professionals. He is board certified in federal tax by the Ohio State Bar Association and former Chair of the Federal Tax Specialty Board of the Ohio State Bar Association. He continues to serve on the Federal Tax Specialty Board of the Ohio Bar Association. He was an adjunct professor of Wealth Transfer Tax and Estate Planning at Case Western Reserve School of Law and an adjunct professor of Tax Law and Wealth Transfer Tax at Cleveland State University College of Law.


  • Consults on qualified plan design, including defined benefit/defined contribution combinations
  • Drafts and implements individually designed qualified plans
  • Handles qualified plan audits and interface with the IRS to obtain qualification letters for the plans
  • Designs and implements VEBAs for larger employers and assists small employers with their employee benefit plans
  • Designs, drafts, and implements non-qualified deferred compensation, stock options, restricted stock plans
  • Implements IRA and other retirement strategies
  • Consults and handles matters in estate and wealth planning for owners and operators of closely held and family businesses
  • Works closely with high net worth individuals and their families
  • Solves liquidity problems in estates that are largely illiquid
  • Works with multiple generations to assure that plans implemented are carried out
  • Creatively structures and negotiates purchases and sales of businesses to reduce or eliminate taxes
  • Designs compensation, benefits and qualified plan systems for closely held and family businesses to maximize benefits and minimize costs
  • Structures optimal entity selection, accounting periods, and methods and situs of closely held entities to reduce tax exposure for entrepreneurial businesses
  • IRS, state, and local tax practice including hundreds of audits, appeals, and court cases on the federal, state, and local level; regularly obtains private letter rulings and interface with all levels of administrative entities
  • Manages family business and other shareholder disputes
  • Works closely with individuals and their families to design and implement multi-generational estate and wealth planning strategies
  • Estate and trust administration