Mr. R. Gregory Watts
Phone : (251) 432-2800
University of Notre Dame (B.A.,
with highest honors, 1976)
University of Alabama (J.D.,
Emory University (LL.M. in
Greg Watts helps his clients prepare for two of life’s certainties in his tax, trusts and estate planning practice. When you want to lessen your tax load or need an advocate in a tax-controversy matter, Greg is well prepared to assist. He has a Master of Laws in Taxation, maintains membership in the tax sections of several bar associations and has received multiple recognitions for his work in tax, trusts and estate law. Greg has maintained a long-term interest in finance, having majored in economics in his undergraduate degree.
Greg’s clients include corporate trustees, tax exempt organizations, banks, investors, business owners and commercial real estate property owners. His practice also includes commercial law, probate and trust administration, and trust preparation, tax-exempt organizations and estate planning.
Clients appreciate his responsive, empathetic approach, and mention that they know without a doubt that he is genuinely concerned about their matters and finding the best solutions. He always knew he wanted to help his clients solve problems and was drawn to transactional work rather than the trial arena. Greg has finalized more than a dozen commercial property acquisitions and sales, corporate mergers and acquisitions for clients, with values ranging from $2 – $60 million.
Representation of sellers of a 50% interest in Florida outlet development valued at $60 million
Current representation of numerous tax-exempt foundations with endowments ranging from $2 – $35 million.
Honors and Awards
Phi Beta Kappa, University of Notre Dame
Bench and Bar Honor Society, University of Alabama Law School
Listed in Best Lawyers in America Since 1999
Mobile Lawyer of the Year for Tax Law, 2012 (Best Lawyers)
Mobile Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates, 2010 (Best Lawyers)
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Alumnus of the Year, 2003
AV Pre-eminent Peer Review Rating for Martindale Hubbell since 1995
Professional and Community Involvement
Editorial Board, Alabama Law Review
Member, (16 years), Co-Chair (2020-), Board of Trustees, American Federal Tax Institute, Birmingham Alabama
Member (28 years) and Co-Chair (8 years), Planning Committee, Annual Estate Planning Seminar, Alabama State Bar Continuing Legal Education
Board Member (21 years) and Secretary, Business Innovation center of Mobile (small business incubator)
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mobile Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc.
President (11 years), Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama
Past President, Board Member and Incorporator, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Foundation
Annual Fund Chairman, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School 2002
Member, Archdiocesan Finance Council, Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile
Seminars / Presentations
Speaker, Ultimate Guide to Probate, National Business Institute (Aug. 2016)
Speaker, The New Unitrust, Annual Estate Planning Seminar, Alabama State Bar CLE (2015)
Speaker, Charitable Giving, Alabama Federal Tax Clinic, Inc. (2005)
Speaker, Estate Planning, ABICLE
1979, US. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
1985, U.S. Tax Court
What Our Clients are Saying
“My husband and I were referred to Johnstone Adams in the spring of last year. We are working very closely with Jessica Welch and Greg Watts on an ongoing and unwanted family estate matter. Ms. Welch and Mr. Watts have been so professional and knowledgeable.
In addition, considering the nature of the suit, Jessica has provided my husband and I with a peace of mind we didn"t think was possible during this extremely stressful time of our lives. She is an amazing trial attorney. They have gone above and beyond. To sum it up, I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for them. I would strongly reccomend either of them to my dearest friends and family members. I'm so thankful that we stumbled upon them. I'm actually going to miss Jessica Welch when this is all over.”
“I am currently using this law firm and they are informative, keeping me up to date with my case, and they return your calls/emails immediately. I am very satisfied.”
“My wife and I approached Johnstone Adams to help us make a better informed decision regarding her immigration. They have been a truly invaluable asset. They brought their knowledge, experience, confidence, and calm demeanor to the process, which put our minds at ease. The worry and anxiety that we were facing melted away, and we have been, literally, hand-held during this daunting process. We can’t thank or recommend Johnstone Adams enough and look forward to continuing to use their services in the future.”
“Johnstone Adams was a great help when it came to drawing up our family’s will and advanced directives prior to the birth of our first son. These are certainly things that no one wants to think about, but the process was easy. They were professional and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions along the way with compassion and sensitivity. Johnstone Adams responded quickly to any questions and was easy to get in touch with! We would highly recommend them for any legal work!!”
“Jessica’s advice and assistance with our family's interests in a probate matter was exceptional from beginning to end-- always thoughtful, responsive and efficient, and focused and timely.
It was a genuine pleasure for the doubtless incorrigibly demanding old lawyer that I am to have a professional of her outstanding caliber assisting me on this matter—both generally and in my role as executor in particular—in a jurisdiction unfamiliar to me and on a matter completely outside of my own experience and expertise.
I might also point out that she was really excellent in interfacing, always in a timely and solution-oriented manner, with other parties involved in our matter to help keep our initiatives on track—including attorneys dealing with the disposition of residential real estate and financial assets.
Jessica and her excellent assistant, Shelly Perrone, also offered and provided pragmatic and efficient solutions to logistical and execution issues made significantly more challenging than usual given the COVID-19 crisis and my own location far from Mobile-- in Paris, France.”
“I highly recommend attorney Rick La Trace. Aside from being professional, polite, and yet firm, Rick is a combination of knowledge, detail, and responsiveness. (In my opinion, there are very few professionals who have ALL three qualities. Rick is one of the very few.) What makes him stand apart from the rest, is that he takes the time to listen to his client's concerns (no matter how "trivial"). He educates client’s on how the law works, shares his opinions, including the pros and cons of each. We would definitely use Rick's services again, and highly recommend him for anyone who wants a lawyer that they can trust to thoroughly handle their case from start to finish, even down to the small details. You can tell from working with Rick that he's not just about getting paid for his services, but that he enjoys working through problems and finding creative solutions for his clients. Also, I highly recommend the Johnstone Adams, LLC systems and processes. Shelly and Cathy were on top of things. I give Rick and Johnstone Adams more than five stars.”