April 7, 1953 – July 3, 2020
Liza Farrow-Gillespie, our beloved managing partner and co-founder, passed away on July 3, 2020. Liza was an extraordinary woman who was an incredibly gifted attorney and an even better person. She touched our lives in a special way and we will love and remember her always. If you would like to make a memorial gift in Liza’s honor, please contribute to the No Child in Pain Foundation for Pediatric Pain Management (of which Liza and her husband Alan were co-founders), Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarships, or a charity of your choice.
Since co-founding the firm in 2007, Liza Farrow-Gillespie practiced law in the areas of nonprofit organizations, privately held businesses and investment, estate planning and probate, elderlaw, taxation, and asset protection. She was a passionate advocate for strategic legal planning to protect multi-generational assets, minimize tax burden, protect quality of life, prevent expensive litigation and maximize governmental benefits, while accomplishing an individual’s or family’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic goals. Representing multiple generations of some of Dallas’s most revered families, Ms. Farrow-Gillespie conducted due diligence on private equity investments and provided counsel in advantageous structuring of deals, acquisitions, and business formation. She served as outside general counsel and board counsel to nonprofit organizations across North Texas.
Ms. Farrow-Gillespie won numerous awards for her work. She was named to the list of Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine; and to the list of Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) by Texas Monthly. Liza was named a “Five-Star Professional” in estate planning by Texas Monthly. She was the subject of a December 2013 profile in the business section of the Dallas Morning News, and of a March 2015 profile in the Texas Bar Journal. Ms. Farrow-Gillespie was a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Her 18-attorney law firm has been named as a “Best Law Firm” in America (small firm category) by U.S. News & World Report.
Before co-founding the law firm of Farrow-Gillespie Heath Witter LLP in June 2007, Liza served as permanent briefing attorney for the late United States District Judge Barefoot Sanders, Northern District of Texas. Ms. Farrow-Gillespie is a former associate with Cohan Simpson Cowlishaw and Wulff LLP, now merged with Jackson Walker LLP; and is a 1992 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (Dean’s Award; Order of the Coif; Executive Editor of the Texas Law Review). She was a guest lecturer in advanced business law at SMU University and a frequent speaker on wealth preservation topics.
An avid blue-water sailor, Liza completed a six-year sailing circumnavigation with her husband in 2005. Prior to law school, Ms. Farrow-Gillespie was a professional musician in Los Angeles, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Even during her law career, she continued to perform from time to time. Liza served on the board of directors of No Child in Pain Foundation, and she was a Trustee of the Dallas Opera. She was a member of the portfolio board of Texas Women Ventures Fund.
Ms. Farrow-Gillespie married in 1984 to Alan Farrow-Gillespie, M.D., a pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and Professor of Anesthesiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. On February 1, 2020, Liza retired as managing partner of the firm, and retired fully from the practice of law. She passed away on July 3, 2020, after a long battle with cancer.
- J.D., with honors, University of Texas School of Law, 1992
- Order of the Coif
- Texas Law Review, executive editor
- Dean’s Award, Constitutional Law
- B.B.A. in Accounting, University of Texas at Austin, 1989
- Kappa Alpha Theta
- Briefing Attorney, Hon. Barefoot Sanders (deceased), United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
- Cohan Simpson Cowlishaw Aranza & Wulf
Publications and Presentations
- “Risky Business: How to Manage Your Personal and Professional Liability Exposure,” Annual Meeting, Texas Society of Anesthesiologists, September 2016
- “Practical Aspects of Entity Choice and Formation of Family-Owned Businesses,” Advanced Business Law, SMU Cox School of Business, lecturer 2013, 2014, 2015
- “Voyage of a Lifetime,” Turtle Creek Breakfast Club, Highland Park Country Club, 2015
- “Professional Liability Management and Asset Protection Strategies,” Annual Meeting, Texas Society of Anesthesiologists, September 2015
- “Business Succession Planning for Privately Held Companies,” Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, April 2013
- Panel member, “Probate Proceedings,” Dallas Bar Association CLE, November 2012
- “Guardianships: Procedural and Evidentiary Issues,” NBI Institute, August 2011
Professional and Community Affiliations
- State Bar of Texas
- Dallas Bar Association
- Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA
- The Dallas Opera, Board of Directors
- Texas Women Ventures Fund, Board of Directors