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David A. Starkweather

Managing Partner
Corporate + Nonprofit Group Co-Chair

David has been a trusted hand to Stuart & Branigin clients for over 30 years.  Originally a litigator for the firm, David has evolved his practice to meet the changing needs of his clients, focusing on providing outside general counsel to businesses and nonprofits, and guiding individuals in trust and estate matters.  With an advanced degree in taxation, he is particularly relied on for his advice on the tax aspects of transactions, employee incentive plans, and complex estate matters.

Large regional businesses, smaller family-owned companies, and start-up entities have all turned to David for guidance as they navigate growth and change.  His work includes advice on entity formation, contracts, financing, employment matters, dispute resolution, and succession planning, in addition to strategic transactions.  In the area of transactions, David represents clients in sales of real estate, stock, and membership interests, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

He also drafts and advises on deferred compensation plans and other employee incentive programs, frequently partnering with clients’ accountants and other advisors.  David’s background in taxation and litigation help him not only to structure corporate transactions for maximum tax efficiency but also to negotiate key terms to minimize the risk of future disputes.

With an advanced degree in taxation, he is particularly relied on for his advice on the tax aspects of transactions, employee incentive plans, and complex estate matters.

David’s nonprofit experience includes work with a range of health, religious, and other charitable organizations, from small community foundations to major Lafayette entities, such as Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation.  He regularly advises on nonprofit entity formation, tax-exempt determination, real estate, unrelated business taxable income issues, and a range of tax-exempt transactions as well as board matters.

A longtime member of the Lafayette community, David enjoys the opportunity to help individuals with wills and trusts – from fellow church members with young families to executives and high net worth individuals with significant and often complex assets, including ownership interests in privately held businesses and farmland or other legacy property.  He has particular experience representing multiple generations of families and helping business owners to create and implement tax-efficient succession plans.

David speaks to community and business groups on the topics of entity formation, business succession planning, and estate planning.

  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation – Executive Program
  • Indiana University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • Wheaton College, B.A.
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Court – Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • Tippecanoe County Bar Association
  • Rated 4.4 out of 5.0 and endorsed for “High Ethical Standing” in Martindale-Hubbell, a leading peer review survey