Harry J. Skefos, a native Memphian, currently concentrates his practice in the areas of Economic Development, Taxation, Business Transactions, and Trusts & Estates. In economic development, Mr. Skefos often represents clients before local Industrial Development Boards to obtain property tax abatements for new or expanding industry. During the past several years, under Mr. Skefos’ leadership, Martin Tate has presented over one hundred sixty (160) PILOT Applications, obtaining millions of dollars of property tax savings for its clients and involving projects which have created over 26,000 new jobs and involved a total capital investment of approximately $3 billion. In connection with work on such projects, significant other tax savings and incentives from the State of Tennessee are often identified and obtained.
Mr. Skefos’ business law practice has included alternative dispute resolution and the representation of creditors and debtors in Bankruptcy Court proceedings. His tax practice involves both federal and state tax issues, as well as representation of audited taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service, the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Shelby County Assessor of Property, and in the courts. A substantial amount of Mr. Skefos' time and effort is devoted to representing clients with respect to property tax matters. In this connection, Mr. Skefos often represents clients before the Local and the State Boards of Equalization with respect to property tax appeals for both real and tangible personal property. Mr. Skefos' Trusts & Estates practice involves the full range of services generally categorized as estate planning, estate and trust administration and conservatorship proceedings. In connection with his practice, Mr. Skefos frequently deals with questions of valuation, including the valuation of real property.
Mr. Skefos is admitted to practice in all Tennessee Courts, the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee and the U.S. Tax Court, and has been appointed several times to serve as Guardian Ad Litem and/or a Special Master. Mr. Skefos is a member of the Memphis, Tennessee and American (member, taxation section) Bar Associations; and he has in the past provided his services on a pro bono basis to his church (the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church), where he served several years as a member of the Board of Trustees and General Counsel; to the Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he has lectured on the subject of state and local taxation; and to the Mayor's Office of Economic and Resource Development, where he often was asked to advise companies considering locating in Memphis and Shelby County as regards issues of state and local taxation.
After graduating from Central High School (Memphis), Mr. Skefos received his B.S. Degree (Economics, with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. He received his M.S. Degree (Accounting) from The Wharton School of Business in 1973 and his J.D. Degree from The National Law Center, George Washington University, in 1976. Mr. Skefos received his license to practice law from the Supreme Court of Tennessee on October 20, 1976. After graduating law school and prior to commencing his practice with the firm in November, 1979, Mr. Skefos served as Chairman and C.E.O. for the family business which his father had founded in 1955.
Mr. Skefos plays trombone in two local bands - the Swingtime Explosion Orchestra and the Bartlett Community Concert Band. He is married to Catherine Hetos Skefos. They have two grown children, both of whom are physicians. Mrs. Skefos also attended the University of Pennsylvania, and upon obtaining her undergraduate and graduate degrees there, was selected by Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice, to be the first Curator of the United States Supreme Court. Upon moving to Memphis with her husband, Mrs. Skefos obtained her J.D. Degree and established herself in the local trial courts as an able litigator. She, along with her husband, enjoys traveling, and the theater, whenever their schedules permit.